So you’ve been thinking about it and have finally decided that you want to get a tattoo. The thing of it is though, if you do a Google search for Tattoo Shops in San Diego, the list you get back has over 36,000 results. Where do you begin? The truth is there are a number of different things you should look for when choosing the best artist to do the work. Tattoos are for life, so selecting an artist is not a decision you should take lightly. With this in mind, we want to give you some tips to follow to help you find the best San Diego tattoo artist or shop that is the right one for you. Look To Word of Mouth and Online Reviews. Tattoos are so popular these days, it’s almost certain that you have family or friends that have been tattooed and have an artist that does their work. Speak to any friends or family members who have been inked. Or ask them to ask their friends and family too. Getting direct advice from people you know is a great place to start. They can give you insights into both positive and negative experiences they’ve had and help you narrow down the list of people you’ll talk to about your tattoo. Online reviews can also give you good insights into the past experiences of others. Follow the artist you are interested in on Facebook and Instagram and read the comments and reviews. Reach out to people they’ve tattooed. Don’t feel strange about messaging people who have already been inked by them and asking for their opinions. If they really like the work the artist has done for them, they’ll most likely be happy to give you feedback. Review Their Portfolio. Ask to see some of an artist's previous work. There are a few key things to look for when going through an artist’s portfolio or looking at images of their work. Check for strong and solid lines that are smooth and look as though they have been made in a single stroke. Look at the color and shading of their work. Check for smooth and consistent color work. If they can’t blend colors well, it’s a good indicator that they are likely not the most skilled tattoo artist and you may want to consider other options. The Studio (And The Artist) Need To Be Clean. The hygiene standard of the artist and the studio they work in is just as important as the quality of the line and color work they show you in their portfolio. If a shop isn’t clean, or an artist is careless about hygiene, it can result in infections, blood poisoning, and Hepatitis A. This really is not an issue that can be considered negotiable. Do Your Homework Upfront To Enjoy Your Tattoo Forever. Finding the right tattoo artist is not an easy task. Since we are talking about artwork that is going to be on your body forever though, it’s certainly worth the extra time and effort. You will not regret taking the time to find an artist you are confident in and that does work that inspires you.