13 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Getting a Tattoo

1.  What are you going to choose for a design?  Building bridges with moments in life through permanent expression can be a very important decision. Tattoos should be a marriage.  Consider your design and make sure it is a match fit for life.

2.  How do I get started in finding a tattoo artist and shop?  Visit places, call around, and check web sites.  If questions seem annoying to a shop, then maybe another choice in shops would be worth while.

3.  How do I know the shop is clean?    Make sure the shop practices in a clean and sterile work environment. Ask about autoclaves and when and how often they are tested.  The shop should have no problems with any requests to see their autoclave and test results as well.


4.   Is the shop you are planning to choose a sober environment?  This can be a very tricky question to figure out but important just the same.  If a shop is not clean and sober, it can lack consistency.

5.   What kind of experience does the shop have?  How long has the shop and the Artist been in business.  Ask around town to see what locals say about the shop.

6.   Are you comfortable with the artist and the feel of the shop?  Go to the shop and ask questions.  A shop may be busy with clients at the time of your arrival so be patient.  If  the establishment can not be bothered with your presence and questions, then this is a sure sign that you may not be in the right place.

7.   Do you want a piece of tattoo flash or something custom?   Many Tattooers are truly artists and can help you with designing a piece that is just right for you.  Make sure you have some idea of what you want.  Be very leery if an Artist wants to do his or her own thing and make sure they are out to make your dream a reality.

8.   How do I get an idea?  Anything at all can be a tattoo from your favorite morning coffee cup to the logo on your shirt label!  The sky is the limit and it can be very personal or just something that appeals and speaks to you.  In any case, doing your own research is highly recommended.  For instance, if you are set in getting a fairy for your next tattoo, go on the Internet and look at fairies, look at wings, look at positions and faces so that you can narrow down your likes and dislikes.  Accumulate all your data on hard copy so that you can bring it with you to your preferred Tattoo Artist.

9.  What if I offend my Tattoo Artist with artwork I bring in or anything else?  A good Tattoo Artist will work with you and help guide you to getting exactly what you want.  It is your tattoo and they are the vehicle in which to get it.  If they are offended, then again, you may need to continue your search for a Tattoo Artist that resonates with you and your ideas. 

10.  How do I find out how to take care of my tattoo?   It is very important to have the correct aftercare product for healing your new tattoo.  It should not contain any petroleum products . There are so many different ways that Tattoo Artists tell their clients to take care of tattoos.  Listen to your Tattoo Artists instructions.  Take them very seriously.  If tattoos are not taken care of properly many unfavorable  things can happen such as loss of color, slow healing, infection, extreme swelling and discomfort.  A Tattoo Artist should have a non petroleum based product line and soap available at the shop for you to bring home.  You should not have to go hunt down aftercare on your own.  If the shop does not carry adequate aftercare, find someone who cares enough about their clients to carry it in their shop.  You can go on line to find many different aftercare products with natural ingredients that help rebuild skin tissue and quicken the tattoo healing process.

11.   Should I put my soul mates name on me?  Well, this is really not recommended for various reasons.  There is something about tattooing names of mates on your body for life.  It’s like tattoo taboo.  If a mates name is on your body permanently, most of the time it is a regret in the future and a failed relationship. If you want your relationship to last and you want to honor your mate with a tattoo on your body, perhaps something that reminds you of them would be a better choice.   Most Tattoo Artists prefer annuity but making money on artwork that is regretful is usually not their idea of  fun.  If you must choose names, choose those that never would change like parents, children, or siblings etc.

12.  Should I take into consideration a Tattoo Artists professional opinion?  The answer is yes!  Always be open to hearing information about design and placement.  Then after all is said,you still have the option to do it your way or go to another Artist.

13.  Can a bad tattoo be fixed?  Yes.  Cover ups and or resurrection of an existing tattoo  are  not always easy.  Depending on the darkness and the size, it can be tricky.  Your choices for cover ups are limited unlike a new tattoo.  Remember, a tattoo should be for life so take your time and choose wisely so that you do not have to find yourself in a cover up  predicament.  It is always more exciting to put more time and money into additional tattoos then to have to fix an undesirable choice.

So, with all said and done, take your time, choose wisely, do your homework, and happy tattooing!