Top 10 Resources for Professional Tattoo Artists
Article by Amanda PeukertMay 4, 2022
While the mind of a tattoo artist is typically overflowing with ingenuity, inspiration, and the aching pang to create, there are likely times when it feels like the artistic well has run dry. Or, perhaps your well is filled to the brim and you’re merely looking to metamorphically add more tools to your kit. Whatever your reason may be for accessing tattoo resources, we’ve got you covered with the top ten to keep you motivated and educated.
1. Inked magazine
While Inked is no longer solely concerned with tattoos, the print/digital magazine ensures tattoos and tattooing are always the jumping-off points for their predominantly pop-culture features.
For this reason, Inked is partly responsible for destigmatizing tattoos and showing the ways in which they not only intermingle with society but beautify it as well.
From interviews with rock royalty like Rob Zombie to artist features and flamboyant centerfolds, Inked is the perfect eye candy to get the creative juices flowing and an even better reminder that tattoos are surely taking over the world.
What’s more, if words are your thing, you’ll find yourself quite satisfied with the well-considered linguistic content. Inked doesn’t skimp on editorial quality as they’re well-aware tattooed folks come from all walks of life.
Tattoodo was co-founded by renowned tattoo artist and TV personality Ami James in 2013. Since then, the tattoo media website has become “the world’s largest tattoo marketplace and most downloaded tattoo app.”
Though Tattoodo was primarily created for clients to “find the right artist for [their] next tattoo,” the website also includes functions useful to tattooers like a comprehensive “Explore” page that allows you to search for inspiration and references through specific filters.
Tattoodo.com also includes a “Read” tab that contains hundreds of useful, academic-like articles ranging from “Almost Everything to Know About Eyelid Tattoos” to “An Introduction to Mythological Creatures.”
What’s more, Tattoodo’s Instagram is a hub for stunning work from all around the world.
3. Tattoo Life magazine
Tattoo Life magazine has been a big, bold, bright-red staple in the industry since 1999. Miki Vialetto, the magazine’s editor, joined the editorial team of Italy’s first tattoo publication, Tattoo Review, in 1993 and quickly accrued enough contacts to start his own magazine.
In the almost 30 years since then, Vialletto has managed to dial-in Tattoo Life so deeply that their website now includes a book shop with dozens of tattoo resources and an “Inkdustry” tab that provides “professional advice for successful tattoo artists.”
In their own words, “Inkdustry displays the ultimate trends, news, and must-haves: find out what you need and be the first to discover the evolution in the professional world of tattooing.”
4. Tattoo Society magazine
Tattoo Society magazine is a glossy, high-quality publication distributed at top booksellers like Barnes & Noble. Refreshingly, their slogan reads, “Great art for great artists.” So, it’s no surprise that a majority of the magazine is strictly dedicated to artist interviews and showcasing pristine portfolios.
Unlike Inked magazine, there’s little pop culture included in Tattoo Society’s pages, and they make sure to safeguard their content by posting their slogan in large letters on the cover of each issue.
If you’re looking for a resource that considers the craft sacred, Tattoo Society is for you. Not only is Tattoo Society a great resource for professional tattoo artists, it’s also an excellent target for artists hoping to get their work published.
Despite the pompous, off-putting Instagram handle, @TattooSnob is actually an invaluable resource for professional tattoo artists. Fittingly, the account only posts the best, most awe-inspiring tattoos.
Their bio defines a Tattoo Snob as such: “A person focusing on the high end of the last of the low-brow art forms.” Facetious as it may be, @TattooSnob takes the craft quite seriously.
Operating and updating daily since 2009, Instagram has become a staple in the industry and, true to its name, a place for artists and tattoo fans alike to congregate and converse about elite tattoos.
6. Tattd app
Created by Brooklyn-based entrepreneur Laura Schaack, the Tattd app “connects people to local tattoo artists perfectly tailored to their needs while providing a platform for artists to market themselves to their ideal client.”
Six years ago, Schaack conceived the app hoping to facilitate and simplify the tattoo process. After dealing with the sometimes complicated and always confusing nature of rummaging through tattoo portfolios, Instagrams, and Yelp reviews, she devised a search engine à la Kayak to help others more easily pinpoint their perfect artist.
Though the Tattd app is geared toward clients, it’s an amazing resource for artists as well as it allows them to create a profile, become effortlessly findable, and communicate with potential clients directly through the app.
InkHunter is a “think before you ink” app that allows clients to digitally visualize the tattoo they want without any commitment. The app has a gallery of designs for clients to choose from or, even better, they can upload their own images to the app and test them out on varying parts of the body.
Like Tattd, InkHunter is predominantly geared towards the client, but artists can greatly benefit from this resource as the tattoo process is a dual experience wherein both client and artist are deeply involved.
Should you have a client who has definitively decided on a design but hasn’t yet picked the proper location, you can ease their anxiety by suggesting they use the InkHunter app, ultimately saving you time and stenciling supplies.
8. Juxtapoz Art & Culture Magazine
Created in 1994 by a group of artists and collectors, Juxtapoz was assembled to “celebrate urban alternative and underground contemporary art.” Though Juxtapoz rarely features tattoos, it’s no secret that skilled tattoo artists dabble in and appreciate a multitude of mediums and forms.
For this reason, Juxtapoz makes for an incredible resource, especially when a majority of the tools on this list have been relegated strictly to the industry. Juxtapoz provides a refreshing look at alternate artforms and a deep well of unique inspiration.
With a growing number of motifs and symbols becoming overused staples of the industry – some quintessential tattoos have even become memes or the focus of mainstream mockery – it’s incredibly beneficial, now more than ever, for tattoo artists to access unique forms of inspiration.
9. Lars Krutak
Lars Krutak is the leading American tattoo anthropologist in the field. For decades, Krutak has been selflessly researching, photographing, and documenting tattoos and their cultural background before their history is lost and forgotten.
He’s also the author of several well-researched tattoo books and papers and the producer and host of Discovery Channel’s now-defunct “Tattoo Hunter.”
Krutak’s website includes a plethora of blog posts and articles about ancient tattoos, tattooing’s uncertain beginnings, and the beautiful tattoo practices of tribes and cultures we rarely see.
Krutak is also known for being an anti-armchair anthropologist, meaning he’s constantly in the field, fraternizing with and befriending the people and societies he’s studying.
For this reason, Lars Krutak’s website and Instagram are invaluable resources to professional tattoo artists looking to know more about the history of the craft beyond their own countries.
In an attempt to educate artists about working with what was commonly considered hard-to-tattoo skin tones, tattoo artists Angel Rose and X conceived of the Instagram @DarkSkinTattooTips.
An absolutely fundamental resource for artists who take their craft seriously, the innovative Instagram features color charts that explain how pigments interact with melanin, tips for packing in the ink properly, and rectified fallacies that have permeated the industry.
Rose and X also participate in educational debates with their followers to inspire open-mindedness, combat ignorance and racism, and spread awareness about problematic beliefs that remain staples of the community.
Bonus Resource: Linework
Linework is a supreme tattoo studio software created for artists by artists. Unlike other administrative systems, Linework is geared solely towards the tattoo industry with the primary focus of simplifying your life.
With Linework, every tool you need is consolidated in one easy-to-use app, which allows you to handle your business without the hassle and remain highly organized.
What’s more, Linework reduces risk while increasing cash flow, so you can return to what really matters: tattooing.