10. Find an artist you enjoy this is actually super important, if you have an artist you can chat too, joke with and just feel comfortable with, you are going to enjoy the tattoo so much more and it's going to make the pain easier, as you will have someone around to distract you.
9. Trust your artist no one enjoys a back seat driver and the artist will thank you for not micromanaging every step of the process. There's a reason they are professional and remember they designed the piece, letting them do their vision - almost always gets you a better finished product.
8. Don't go on Pinterest seriously. if you want a tattoo to commemorate something or to inspire you daily, talk to your artist and work with them to figure out something unique and custom made for you. having the same tattoo as everyone else, isn't nearly as awesome as something drawn to fit your body.
7. Get a good night's sleep & Eat a good meal & Don't drink the night before everything affects how a tattoo feels, and how a tattoo heals. I've had tattoos that were small and in places that should have been super easy, but due to not being hydrated or eating before or not getting 8 hours of sleep, have made them awful and way more painful.
6. Find the right artist not every artist is good at everything, and thats fine! find the artist who enjoys the style you're getting, is excited or at least into your idea and listen to them when they're giving you advice or an opinion. There is nothing wrong with getting tattooed by different artists, and if an artist says otherwise, run!
5. Triple check the spelling/translations/dates we can't stress this one enough. we have no idea how your sister's name is spelled, or when your mom was born and we definitely don't speak every language and google translate is not the most reliable. Ask for your family or friends to double check, make sure you read the dates over to make sure 06/04/05 is actually not 04/05/06 and find someone who actually speaks/writes the language before you commit. fixing these mistakes is almost always difficult and often - impossible.
4. Think about it we mean really, think about it. they're permanent and doing it right the first time is always less expensive and you will never be as happy with a cover up as a good tattoo done on fresh skin. another huge thing is, think about the future. how will this effect your job, promotions, family etc.
3. Don't jam 100 ideas into one tattoo if you want to get a fairy with your kid's birthdates, and your mom's rosary, and your dad's birthstone, with lyrics to your favourite song and your husband's favourite number all in one tattoo, maybe you pick 1 or 2 ideas per one tattoo, tattoos always look better when they are thought out, logical and kept simple. now if you're doing a back piece or full sleeve or leg sleeve, then maybe we can make everything work, but a 6" tattoo on your forearm is definitely not the best idea.
2. ALWAYS LOOK AT PORTFOLIOS don't ever believe that because someone says they are capable of the portrait of your mom, that they are ACTUALLY capable of it. If they're portfolios don't show experience in that style or consistency - find someone else.
1. Don't price shop good tattoos don't have to break the bank but like the saying goes "good tattoos aren't cheap, cheap tattoos aren't good" A tattoo is on your for life, don't try and save $40 - you'll spend a lot more covering it up or removing it later.
BONUS PRO TIP check out healed photos of the artists work. Healed photos show how your tattoo will look, and the difference from fresh to healed can be huge.