Who’s the best tattoo artist? Who has the best tattoo parlor in town? Those are commonly asked questions when getting your first tattoo, and valid ones at that. But if one really wants to figure out who the best tattoo artist in the world is? Or who owns the best tattoo shop in their city? Then the answer is….the one that best suits your budget and artistic preference.

All throughout the world there are thousands of tattoo shops and parlors, but it’s up to you to browse their portfolios. But even before beginning that search here’s a couple of questions you should keep in mind:


1. Are you looking for a color tattoo, or a black and grey tattoo?

Tattoos may be the same in principle but not in application. Most artists may be able to do both color and black and grey tattoos but they’ll be better in one over another.

2. Are you looking to get a portrait, a picture of a pet, hand lettering or a script done? 

There’s a difference. Just because someone is good at portraits doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll be good at script, and vice versa. All artists have a specialty so find out what there’s specialty is.

3. Are you willing to travel? Do you want the tattoo immediately?

If you’re willing to travel then your options are plenty, but if you’re staying local then look for the best one that fits your style and budget.


These are some of the questions you need to figure out before you do your search, and the answers vary. Most of the top tattoo artists in the world have a waiting list which can vary from months all the way up to a year. In terms of budget, the ranges vary depending on the size of the tattoo. In short, the best thing you can do is research, ask around, and visit the shops and artists in person. Keep in mind that some tattoo artists are quite expensive, but in the end you may be better off saving for a little longer to get work that you can be proud of for the rest of your life. Sometimes you don’t realize it, but a tattoo is life-long commitment which can bring you sheer joy or pure embarrassment.


Would you be happy to honor a family member with any of these portrait tattoos? (Photos found on the web)

Also be sure to check out each of the artists styles, look at their shading as well as their lines. Every artist has their own unique signature style, so go with the one that best suits what you’re looking. Personality is also a key in choosing the right artist. Remember, a tattoo is not an event – it’s an experience to be enjoyed – and the beginning of a relationship with someone that you’ll be sitting with for quite some time, so you better pick someone you get along with.


Here’s another tip: Be sure to check your spelling and grammar. You have the internet, so there is no excuse for misspelled tattoos. Bottom line…you have a smart phone, use it. (photos found online)


Cleanliness: Make sure you go to a shop that practices the correct sterilization methods. The last thing you want is an infection. (Photos found online)

For the most part, it’s safe to say that good work isn’t cheap, and cheap work isn’t good. Also, when visiting a shop be sure to look into the cleanliness of their facility. A clean working environment is essential to a good tattoo because the last thing you want is an infection from non-sterilized equipment or dirty surroundings.

Good luck on your hunt and remember that the best tattoo artist is ultimately the one you decide to choose!