The Worst Things to Say to a Tattoo Artist (Video)

Last updated on October 28th, 2023 at 11:21 pm

For one, don't ask for free work. Tattoo artists hate that - in fact, all artists hate that. Their work and their craft take years to perfect. But there are a handful of other things you can say that'll set them off as well.

The Worst Things to Say to a Tattoo Artist (Video)

Tattoos have become much more mainstream. They’re more accepted in the workplace and many professionals have them. We really are in a golden-age of tattooing.

I recently stumbled onto a video by Inked where 25 tattoo artists were asked about the things they hate hearing their clients say.

What Shouldn’t You Ask a Tattoo Artist?

While the complaints ranged from being asked to redraw the same design multiple times to asking for designs that were clearly out of the artist’s particular style, one complaint was overwhelming – asking to do free work, or work for a discount.

This one really hits home for me because I’m a huge fan of artists and the value of their work. Too many people ask artists to work ‘for the exposure’ without any type of respect for the time and effort that not only goes into creating the art, but the many unpaid hours of practice it takes to be really good at it.

If your first question for a tattoo artist is, “how much will it cost?” then you probably have no business getting a tattoo yet.

Here’s the video below:

Working Artists Need to Get Paid Fairly

Even outside of the tattoo world, many artists get taken advantage of by clients who don’t understand the value of their work.

I have a lot of artist & musician friends, and it’s incredible at the number of people who expect them to work for free.

If a tattoo is going on your body forever, cost should be the last thing on your mind.

Don’t Ask Them to Hurry Up

Tattoo artists who have a lot of experience should be able to give you a reasonable time estimate up front for the tattoo you want, but it’s hardly an exact science.

Great artwork takes time. If it’s your first tattoo, know that it will probably take longer than you think.

If you rush your tattoo artist, you’re likely to end up with a piece of work that might not be as great as it could be.

Not Every Tattoo Artist Knows Every Style

When looking for a tattoo artist, it’s really important to find an artist who knows the style you want. If you want a tattoo of a dragon, you shouldn’t ask a professional tattoo artist who doesn’t have dragons in his portfolio.

While many tattoo artists will stretch their style for the client, choosing an artist who will truly enjoy what you’ve asked them to create will ensure a great piece of work. Everyone does better work when they’re doing the work they like.

Get to Know Your Tattoo Artist

Most tattoo artists have extensive portfolios you can look through.

Find a tattoo artist that has things you already like in their bag of tricks and you’ll be sure to get something you’re going to love forever.

But don’t ask them to do it for free, or even for a discount.

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