So you've been wanting a tattoo for a while now, but do you know where to start? Getting your first tattoo can be a little intimidating. Lets start with the first step of getting the right design.
Getting Your Tattoo Design
Start with the right tattoo design. Is your inspiration to get your first tattoo meaningful and personal? Is it a memorial for someone dear to you that has passed away? Is it to celebrate the birth of a child? Do you want your first tattoo because you're turning 18? Maybe you’re commemorating a milestone in your life like a graduation, career change, or other personal goal?
Whatever your motivation might be, chances are good that you have an idea of what you want floating around in your mind. Can you visualize what elements you want included? Do you know in what style you want your tattoo to be? Do you want something realistic or old school… tribal or abstract? Do you want it in full color or black and gray?
Then there the question of placement. Where on your body do you want your tattoo? If this is your first tattoo you may want to start small and choose an area that is less painful the others. The most painful areas for men are the abdomen, spine and chest. For women, the most painful areas are the ankle, spine and ribcage. The least painful areas for men are buttocks, arm and back. For women, the least painful areas are the abdomen, buttocks, thigh and shoulder.
Another thing to think about is your career. If you are young, it’s not the most fun subject to think about, but you really should think long term. Will your career or possible future jobs allow you to have visible tattoos? It might be best to choose a discreet location, easily concealable with clothing.
If you know what you want and feel confident about it, you're ready to move forward. If not, you may want to spend more time and thought on the design. This is a decision that will last forever. It should not be rushed or an impulse decision!
There are several ways to find an artist to create your tattoo design. If you know a good artist through word of mouth, you may choose to contact them. But what if that artist, as talented as they may be, does not specialize in the style or subject matter that you want? You may choose to search locally for a tattoo artist. Here on Tattoo.com, have a filter that allows you to search tattoo shops by your exact location. If this is the route you want to take, you might find the right person, but keep in mind, you will still be limited by location. There may be a perfect artist out there more suited to your exact needs. It is possible to find and hire a tattoo designer from anywhere in the world to create your custom tattoo design for you. Here on Tattoo.com, you may post a custom tattoo design request, write a detailed description, and tattoo designers and tattoo artists from around the world instantly become an option for you. You will most definitely find the perfect artist for your needs without limitation by location or style when you have hundreds of artists to choose from!
When you find an artist, be very detailed and informative about what you are envisioning for your design. Ask them their costs and let them know your rough budget. Be willing to spend some money for a quality design. Remember, this is a "for the rest of your life" decision. So don't nickel and dime it!
Find the Right Tattoo Studio and Tattoo Artist
So you’ve got the perfect custom design for your tattoo. What now? You need to find the right Tattoo Studio to go to with the right Tattoo Artist. You can make it simple by using the search by location feature here on the site. Be sure to choose an expert artist who can execute your custom design. Find someone who is an expert at the specific style of your custom design. You can also look for more well known, notable tattoo artists from the internet and tattoo periodicals if you are willing to travel. Once again, if you have the means to travel, you are not limited by location, but can choose an artist anywhere!
Wherever you decide to go, the first priority is SAFETY! Make sure to look for the necessary certification and licenses. This varies from state to state, so it’s a good idea to look that up before you start your search. Ask to see the autoclave and sterilization certification. Ask the tattoo artist if he or she is vaccinated for Hepatitis B. The tattoo artist should not put anything used on their clients back into any universal containers. Anything that is used on the client should be thrown away afterward. New sterile needles should always be removed from a new autoclave bag in front of you. Used needles should go into a Sharps container. If you see anything that raises a red flag, say something! Or go to a different shop. These are all issues that can be discussed with your tattoo artist. If the artist is not open to discussing, go to a different shop.
Don’t be afraid to talk about the cost of the tattoo with the artist. They will probably require a deposit, which is standard and goes toward the final cost. Figure out any payment issues and questions you may have. When you decide what tattoo studio to go to and what tattoo artist you want to ink the design on you, it’s time to book an appointment!