Written by Henri and Kayce Montegut
as published in X-SITE Magazine
Getting your first tattoo can be very intimidating. However, it can also be a very enlightening and enjoyable experience. The key to making it an exciting and memorable experience is in finding the right artist and studio for the job. Like anything else that involves a long-term commitment, it’s important to do your homework when choosing your tattoo studio.
The first thing to remember is that a tattoo is a permanent mark on your body and it is important to find a responsible and talented artist to perform the task. When choosing the proper studio it is a good idea to follow a few very simple guidelines. The first thing to consider is whether or not the studio is clean and well lit. Smoking, dirty floors, and overflowing garbage cans are sure signs of uncleanliness. Notice if you are greeted when you enter the studio and if the artists are personable. You want an artist who is willing and knowledgeable enough to answer any questions that you may have. There are no stupid questions. Next, ask to view the artist’s portfolio of their tattoo work. The portfolio should be neat and professional. Take time to watch the artist work observing not only the work they are doing but also their sterile techniques. These techniques include wearing gloves, covering areas that are touched during the tattoo, new sterilized needles, and disposable ink containers per customer.
Where do you start when looking for a studio? Many people begin by looking in the Yellow Pages and visiting each shop. One of the best ways is by asking around, don’t be afraid to approach people and inquire about their tattoos. If you like the way their tattoo looks, let them know. They will more than likely be happy to tell you who did it, where it was done, and probably more information than you care about. Be patient and find an artist that you are comfortable with.
Another option for finding an artist to do a tattoo is by attending a tattoo convention. Every year there are a number of tattoo conventions that are held in various parts of the country. Artist from around the world come together at these conventions and practice their craft. This is a great place to get a tattoo from someone you wouldn’t normally be able to. Every Halloween New Orleans is host to the Tattoo Voodoo Convention, held at the Landmark Hotel in Metairie. This year it will be held from October 28 thru October 31. There will be artists from around the world as well as tattoo contests and other entertainment. Everyone is welcome, for a small entrance fee. It’s opened daily until 11:00pm. Remember, the rules are the same for finding a studio, look at each artist’s portfolio and observe them work before getting tattooed by them.
We hope this information helps you have a great tattoo experience and not one that you'll regret.