3 First-Time Tattoo Tips For Newbies

If you have been thinking about getting your first tattoo, you may be super excited, really anxious, or most likely a combination of the two emotions. Like anything you haven't done before in life, it's natural to have a fear of the unknown. Here are three tips to help alleviate your qualms and find the best tattoo artist and shop for you.

Do Your Research!

As eager as you may be to get your tattoo, it's extremely important you investigate your options. A tattoo pretty much lasts forever, so you are naturally going to want perfection. Everyone has seen the photographs of tattoo nightmares that circulate social media. The last thing you want to end up with is a tattoo of misspelled words and primitive, creepy looking artwork! Start your investigation by asking around and checking with friends who have tattoos for their personal recommendations. Check to see if any of the suggested tattoo parlors have websites and online portfolios. Perusing a studio's portfolio is a great way to get an idea of the style and technical skill of their artists. Look on websites like Yelp and other crowd-sourced review sites; this is an excellent way to get a lot of feedback from previous and current customers.

Visit Tattoo Shops

Once you have narrowed down your options, visit two or three shops to speak with the staff in-person. Ask them about their license and health certificate. Check to see if the place looks physically clean. Inquire about their sterilization procedures. A reputable business will take the time to communicate with you, answer your questions, and allay your fears.

Be sure to look through both their physical portfolios—most artists each have their own—as well as their idea books. Even if you already have a good idea of what you want, perusing the books can help narrow your focus and provide more concrete direction for the tattoo artist when the time comes.

Think Long And Hard About What You Want And Where You Want It

You may be madly in love with the latest pop star or cult TV show, but the odds are against anyone even remembering who or what it was five years down the line much less decades later. Getting your boyfriend's name tattooed on your lower back—or anywhere else—is not a good idea, no matter how much you love him. Tattoo placement is just as important as the tattoo itself. Generally, you will want to stay away from any tattoo that cannot be covered up by clothing, so this means no facial or hand tattoos.

To get started on your research, contact a tattoo shop, like The Ink Lab, for more information.