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Small business owners (tattoo artists) generally don’t have the time to browse through the occasional guide or book. Simply put, there are too many other things that you need to take care of and stay on top of before you can even think of reading a book.

But what if we told you that we have put together a list of books that is tailor-made for you, the best books on tattooing, and running a tattoo studio?

Yes, you heard that, right!

I have put together an extensive list of books that can help you with the ins and outs of tattoo artists and parlor owners’ day-to-day processes. This list covers every book you need to have in your library and read once, from business guides to design archives to operating a tattoo studio software. Let's get started with the countdown.

For your convenience, we have divided this list into two categories: the first includes books that cover the generals and specifics on how to run a tattoo business (yes, they exist!), and the second kind is books that cover a wide variety of topics like designs, their history, inspirations, and of course, ideas for you.

List 1: Best Books for Running A Tattoo Studio

How to Open a Tattoo Studio Business by Coen Lavell

In this simple and easy to consume guide, the author Coen guides every beginner with all steps that need to be followed to open up a tattoo studio. This book is a highly rated guide on opening your studio and driving it to profitability in the shortest time possible. From naming the studio to set up a legal business unit, marketing, trademarks, and more - you will find a more practical guide to the business. Order your copy and read this today, especially if you're a beginner.

Essential Tattoo: The Complete Guide by Albert Diezhandino

From medical aspects of tattooing to advanced techniques and how to perform them, this book is the complete book ever written on the art of tattooing. If you are trying to get started in the world of tattooing, this is your Bible. If you've already set up a shop and want to scale, this book gives your expanding team an excellent reference point. All in all, this is one book that your tattoo studio library cannot afford to miss.

The Craft of Tattooing by Erick Alayon

Erick has been tattooing since 1988, and he guarantees to teach you how to tune your shop and the machines in it. Not only that, between the covers of this book, you will also find tips and guides on coloring, outlining, shading, and a lot more. Finally, machine maintenance and replacement guides are also covered in this ultimate guide.

List 2: Best Books on Tattooing

Tattoo Prodigies: A Collection of the Best Tattoos by the World's Best Tattoo Artists by Mike DeVries

This is the ultimate coffee table (or should we say tattoo table) book for all the visitors and customers coming into your studio. Which studio owner wouldn't want to have a colorful gallery of the world's best tattoo accomplishments and inspiring interviews and stories? Not only is this book eye catchy for artists, but the content is proven to motivate those wanting to learn and advance - our most highly recommended book on the list (and not just because of its beautiful cover).

World Atlas of Tattoo by Anna Friedman

As the name suggests, this book is a wonderfully illustrated coffee-table book that carries various tattoo styles and remarkable tattoo practitioners from ancient times to date. With more than 700 mind-blowing illustrations, the World Atlas of Tattoo considers contemporary and historical tattoo practices in America, Europe, North and Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, the Pacific Islands, Asia, and Australia. If you're someone who is not only interested in the art but also its history, pick this book up without a second thought.

Wear Your Dreams: My Life in Tattoos by Ed Hardy and Joel Salvin

The chances of a tattoo artist not having heard about Ed Hardy is zero. Chances also are that you consider him your role model - and we don't blame you for it. Ed is credited with leading the movement that recognized tattooing as a rich and valid art form and then transformed his career into a billion-dollar company. Wear your dreams is a detailed account of Ed Hardy's story and how he went from tattooing street kids at the age of 10 to unimaginable fame and money. We like a name coined by the book to address him: The Godfather of Tattoos.

Japanese Tattoos: History, Culture, Design by Brian Ashcraft

What do you think are the most requested tattoos worldwide? Our bet would be Japanese tattoos, or Irezumi, as they are called. This book is a must-have for you if you often get requests from clients to get Japanese symbols inked - they often don't know what they mean, which will clear out all doubts. Alongside this, this book is lined with photos and illustrations that follow the history of Japanese tattooing. This puts kanji symbols and iconography in their proper context so your clients will be better informed.

High Voltage Tattoo by Kat Von D

If you're a tattoo enthusiast, the chances are high that you have binge-watched LA Ink on TV. This book is a highly graphical perspective of the tattoo culture and its impact and future by Kat Von D, the celebrated star of LA Ink. If you're a fan, this is a must-have. And even if you're not, this book, with its gorgeous cover, handmade style pages, and typography, is bound to make you a fan of her work.

That covers our books you must have in your library as a tattoo studio owner. Of course, this list is not exhaustive, and you will find many books around various topics and genres within the tattoo culture; we believe that these are books that you must have to have read. So, put your reading cap on and pump those creative juices into your neurons!

Written by Ashley Johnson

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