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  • Writer's pictureMara Kikuchi

The Three Types of Tattoo Artists

There are three distinct approaches tattoo artists take to their work, and in knowing the differences between them, you can better choose an artist who will take your piece as seriously as you want them to.


From the 9-5 tattoo artist to the career artist and the artist driven by a profound calling, here are the distinctions that will differentiate clients’ experiences.


  1. The 9-5 Tattoo Artist: The 9-5 tattoo artist is primarily focused on making a living through their craft. Their primary clientele consists of walk-ins and individuals seeking quick, straightforward tattoos. These artists often excel in executing flash tattoos, designs that are pre-made and readily available to be inked onto the skin. While their work may lack the depth of artistic exploration, they possess technical proficiency and efficiency, ensuring a reliable and consistent tattooing experience.

  2. The Career Artist: The career artist is dedicated to the pursuit of aesthetic excellence in their tattooing. They possess a keen eye for composition, linework, and shading techniques, resulting in visually pleasing pieces. These artists often specialize in particular styles or themes, showcasing their mastery in creating stunning tattoos that resonate with clients on a visual level. While their work may not delve deeper into profound symbolism or personal narratives, their artistry contributes to the visual landscape of tattooing, inspiring and captivating audiences with their skillful execution.

  3. The Artist Driven by Calling: The third type of tattoo artist approaches their craft as a calling, viewing each tattoo as an opportunity for profound artistic expression and connection. These artists go beyond the superficial aspects of tattooing and seek to understand their clients on a deeper level. Through a thorough consultation process, they explore the client’s identity, story, and aspirations. By immersing themselves in the client’s world, they create multifaceted, timeless pieces that are unique and deeply personal. These artists are skilled storytellers, translating emotions, experiences, and values into powerful visual narratives that honor the individual and forge a lasting connection between art and soul.


Tattooing, like any art form, is a realm where practitioners bring their own perspectives and approaches. The 9-5 tattoo artist, the career artist, and the artist driven by calling each contribute to the rich tapestry of tattoo culture. While the 9-5 artist ensures accessibility and efficiency, the career artist focuses on aesthetic beauty, and the artist driven by calling delves into the profound depths of personal expression. It is through this diverse range of artists that clients can find the perfect match for their artistic vision, whether seeking a quick and reliable tattoo, an aesthetically pleasing piece, or a transformative, soul-stirring work of art. The beauty of tattooing lies in its ability to offer a myriad of experiences, allowing individuals to find an artist who resonates with their unique desires and aspirations.


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