Questions to ask before getting a tattoo

Here are a few questions to ask the tattoo artist before they work on you

For many people, finally deciding to get their first tattoo is a very exciting and often life-changing decision and, as many tattoo enthusiasts have said, once you get your first one, you’ll probably go on to your second, third, fourth and so on.

No one wants their first experience to be an unpleasant and traumatic one, but failing to ask your tattoo artist all the necessary questions before they work on you could result in just that.

READ MORE: 7 things to consider before getting a tattoo

Here are the four things you have to inquire about:


On the day you make an appointment to get a tattoo, it’s important to ask to see the artist’s portfolio in order to gauge their capabilities. The portfolio should consist of pictures of real customers that the artist has worked on. Look carefully and use your discretion to figure out whether the pictures are from the internet. If you’re satisfied with the portfolio, then you can move on to the next step.


At the end of the day, it’s your artist’s skill level that will determine the quality of your tattoo. That’s why it’s important to ask your tattoo artist about their qualification/s and level of experience. A good tattoo artist will not take offence to this question but instead will have great pride in letting you know just how experienced they are. It is a huge red flag if your artist seems resistant to answering your questions. You should also compare at least two to three other parlours. The best way to go about this is to go to a tattoo artist recommended by someone who was their customer and can show you the work done on them.

Sterilisation process 

Your biggest concern, even more so than how good the artist is, should be how well the equipment used on your skin is sterilised. You need to ask the artist what the specific process is that they follow when sterilising the equipment. A mistake many people make is that they see an autoclave in the parlour and immediately assume all is well in terms of sterilisation, but an autoclave is not a confirmation of anything.

You should ask for a tour of the working space to check cleanliness. Also, the artist must shave and disinfect the area on your skin that they will be working on and when they apply petroleum jelly to your skin, they should do so with a fresh pair of disposable gloves. They should be wearing these the whole time they are working on you.

READ MORE: Do tattoos impact your office image?


You should be getting information from your artist about tattoo aftercare. You’d be surprised at how many tattoo artists don’t offer this information or products to their clients. When an artist is done with your tattoo they should use first-aid methods to clean up what essentially is a wound and bandage along the tattooed area.

After following all these steps, you will have peace of mind knowing that you are going to be worked on by someone who will deliver satisfactory results so that you can enjoy your tattoo for the rest of your life.

Additional source: Tattoo Artist Magazine