Guidelines for getting a tattoo

Before you get your tattoo, be informed. It is vital that you do your research and are aware of what is involved.

Picking a Design & Placement

Choose what you like! It is important that you are completely happy with the design – obviously you will have to live with your tattoo for the rest of your life. Discuss the size and color with your artist in person to achieve the look you want. Sometimes it is better to leave artistic aspects of your tattoo up to the wisdom and experience of your chosen artist.

Give the location of your tattoo considerable thought. It will be there forever. If your concerns are for the sensation and level of discomfort involved, your artist should be happy to discuss these aspects with you.

Artist’s Skill

It is your right to check out the artist’s previous work beforehand and make sure that you would be happy wearing their art on you forever. If they have no physical or online portfolio readily available for you to view, think twice about that particular tattooist.

Good Tattoos are not Cheap

Absolutely do not shop around for “the best price”. This is a trade in which you should see examples of the artist’s work and question their knowledge. This is not a trade to be bartered with – you pay an hourly rate for time and expertise!

Meet your Tattoo Artist Halfway

Artists are not mind-readers. It is all very well to explain your idea or concept, but having preliminary sketches and/or examples ready will greatly enhance your communication of ideas.

Hygiene, Hygiene, Hygiene

We live in an age of many communicable diseases, some fatal, so it has become necessary to institute certain isolation and sterilization procedures in the tattoo process to assure the public of a safe, risk-free tattoo.

The following advice has been prepared by professional tattooists working with local, state and national health authorities.

  • Always insist that you see your tattooist remove a new needle & tube set-up from a sealed envelope immediately prior to your tattoo.
  • Be certain you see your tattooist pour a new ink supply into a new disposable container.
  • Make sure your artist puts on a new pair of disposable gloves before setting up tubes, needles and ink supplies.
  • Satisfy yourself that the shop furnishings and tattooist are clean and orderly in appearance; much like a medical facility.
  • Feel free to question the tattooist as to any of his sterile procedures & isolation techniques. Take time to observe them at work and do not hesitate to inquire about their experience and qualifications in the tattoo field.
  • If the tattooist is qualified professional, they will have no problem complying with standards above and beyond these simple guidelines.
  • If the artist or studio does not appear up to these standards or if they become evasive when questioned, seek out a professional tattooist.


Think twice before paying in advance. If you want a larger piece of work, one that may take two sessions or more, you should be able to pay as you go and only after the session’s end when you are happy with the work.