Private Tattooist vs a Reputable Tattoo Shop

Private Tattooist vs a Reputable Tattoo Shop

Private Tattoo Artist Shop vs Studio

There are three places to get a tattoo (not counting prison) – a walk-in studio, a regulated private shop, or private tattooist operating out of their own home (or similar) studio. The latter of the bunch may seem like a cool option, but it’s the least desirable and most risky choice. A reputable walk-in studio is ultimately the only option when it comes to your first or second tattoo, a statement of which is based on much more than opinion. Keep reading.

Why Choose a Reputable Studio Over an Independent Tattooist

1. Their Work Isn’t Vetted by On-Site Peers / Superiors

A private tattooist operating out of their own home studio is neither accountable nor under the scrutiny of anyone, aside from you. As anyone in a customer-to-service-provider relationship knows, that’s not enough to give peace of mind. In a studio environment, your tattooist is surrounded by other artists in addition to shop management which may even include the owner and/or their mentor. This fact drives the tattooist to put forth their best work while offering friendly, patient, and professional service. Before going under the needle pick an artist that’s under the microscope of their peers and superiors (so to speak) alike.

2. They May Not Receive Annual Health Inspections

A tattooist in a private home (or similar) studio may not be abiding by the regulations set forth by the health branch of municipal and provincial governing bodies. That means they may not be the subject of annual inspections that carefully check for a clean and sanitary workspace and area (bathroom included), tools (autoclave, gun, etc.), ink, and associated supplies with no potential for contamination. The private artist may produce hardcopy or online documents stating so, but how do you know they are legitimate and up to date? When dealing with a highly visible walk-in brick and mortar in a major commercial district, you know that health inspectors frequent the establishment as required. In addition to the shop posting this information on their walls, this information will be accessible in your governing body’s business directory database.

3. They Are Not Endorsed by Your Municipal or Provincial Health Regulator

A private artist may have their home-studio inspected on an annual basis, but they are not endorsed by a local governing body. HealthLinkBC states it simply enough:

“If you are thinking about having a tattoo or body piercing, go to a reputable studio” (HealthLinkBC)

In Toronto (home to one of our renowned studios) the Public Health board has provided an online tool that allows the public to access most current inspection results for tattoo studios. If you don’t find a private tattoo shop listed here, they are NOT endorsed by the City of Toronto.

Remember, you are receiving a procedure that directly impacts your health and wellness – only go to a shop verified by a governing body dedicated to the health and wellness of its residents.

4. They Probably Don’t Have Adequate Commercial Insurance

A reputable brick and mortar has the financial reserves and is more likely to carry robust commercial business insurance that will protect them, and therefore you, from anything than may go wrong. Without comprehensive insurance, they are far less likely to admit to negligence, wrongdoing, or failure to fulfill their end of the consumer agreement (your tattoo). This leaves you with little to no financial recourse. Would you drive down a road where no one (yourself included) has automobile insurance? Certainly not. But when you get tattooed by an artist working out of their own private home studio that’s the same kind of risk you take.

5. Little Access to Qualifying and Unbiased Reviews

You may have heard of a “great” private tattooist through word-of-mouth. But positive feedback from one or two people you know is not exactly the Rotten Tomatoes of the tattoo world. With a reputable studio, you will be able to reference hundreds of reviews on Google, Facebook, Yelp, and more. Only then can you make the educated and informed decision of choosing a walk-in studio over a private artists’ home shop.


Gain peace of mind for your up and coming tattoo by opting for the optimal choice – Adrenaline Studios. We have well-known tattoo shops in Greater Vancouver BC and Toronto ON. Contact us today to schedule your consultation.