Evolving Tools of the Trade

The world is changing, and so is tattooing. Social media has made it easier than ever for artists to market themselves to vast audiences at no cost. Reality shows helped to bring tattoos into the mainstream, and advancements in technology have changed the functions of most artists’ daily operations.

It has never been easier to connect with an artist who specializes in a particular aesthetic. Tattoo magazines used to serve as one of the main ways for clients to be exposed to various styles of work. Now Instagram allows potential customers to browse an artist’s portfolio and direct message them if they are interested in getting some work done.
A spike in the popularity of tattoos has caused a higher demand for them, causing a higher demand for tattoo artists. More practitioners than ever before are trying to carve out a niche for themselves. Though it may be easier for artists to market themselves than it used to be, it is harder for them to stand out among the masses of newer tattooers.
Premade needles

Premade needles

While most tattooers accommodate a vast range of styles, some manage to be sought after primarily for their own unique style. An artist who specializes in any given genre, be it American traditional, black and grey, color realism, etc., can selectively promote photos of their desired aesthetic on the internet, social media and in their physical portfolio. With the right skills, a little networking and good word of mouth, many artists are booking out their calendars with requests for their signature style.

As time goes by, the tools of the trade change. Premade needles changed the game for those who previously had to make their own. Artists search for images on Google rather than flipping through their library of reference books. Sketch pads have given way to the iPad Pro, and there is no longer a need to advertise in the Yellow Pages.
Tattooers are getting better faster. The internet makes access to formerly hard-to-find information on the trade easier to obtain than ever before. Clients have an enormous wealth of talent to choose from. The challenge for tattoo artists who want to stand out is to keep pushing the envelope with style and execution.
If you are seeking a specialist in any given style of tattooing, a Google search is a good place to start. Hashtags on Instagram can help you find an ideal artist, especially if you are willing to travel for the perfect piece. And for those who still prefer the old school methods, there is always word of mouth.

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