Advice and Aftercare

A guide to booking your tattoo

Getting your first tattoo and don’t know where to start? Tattoo artist and blogger Kat Winifred gives you a helping hand and explains how to go about booking a ‘custom tattoo’.


Kat's desk and creative space

Kat’s desk and creative space

In a world of instant messaging and different social media platforms, it’s hard to know which is the best way to contact someone when you want to talk about getting a new tattoo.

Lately I’ve noticed a few of my tattooist friends pushing out this message to their followers… “if you are interested in booking a tattoo, contact via email”. It got me thinking… I shall write a blog post on how to go about booking a custom tattoo – a post, not only for Inkluded readers but hopefully to help tattoo artists out in the process too.

So you want a new tattoo? That’s great! You’ve done your research, you know which artist you want to contact. So, now what?

All artists have their own way of taking bookings, so firstly I would advise to check their Facebook page or website for instructions on how to best contact them. If there aren’t any details, perhaps give their shop or studio a ring to find out. Personally, I like to take bookings through e-mail, but I know others that prefer to meet customers in person or talk on the phone.

Owl tattoo design by Kat Winifred

Owl tattoo design by Kat Winifred

So let’s say if you found an e-mail address and you are ready to contact the artist. Now you need to give them information.

As artists, here is what we need to know:

  • What your tattoo idea is
  • If you have any photos or reference material
  • Any likes or dislikes (or both) in the photos or reference material
  • Where you want it placed on your body
  • What size you would like (useful if you have rough measurements in either centimetres or inches)
  • When you would like to get tattooed
  • Your budget (if you have one)
  • Your contact information (number, email address)

Your tattoo artist will then get back to you with any further ideas or seek clarification on your ideas to make sure you are both on the same page. Then you are usually given a set or estimated price, and a potential appointment slot. Once you’ve agreed on a date and time, you are all booked in for your tattoo – hurrah!

But there’s just one more thing… you’ll need to pay a deposit.

The deposit amount varies from artist to artist. The thing people don’t tend to understand is that tattoo artists are self-employed, so when you don’t turn up for a tattoo we have lost out big time.

The time we took to discuss your idea and draw up your design, and the time we have allocated to tattoo you, is lost. When you don’t turn up with no explanation, we lose time and money, and we are here to make a living too! This is why artists ask for deposits, and generally appointments are not secured until a deposit is paid.

In the time between booking in and the day of your appointment, your tattoo artist will draw up your design. Don’t be miffed if you don’t see it until your appointment, that’s generally how it works! There is always time for you to check over your design and make any changes before you get it tattooed, and if you have done your research and booked with an artist you love, you will likely adore the design anyway!

In a world where we can communicate with our fingertips in a few taps, it’s very easy to expect an instant reply. Remember, tattooists work long hours or want to take a break on an evening, so don’t be disheartened if they don’t reply straight away, they will get back to you as soon as they can! Some artists allocate a day of the week or time in the day to do this.

Just be patient… the tattoo you want will last a lifetime, so it’s worth the wait!

Owl tattoo by Kat Winifred

Owl tattoo by Kat Winifred


Words: Kat Winifred
Images: Kat Winifred

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