Getting body art is an extremely personal decision, and knowing how to pick the right tattoo is crucial. If you don’t take the time to choose carefully, you could end up sporting something downright embarrassing. Have no fear; we can give you some guidelines to make sure you are not stuck with something that makes you cringe every time you look in the mirror.
Plan your design. If you’ve been hanging out with your buddies, perhaps drinking heavily, and someone dares you to get a tattoo, you should stand firm and decline. The only exception to this rule is if you have already planned a design and have a picture of it in your wallet—but even then, your choice of the shop may not be the best at that particular moment. What we’re trying to say is this: a tattoo should never be an impulse purchase. Your design should be something meaningful to you, and you should take the time to plan it carefully. Pore over photos of existing tattoos; think about style, colors, and imagery; and make some sketches. Beware of foreign language tattoos or symbolism, because you may end up making a statement unintentionally.
Choose an artist. The person who tattoos you is almost as important as the design of the tattoo itself. You need an artist who can realize your vision, or you risk being stuck with something that does not meet your expectations. Friends can be helpful in recommending an artist; if you are brave enough, you can approach well-tatted strangers on the street and ask where they had their work done. Note: this idea depends largely on your ability to assess the scariness of a stranger. You don’t want to put yourself in danger, even in your quest for perfect ink. Another idea is to visit several shops and check out the artists’ work.
Where is just as important as who. The artist is vitally important in bringing your vision to your skin. However, the shop is even more important, because a bad shop can have health consequences. Hygiene is the most important issue, and you shouldn’t be shy about asking questions. How does the shop sterilize instruments? They should use an autoclave, and they should be willing to show it to you and discuss the results of their latest spore test. In addition, the artists should wear medical-grade gloves, and should never use any products on more than one customer. Even the deodorant some shops use before tattooing should be applied to a tissue, not directly to your skin; you do not want to be touched with the same deodorant stick that has touched other people.
Now that you know how to choose the right tattoo, you are ready to get some cool new ink. Remember, though, a tattoo does not have to be forever. With the most up-to-date laser removal procedures, MEDermis is located in Austin, TX and San Antonio, TX if you ever change your mind, to help you wipe it away and move on.