“Your Definitive Guide to Finding the Right Tattoo Studio in Tucson: A Comprehensive Roadmap”

by David Meek 1-3-2024

Are you on the hunt for the perfect tattoo studio in Tucson but feeling overwhelmed by the multitude of options available? Choosing the right tattoo artist and studio is a crucial step towards ensuring a positive and memorable tattooing experience. With numerous factors to consider, navigating the search process can be daunting. Fear not! This comprehensive guide will equip you with essential tips and considerations to find the ideal tattoo studio in Tucson that aligns with your vision.

Inside Art and Sol Tattoo Gallery in Tucson Arizona
  1. Thorough Research: Kickstart your quest by conducting in-depth research. Take advantage of search engines and social media platforms to compile a list of tattoo studios in Tucson. Explore their websites, peruse their portfolios, read customer reviews, and note their areas of specialization.
  2. Portfolio Evaluation: A tattoo artist’s portfolio serves as a window to their skills and style. Look for diverse portfolios showcasing a range of tattoo designs and styles. Ensure the artist’s style resonates with the type of tattoo you envision.
  3. Cleanliness and Hygiene: Prioritize cleanliness and hygiene standards. Reputable tattoo studios maintain strict hygiene practices, utilizing disposable needles, sterilized equipment, and maintaining a clean working environment. Consider visiting the studio in person to assess its cleanliness.
  4. Credentials and Licensing: Verify the studio’s credentials and the artists’ licenses. Certified studios and artists adhere to health regulations, ensuring professionalism and safety.
  5. Word-of-Mouth Recommendations: Seek recommendations from friends, family, or acquaintances who have had positive experiences at tattoo studios in Tucson. Personal referrals often offer valuable insights and firsthand experiences.
  6. Consultation and Communication: Schedule a consultation with the tattoo artist before finalizing your decision. Use this opportunity to discuss your ideas, concerns, and expectations. Effective communication is key to ensuring alignment between your vision and the artist’s capabilities.
  7. Pricing Structure: While cost shouldn’t be the sole deciding factor, understanding the pricing structure is essential. Quality work often comes at a reasonable price. Avoid compromising on quality for a cheaper option.
  8. Studio Visit: A physical visit to the studio enables you to gauge its ambiance, professionalism, and overall atmosphere. Trust your instincts and choose a studio where you feel comfortable and welcome.
  9. Online Presence: A strong online presence often reflects a studio’s commitment to engaging with its audience. Active social media accounts typically feature recent works, client testimonials, and updates about the studio’s activities.
  10. Aftercare Services: Inquire about aftercare instructions and services provided by the studio. Proper aftercare significantly impacts the healing process of your tattoo.

By following these steps, you can navigate the abundance of tattoo studios in Tucson and find the perfect match for your tattoo needs. Remember, a tattoo is a lifelong commitment, so investing time and effort into finding the right studio is invaluable.

Tucson boasts a diverse array of talented tattoo artists and studios catering to various styles and preferences, whether you seek vibrant colors, intricate designs, or minimalist art. Embrace this exciting journey of self-expression and creativity while ensuring a safe and satisfying tattoo experience in Tucson!

I own Art and Sol Tattoo in Tucson Az.

You can book a consultation to meet with our artists by clicking here!

You can also view or Instagram page as well as our current reviews on google

How tattoo artists can have work life balance.

I’ve been seeing a ton of tattoo artists complain about work life balance. Its so wierd to see it all over social media.

In fact I think thats exactly why tattoo artists are feeling overwhelmed. Social Media… dun dun dun…

Gone are the days of sitting in a tattoo shop waiting for walkins 6 days a week and letting word of mouth do all the work.

Nowadays artists are required to be posting on tik tok, Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, Reddit, etc etc and on and on… Lets not forget you have to draw your tattoos, then tattoo them.

Oh wait, do you have a family and hobbies? Well, crap when are you gonna have time for them if you’re busy posting and scheduling and doing consultations in the DMs… its so much… wait, did you make your needle order? Did you want to paint today?

Theres just too much going on.

I don’t think there is a one size fits all solution but I’ll tell you what I did and how I got back to doing more of the things I love to do, more of the tattoos I love to do and the clients I like to work with… and yeah, it was scary at first but wow what a difference in quality of life.

Me and the girls before a Phoenix Suns game

The first thing I did was decide what was important to me… for some it might be easy to fall into an overworking trap, especially if you like the work you’re doing. But for me, it was all about my family. My wife and my daughter. I read something a while back that said something to the effect of -you will spend 80% of your time as a parent with  your child between birth and 14 years.. as my daughter enters the teen years that hit really close to home… my major time as a dad is almost over. Not cool. So for me, my family is important to me. I need to prioritize my family.

Identifying what was important to me allowed me to set…. wait for it….. wait for it…. BOUNDARIES!

I remember so many times that I would stay late to accommodate a client, or come in on my wifes birthday ( yes I actually did that) or schedule appointments from the dinner table. Even when I was home I wasn’t home.

So step one. Establish whats important and set that boundary for yourself.

“But what if I’m a people pleaser and say yes way too often because I don’t want to let anyone down?”

Well then, my friend, you are a lot like me. And since you know this about yourself, you can do what I did. Set up systems that take you away from saying yes to everything.

One of the things I did was get myself a free Google Voice phone number and made sure this would be my only source of communication. Call/text whatever they want. And the beauty of it, your phone number remains yours. You can alway tell when a client is calling or texting and address it during normal business hours.

Then I set up a system with a scheduling software called Calendly. If you’ve never heard of it, its a scheduling tool that you send your client and they can pick a day and time to come meet with you to talk instead of wasting time with the back and forth. I did this for consultations and different hourly time slots but eventually went back to just consultations.

You can even setup an autoresponder on Messenger and Instagram DM’s that sends the link to people when they mention certain keywords like tattoo, appointment, quote etc. Then they can book a consult while you are on a hike with your dog instead of worrying about missing an opportunity.

I also built a Google Form that allowed people to leave me all the info they thought I would need including reference photos and descriptions. I was able to pick and choose who I wanted to work with before they even came in. It was a great way to say no without the pressure of being face to face. And then , if you like the project you can send them the consultation booking link… so easy right. And if you don’t like the project, you can respond with a recommendation of another artist. Win Win.

The last thing I’ll talk about is my weekly calendar. I never let anyone book just any day. I picked Tuesdays as my day for consultations. This kept me from having to feel interrupted in between tattoos and allowed me to focus on working with my clients on those days.

For me, I always want to be home for dinner with my girls. So a hard 6pm end to my day was critical. You can play with what works for you but this was important to me.  It’s this boundary that really matters.

The next few days of the week were exclusively for drawing and tattooing and those wonderful weekends were already booked with family time.

The main point is to put the people and things you want more of, on your calendar first and then fill it in with clients. Theres plenty of time for both. Too many artists think they need to be available all the time, and its simply not true. Fill your cup before you can fill your clients cups.

Now keep in mind this is not a definitive solution but it worked for me to filter out needy clients and allow me to control my calendar. I know some shops don’t work this way and that can be frustrating. But its important to know that you are not a tree, you are able to move around.

This worked so well for me that I built Art and Sol Tattoo Gallery to scale these concepts for all the artists that work there.

If you think you might want to check us out, cool. Check out www.artandsoltattoo.com/tattoo-artist to see if you’d like to work with us! We love artists that want to create a life that includes tattooing and all the things you love!

I really hope you find this a little helpful in setting some boundaries so you can feel like you’ve got work/life balance!

Got any suggestions for ways to streamline the process? email me davidmeektattoos@gmail.com

David Meek

Reflecting on 2021 and the planning 2022

Holy cow, can you even believe we made it this far? Its been one of the weirdest years since, well last year haha.

From storming the Capitol, to new virus variants, mask and no mask debates, the supply chain going kerplooey, and everything in between that we all dealt with in our own ways… its a miracle we made it this far.

But I’m a eternal optimist. I love a challenge. I love trying to maintain positivity while the world burns down around me. I love changing my perspective to find a solution. Well, I don’t love changing my perspective all that much haha.

That being said I found a lot of opportunities to stay positive this past year. I discovered some new mentors via Instagram that really had a profound impact on how I lived this year.

I found a fella by the name of Jesse Itzler and whoa. He puts such a great spin on things that I couldnt help but love. I won’t go too much into his story but you can check out his website HERE.

Me and my Big Ass Calendar

Some things he shared with me was his Big Ass Calendar Club. A huge year at a glance calendar. I love it. Its so obnoxious but that was the appeal. It takes weird things to get me excited to plan, and this did it.

One of the biggest take aways I got from Jesse and his calendar was the amount of time we have left with the people we love the most. If the average life expectancy in the U.S. is 72.6 and my mom is 59, and I visit her for 1 week every 2 years… I get 6.5 weeks left with my mom face to face. NOT 13 YEARS… Is your mind blown, because mine was.

I made it a point to visit not just with my parents but my wifes as well. We get too comfortable sometimes and this math helped me get off my ass and see our family. After I lost my dad in 2018, I can see how much time I wasted. I also want to set a great example to my daughter. Shes a few years away from taking the world head on and its important that my wife and I show her how to care for the people that raised us….No matter how hard it can be lol..

I took this energy and kept it rolling in my personal life too. Making it a point to do more of the things I love with the people I love the most. Its no surprise then, that I spent lots of time with my wife and daughter. Taking my wifes yoga classes twice a week for the last 7-8 months, putting all of my daughters school dates on my big ass calendar before I book any clients, movie dates, basketball games… oooohhh the basketball games. I can’t believe I’m typing this, but I was able to watch my favorite childhood team The Phoenix Suns play in the Playoffs and Game 1 of the Finals in person.

Game 1 of the NBA Finals

I really did make myself and my family a priority this year despite all the crazy… I think thats whats kept me going actually.

Obviously this sounds like a highlight reel, and its meant to. I hope not too braggadocios though, because I’m really proud that I was able to live my life this year a little more intentionally this year. Perhaps thats what got me through 2021.

I added some physical elements this year by playing a few extra rounds of golf at some of my favorite greens, hiking all over the Catalina mountain range and taking on the 3 day backpacking trip from the South Rim of the Grand Canyon to the North Rim. And if you haven’t attempted any cold plunging yet…. do it. Its my new favorite.

Look at me hanging out at oo aaah point in the Grand Canyon

Times were tough don’t get me wrong. Money was tight, relationships felt strained, I had to let go of some people from my shop, we lost some amazing family members along the way, and oh yeah the whole pandemic thing is literally still happening.

I’m fortunate that my wife Johnna and I were able to volunteer very early this year in vaccine distribution to receive our shots and our daughter was able to get hers a few months later. Which was one of the reasons we were able to visit so many of our aging relatives.

The last quarter of the year I took another couple of leaps into the void by taking an opportunity to be mentored by an incredible artist and business man Noah Elias. I spent 8 weeks with him learning about his business in the art world. And this is coming from a guy that is a licensed Disney artist, has painted cars for The Fast and The Furious, a licensed LucasFilm artist just to name a few of his accomplishments. It was like drinking off of a firehose. You cant possibly comprehend everything but the little bits you get are so valuable.

It actually gave me the validation I didn’t know I needed to pursue more of an ownership role at Art and Sol.

I also met some of the most amazing and dedicated clients this year and can’t even begin to express how grateful I am to have their trust. This year I think I made more full sleeves than ever in my career. Ive also switched completely to using Bishop Rotary Wands and Nocturnal Ink. Huge game changers for me. Those brands never compromise quality and I’m happy to use their products with my clients.

So whats next?

For Johnna and I, we’ve got a handful of Suns games left on our mini season ticket package and well, I’ll be honest, you will for sure see me at post season games when the go. And how about a shameless plug? Click here to check out the Suns inspired shirt we made for the shop a few weeks ago to commemorate our killer start to the season.

We are looking to take on the 75 Hard challenge as well, and I’ll be perfectly honest, I’m waiting until my birthday weekend passes… ya know, feast before the famine. Its gonna be fun. I’m excited to see whats on the other side.

For my family, if you know me, you know I’m a Disnerd. So you can expect to see me in Disneyland at least once before the summer and we are already planning a Walt Disney World trip for the fall!

We kinda fell off our rock climbing kick so I’d like to bring that back into the fold for us. And more date nights, movie nights, game nights and just quality time.

But wait theres more haha, what about Art and Sol?

Well, I’m currently looking to add 2-3 new artists to the shop in 2022 as well as a full time studio director. Big picture stuff, I’d love to see us with a graphic artist, social media manager, videographer, copywriter, event planner and marketer. But they will all come in time.

Last year we brewed the Sideshow Sour with our pals Dillinger Brewing and we will be doing another beer and art release as well as a live tattooing event with them again this year! So be on the lookout for that.

And my big event is planned for May 20, 2022. Tucson Day. Think of it as small business Saturday for the Spring and not sponsored by American Express. My goal is to get a few local business together on 5/20 to offer great deals to our city, and with all the local support they receive, we all pour it back into a local childrens charity. There will definitely more about this coming soon.

Ill be doing more blogs, but dang its sooooo hard to be consistent. But thats where that magic is. Consistency.

So without yackin your ear off too much, thats a little summary of my last year and my plans for 2022. I’ve been saying it a bunch the past couple of days, we can’t be successful and just wing it, we have to have a plan.

If you want to work with me or participate in my events shoot me an email to davidmeektattoos@gmail.com and lets connect.

Also if you have any cool life hacks or things I need to try to make my year even better, send it my way!

What are some things you’d like to read from me? Let me know. Til next time.


What to bring to your first tattoo!

Every week, it seems I get the pleasure of making a persons first tattoo.

Me tattooing my dear friend with fun Mickey Mouse tattoo

Its completely normal to be  bit nervous about the whole process. So I thought maybe I’d help out all the future first timers with a short blog about what to do to prepare and what to bring with you to your first tattoo.


Start the whole process by getting some good rest. And this goes for life in general!


Tattoos take a lot out of you. You have to be ready to put some good stuff back in. Bring and drink plenty of water and a few power bars.


Youre gonna be twisting around a bit, best wear some comfy clothes that you dont mind getting dirty. ( some ink and fluids may get on them)


Years ago you just sat there and stared at the wall. Nowadays you stare at your phone. Its great idea to make sure youve got the juice for your phone!


I mentioned comfort but access is important too. Dont wear jeans if youre getting something on your thigh. zip up hoodies are great for back tattoos as well as outdated bathing suits for ribs hips backs and such.

6. PMA

sometimes its unavoidable to be grouchy but youre getting tattooed! this should be a great day.

Theres probably many more things Im forgetting, but this is a great start!

What are your thoughts? What did I forget? Stress balls? Chewing tobacco?

Let me know in the comments or tweet me @davidmeekart

If you want to set up an appointment with me, text my shop Art and Sol Tattoo at 520-324-7358

David Meek

Tucson Tattoo Artist

Is it safe to get a tattoo during Covid-19?

Is it safe to get tattooed?

Are tattoo shops a safe place?

Well it all depends on where you go I suppose. As it is with any business. 

So, is it safe to get a tattoo during a pandemic? 

I for one think yes! But there are some things you need to consider.

I’ve heard stories of some shops here in Tucson cramming artists and clients into a shared space… while that doesn’t sound too bad, it totally increases the chances of a small blood borne pathogen transmission, or in times like today a viral airborne or contact spread incident. 

That’s a risk I’d rather avoid. My personal clientele and that of my shop are higher end folks that are accustomed to a personal experience where their health is the highest priority. I charge premium prices compared to most tattoo artists in Tucson and so, the experience we offer, reflects how serious we take health and safety. 

I’ve had a few clients think we are a bit over the top with our sterilizing practices, but that’s ok with me. The majority value what we offer for them! And that, in my opinion, is how all successful businesses run!

Masks are at the center of every conversation lately.  And it seems like no one can agree on the usefulness.

I have been around some folks early on that were asymptomatic, and we followed CDC guidelines very strictly.

I put the health and safety of everyone that works at my shop or visits my shop as the highest priority on our list!

We require all of our artists and support staff and even my daughter to be current on blood borne pathogen training as well as covid training!

When you visit our shop, we require everyone to wear a face covering that covers both your nose and mouth, we have put in place a designated area for your non essential items during the tattoo. Purses, keys, backpacks, coats , basically anything you dont need while sitting for a few hours.

Then we ask you to sterilize your necessary items. Phones, chargers, waterbottles etc at our stainless steel station at the entrance.

We follow that up with a trip to the restroom to wash hands, so that you can come back to your clean things, with clean hands.

A quick temperature check and you are ready to get tattooed.

Everyone that comes in, follows this procedure. And it is the best feeling to k me that everyone is safe.

Throughout the day all of the entrance handles, light switches and any high traffic areas are routinely sterilized!

So if you are wondering if it’s safe to get tattooed during the coronavirus pandemic. I assure you that there are places that are putting in the extra effort to lessen your chances of exposure.

My feeling is that, it’s easier to tone down our efforts if we can agree that it isnt that bad, but I sure as hell dont want to be caught off guard if they raise safety protocols.

I for one, do not want to close my business again.


Hiring Tattoo Artists isnt easy

Its me doing what I do best.

Its seems to me that every single tattoo shop is experiencing unprecedented boom times. So much so that Im seeing post after post on multiple tattoo shop social media pages announcing that they are hiring. I admit, even I have put out the help wanted call for my shop Art and Sol.

As of this writing, Im currently booking for spring of 2021 which is a bit hectic when trying to consider birthdays, holidays, weekend getaways with the family, school breaks etc etc.

Im beyond grateful for the trust when it comes to making tattoos for my clients. In fact, the work Ive been asked to do is really starting to line up with the work that lights me up. The large realistic black and grey work!

The problem for me is, the more of that large realistic black and grey tattoo work I get asked to do, the less time I have for the work that got me to where I am today.

Its quite a new dilemma for me. Which is why I was looking to bring in someone that could use a change. Someone that needed a place to feel like they could grow as an artist and a person with our culture.

My clients deserve the best I have for them, but thats coming at a 5 month wait in some cases for a smaller tattoo.

The best I can come up with is bringing in an artist that shares the same values and moral compass as the shop artistically, and as a business in the Tucson community.

Someone that my clients will feel just as comfortable with as they would with me.

Its less of a financial thing for our shop and more for my clients. I feel a responsibility to make sure they get great tattoos. And not have to wait half a year lol. Or settle for a tattoo artist that they are unsure about.

So I guess the point of this post is to let everyone know that I am actively trying to address my new demand and still take care of everyone that wants to get tattooed.

I do have 3 shop helpers that hope to begin a tattoo apprenticeship with me and that will be a great boost of energy for the shop and to the tucson tattoo community. But til then, Ill practice patience and continue working very hard to make things better for the shop, the artists present and future, and our shop helpers.

Im taking appointments for large black and grey realistic tattoos almost exclusively and my rates have increased to counter the new demand. If you are interested in booking with me text Art and Sol at 520-314-7358 to start the process.


Art and Sol Tattoo is Turning 1

Holy freakin moly, what a year its been. We opened up Art and Sol Tattoo Gallery in October 2019. With stars in our eyes, and hope in our hearts that this was going to be something special. Well… who could have predicted one of the craziest events in modern history.. you know the whole Covid 19 thing. Well, despite the obstacles, we have pushed on and leaned into the wind as it were. While it hasnt been easy for anyone of us, it sure will be memorable.

My personal philosophy was that this was the best thing for small businesses. It created an opportunity to grow and innovate in new ways. The playing field has been leveled and while others wait for a return to normal, Im playing offense and pushing harder than ever before.

Our shop is growing with new energy from our shop helpers (soon to be tattoo apprentices) and new clients!

We are working on making everything we do the best it can be…. which reminds me of a quote… How you do anything is how you do everything. And we are setting the bar higher for ourselves in everything.

October will be 1 year of many. That isnt even a question. But our first year is a testament to our resolve.

Im working on figuring out how we can celebrate the shops birthday together and really make it special. Which, given the circumstances, it will undoubtably be.

If you would like to participate shoot the shop an email artandsoltattoo@gmail.com

If you want to be featured in our birthday video, send us a happy birthday video to artandsoltattoo@gmail.com

Stay tuned for more!!


Best Tucson Tattoo Artist

Hey all, great news, for the 3rd year in a row, I’ve been included as a finalist in The Tucson Weekly’s Best of Tucson. Its something that truly makes me proud. I love Tucson. And to be included with really amazing tattoo artists is quite an honor. I love to make Tucson a better place by making tattoos for the people of this community.

Tucson Weeklys Best of Tucson

HERES THE LINK TO VOTE FOR ME ! and your other favorite Tucson businesses!

If youre looking to collect some work from me, you can shoot the shop a text to book a consultation. 520-314-7358

Right now Im booked about 4-5 months out but theres always random opportunities to get in!

its me

Best of Tucson is back!!

Its that wonderful time of year! The Tucson Weekly is accepting nominations for the best of Tucson. Ive been fortunate to be nominated in the top 5 for Best Tattoo Artist the last couple years and would love to keep the streak alive! If youve been lucky enough to have been tattooed in my new shop Art and Sol Tattoo Gallery, then you know all to well that it is the best place to get tattooed in Tucson. If you haven’t, well, we eagerly await you coming down. Not only is the shop super clean and inviting, we also host amazing local artists every month (pandemic permitting) in our gallery space.

Click hereto begin nominating now

Nominations for Best Tattoo Shop and Best Tattoo Artist in Tucson: Art and Sol Tattoo Gallery and David Meek

Art and Sol Tattoo CoVid Closure

Well, here I am, finally writing about the current situation for us at the shop. Its not my favorite thing, but thats ok. 

As per Mayor Romero, non-essential businesses are to be closed by 8am this morning. 

Molly has been home isolating for a few days now and we are happy to join you and her in isolation. 

Johnna and I have been talking about this for days on end. Each morning we wake up and check what we call the “damage report”

Its not an ideal way to start the day, but it eliminated alot of confusion that can occur with social media and media outlets. 

our favorites are the

World Health Organization
Pima County
City of Tucson
the office of Governor Ducey

So as of today we are officially closed for appointments until at least the 17th of April.

Johnna and I plan to shoot some texts to everyone that will be affected between now and then. 

Our plan as of now is to get all of our drawings and design work done, so when this is leveled out and we can have you back in the shop, we will fit you in however and wherever we can!

I am still doing  virtual consultations for tattoos, but am booking for august as of now. we can use skype ,google hangouts, messenger, or IG as of now.

So thats the main news here. Im hoping that you are doing well and are able to stay safe if you have to work or stay sane if you are stuck at home.

Our little family just discovered how much we love rock climbing and its killing us not to get over to the rock gym. But we arent sick so we have to be grateful for the right things instead of bummed about the things we cant do.

You have to know that I am a chronic optimist. I try to find the opportunity and  drive  in most instances…. and this no different. My wheels have been turning for weeks now. 

Ill be bringing back The Tattooers Podcast next week, so stay tuned for that…( send me questions youd like to have answered or tattoo artists youd like to know more about)

We want to do everything we can to stay open after all of this. 

What kinds of things can we do for you?
Limited run T-shirts?
live drawing?
Drawing tutorials?

Send me any and all suggestions. I am game to work on things that will make you happy!!

Johnna will be teaching online yoga classes out of the shop too! you can find her on Instagram for now but a youtube channel is in the near future. 

Ill wrap this thing up for now, but just know that we are so grateful for you. Art and Sol is a big part of my life, and it wouldnt exist if people like you didnt support it. 

So for now, on behalf of Johnna, Molly and Myself, Thank you for everything, and we will see you soon.. online or in person!


L-R: Johnna Warren, David Meek, Molly Jaffee in front of Tucsons best tattoo shop Art and Sol Tattoo Gallery