Questions to ask


Whenever you ask to see their collection of photos, the person in the shop will hopefully immediately recognize you as someone who knows a little more about tattoos--at least enough not to be satisfied by looking at just the flash.

If the shop is not too busy or if the artist is not in the middle of working, they might stand on the other side of the counter to have a conversation with you. This is a wonderful opportunity to ask questions of the artist.

Some reasonable questions to ask in your conversation that shouldn’t take too much time for the artist to answer:

  • What is their favorite style?
  • If what *you* are looking to get done happens to be their specialty you are in luck; be it tribal, wildlife or whatever.
  • Is there any one particular subject they like to do?
  • One artist, without hesitation, told me his favorite was skulls. I would’ve jumped for joy had that been what I wanted.
  • How long has the shop been here?
  • This may be an indicator of the stability of their business. The tat industry in itself fluctuates, but continuity implies business acumen, responsible practices and that they are not a fly-by-night operation.
  • How long have they been at the shop?
  • The shop may have been there for 20 years, but the artist may only have been there for a couple of months. If they have been there for what you consider a short period, ask them where they were before.

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