Common Tattoo Artist Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

tattoo artist mistakes

There are many reasons why people opt to get inked. It can be for self-expression, memorabilia, or even a bucket list idea. Whatever it is, know that it’s something that with your clients forever.

This is why a lot is at stake in finding the right artist and studio. Look for one that doesn’t have all the red flags of common tattoo artist mistakes. That way, your clients are sure to treasure your ink and not regret the experience.

Know more on what to look out for, and steer clear. Here are some of the most common tattoo artist mistakes and how to avoid them.

Little to No Consultation

Consultations are essential to ensure that your client doesn’t regret what they get. It’s during this time that you’re able to discuss their idea in depth. This ranges from the art, size to tattoo placement requests.

As cliché as it is, tattoos are permanent and for life. There’s nothing more disheartening to hear than your client hating your piece. To prevent this from happening, allotting ample time for consultation is necessary.

Furthermore, it helps you assess what you need to do and the best way to do it. Be honest with your clients if their requests are attainable and feasible. If possible, try to avoid taking a walk-in client on the spot.

Incorrect Techniques

Tattooing is an art form that’s been around for centuries. Techniques, equipment, and even tattoo artist training are always innovating. Keeping on top of things is your key to success.

Many people think that they can start being a tattooist without proper training. They couldn’t be more wrong, and getting into the scene requires a lot of time and dedication. Understanding your clients’ skin, different strokes, and the ink you use takes a lot.

Sometimes, some ink colors don’t show up or blend, which can ruin a design. It also takes the right technique to do borders and shading right. Tattoos are irreversible, and so are your mistakes – getting things right the first time is vital.

Underselling Skill

A professional tattoo artist is someone who knows their worth. Depending on skill and experience, artists can charge anywhere from $50-200. Oftentimes, those new in the business don’t charge enough for their time.

Undervaluing your skill and art is one of the biggest mistakes tattoo artists make. Avoid this by getting your joining a reputable studio and improving your portfolio. You can start small and move up as you get more comfortable.

Remain affiliated with an accredited tattoo school or trusted apprenticeship. This will help improve your networking and will make it easier for you to get established. There is a lot to a name, especially if positive results and feedback back it up.

Tattoo Theft

There have been one too many cases of people walking in a tattoo parlor saying, “I want this tattoo.” Upon taking a closer look, it’s a piece that’s lifted off of someone else’s portfolio. The only thing that makes this worse is if it’s already tattooed on someone else.

It’s not uncommon for people to have similar tattoo design ideas. However, there is always a fine line between copying and taking inspiration. As an artist, you wouldn’t want your work stolen and reused.

Respecting other tattoo artists means making sure that your works aren’t what they call “pinched ink.” There have been cases of suing and shunning in the industry because of it. You wouldn’t want this to happen to you – especially if you’re only starting out.

Offensive Ink

One of the most controversial tattoo artist mistakes is illegal or offensive ink. Examples include extremist and racist symbolism and tattoos that border cultural appropriation. Not doing your research on what your client wants might get them and you in trouble.

Getting a tattoo without knowing the heritage or culture behind it can be offensive. The Samoan ink can have designs that are either sacred or not. Depending on the design and who’s getting it, a heated debate might ensue.

The same goes for the Irezumi tattoo style, which was often linked to the Japanese Yakuza. There is more to a tattoo than ink – respecting its origins and stories hold a lot of value. Don’t get caught catering to those who don’t know better.

Improper Sterilization Procedures

Getting infections after tattoos go wrong can cost someone their life. While it can also be from poor aftercare, not having a sterile environment is another culprit. Blood-borne infections and diseases are an ordeal no one wants to encounter.

From Hepatitis B and C to MRSA and other complications, the list goes on. This is why sterilizing, and proper storage of equipment after every session is a must. Additionally, have your service space separate from other areas.

If possible, keep food, those smoking, or animals out of the room to keep it sterile. Always disinfect reusable items or parts, and dispose of single-use items properly. Also, make sure that you have the most recent copy of your studio’s health inspection report.

No Follow-ups and Poor Aftercare

A fresh tattoo is no different from an open wound, and seasoned tattoo artists know this. Ensure that your client knows what to do after their inking session. Offering them advice and letting them know the consequences of not complying should be the SOP.

More so, poor aftercare can lead to your tattoo not coming out the way it’s intended. This is why offering a follow-up session to check up on things is only the right to do. On average, it takes about 2-3 weeks for a piece to heal.

During this time, you can make sure that your work isn’t infected and see if you need to do a touch-up. Doing so will make your client feel like they’re cared for and valued. If you’re lucky and things go well, then you’ve likely gained a patron and a recommendation or two.

Avoid These Tattoo Artist Mistakes

If you spot any of these tattoo artist mistakes on the list, then walk away. It’s not worth getting something for life and regretting it afterward. What’s worse is that these can be costly mistakes too.

Only trust those with solid reputations and with the right training to back it up. Find out more on what it takes to be a tattoo artist with Florida Tattoo Academy. For any questions or more information, contact us today.