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How You Can Get a Good Tattoo: What to do Before Getting Your Tattoo

Updated on May 18, 2012

Have a Good Reason for Getting a Tattoo

Think about your tattoo before you get it. Don't get tattooed on an impulse because you will probably regret it in the long run. Put a lot of thought into what you want to put permanently on your body. Your tattoo should mean something to you, something that you know you will care about forever. Get a good idea of what you want and sit on it for a while. If you still want the same thing a month or two down the road then go get it done!

Have an idea of where you want your tattoo to go and plan for the future. If you want to go into a professional career, they may not allow visible tattoos. Also, be aware that as you age your skin is going to sag so try not to get your ink in a place that makes it so you can't tell what your tattoo is 20-40 years down the road.

Get A Good Tattoo Artist

You want to get your tattoo from someone who has a good reputation and who produces great artwork so do some research before just going to any tattoo artists. You can go online and read some reviews and make sure the artist has been in business for a long time. If any of your friends or family members have gotten tattoos, ask them how their experience was and for advice on who to go to.

Go to the shop and look at the work the tattoo artists have done or online where many artists have their work up for people to see. Make sure the environment is clean and professional so you feel comfortable and confident about getting your tattoo there.

If you are willing to travel to get the best work possible, here are some sites with links to the world's best artists:

Bring Your Tattoo Idea To Your Artist

After deciding on an artist make an appointment to meet with him or her to discuss your idea. Have something specific in mind when you go in so you don't waste your time or the artist's time. The best thing to do is bring in a rough sketch or picture of something similar to what you want. If you give them a really broad idea you aren't going to get exactly what you had in mind and won't be very satisfied with the end result.

Taking this step will make it possible for you to get the tattoo you had in mind instead of something you are going to regret because there is something about it that you don't like. At this time the artist will be able to give you their input on how well the tattoo is going to work out and how they can shape it to the part of your body you are wanting to get your ink.

Tattoo Colors

Have a general idea of the coloring you want for your tattoo, if any at all. Be aware at this point that sometimes you can't get exactly what you want with coloring sometimes. This is because some colors or shading ideas just won't work and the tattoo artist isn't going to want you going around with a bad shading pattern telling everyone who did your work.

Tell your artist what you have in mind and listen to their ideas. They are the experts and will try their hardest to give you what you want.

How Much do Tattoos Cost?

Be ready to pay a high price for high quality work. Most good tattoo artists charge at least $100 an hour and sometimes up to $500 an hour depending on their demand and reputation. Make sure you save up for the work you want done. If you go and spend $50 for a large area and it turns out looking bad you will probably have to spend at least $300 more for someone else to go back and fix it.

Don't go in and say "I want to get a large back piece but I only have $50." The artist is not going to take you seriously and will probably be offended. They are just like any other type or artist and deserve to be paid and treated like one too.

What to do Before Getting a Tattoo

Before going to get your tattoo you have to shower and shave the area you are getting work done on. You have to shave the area to avoid infection. If they have to shave you there it will probably be a little embarrassing and will just waste time. So instead of paying extra to be shaved there, shave at home and save everyone from some unpleasantness.

Also, before going in to get your ink done make sure you eat a good meal. This will help with your pain tolerance so you don't get light-headed or nauseous. Make sure that you don't drink any alcohol before getting your tattoo. This includes having a heavy drinking binge the night before. If there is a lot of alcohol in your blood system you will bleed a lot when getting your tattoo which ruins the quality of your art and is a pain for the artist.

Tattoo Aftercare

Your tattoo artist will tell you what you should put on your tattoo for the next couple of weeks in order to keep the quality in good shape. Different artists like to use different lotions, goo's, etc. Just take their advice and apply whatever they tell you too.

There are some common things every artists will tell you, these include the following:

  • avoid sunlight and indoor tanning so there is no overdrying of your tattoo
  • do not pick at your tattoo, scabbing is normal but if you pick at it you will lose some or most of the color in that area
  • if the area itches, smack it don't scratch it
  • avoid any clothing that will rub against your new ink
  • wash with an antibacterial soap


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    • mieketownsend profile image

      mieketownsend 5 years ago from Washington State

      Nice hub! It is always scarey getting tattoos done in a new town or from someone you dont know. My tattoo artist just moved further away than I can currently justify driving to get ink done. Unfortunately, I will have to do so because I have a couple of large pieces that are not finished yet and having someone else finish them will be WAY more expensive than if I have him finish them. Sigh... after that, I will be searching for a new artist that is closer to me. That will probably take about 6 months to a year to accomplish since I have some pretty high criteria. Anyway...look forward to reading some of your other hubs.

    • Sadie14 profile image

      Brittany B 5 years ago from U.S.

      Thank you jasper! I learned the hard way and got ink done at a place I wasn't familiar with and it didn't turn out horrible but definitely now what I wanted. It's a little scary getting tattoos done in a new town or from someone you don't know.

    • profile image

      jasper420 5 years ago

      Great artical I have to many tattoos to count and I dont regret one of them I know there are people out there that do regret getting ink this is a very usefull artical! Any one considering a tattoo should read this. Well put togeather and nicely done!