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Local to global: how to find a tattoo guest spot


After years of working in the same area, you might find yourself craving further opportunities to travel and showcase your creative masterpieces. You want to expand your reach and find new ways to collaborate with other tattoo artists, but don't know where or how to start. You feel stuck in the same place and need help breaking out of it.

With this blog post, you can learn how to take advantage of guest spots at tattoo studios and conventions around the world! We'll provide tips on researching potential locations, networking, and more—so you can get ready for your exciting next move.

If you're planning on travelling with your tattoo supplies, pick up an Inked Army Ammo Box to keep all your equipment and machines safe.

What is a tattoo guest spot?

A tattoo guest spot refers to a temporary arrangement where a tattoo artist works at a different studio, typically outside of their local area.


Getting a tattoo close-up


Guest spot opportunities are short-term, typically lasting from a few days to a few weeks. They provide an excellent platform for aspiring and established tattoo artists alike to gain experience and in a new tattoo studio and maybe even another country!

During a guest spot, visiting artists may offer their services to a new clientele, share their unique style, and collaborate with local tattoo artists on projects.

They're an exciting chance for tattoo artists to break away from their usual routine, explore new horizons, and leave a lasting impression on a new audience.

How to find a guest spot

Finding a guest spot may seem daunting, but rest assured that there are many options available for any professional tattoo artist! Here's how to get started:

Research prospective locations

First, you'll want to research cities or countries where you'd like to guest spot. Check out local studios and conventions in the area—most shops will post their upcoming events on social media platforms or have an open call for visiting artists.

Take a look at their online presence and customer reviews to try to understand their style and reputation. You'll want to ensure that your artistic vision is compatible with the studio's values and aesthetic.

Prepare your portfolio

Having an impressive portfolio of your work will be vital in helping you stand out from other applicants. Make sure your social media is up to date and includes images of tattoos that demonstrate different techniques or styles you specialise in.


Social media tattoo portfolio


Your social media accounts will be the first thing each shop owner will look at when considering you for a guest spot. Don't worry too much about your overall online following (although this can be a good indicator of your ability to attract customers)—just make sure that the work itself is of high quality and accurately represents your artistry.

Networking within the tattoo community

Networking is vital in the tattoo industry. Reach out to your connections within the tattoo community and let them know you're interested in guest spotting.

Attend events and tattoo conventions in your local area to connect with fellow artists, studio owners and industry professionals. Building relationships can open doors to potential guest spots and collaborations.

Reach out to studios and conventions

Once you've done your research, reach out to any prospective locations that catch your eye. Don't be afraid to introduce yourself or send examples of your work—many places are open to hiring guest artists and would love to hear from you!


Tattoo artist working a tattoo convention


Be flexible and patient

The process of finding a guest spot won't happen overnight, so make sure to be patient and open-minded. Consider different types of tattoo studios or conventions, as well as locations you may not have initially considered. Be open to discussing potential dates, durations, and terms that suit both parties.

What to expect when you secure a guest spot

Congratulations! Now that you've secured a guest spot, it's time to prepare for your upcoming venture. Make sure to agree on specific dates and times of the tattoo session, as well as any other arrangements such as accommodation or travel.

During this exciting opportunity, you'll get to work with new clients, collaborate with fellow artists, and—most importantly—showcase your unique style and talent to a whole new audience.

Travelling with tattoo equipment

Being prepared to travel with your tattoo equipment is crucial for a successful experience as a guest spot tattoo artist. First and foremost, familiarise yourself with the transportation regulations and guidelines specific to your destination. Ensure that you comply with any restrictions or requirements related to carrying tattoo equipment, such as needles, inks, and machines.

When packing your own equipment, invest in a sturdy and reliable travel case that offers ample protection and organisation. Separate your equipment into secure compartments to prevent any damage during transit.


Travelling as a tattoo artist


If you're travelling abroad, check the travel restrictions in your destination country and be aware of any customs regulations. Make sure to carry a valid passport and take any other required documents with you.

You might not be able to take all your supplies with you, so be sure to contact the shop ahead of time. Ask if they provide any supplies or equipment that you may need when you arrive. The other artists in the studio might also lend you some of their supplies, so be sure to build a good relationship with them and don't forget to ask for help if needed!

Opportunities as a travelling tattoo artist

Securing a guest spot as a tattoo artist can be an exciting and rewarding experience. You'll get to explore new cities, meet talented artists from around the world, and use your skills to create unique pieces of art for people in different locations.

This opportunity allows you to challenge yourself while also furthering your career as a professional tattoo. So why not give it a go? With the right preparation and research, you can land yourself an exciting guest spot and explore all that tattooing has to offer!


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  • Sarah Crookes