How To Build a Tattoo Artist Portfolio

What is a Tattoo Artist Portfolio?

A tattoo artist portfolio is an online portfolio website or landing page that showcases all the drawings, sketches, and pictures of finished tattoo work to let people know about your tattoo style and to book your tattoo services.

Tattoo ARtist

New and established tattoo artists alike rely on tattoo portfolios to showcase their work, apply for a tattoo apprenticeship or job at a tattoo shop, and connect with new potential customers. No matter where you are in your career in the tattoo industry, it's never too early to create your own tattoo art online portfolio website.

If you've been doing tattoo work for a long time, you may be used to the more old school approach of gaining new clients through word of mouth. These days, though, there's no better way to position yourself as a professional than by showing off pictures of your tattoo designs on your online portfolio. If creating your own portfolio website is out of your comfort zone, there's no need to worry! We'll be covering everything you need to know about how to create a tattoo portfolio using a website template to document your tattoo style.

What is a Tattoo Artist Portfolio?

Every artist needs a portfolio, and tattoo artists are no exception. A tattoo artist portfolio is a website or landing page where you can explain who you are and what you do, show pictures of your sketches and finished tattoo work, and let people know how they can book your services. Some website builders even allow you to create an online store where you can sell products like your original artwork, prints, or tattoo flash pages.

As a tattoo artist, you probably already know how important referrals are to your business. An online tattoo portfolio website gives you the opportunity to gather positive testimonials and reviews and showcase them alongside your tattoo designs, rates, and contact information.

Do I Need a Tattoo Artist Website?

Whether you're trying to get an apprenticeship with a mentor at local tattoo shops or you want to build up your clientele and book more tattoo appointments, you need some sort of portfolio where you can display your tattooing skills.

If you've already created social media pages to show your tattoo art, you may think that investing time and money into creating your own tattoo artist portfolio isn't worth it. While social media can be a great tool for growing your audience and reaching new potential clients who are interested in tattoos, a fully customized online portfolio will communicate your professionalism and credibility as a tattoo artist in a way that a social media profile never can.

Another benefit to creating your own portfolio website instead of relying on social media is that you have much more control over how your site is designed. This means that you can choose what information and pictures to include and how best to organize them to impress site visitors with your tattoo work and style. Plus, some tattoo portfolio template options allow you to set up an online store so that you can make passive income while you sleep.

When it comes down to it, a professional tattoo portfolio is as important an investment as your tattoo machine, needles, and inks.

tattoo on arms

What are Tattoo Website Templates?

Not too long ago, if you wanted to make your own website to show off your tattooing skills and artwork, you would have needed to learn website design and coding or hire a professional web developer. Now, tattoo artist website templates enable you to create fully functional and customizable websites on your computer with ease in minutes.

A great website template will provide an intuitive, user-friendly website builder you can use to add, rearrange, and move content as you please. Tattoo artists frequently use templates found on websites when building their portfolios.

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Showcase your tattoo work and creativity with an online portfolio website.

What Features Should I Look for in a Tattoo Artist Portfolio Template?

With so many options out there, choosing the right template for your tattoos can be tricky. That's why we've narrowed in on the features that you should make sure to look out for when selecting your tattoo portfolio website builder.

  1. Professional design. Just because you're creating it on your own doesn't mean that your portfolio should look any less professional than if you had hired an expert. Choose a portfolio builder that prioritizes design that will make your tattoos stand out, no matter what your style is.

  2. Intuitive editing. As a tattoo artist or apprentice, the last thing you want is to spend unnecessary time and effort trying to make your site look the way you want it to. The right template will be easy to use and fully customizable.

  3. A variety of template designs. Not all tattoo artists are alike, and your portfolio needs to represent your specific and unique style. That's why you need to have the option to choose from a variety of templates to select the one that works best with your artwork.

  4. Mobile optimization. While your portfolio may be best viewed on a computer, you can't control what device people will use to visit your site. A mobile-optimized portfolio means that your designs will always look amazing, no matter what device your visitors are seeing them on.

  5. Responsive Design. When customers visit your site, you want them to have a smooth, instant-viewing experience. Format uses responsive website templates that load fast and work on all screens. You can test your mobile speed with Google by entering your page URL, as well as get recommendations to improve it by removing unnecessary JavaScrip or optimizing your image file size.

  6. High-quality images. When you photograph your flash sheet and tattoo styles, you want the quality of your artwork to be clear. Don't sacrifice your image quality for better page load times or vice versa. The right portfolio builder will allow you to show the very best pictures without affecting the time it takes for each of the sections to load.

  7. Search Engine Optimization. Once you've set up your portfolio, you'll probably want to make sure that people are actually seeing your artwork. That's where SEO comes in. Use relevant keywords throughout your portfolio so that when people search online for the services that you offer, your work will come up first.

  8. Online store. If you're already going to the trouble of creating a portfolio to show your tattoo styles, you may as well set up an online store while you're at it. Choose a portfolio template that includes the option to create an online store where you can sell both physical and digital products with no commission taken.

  9. Custom domain name and email address. Nothing says professionalism like a custom web domain and a matching email.

  10. Privacy settings. Protect your work by using features like a watermarking tool, password-protected photo galleries, and disabling right click save on your pictures.

  11. Blogging tools. In addition to SEO, writing a blog is a great way to get new eyes on your tattoo pieces. Make sure that you're using keywords in each post and that you're writing about topics that are interesting for your dream clients.

  12. Free trial. Before you invest your money, take advantage of a portfolio builder that offers a free 14-day trial, so that you can test out their templates to be sure that they work well for you.

tattoo on thighs

How Do I use a Website Template to Create My Tattoo Portfolio?

Now that you understand why you need an online portfolio for your tattoos and what features to look for, it's time to break down how to create a tattoo portfolio.

  1. Choose your template. When selecting your template, keep in mind your aesthetic as a tattoo artist. Every choice that you make in creating your portfolio should reflect who you are and what your art is about.

  2. Create a gallery page and add photos of your work. Upload your best tattoo pieces, as well as any flash sheets or sketches that you think will add to your portfolio. You should aim to limit your portfolio to no more than 20 pieces so that you don't overwhelm your visitors with visual information.

  3. Add an about me page and your contact information. While people may originally find you through your tattoo pieces, it's important that you also let them know who the person behind the art is. Explain how you got into tattooing and provide ways for people to get in touch and book your services.

  4. Set up your online shop. You can sell pretty much anything in your e-commerce store, from art prints to flash sheets to tutorial videos for new tattoo artists.

  5. Link your social accounts. It's always a good idea to include links to the social sites where you are most active so that people can connect with you and engage with your art on a variety of platforms.

If you're still not sure what your portfolio should look like, use some tattoo art portfolio examples to get inspired.

Tattoo Portfolio Examples

If you're still not sure what your portfolio should look like, use some tattoo art portfolio examples to get inspired. Looking at other artists is a great way to blend tattoo portfolio ideas and find your creative spirit. Tattoo artist portfolio examples also give you an opportunity to learn more about your competitors and what customers are looking for.

When comparing tattoo apprenticeship portfolio examples, look for structural elements that will help you and your work stand out from the pack. Format has a range of tattoo artist portfolio examples and templates to help you convey your work in your own, professional manner.

With these principles in mind and an advanced portfolio builder like Format, you will set yourself on a successful career path to professional tattoo artistry.

What are the Best Tattoo Artist Website Design Templates?

Format Website Template Slate


Slate is a slideshow template that uses a parallax scroll and supports full-width images to show your work in the best light. This setup allows visitors to focus on one image at a time to fully appreciate the details, while still experiencing it in the context of your other work.

Format Website Template Amazon


Youthful, fun, and image forward, Amazon uses a masonry-style grid with a fully customizable tiled image layout.

Format Website Template Kiln


Kiln uses a tiled layout that supports large photos in order to emphasize detail. It also offers custom spacing, columns, and scroll indicators.

Format Website Template Flash


Flash is a bold, design-forward template with a staggering image layout. This allows you to showcase different image sizes and orientations. It also comes with a unique menu layout and uses vertical scrolling.

Format Website Template Obsidian


This film strip style template uses a horizontal scroll and is best for showcasing work where each image is unique and different. The galleries can accommodate both images and text so you can provide the context in the same place as you show off your tattoo style.

Format Website Template Balance


Balance's tiled template allows you to display multiple images at once with custom gallery and column spacing.

Now that you know everything there is to know about creating a tattoo portfolio using a template, you're ready to start building your online portfolio. We can't wait to see all of your awesome tattoo designs on your brand new website.

How do I Market my Tattoo Portfolio Website?

So now you know how to make a tattoo artist portfolio, but how do you share it with the world? Using the right marketing tools can give your tattoo portfolio website the exposure it needs to reach new clients and further grow your customer base. We’ve outlined some portfolio essentials for an effective marketing strategy.

  • Social Media: Many tattoo artists use social media to market their work by integrating their portfolio with their social accounts and sharing content on those platforms ensures maximum engagement and traffic to your portfolio site.

  • Google Advertising: Google still dominates the search engine space, and well-placed ads in your local area with the right keywords can help bring hot leads to your portfolio. Focus your search terms locally, so that you’re spending your ad dollars on the most likely customers, as opposed to customers from far cities that are least likely to come to you due to distance.

  • Special Offers: Offering freebies is a great way to entice first-time tattoo clients to come to you over your competitors. Consider what you are able to provide as a free starter offer and then the upsell strategy once your clients are ready to commit.

  • Email Marketing: If you're getting hits on your portfolio site, collecting email addresses is a great way to improve lifetime value of your customers. Whether someone has engaged in your tattoo design services before or is considering it for the first time, an effective email marketing strategy will always keep you on their mind.

  • Networking: You have probably heard the saying “networking is an investment in your business.” In the digital age, never has this saying been more true. Sharing your new portfolio site digitally through LinkedIn and physically at events and in your store will help spread the word faster. Consider putting your brand new website domain on some business cards, flyers, and even a QR code link for customers to see your portfolio instantly.

Why Choose Format for your Online Tattoo Portfolio?

If you are serious about expanding your career with an attractive, online tattoo portfolio, look for a platform like Format that offers beautiful templates for any tattoo artist professional. Express yourself and your work instantly with our range of templates design with creative artists in mind. With an easy-to-use platform, advanced visual editor, and kickstarter guides, we’ve got all the tools to make your tattoo artist career a success.

Create your own portfolio website with Format today.

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