The first thing you need to do before actually getting your tattoo, is to do your research. I say this because as much as I love the art of tattoos, I have also heard too many stories of disappointment and tattoos gone wrong. All of which could have been easily avoided by doing some research.
Apart from the fun and exciting part of searching for or designing your very own special tattoo design, you need to spend time researching various tattoo studios and tattoo artists. It is very important that the tattoo studio that you go to has a reputation for keeping high standards of hygiene and cleanliness and is professional about their business. If you walk into a tattoo parlor and the staff are drinking beers while tattooing, then that's a sure sign for you to walk out the door straight away. However, if you find you are having to pay a little more for going to a tattoo studio that uses quality machines and needles, and high grade inks, then it is definitely worth it. The last thing you want is to get a skin infection or disease because the tattoo equipment was not sterilized properly or the inks were of a low grade. As for the tattoo artist, you also want to make sure they have high standards of personal hygiene and artistic skill. You're basically allowing them to stick a whole bunch of needles into you, so it would be a good idea to ask him/her about their experience with tattooing. Find out how long they have been doing it and ask to see a portfolio of their work. Seeing examples of their work will help you with choosing the right tattoo artist, as each artist has their own style, which may or may not be what suits you. There are not lack of directories of tattoo studios and tattoo shops. So it is not hard to "find tattoo studio" per-se. However, it is difficult to tell which one has good tattoo artist and equipment. After you've flipped your list of tattoo studios, the next thing to do is to visit them. Before you even enter a studio, get in your head that you are THE customer, and don't let anyone or the atmosphere intimidate you. A lot of tattoo studios are a small, a little dark and the people inside has all sorts of fierce looking tattoos. Go in confidently and look around. If you meet with mean artists, leave immediately. Getting a tattoo should be a pleasant event. Next, do take a look around the shop. Akin yourself to window shopping. Look at the neatness of the stop. It is likely that there will be pictures and Flash (tatoo designs) all over the walls. There may also be price list and regulations. Look for signs that indicate sanitation. This is important in an age of infectious disease If your have a good general feel, speak to the tattoo artist. Most of them are very helpful, especially when they know that you're having your first tattoo. Do note that however, they should not be your source of information for everything. You should have done your research on general tattoo stuff before you look for an artist.
If you're convince that you've found a nice artist, do ask to see their portfolio. Do not be impressed by illustrations. They are usually purchased from other artists who might not even do the tattoo job itself. You need to verify the work of your artist. The portfolio is a collection of photos of the artist's work. If they don't have one, beware. Another way is to watch the end product live. If you're lucky, you might see a new customer with his or her new tattoo done. That's the best assessment you can get. Some people think that it is bit rude to ask to see the artist's work. Rest assure, all good artist will be more than happy to show you their work. If you're proud of your work, why would you be upset. Remember this is a piece of art that is on Your body, and will last a long long time.
If the tattoo artist has passed all these, and most importantly, you feel good about the artist. It's time to go ahead with your first piece of art. P.S. As I've mentioned before, do you research before visiting your artist. Get some designs and choose roughly what you want. Better still, if you like a design, print it out and show your tattoo artist. Most people need at least a few hours before they choose the design for such an important event. For some people, finding the right design is the hardest part when getting a tattoo. It is true that choosing the best tattoo design for your body is difficult. However, you need to understand that finding the right tattoo studio is more difficult. That is because there are hundreds of studios out there that can do a good job. But because you are getting a tattoo that will reflect your personality, being good is not enough. What you need is an excellent tattoo studio that can provide the best and the safest service for you. If you want to find the best tattoo parlor with the finest tattoo artists, then the only place to go is Arizona. Arizona is currently the center of tattoo art and hosts some of the finest body art studios.
In fact, Arizona hosts the annual Tattoo Expo which showcases the best works of U.S. based tattoo artists. This means that the entire tattoo industry in the United States recognize Arizona as the foremost destination for the tattoo loving crowd. Your search for the finest tattoo parlors would be easier if you head on to Arizona. If you have friends with body tattoos, then it is also best to seek information from them. Ask your friends where they got their tattoos and seek recommendations from them. Most probably, your friends will give you their honest opinions about any tattoo service. The opinions of your friends count a lot in choosing the finest tattoo parlors. However, you should check the quality of the tattoos on their bodies. Determine if the designs and quality of workmanship would pass your individual requirements. This way, you will know what to expect from a tattoo parlor even before you visit it.
One of the best ways to find the best tattoo service is to visit its place of business. A tattoo parlor is considered as an art gallery by tattoo artists so you will be able to find different designs and body art in it. This could significantly help you in determining the quality of workmanship of individual tattoo artists. While you are in the parlor, you should ask the owner or staff some relevant questions. You can inquire if the studio or artist has a certification from a major tattoo or body art organization. Find out also if the tattoo parlor is following safety standards like opening new tattoo needles for each customer and sterilizing equipments before using them. You will be able to see also if the artists are wearing sanitary gloves. By visiting the tattoo parlor, you can get a concrete picture of how the artists perform safe and sanitary tattooing. If you are not satisfied with the practices of a studio, then simply walk away and find other tattoo parlors that follow safety standards. Getting the best and safest tattoo service is not simple. You need to do a lot of research and personal observations. This way, you can ensure that you will only get the best and safest service from a professional tattoo studio.