# What to Look for When Choosing a Tattoo Artist
Choosing a tattoo artist is a significant decision. After all, a tattoo is a form of self-expression that lasts forever. Therefore, you must entrust your body to a professional who will ensure your vision comes to life in the best way possible. But how do you select the right artist? Here are the key factors to consider when choosing a tattoo artist.
## 1. Portfolio
First and foremost, you must review the artist's portfolio. A portfolio is a collection of their previous works, showcasing their style and proficiency. You can often find these on the artist's [Instagram](https://www.instagram.com/) or [website](https://www.tattoodo.com/). Look for consistency in their work, which indicates experience and skill.
## 2. Style
Every tattoo artist has their own unique style. Some may specialize in [traditional](https://authoritytattoo.com/traditional-tattoo/), while others may excel at [watercolor](https://www.tattoo.com/blog/watercolor-tattoos-might-age-badly/) or [Japanese](https://www.tattoodo.com/a/101-guide-to-irezumi-traditional-japanese-tattoos) tattoos. Identify the style that matches your desired tattoo, and find an artist who specializes in that style.
## 3. Hygiene and Safety
Safety and hygiene should never be compromised. A reputable artist will have a clean studio and use sterilized equipment. They should also follow all [health and safety guidelines](https://www.osha.gov/Publications/osha3132.html) set by the local health department. If an artist doesn't prioritize hygiene, it's a red flag.
## 4. Reviews and Recommendations
Look for reviews on platforms like [Google](https://www.google.com/maps), [Yelp](https://www.yelp.com/), or [Tattoo.com](https://www.tattoo.com/reviews/). You can also ask for recommendations from friends or family who have tattoos. Their firsthand experiences can offer valuable insights.
## 5. Communication and Comfort
Effective communication is key. Your artist should be willing to listen to your ideas, provide guidance, and make you feel comfortable. After all, getting a tattoo is a personal experience, and you should feel at ease throughout the process.
## 6. Pricing
The cost of a tattoo can vary greatly depending on the artist, design, size, and location. However, keep in mind that quality comes at a price. While it's crucial to stick to your budget, never sacrifice quality for cost when it comes to tattoos.
## 7. Licensing
Ensure that the artist you choose is licensed to practice. In the United States, tattoo artists are required to hold a [professional license](https://www.tattooschool-art.com/tattoo-licensing-laws-state/) to ensure they meet specific training and health standards.
Choosing the right tattoo artist is a crucial step in your tattoo journey. Take your time, do your research, and find the artist who resonates with your vision. Remember, a good tattoo isn't cheap, and a cheap tattoo isn't good. With the right artist, your tattoo will be a beautiful piece of art that you'll be proud to wear for the rest of your life.