Why would a tattoo artist decline a project?

Tattoos are a unique form of self-expression, available in diverse styles and sizes. But what if your tattoo artist turns down your design? In this brief blog, we explore the common reasons behind such rejections. Whether you've faced a decline for a beloved design or are curious about tattoo refusal reasons, read on for insights.

Cory Claussen

1/18/20242 min read

First, tattoo artists see things differently than you do.

When you sit down with your tattoo artist and pitch your tattoo design or idea, you may be surprised to hear that your tattoo artist sees things differently than you do. Not only do the artist’s personality and the customer’s personality have to agree. They may see potential problems with the design that you don't see and will decline the project. For example, a tattoo artist may see that the design wouldn't look good because of size, placement on the body, or style.

Our tattoo artists have years of experience, artistic skills, and an eye for art to make a tattoo look great for years to come. We cannot stress enough how it is important to remain open-minded and to find an artist that you trust.

Second, tattoo artists have their own limits and abilities.

When you go to a tattoo shop, you're expecting the artist to be able to put ink to skin and turn your idea into a permanent reality. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.

Artists have their own limits and abilities, and they may not be the best suited for your specific idea or design. Tattoo artists have to be creative and versatile in order to design tattoos that suit a variety of people. Being able to think outside the box and having an eye for detail is key to a successful piece of art. Some tattoo artists may not be able to create a tattoo that is similar to your idea or design. The style of tattoo you are wanting is important to keep in mind when looking for an artist.

Additionally, Personality conflicts can happen between tattoo artists and their clients. In order to get the best tattoo, it’s important to be open-minded and develop trust. However, we also know that it’s also about customer satisfaction. If your tattoo artist is having a difficult time communicating, you may need to go to another tattoo artist or ask the artist whom they recommend.

Lastly, tattoo artists have their own set of standards.

Like most people, tattoo artists have their own set of standards, and they want to make sure that your tattoo design meets their standards. Certain artists may decline to do anything that is risqué like religious or controversial. Make sure you are doing your research before deciding on an artist or studio.

Another reason why the tattoo artist may turn down your design is that it doesn’t fit their artistic style. Our artists have worked hard to develop their skills and they want to put their best foot forward when it comes to tattooing you. Sometimes artists have outgrown certain styles and are focused on passion projects. Because of this, artists will decline the project if they don’t have the passion or excitement for the design. No one wants a tattoo artist just going through the motions. Always try to remember that most tattoo artists are saying no to the design, and not to you.


Tattoos are permanent pieces of art, and we will not tattoo just to make a quick buck. We have taken the time to assess the design, placement, and style before declining a project. Take time to research the artist and studio and always remember that the tattoo artist is an artist first. We take every design into serious consideration before we decline the project.