1. Find a design that is right for you.

There are several different elements that play into the design of your tattoo. Make sure you understand the different types of tattoo styles, whether or not you want color, the size of the design, the meaning behind the tattoo, and if it’s going to be simple or complex.

2. Know where you want to place your tattoo.

Knowing where you want your tattoo helps you visualize your new tattoo and is useful information for your tattoo artist. Knowing the placement of your tattoo will help you anticipate the level of pain you may expect.

3. Find the right artist for you.

Not all tattoo artists will be knowledgeable in meeting your tattoo needs. You’ll want to find an artist that is knowledgeable in tattooing your skin tone and if you are wanting color, you need to find an artist that can tattoo color on your skin tone. Many artists will tell you that they are efficient in this process, but most are not. Do yourself a favor and research for yourself.

Look at the artist's portfolio. You should see several examples of the artist's ability to tattoo your skin tone. If you don’t see any examples that match your skin tone, move on to the next artist.

If you find an artist whose portfolio matches your skin tone, see if they have any tattoos with your desired style. If you are wanting a color tattoo, but all you see are black and grey tattoos, it’s probably best to find another artist.

Speaking of color, if a tattoo artist tells you that darker skin tones cannot get color tattoos, move on. Tattooing color on darker skin tones is possible, but you want to work with someone who knows what they’re doing. The artist's portfolio should have several examples of color tattoos on darker skin tones.

Be careful of artists who use to much detail. Sometimes less is more. The more detail in the tattoo, the darker the tattoo will be once it has healed. Experience is key.

Have the artist send you pictures of healed tattoos. Tattoos usually look great when they are first done, but it's what they look like once they’ve healed that is important.

Check the artists reviews. People are pretty honest when leaving reviews. Use their testimonial as a promising reference

4. Be prepared to pay for quality.

This seems like a no brainer, but it’s not. Tattoos are expensive and if you want a great quality tattoo, be willing to pay for it. You shouldn’t have to donate a kidney, but don’t haggle or look for a discount.

If you think your artist' s prices are too high, shop around and ask other artists what their prices are. You’ll likely find that they are all within the same price range.

Be weary of cheap tattoos. You’ll spend more money trying to cover them down the road.

5. Prepare your skin, body and mind for your tattoo.

Make sure you are well hydrated on the day of your tattoo. Hydrated skin will help the tattoo process.

Eat before your tattoo and carry some sweets in your pocket. Believe it or not, being well nourished before a tattoo helps with the pain by maintaining a healthy blood sugar level.

Tattoos can be painful. Anticipate and prepare mentally for the pain. Remember to breathe during the process.


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