I’m not going to lie to you, in my life I’ve been to a lot of tattoo studios, but I’ve only had tattoos done in just few of them. I’m fond of tattoos like many other: you go into the studio to browse out of curiosity, sometimes you buy piercings, and of course, you check out the tattoo picture album and you just stay there astonished at the quality of work done in the studio (or horrified if what you see is awful quality).
Anyway, I still remember the first time I set foot in one studio with the aim of getting my first tattoo: I was really confused; I didn’t know what to expect. I mean, you get good reviews of a tattoo artist but, what can we expect from the place? The tattoo studio is, without a doubt, an important factor throughout this process, which leads to the question. How can we know if we are visiting a good studio? Down below I will provide you with a list of things you should pay attention to, and if you have your own studio and something of the following things are mentioned are missing, then it’s time to fix that!
There’s a tattoo picture album
It’s best to have lost of them. I think this feature is not necessarily missing in any studio. However, don’t be misled by the designs, as you should check the real result on your skin. A number of studios usually have dozens of designs on the wall, but if you don’t see actual photos of the final product, ask for the album. This could also give you an idea of which tattoo artist may best suit your style.
Disposables are a must
Or at least for a majority of things. Nowadays there’s not even need to discuss this. Legislation in almost all countries around the world compels studios to keep a minimum standard of health regulations and also consumables are to be disposed according to the established regulations. Ink cups, gloves, water, machine accessories and other consumables are to be thrown away in order to prevent any infections. This shouldn’t be a problem in most cases, but be careful while going to amateur studios. Actually, to keep it simple, don’t go to such places!
Certification and autoclave equipment
This is a really good indicator whether things are going well or not. Autoclaves are devices that help with equipment sterilization; they look like a stainless steel pan. Basically, they elevate the air pressure and temperature enough in order to wipe out any kind of bacteria. These are used in order to sterilize the equipment in the studios. Besides holding a certificate guarantees that the studio utilizes the conclave in a proper manner. One other possible option, regarding equipment, is a chemical conclave that combines a regular autoclave process, plus a chemical wash-out of the equipment.
There are some small-scale studios in which sterilization is carried out only with chemicals, and this is not enough to the eyes of many legislative entities and there’s no guarantee that this kind of sterilization can be enough. If they don’t use autoclave, run away from the place!
Finally, there are still some underachievers who believe the boiling process in a “domestic” manner is enough.
The tattoo artist wears latex gloves
Come on, this one I love, because I can’t believe this does happen. The problem is simple: there are bacteria everywhere, so if the tattoo artist is gonna be placing his bare hands on the tattoo in the making, the risk of infections is pretty high.
I had already discussed this matter as regards the well-known story “I’ve got a friend knows how to tattoo”.
The studio hold a permit
What? But it’s just a piece of paper and it doesn’t mean anything! In fact, it means everything. Tattoo studios must be registered under health regulation authorities in each country, which helps guarantee that all the afore-mentioned requirements and others are being fulfilled.
On a final note, getting a tattoo is 100% safe if you visit a good studio. However there will always be tattoo artists that want to save a few gloves or whatever, so it is also important how studies are to be properly managed.
Some extra data
You know, I’ve always believed that as soon as you meet a tattoo artist you can feel a sort of “connection”. It’s like knowing if he/she understands your idea and your motivations, and you feel some kind of admiration and think highly of his work. Although tattoo artists are usually charismatic, there always an extra something that will make you feel “this is the right place”.