5 things to consider before getting a tattoo

Body art says a lot about a person, but it’s not something you should do on a whim, and never when you’re not in full control. If you’re in the market for some ink, follow these tips from highly rated tattoo artists, so your work of body art is something you’ll be happy living with for the rest of your life.

Don’t be shy
Ask as many questions as you have and others your friends and family might suggest to you. After the ink has dried is not the time to wonder about an artist’s training, apprenticeship and experience.

Check the book
Examine the artist’s portfolio before you agree to go under the needle. In addition to having books of their work at the shop, most have online portfolios. If the artist’s work doesn’t look great there, it won’t look any better on your body.

License to ink
Check your state regulations. Most states require some form of licensure. Don’t take anyone’s word that he or she is in good standing: insist on seeing proof of licensure and check the date to be sure it’s current. (Many reputable artists will have their licenses on display.)

White glove check
Each shop should have a sterilization process and be able to prove it. Tattoo shops are bound by state regulations. To learn about these requirements, contact your state health department. 

Get good vibes
It’s hard to describe a “vibe,” but if you don’t feel comfortable, go to another shop. Red flag: you notice staff and/or clients are not sober but business is going on as usual.


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Tattoo artists give tips on finding the right shop

Highly rated tattoo artists from Angie's List offer tips to ensure your tattoo is something you can live with for the rest of your life.

Comments

I've had a tattoo for over 10 yrs, and it stills looks as if i just got it at times and people think it a great tattoo. My own design. I tan often, and it looks good to me as well as my firends and people I just meet.

Remember that colors WILL fade, My tattoo artist friend says about 4 years maximum bright new

Main thing to consider future employment. I and many others will not hire someone with a visible tattoo.

I'm not sure what line of work you are in, but do you realize that is Discrimination? If the tattoo is non-offensive the person is 100% employable you cannot use tattoos against potential employee, it'd be just like saying, "Sorry Sir, You're White and I don't like white people, so you Don't get the job." You really should check your state and local laws about Tattooing & Piercing. A lot has changed over the years. The MAIN thing to consider is sanitary conditions of the Artist, their equipment and His/Her work area. As for this would be the ONLY way you could become sick. As long as you are comfortable with the Artist & the place is sanitary, put your Tattoo where YOU want it so you'll Enjoy your Tattoo for many, many years to come!!

Thanks for the story on tattoos. I am a 53 year old woman considering my first tattoo and your story might have swayed me a bit. STILL NOT SURE...

There is now new technology in a tatoo ink that allows it to be removed with one pass of the laser. Check it out: Freedom-2.

If you are going to mention tattoos, you need to let people know that the ink gets into the bloodstream and is found in other parts of the body.

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