The decision to get a tattoo is a personal one and is different for every person. Tattoos are permanent additions to the body and, if all goes well, a permanent work of art. Many people have been to known to get a tattoo on the fly rather than thinking it through, and for some, it may work out all right, but there are just as many others who might tell you they regret not planning better. There are several things you can do to prepare for getting a tattoo. When you consider that a tattoo is permanent, you might like to be as well prepared for the occasion as possible.
Most people are of one of two minds before getting a tattoo. You either have a very good idea of what you want tattooed or you don’t. If you have in mind what you want and have the gift of artistic ability, draw out your picture or design to take to the tattoo artist. If you lack that ability, you will need to clearly explain what you want to a tattoo artist.
On the other hand, if you don’t know what you want a tattoo of, the first thing to do to prepare for getting a tattoo is to decide. It’s okay to know you want a tattoo and not to know what specific design you want, but approaching the artist with no design idea is a bad idea. Another bad idea is to have names added to a tattoo, unless they are your children's names or the name is in memory of a loved one. If you want a custom tattoo rather than a design from a studio’s book, it’s going to take some time.
Another important step when you prepare for getting a tattoo is to know or find a talented and licensed tattoo artist. If you don’t know anyone who has experience with an artist, you’ll have to find your own. Pay attention when you’re out locally, and if you see someone with a particularly striking design or well-done tattoo, stop and ask them who did it. Most people have no qualms whatsoever telling you about their tattoo artist.
Find local artists through the phonebook and visit their studios. Look for a clean and sterile environment, and someone who is licensed to give a tattoo and has the credentials to prove it. If you walk into a studio and there’s a dog lying on the floor or a cat sitting in the window, think again.
Besides what and who, where is another factor to keep in mind when you prepare for getting a tattoo. The place on your body where you put the tattoo should be well thought out. A woman might have thought she wanted a tattoo on her ankle until she had to wear a formal bridesmaid’s dress in her best friend’s wedding. Remember, if you want to be able to conceal your tattoo for any reason, ankles, wrists, hands, face, neck, and arms are not prime spots. Think about your back, stomach, thighs, or the tops of your feet, all places that can be easily covered if a situation warrants.
Finally, the number one thing you can do to prepare for getting a tattoo is to realize beforehand that tattooing is an artistic process, but one that involves needles, and those needles do break the skin. It can be briefly uncomfortable and even painful, but once you start, you can’t very well quit. Remember, too, that for a short period of time after getting a tattoo, there will be directions to follow for healing. A qualified tattoo artist will supply you with the necessary information to keep the tattooed area free of infection and healing quickly. If you prepare for getting a tattoo with some foresight into the process, you’re guaranteed to get more enjoyment out of the artistic addition to your body than if you get one on a whim.