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Sooner or later, many of us entertain the idea of getting our first tattoo. Some contemplate it for years, while others make spontaneous decisions. However, finding the right tattoo artist can be challenging. But with thorough consideration, nothing is impossible. We have created a step-by-step guide to help you find a true professional and ensure satisfaction with the outcome. Additionally, we have gathered valuable tips from an experienced tattoo artist based in New York.

STEP ONE: AWARENESS

A close friend of mine, who has been in the tattoo business for years, jokes, “All the tattoos I get are temporary. Nothing lasts forever, including us.” This philosophical and slightly dark humor holds undeniable truth. Before stepping into a tattoo parlor, consider that the tattoo will likely last a lifetime. While you can refresh it over time, cover it with another design, or even remove it, the latter option can be painful and expensive. So, for now, let’s focus on the main point: “The tattoo will always be with you.” Embrace this as an axiom.

The next step is selecting a design. Invest time in browsing various designs and finished tattoos to identify what appeals to you. Explore platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, and tattoo studio websites, which often showcase portfolios of their artists’ best work. Remember that your preferences may change over time. Keep in mind the significance of a tattoo as a lifelong commitment. Extensive visual exploration is crucial. You may not decide on a specific design immediately, but you will develop a sense of what you like and what you don’t.

STEP TWO: SEARCH

Now that you have a clear idea of the design you desire, having spent countless nights searching for the perfect one, created a “My First Tattoo” folder on your desktop, and even encountered YouTube videos featuring the buzzing sound of tattoo machines, you are ready to move on to step two.

Compile a list of artists who can help you achieve the desired outcome. Utilize social networking sites, as tattoo artists actively use these platforms to showcase their work. Instagram and TikTok are popular platforms to begin your search. As they say, hashtags are your friends. If you prefer a local tattoo artist, search for hashtags like “Tattoo_Moscow.” If you have a specific style in mind, explore hashtags such as “Tattoo_graphics” or “Tattoo_oldschool.” Trust me, the number of accounts you will come across will be impressive. Bookmark the pages that interest you. Over time, social media algorithms will curate content based on your preferences, potentially leading you to the ideal artist for your needs. Simply reach out to them and discuss the details.

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STEP THREE: CHOICE

When selecting a tattoo artist, the first thing you should examine is their portfolio of finished tattoos. Well-done and well-healed tattoos indicate a high likelihood of encountering a true professional. However, keep in mind that photos can be retouched or captured from favorable angles. Look for videos showcasing the artist’s work. If everything appears satisfactory, you can breathe a sigh of relief.

Prior to the session, don’t hesitate to inquire about the equipment, inks used, and any potential allergies. It may also be wise to consult your doctor regarding allergies. While allergic reactions among tattoo clients are rare, they are still possible. Additionally, ensure that the tattoo artist and the studio they work in are reputable. Don’t expect satisfactory results if you opt for a tattoo in a dimly lit basement where sanitation regulations are disregarded. It’s best to avoid such places altogether.

Price is another crucial factor to consider. Many people aim to save money on tattoos, and it’s not uncommon to come across requests in online communities asking for recommendations on where to find the cheapest tattoo. However, it’s essential to understand that you should prioritize quality over price. Choose a tattoo artist based on their work and how much you admire it. Don’t be frugal, as the saying “miser pays twice” applies to tattoos as well.

Another valuable aspect to consider is personal recommendations. If someone you know has had a positive experience with a tattoo artist and is satisfied with the outcome, it can serve as a reliable endorsement. “Word of mouth” can introduce you to a tattoo artist who will not only create your first tattoo but also future ones.

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Now, as promised, here are some important tips from New York tattoo artist Alena Zozulenko. She currently works with the Dot Create Group studio and holds a sponsorship contract with Hustle Butter, a leading manufacturer of tattoo care products.

How to choose a design: When selecting a tattoo, avoid being swayed by trends and instead focus on what genuinely appeals to you. While not all tattoos need to possess deep meaning, it’s crucial to follow your personal preferences. Understand that a tattoo is not a disposable item that you discard after a season. It is something that will be with you for a lifetime.

How to find a tattoo artist on social media platforms: Yes, it works. Many clients discover me through Instagram. We communicate via direct messages, discussing the tattoo concept. I create several custom designs, and right before the session, we finalize the chosen design, size, and placement together. I have also embraced TikTok, where I share insights about tattooing. Over the years, I have noticed recurring questions from people, and I decided to address them through short videos. I enjoy this new experience.

More info: Instagram

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