I get asked this question a lot - "Who is the best tattoo artist and where are they located?" I have always found this a difficult question to answer because every tattooist has their own unique skills and tattoos that they prefer inking over others. So the answer to this question would have to be personal preference. It is therefore your decision on which tattoo artist you choose to use.
Skills to look for in a good tattoo artist:
#1 Friendly, and easy to talk to through the whole process
Being able to communicate clearly with your artist is crucial as it lets him/her know exactly what you want with your tattoo design. A good artist should walk you through each step of the tattooing process and make you feel as comfortable as possible. Getting a tattoo for the first time can be quite frightening since you don't know what to expect, but a good tattoo artist will make everything clear to you before they begin inking.
#2 Find which tattoos they are confident inking onto your body
A good tattoo artist should be skilled and confident in inking a number of different designs, but more often than not they tend to have a few personal favorites which they like to ink. I know of one tattooist who said he enjoyed inking angel wing tattoo designs, and as a result he had pictures to show of some stunning angel wing tattoo designs that he did in the past that looked fantastic. Find out what tattoos your tattooist enjoys inking, but don't be put off if he doesn't mention the design you want. Like I mentioned before, a good tattooist should be skilled in inking all designs not matter what the type.
So to conclude, make sure you consider a wide variety of factors when looking for the best tattoo artist. Often it comes down to personal preferences, word-of-mouth and past experiences you or others have had with different artists which will help you make your decision.