No two tattoos are the same. When it comes to body art, everyone has something different in mind. Some prefer smaller tattoos that no one can see, while others will use their entire arm as a canvas.
Tattoo styles can differ greatly, but tattoo types can be narrowed down to amateur and professional.
The difference between amateur and professional tattoos, however, goes beyond a tattoo artist’s licence or lack thereof. These are the main differences between amateur tattoos and professional tattoos:
Price: It should come as little surprise that amateur tattoos are a lot cheaper than professional tattoos. After all, the ink quality is lower, and amateur artists don’t have the same expenses as professional ones. Professional tattoo artists pay overhead for studio space, ink, quality tools and, in many cases, employees.
Tattoo Removal: If you are looking to get rid of that unwanted tattoo, how you got your tattoo done will have a major impact on how long it will take to remove your tattoo. Professional tattoos tend to take longer to remove because the ink is higher quality and deeper in your skin.
Colours: Professional tattoos can include a mix of different ink colours and shades. Conversely, amateur tattoos tend only to have one colour – black. This is yet another reason why these are so much easier to remove.
Application: Amateur tattoos are applied unevenly and more superficial than professional ones. According to Medic8, professional tattoos are more even and deeper under the skin.
Process: Professional tattoos are drawn using an intricate gun that evenly injects ink into your skin. Amateur tattoos, however, tend to be drawn using a single needle – this also explains why this ink is so uneven.
Ink Quality: As one would expect, the quality of ink in a professional tattoo is much higher than that of an amateur tattoo. Specifically, the ink of amateur tattoos is usually carbon based.
Professional tattoo artists tend to use more ink, which helps a tattoo to last longer. It’s also worth mentioning that the ink of a professional tattoo is more saturated in comparison to amateur tattoos.
Time: Because amateur tattoos tend to have lower quality ink and are applied unevenly at surface level, they take less time than a professional tattoo. Professional tattoo artists, on the other hand, tend to go over streaks to increase the appearance of the artwork, which elongates the process.
Ageing: All tattoos fade over time, but amateur tattoos fade a lot quicker because the ink is at surface level and is also of lower quality. Professional tattoos tend to keep their shape and ink a lot better because they run deeper.
Risks: There is a reason why people suggest seeing a professional. Amateur artists are less likely to use properly sterilized tools, which can put you at risk of infection and disease. Professional tattoo artists, on the other hand, are held responsible and have to meet specific guidelines to be legitimized.
The main difference between these two tattoos is that one lasts longer and is better quality than the other. It’s a good thing that lower quality tattoos are easier to remove – because they are usually the ones people want to get rid of anyways!