Ever since gaining a following on Instagram the question I get asked the most is where I got my tattoos done. Unfortunately it’s probably the hardest question to answer. At this stage I have traveled for most of them, to Poland for a piece on my leg and to the UK on numerous occasions for my sleeve and shin pieces. I got my first tattoo when I was 17 but my knowledge and how I choose an artist has definitely changed lots since then. To me, there’s a lot more to it now than “He did my friends tattoo, its unreal so you should definitely go to him for yours”. The style of the tattoo has so much to do with it and I think that’s the part people don’t realise. I wouldn’t have the guy who did my shins tattoo the kind of work I have on my right arm and that’s perfectly okay, he wouldn’t want to do it anyway. Any legit artist (in my opinion, someone who’s in it because they have a passion for it) will find a style they like, or are good at, and stick to that. This line of thinking is how I went about choosing an artist after my first few tattoos.
So, after deciding on a tattoo you’ll need to identify the style of tattoo or how you want it done. Do your research. Trawl through Instagram – this is how I found 2 of the artists I eventually traveled to have work done by. Be patient. An artist with a long waiting list is usually one worth waiting for, I waited 2 years between starting my sleeve and finishing it but it was more than worth going back & getting it finished by the same artist. It’s going to be on your body forever, don’t rush into it just so it’ll be on your body sooner.
Be willing to travel. This is the part that made me look crazy as I got on a plane to Warsaw just for a tattoo but I’d do it again in a heartbeat. I got exactly what I wanted, in the style I wanted, by the artist I wanted aaaand I got a lil’ holiday too. Some of the best artists in the world are dotted around Europe, I have one in Berlin on my wishlist for a piece on my leg. It obviously depends on what you want done and if its something you’d be willing to travel for but it definitely gives you lots more to choose from if you’re willing to hop on a plane for a tattoo.. Even if people think you’re crazy.
I’m going to go through some of my different pieces and different artists I’ve been to below. Hopefully it’ll help you to identify the different styles and importance of choosing the right person for the job.
My shin pieces. Probably one of my favourites & my most recent tattoos! These were done by Aaron Anthony in The Circle, Soho London.
My sleeve on my right arm. Exactly how I imagined it and worth all of the travelling. I traveled to Stoke On Trent to start it in 2014 and followed the artist to his new location in Hull exactly 2 years later. Done by Matt Webb in Bishop Lane Tattoo.
My thigh pieces. I adore these and how they’re done, I wanted leg tattoos that would still look good years later and I got exactly what I wanted. All of these were done by the same artist, Kuba. His Instagram is “_b.j.n_”.