top of page

Tattoo Studio and Tattoo Artist Booking Etiquette: Do’s and Don’ts

Tattoo Studio and Tattoo Artist Booking Etiquette: Do’s and Don’ts
Tattoo Studio and Tattoo Artist Booking Etiquette: Do’s and Don’ts

Venturing into the world of tattoos can be both thrilling and intimidating, especially for first-time customers. The thought of getting inked often brings a mix of excitement and nerves, and navigating the process of booking your first appointment can seem daunting. Whether you’re eager to express your individuality with a small, meaningful design or planning to start an intricate sleeve, understanding the etiquette of tattoo studios and artist bookings is crucial. This guide aims to demystify the tattoo booking experience, providing you with essential do’s and don’ts to ensure a smooth and respectful interaction with your chosen artist. From initial enquiries to sitting in the artist's chair, we'll walk you through the steps to make your first tattoo experience positive and enjoyable.


  1. Do your research: Find an artist whose work you like and who is local to you, or whom you are willing to travel to. This isn’t always possible, but if you have a specific style or design in mind, it’s best to go to an artist who specialises in that area. It’s not worth the risk to get a tattoo from an artist who isn’t qualified or experienced. Remember, tattoos last forever unless you plan to remove them with laser treatment or cover them up. As the saying goes: Buy Cheap, Buy Twice!

  2. Do know what you want: Tattoo artists can’t read minds and don’t have time for guessing games. If you see a tattoo you like, send a high-quality picture with the approximate size in inches or centimetres, and specify the placement on your body (avoid vague instructions like "here" with a picture of your arm). Proper sizing and placement information helps provide a more accurate price quote. Established tattoo artists won’t replicate another artist’s work 1:1 unless it’s your or your friend’s drawing. They’ll always add their own spin or completely redraw the design. Artists who don’t do this and directly copy others’ work don’t care about their careers, which says a lot. Remember, you’ll be a walking advertisement for the artist for life, so they want to give you their best work.

  3. Do make contact: Don’t hesitate to reach out to your chosen tattoo artist, but ensure you’re 100% certain about what you want. Indecisiveness can give a negative first impression. Tattoo artists dislike dealing with uncertain customers, though they can help with details of the design. Be polite and prompt, know what you want, and be open to the artist’s input. They have far more experience and will advise on the design, size, and placement to ensure the tattoo looks good now and in the future.

  4. Do wait for a reply: Tattoo artists are busy with various tasks, including tattooing, designing, ordering supplies, and personal life. If you don’t get an immediate reply, be patient. Rudeness or impatience can discourage the artist from working with you. If you send a picture and ask “How much £££?” right after, it shows you might not know what you want or are just shopping around, which can increase your quoted price due to perceived rudeness.

  5. Do trust your tattoo artist: In the tattoo industry, the customer isn’t always right. The artist knows what’s best for the design and may refuse to do a tattoo if they disagree with your vision. However, with the right amount of money, anything is possible. If you agree beforehand, even an upside-down tattoo can be done, although many end up being covered up soon after.

  6. Do negotiate your price if needed: Don’t be afraid to discuss your budget with the tattoo artist. Tattoos can be adjusted in size and detail according to your budget. Don’t expect to get the same detailed tattoo at a significantly lower price. If a design takes a full day and is quoted at £1000, negotiating down to £700 will result in a shorter session and a simplified tattoo.

  7. Do tip your tattoo artist (or don’t): Tipping is appreciated but not expected. For small tattoos, tipping isn’t necessary as they’re usually low-cost and quick. For larger pieces or longer sessions, tipping is appreciated if the artist exceeded your expectations. Tips are not split with the studio, so the artist receives them fully. Tip as much as you feel appropriate, even if it’s just £10.


  1. Arriving at the studio: Ensure it’s a licensed tattoo studio, particularly in countries where only licensed premises are legal. Avoid private studios set up in kitchens or living rooms as they likely lack proper licensing, health and safety certifications, and professional training.

  2. Attitude: Be mindful of the studio environment and other customers. Tattoo artists concentrate during sessions, so avoid being loud or disruptive. Use headphones for personal music or videos, and keep phone calls brief.

  3. Getting tattooed: While in the chair, avoid sudden movements to prevent crooked lines. Communicate any discomfort to the artist. Don’t take selfies or videos that involve quick movements, as this can disrupt the tattoo process.

  4. Aftercare: Aftercare is crucial for a new tattoo. Follow the artist’s instructions to ensure proper healing. Neglecting aftercare can lead to issues that are often blamed on the artist but are actually due to customer neglect. Avoid activities like working out, swimming, and sun exposure during the healing period.

  5. Payment: Don’t negotiate the price after the tattoo session. Prices should be agreed upon during the consultation, booking, or just before the session. Attempting to pay less after the service is rendered can lead to police involvement as it constitutes theft. Always pay the agreed amount.

We at Hammersmith Tattoo London welcome everyone, whether it's your first tattoo or your 100th. We can’t wait to assist you on your tattoo journey in a safe and clean environment. Our goal is to provide you with the best tattoo experience possible, ensuring both the quality of the artwork and your comfort throughout the process.

To book your tattoo contact us:

Or just visit us at our studio:

Hammersmith Tattoo London

3 North End Road

W14 8ST




bottom of page