13 Tattoo Artist Red Flags To Look Out For When Getting A Tattoo

List Rules
Tattoo lovers: vote up the artist red flags that would have you running out of the shop.

There's a lot to consider when getting a tattoo. Like whether you should get it in the first place. But maybe the most important thing to look for is a good tattoo artist. IF you don't know where to begin, check out these tattoo artist red flags. That way, you'll have a better idea of what to avoid when looking for a tattoo artist.


  • 1
    13 VOTES

    They Pressure You Into A Design

    From Redditor u/jibber-jabber:

    One of my biggest must-haves is being a professional artist. For example, you must schedule at least one (preferably more) meetings to talk about your piece. One meeting to talk ideas, show any picks/art/otter media to try and convey what it is you are looking for and another where the artist shows you what he has come up with, you should not at this point feel any pressure to yes or no it. It is going to be permanent... Dialog with the artist, once you both are happy then schedule a date. A good artist can be booked up for months.

    13 votes
  • 2
    13 VOTES

    The Shop's Bathrooms Are Unclean

    From Redditor u/Divineteeth:

    Artist here. Definitely check the toilet and bathroom cleanliness. Especially the parts on the toilet that don't get cleaned often. It typically gives a good clue as to how clean the rest of the shop is.

    13 votes
  • 3
    11 VOTES

    They Have A Weak Portfolio

    From a former Redditor:

    Super easy answer: Are the tattoos good?

    If price is no issue, then let the quality of the work speak for itself. If someone has a weak portfolio, then odds are their work that's not worth going in their own books is even more sub-par.

    In my opinion, whether it's a street shop or a custom shop, and whether or not the artists are *ssholes or really nice people, at the end of the day you're going to be walking around with a tattoo that doesn't come off. Make your decision by the quality of the work, and it doesn't hurt to choose someone whose favored style of tattoo is close to what you have in mind. 

    11 votes
  • 4
    16 VOTES

    They Insist You Remove Your Clothes Because They "Get In The Way"

    From Redditor u/wildhuntressophelia:

    If you're a girl and you're getting a tattoo anywhere but directly on your chest and they demand you remove your entire shirt/bra, that's a red flag. I had a friend who wanted a tattoo on her ribs. The guy tried to get her to lay their 100% topless cuz "clothes can get in the way."

    16 votes
  • 5
    10 VOTES

    They Smoke Or Eat While They Work

    From Redditor u/AdLatter:

    If your artist is smoking while tattooing, red flag. If he is eating candy while tattooing, red flag. If your 2 hour tattoo takes 5 f*cking hours because your artist has to "get lunch" but instead he drives to another town to do an illicit deal and he comes back hours later, red flag.

    In conclusion f*ck you joe. You are the worst human to ever hold a tattoo rig in your hand.

    10 votes
  • 6
    14 VOTES

    They Keep Dogs In The Shop

    From Redditor u/Divineteeth:

    Dogs... Make sure there are no dogs in the shop. I used to work in a shop where there were two dogs brought in and had to sweep up a pound of their hair every day. It would get everywhere! Even in places, the dogs were never allowed in.

    14 votes