How To Email A Tattoo Artist

  • Written By Dan Hunter on August 17, 2019
    Last Updated: November 27, 2020

The logistics involved with getting a tattoo is inevitable, whether you wish to avoid it or not. If you’re looking to email a studio or an artist directly to discuss designs and start the booking process, a few tips and tricks about what to include in the email will help make the process go much smoother. 

Why Email a Tattoo Artist?

Tattoo artists have evolved over the years and most now fully embrace the advantages that technology provides!

Off the bat, you need to realize that tattoo artists generally answer emails outside of work hours. So, consider first whether visiting the shop in person is something you can make time for as that’ll likely get you answers and details quicker than email. 

In most situations, even if you’ve communicated via email, the artist will need to see you before they officially book you in. This is pretty unavoidable if you want a quality tattoo from a quality shop, so keep that in mind when you email. Exceptions to this rule include out-of-towners or people traveling to get the tattoo. 

If you’re looking to get a small, simple tattoo, you can go to the shop and see if they do walk-in appointments. Advanced booking and emailing aren’t usually required in this case. 

The Email Basics

The good news is that the information included in an email will also be necessary if you consult in person. Most of the advice below applies to both situations. 

Generally, the rule of thumb in digital communication is to consolidate the information, so it’s easy to access again when they need it. Be clear, concise, and provide all the information that the artist will need in your email.

Inquiry Email 

It’s polite to send an inquiry email first to find out if they’re accepting bookings. They may not be. Some artists are so popular that they book out months, or even years in advance. If you really want to go with a specific artist, be prepared to wait, and don’t assume that they’ll be able to fit you in right away.

Subject Line

Keep the subject line of your email clear so that your artist doesn’t have to wonder what you want or struggle to find the email again. Try labeling it with something like: 

  • Tattoo inquiry
  • Tattoo booking
  • Appointment request

Personal Details

Make sure in the email that you give all the information about yourself straight away. Provide your:

  • Full name
  • Email
  • Phone number

Without coming across as too heavy, be upfront about any anxiety you have around getting a tattoo. Experienced artists will know how to deal with any limitations you may have, but only if you tell them.


Send your schedule so that the booking process can be facilitated. Depending on the job you work, maybe you have restrictions on hours/days off, or have flexibility but need notice. Including these details will help them give you an appointment that they’re comfortable with, but that also works for you. 


Put all your questions in one place and at the bottom of the email. 

Organizing your questions at the end of your email in one block will help your tattoo artist answer effectively. Helping them out by making it easy for them to address your concerns is very considerate. This also makes it more likely that you’ll get all of your questions answered and not skipped. 

Communicating the Concept in an Email

Explain your idea concept in its entirety. This email communication is the first chance you have to put it all on the line and get your tattoo as close to what you want, as efficiently as possible. In the end, you’re less likely to get what you envisioned if you don’t give a full description to start. 

If you don’t give them everything they need in the first message, they’ll have to spend more time communicating with you to get it right. Your tattooist would prefer to get the design perfect the first time as that saves them work, and potentially extra money for you. 

Remember that artists are also usually extremely busy, so try to keep the email as short as you can without losing any of the most important details. Basically, stay on track with what you’re sending.

Tattoo Details

Here are some necessary details about the tattoo itself to include:

  • Sizing: Palm-size or hand-size is a good general method of marking. Sleeve? Half sleeve?
  • Location: Where do you want it on the body? Make sure to note if there are other existing tattoos around it
  • Finer details: Measurements and a picture of the area will help them visualize the space
  • Color: Black and gray, or color

These elements will help your tattoo artist schedule you properly because it helps them understand how much time they’ll need to dedicate to your tattoo. 

Inspiration Images

Attach real images, not tattoo replicas, for inspiration. Anything you want to be tattooed can be translated into many styles. For that reason, send an inspiration image as opposed to a picture of a tattoo so the artist can put their stylistic spin on the idea. Only attach a picture of a tattoo if you want that style of tattooing.

Keep in mind that tattoos are technically the intellectual property of the original artist. Asking your artist to replicate an existing piece isn’t considered as ethical. Communicate with your artist on how to make your idea into a masterpiece, but don’t ask them to copy someone else’s work. 

The Follow-Up 

Be patient. You have to remember that answering emails is a vital part of the artists’ job, but it’s, by no means, their highest priority. Especially if you’re booking with a popular, sought after artist. Give a few weeks as leeway before emailing again and following up.

Be prepared that once you start this process and engage the talents of an artist to work on your piece, you’ll likely be expected to pay a booking fee (deposit) to secure your spot and ensure that they’ll be paid for their work. If you’re not prepared to do this, you’re not ready for your tattoo yet.

Communication Is the Key

Getting off on the right foot with your tattoo artist comes down to how well you communicate. Miscommunication will lead to disappointments on your end and higher stress on theirs.

To reduce these miscommunications, make sure to be clear and concise in your outreach email to a tattoo shop. Include vital details like your schedule, personal information and design ideas, and with a bit of luck, you’ll proceed to get tattooed by your preferred artist in the not-too-distant future.

When you eventually go ahead with getting your dream tattoo, it’s imperative that you always follow your tattoo artist’s aftercare advice closely, and be sure to invest in a high-quality tattoo healing lotion to aid recovery.

The best tattoo lotion I’ve ever personally used is a vegan-friendly aftercare product called After Inked Tattoo Aftercare Lotion. This stuff works amazingly well during the healing process; not only by keeping your tattoo really well hydrated, but also by soothing any annoying itching and irritation. When using it from the very start of the healing process, this lotion will help to decrease tattoo healing times, and work towards eliminating any lingering dryness and scabbing.