Tattoo Artist

Tattoo Artist

Tatted Mom

Tucson, AZ

Female, 32

I'm a tattoo artist who underwent a standard apprenticeship under a certified tattoo artist. I am an artist first, tattooer second, which means I put creativity and art into my tattoos, not just the 'you pick it, we stick it' type of tattooer. Apprenticeships for tattooing vary by state, according to the laws. I'm also a trained body piercer, as well. Any questions about the job or apprenticing, I'd be happy to help!

PLEASE NOTE: I will NOT price tattoos. Seek a shop for that.

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422 Questions


Last Answer on May 23, 2014

Best Rated

i'm thinking about getting a tattoo and am checking out local shops in my area. what are the red flags to look out for so I don't wind up picking a bad place?

Asked by mike c almost 11 years ago

Always, ALWAYS check artists' portfolios first. If you see a bunch of crap but one or two really great tattoos, then pass. You want to see a portfolio that is consistent throughout. You also want to make sure they only use single-use needles, and you can ask if the artist uses disposable tubes or if they steralize metal tubes. Either option ensures you aren't getting tattooed with contaminated tools. Price can sometimes tell you a lot about a shop or artist, too. For example, if you go to a few shops with a drawing and they all tell you $300, and you walk into a shop that tells you $150, you may think you've found a deal. You need to question, however, WHY all of the other shops said $300 but this guy says $150. Chances are he's either just starting out, or doesn't have a clientele built up so he's desperate for work, or he's just not that good.

Do you think tattoo artistry gets enough respect as an art form? Or do you think it carries some kind of social stigma?

Asked by JoeyTX almost 11 years ago

Honestly, I think it carries a stigma. Even with all of the reality shows on TV about tattoos and the tattooing industry, which have helped to make tattooing a little more mainstream, there still seems to be a stigma attached to it. For those who don't care about the stigma, tattooing is definitely an art form. We can view beautiful tattoos like we would a famous painting, staring at shading, color, light source, etc. For those who don't see tattooing as an art form, every tattoo looks the same to them and they can't find the artistic quality in it.

What's the male to female ratio of your clients?

Asked by Starchild almost 11 years ago

Being a female tattoo artist, I tend to have more female clients. I used to have women specifically ask for a female artist because of where the tattoo was, or because they were more comfortable with a woman touching them for a few hours. For me, it's probably a 70%-30% split between women and men clientele.

What was the most clever/original tattoo anyone's ever asked you for?

Asked by 2Tents over 10 years ago

My Panama piece was probably the most original. After going on vacation and participating in a nighttime safari in Panama, my customer made a list of the animals he saw and wanted me to create a tattoo with them. I put the animals next to each other and enclosed them in the shape of Panama and tattooed that on him. To this day it's my favorite tattoo, and one of the most original tattoos I've ever done.

How much does a really intricate tattoo cost?

Asked by Ysrmehico8 almost 11 years ago

It all depends on the artist. Standard rate across the country is $100-$150 an hour at most shops. Top artists charge more because their art is worth it. Some artists have a minimum amount per hour AND number of hours you have to sit to even book with them. The highest I've ever actually seen charged is $350 an hour, but the artist was definitely worth it. His tattoos looked like realistic pictures when he was done.

I am seriously considering getting into tattooing, but when I see intricate custom pieces that seem to be drawn from the artist's imagination, I feel baffled! I can only draw something if it's in front of me. How do you bring your ideas to life?

Asked by Aubrey almost 11 years ago

I happen to be one of those artists who has to look at a refernce to draw, as well. I'm great at piecing things together, so if I have a custom piece to draw, I usually either take pictures myself of different components to piece together, or search for actual reference pictures on the internet. One of my favorite pieces was a custom compilation of animals that my client had seen on a nighttime safari trip in Panama. I looked up pictures of each animal and drew them together in the shape of the country of Panama to create the custom piece.

I got a nipple ring but it never really healed and then kept getting shallower under the skin til i showed a piercer who insisted he remove it or else it would grow out completely. Is that common and why did it happen? I took really good care of it.

Asked by Ryan almost 11 years ago

Many people have the problem of their body rejecting a piercing. I had my eyebrows pierced 6 times before I finally accepted the fact that I wasn't meant to have eyebrow rings. Every time I had them pierced, my body pushed them out. It's common. It happens because the body senses a foreign object and does what it can to remove the foreign object. Some people are fortunate enough that their body accepts the piercing and they never have a problem. And, unfortunately, it doesn't have anything to do with how well you take care of it. Your body just attacked it and forced it out.