A tattoo is a very creative and popular image of self-expression. Getting a tattoo is an important decision because a tattoo is an artwork that you do not want to regret later and have removed. Before deciding on a tattoo and tattoo shop, be observant, proactive, and do your research. Here are some things to do before you chose a tattoo artist and commit to a tattoo image:  

Be Observant and Look at Tattoos:  The best advertisement for a tattoo artist is their work. When you see a creative and well-done tattoo, ask the name and location of the tattoo artist. If you find that many of the tattoos that you like have been created by the same tattoo artist and/or at the same tattoo shop, research that artist and shop online. If you do not have real life examples to judge, look online for local tattoo artists to see their work posted on the internet and to read their client reviews. Make an appointment and personally interview each tattoo artist that you are considering. 

Interview the Tattoo Artist:  When you meet with the artist, look for one who communicates well with you and understands what kind of tattoo you would like to have. Ask the tattoo artist for their opinion about the image and location that you are considering. Ask if the tattoo artist is licensed and has a blood test certificate to verify that they are clean and qualified. Ask to see the tattoo artist's portfolio of work. It is best to look for a tattoo artist that has inked many tattoos that you like, not just one or two individual tattoos. 

Visit the Tattoo Studio:  When considering a tattoo studio, make a site visit and look at the shop. Look for a tattoo shop that is clean, well-organized, and has excellent sterilization procedures. Inspect all rooms and tattoo booths to see that they conform to the shop procedures. Ask the shop manager about their sterilization and safety methods. Ask about the routine sterilization procedures they use on the other furniture and equipment in the shop. Note the name of the disinfectant that they use and research that product online to make sure it is of the highest quality. 

Know What You Want:  Research the designs and typography of many tattoo artists and decide what image, text, and typography you want. Decide the size and placement where you would like to have your tattoo inked. When you interview a tattoo artist and a tattoo shop, do not change your initial decisions. Trust yourself and the research you have done to arrive at your choices.

Getting a tattoo is an exciting and important decision. Find the very best tattoo artist that you can find and be positive about your choices. With diligent research and interviews, you can have a tattoo that you will love for the rest of your life.