Tattoos can be very personal and very expressive forms of body art, but they’re not for everyone. Even if you like the look of tattoos on others, getting inked is essentially permanent. Here’s a checklist to see if you’re ready to commit.
What you’re Getting
Before you step foot in a tattoo parlor, you need to know without a doubt what you’ll be getting.
- Do you have a design picked out to show the artist exactly what you want? Bringing in an actual photo or sketch of your ideal ink is the best way to show the artist what you want. Failing to do so may result in a tattoo that doesn’t look exactly the way you planned.
- Do you know where you want the tattoo? Are you sure the area is large enough to fit the design you’d like? Are you 100% sure you want this tattooed on you forever? Sure, technically you can get a tattoo removed, but the process is often more expensive and painful than getting inked in the first place.
Where You’re Getting It
Choosing a tattoo parlor is as important, if not more so, than choosing what you want tattooed on your body. Speak with satisfied friends or relatives about their tattoos and ask where they got it done. Recommendations are a great way to be referred to a tattoo artist that really knows what he/she is doing. Don’t just walk into the first tattoo parlor you see; ask around, check out their references, and look at previous work they’ve done to see if the artist will be the right fit for you.
Are You Healthy Enough?
There are certain health conditions that may affect your ability to be tattooed safely. If you’re diabetic or have HIV or Hepatitis C, you should consult with your doctor about whether you should be inked. If you have any blemishes or skin conditions in the area you want your tattoo, allow them to heal beforehand. Also, please don’t come into a tattoo parlor while intoxicated or under the influence of any substance. Most reputable tattoo artists will not tattoo you in this condition.
Once you’ve decided that you really, really want a tattoo, make sure the artist uses a new needle and that he/she has the proper sterilization devices. Your safety is very important when getting a tattoo, and it’s important that the artist follow all health and safety regulations to the letter to avoid nasty infections or diseases.
After you’ve read this checklist and are firmly committed to the idea of having a tattoo, read all your after-care instructions properly to keep your new ink looking beautiful. Have fun showing off your tattoo!