Tattoo artist-client relationship: Red flags and tips

Knowing how to tattoo is important, but knowing how to treat your client is essential


Making the decision to get a tattoo is often difficult for anyone.

Whoever does it will have to go through different crucial stages. Besides, they will have to choose the theme, the design and the artist, and then face the culminating and fragile moment of being tattooed, which will result in a drawing that will remain on your skin.

Not easy at all, right?

It is essential that, at this decisive moment, the client is accompanied by a tattoo professional who gives them the confidence and necessary comfort to feel safe in their choice and along the way to the final result.

Although we can find countless articles talking about tattoos on the internet, only a few approach this topic that, in our opinion, is fundamental: the relationship between the tattooist and the client.

The main red flags

A “red flag” is a label assigned to certain behaviours that are not acceptable at all. There are many red flags that, as a tattoo artist, you can avoid so that your client does not feel uncomfortable, insecure, afraid or upset.

We will name some.

  • Abuse of any kind (psychological or physical) is one of the unpleasant situations that you should never have. NO circumstance will justify an abusive behaviour.

  • Lack of attention is one of the most mentioned red flags, since it happens very often and it is the main reason why customers might not want to deal with you ever again.

  • Mockery is usually generated for different reasons, either by the choice of design or by some physical issue. Needless to say, you should not do this even if it’s a “joke”, since you will make the person feel offended and embarrassed.

If you behave inappropriately, you become a terrible professional who does not respect their main source of work: Your clients.

And of course this has consequences such as:

Defamation and bad reputation within the tattoo industry, which ultimately results in a huge decrease in the number of potential clients.

Ask yourself, do I want my client to feel comfortable or to go through a bad experience?

Next, we will tell you about a case that, unfortunately, where the second option was chosen.

A tattoo artist made fun of a client's body odor

An unfortunate attitude was seen on TikTok when the user @juan_onjuann, a tattoo artist from California, decided to post a video on his account followed by more than 17 thousand people making fun of the clients who, according to him, "do not shower" before attending the tattoo session.

In the recording, you can see how the artist simulates a situation in which he tattoos a client near her genital area, and he starts gagging. The tag line of the post was:

"It smells like a bikini bottom, based on a true story."

This generated great controversy in the comments of the users, where the majority agreed that the mockery turns Juan into an unprofessional tattoo artist and due to his lack of ethics. They also added that this could cause people to feel self-conscious and paranoid about their body.

As a tattoo artist, aren't you ashamed that this kind of thing happens in our industry?

Keep reading to know the most important thing when dealing with your clients.

How to make your client feel comfortable?

You should put yourself in their shoes and analyse how you would like to be treated. In fact, you must have a tattoo, and the experience of getting tattooed.

Some issues may seem obvious, but it never hurts to remember them:

1- Try to build trust. Listen carefully to all questions and take them seriously.

2- Provide advice so that they attend the session in excellent conditions (comment on breakfast, good rest and appropriate clothing).

3- You must have a comfortable seat or stretcher so that your client does not feel uncomfortable during the process.

4- Have a pleasant talk so that the person relaxes and forgets a little about the pain that the punctures are causing. In the case the client is in too much pain, stop and talk about it until you reach an agreement.

5- You must always have the workspace disinfected, for the health of your client, but also for your own health. Unregulated tattoos: You get what you pay

6- Do not make derogatory comments or make fun of them. Although some things are said as a joke, they can still be offensive.

7- Accept your mistakes and apologize, whether something minor or something more serious happens.

8- Give your client some means of communication (telephone, social network) so that they can clarify doubts before and after the session.

9- Try to ensure privacy and make the tattoo in an environment that does not have the presence of others. In case of having a small place, try to make a division with folding screens.

10- Never pressure the client. They may regret when they are about to get tattooed, and that’s fine.

11- Don't be persuasive and pushy when you think your opinion is better. The decisions are made by the person who will be tattooed, since it is their body.

12- Let customers tell their experience with you. You can leave a space on a social network or manually in your studio, so that they can tell their opinion in a public and visible way.

These points depend on your personal treatment, but also on the organization in your study.

If you choose to improve your treatment and acquire pleasant attitudes, such as the ones we have mentioned, the benefits will come soon: The client will be willing to see you again because they felt comfortable and confident, they will recommend you, you will be an example for many colleagues and your reputation will be successful.

Conclusion: Treat your clients well if you don't want to lose them

Few things give you more satisfaction in this profession than receiving good remarks about your services. Something that requires a lot of empathy and zero laziness to achieve.

Besides, having people speak well of your work has many advantages... Never underestimate the power of word of mouth! Who can recommend you better (or worse) are those who have already been tattooed with you, don't forget it!

After all, without a good service, there are no clients, and without them, there's no work. Remember that being an excellent professional only depends on you. If you are willing to learn everything it takes to be one, we can help you achieve it through our tattoo master classes.