SEPTEMBER, 28, 2023

You may already have plenty of questions to ask your tattoo artist either because you are incredibly excited about your first piece of ink, or because you are a little apprehensive about getting a new tattoo. 

At NAAMA studios clients ask us all sorts of questions about laser tattoo removal, and occasionally confide in us saying that they wish they’d asked a few more questions when getting a tattoo in the first place.

A breakdown in communication between the client and the tattoo artist is one of the main ways that tattoo designs go awry. I wanted it this way up, not that. 

In this blog we look first at the most important questions to ask your tattoo artist before getting a new design, and then at specific questions you should ask about the ink being used (listening to the expert opinions of academics who are currently studying tattoo inks and ink safety). 

Questions to ask any tattoo artist before getting a new tattoo

What experience do you have?

It is crucially important that the artist you work with has experience designing the sort of tattoos that you’d like to get. You might look through their portfolio of clients or even speak to a few people who have gone with them before. This should give you an idea of their style, skill level, and versatility. If the artist is a friend, even better, but please still ask a few questions. 

We have seen friends use laser tattoo removal to remove another’s work. 

Can I see your license? 

To work in most US states a tattoo artist must obtain a license.

This covers tattooing, semi-permanent skin coloring, cosmetic piercing, electrolysis, and acupuncture, and ensures that everything is being done above board. 

Can I see your sterilization process?

Proper sterilization is crucial in tattoo studios to prevent the spread of infections and diseases. Ask your tattoo artist to walk you through their sterilization process, including how they clean their equipment and dispose of needles. This will give you peace of mind and assure you that you're in a safe and clean environment.

How do you like to work with clients?

How does the artist handle design customization, and how much input will the client have in the final tattoo design? Will they go rogue and use their creative skills, or will they follow what you want to the letter? Do they provide design consultations, and how do they charge for this sort of thing? 

What is the estimated cost and how does payment work? 

Different tattoo artists will charge different prices based on their level of skill and experience. They might also have different ideas about how the process of payment works, from initial consultations to tattoo sessions. Tattoo prices vary depending on factors such as size, complexity, and artist experience. So it’s best to be clear about what you’ll be charged from the beginning. 

What is the aftercare routine? 

Aftercare is one of the crucial steps in getting a new tattoo. Ask your artist for their tips and advice, but also consult guides online about the best aftercare advice. 

What do I do if I’m not happy with the final tattoo?

Aside from booking an appointment at NAAMA studios for laser tattoo removal immediately after getting your tattoo design, you might want to explore other options with your artist. Will they revise the tattoo, and will this cost money? Communication is key in the process of getting a new tattoo design. 

Questions to ask your tattoo artist about ink

What’s in the tattoo ink?

It might sound like an obvious question to ask but it is in fact rather difficult to be sure exactly what is in the tattoo ink you’ll be using in your skin.

"We have seen a fair number of cases where there is a discrepancy between what's supposed to be in the bottle and what is actually in the bottle”, John Swierk, assistant professor at Binghamton University, tells NAAMA after studying tattoo inks. “That may be a cause for concern." 

What is your knowledge of different tattoo inks and ink regulations?

This is certainly a conversation worth having with your tattoo artist before they inject a potentially harmful substance into your skin. Thankfully, any skilled tattoo artist will know all about inks. They are the experts on tattoo ink.

As Matthew Kiszla, M.D. candidate at the University of Alabama School of Medicine and an expert researcher on tattoo inks tells NAAMA, “I see tattoo artists themselves as having kind of the expert role at the moment on a lot of potential problematic inks. They've amassed a wealth of great anecdotal evidence throughout their careers”.

These are the questions that you should ask your tattoo artist before going for a new design. But if there is a breakdown in communication or you are unhappy with the final result, NAAMA studios has you (un)covered for laser tattoo removal. Get in touch with one of our expert consultants to find out exactly what wonders we can work with your newest unwanted tattoo.