First things first, do your research! Before going in for a tattoo, research a couple shops and their artists. I really encourage you to look at their Instagram pages to look at their work. If you can, try to find out how long they’ve been an artist. More years, more experience, better tattoo. Also, don’t be cheap. Tattoos are expensive, so be ready to pay for a good tattoo. And yes, be courteous and tip the artists. Depending on the shop, tattoo artists rent a booth and come up with their own prices. On average, the tip is usually 10%. But if you’re happy with your tattoo, 15% is always appreciated.
When it comes down to choosing your tattoos, knowing the style you want makes it easier for the artist. If you’re going to get your first tattoo, people usually pick something small to see if they really like the idea of tattoos. People go with names, initials, dates or a small symbol. Even when choosing something small, you still have to think about what font you want, the size, how thick you want the outline, what color, etc.
Now, it gets real when you choose to get a larger tattoo. When thinking about where on your body it will go, you have to think about how much sun exposure it will get. Too much sun exposure will make the tattoo fade a lot faster. For example, if you want to get a watercolor style tattoo and you live in a warm area, placing it on your arm or shoulder wouldn’t be the best idea because the colors won’t be as vibrant within little time. You also have to think about aging. Your body won’t stay the same forever, so think about the stretching and wrinkling your skin will go through. For example, upper arms and upper thighs are areas that stretch out the most. Placing anything symmetrical in those areas wouldn’t be in the best interest of your tattoo.
There are other things to keep in mind. Tattoos are supposed to be unique. If you walk into the shop with a picture of a tattoo you saw on Pinterest, expect the artist to alter it a little to make it more their style. It’s like plagiarism. They can’t copy exactly the tattoo you’re showing them because it’s already somebody else’s art. Of course it’s your body this tattoo will be on forever, so work with the artist and politely let them know of any changes you want. These are all, in my opinion, important things to think about when choosing your first tattoo.