Getting a tattoo can be an overwhelming experience for anyone. It’s a huge commitment that will stay with you forever, so choosing the right tattoo artist is essential. To ensure you feel as comfortable as possible, it’s wise to research different tattoo artists in Melbourne and educate yourself on the styles and sanitation methods of each parlour. Whether it’s your first or fifth tattoo, here are five important questions you should ask your tattoo artist.
What Are Your Qualifications?
Although this question is forward, it’s important to know if your artist is qualified. In some states of Australia, both the artist and parlour need a licence. Keep in mind that it’s illegal for a licensed tattoo artist to perform at an unlicensed parlour or in their backyard. Tattoo artists in Melbourne also have to be registered with their local council. Ask to see their certificate and confirm they’re up to date with regular developments and training.
Can I See a Portfolio of Past Work?
Looking at a portfolio of the tattoo artist’s past work can give you a great indication of their skill. Ask them to provide you with photographs of their client’s tattoos – not just magazine clippings of what they can create. This proves the credibility of the artist and shows the quality of their work on different skin types. And not only does it showcase their skill, but it can also provide an idea of their style too. Tattoos can come in many different styles, so you’ll find that tattoo artists may be more skilled in particular areas like black and grey, realism, lettering or portraits. Picking an artist based on their past work ensures their skills and style align with your vision of the tattoo.
What Brand of Ink Do You Use?
There are many different inks on the market, but it’s important to use a safe brand to eliminate the risk of any aggravation to the skin or the tattoo. Tattoo artists in Melbourne should be using sterile inks that are non-toxic, have government regulated labelling and are compliant with Australian quality standards. If non-sterile inks are used, they can lead to life threatening complications like HIV and blood-borne infections.
Different ink brands can also result in different levels of vibrancy. The best ink will preserve its colour for years, however other factors that can affect vibrancy can include age, skin type and diet.
What is the Likelihood of Getting an Infection?
Any tattoo artist should be able to answer this question honestly. Health risks associated with tattoos can include skin infections, swelling to the area of the tattoo and allergic reactions, so it’s vital that you’re fully informed.
Artists should be able to provide you with aftercare instructions that include tips and procedures to minimise the risk of a possible infection. For example, most tattoo artists in Melbourne recommend removing the tattoo bandage after two to four hours. They also recommend gently washing the area with soapy water and removing any traces of blood.
How is the Equipment Sanitised?
This is one of the most important questions to ask a tattoo artist. Tattoo artists use needles to ink a client’s skin. As the needles penetrate the skin, they become contaminated by blood and body fluids. Therefore the needles need to be sanitised regularly to avoid infection of hepatitis B and C as well as HIV.
By law, each tattoo artist must have a fully equipped, separate and sterilised work station. Brand new needles and examination gloves must also be used for each client.