Once you have decided that you are going to get a body tattoo, you need to make sure that all you get is the tattoo. Whilst most tattoo artists are incredibly careful about health and hygiene the ultimate responsibility is yours. Just by adopting a few simple precautions you can make sure that getting inked is an experience you won’t regret and you will be proud of your tattoo for many years. Don’t be tempted to skimp on these steps – it is your body and you will be the one who suffers if it isn’t right.
Check out the Tattoo Artist and the shop before you go. First and foremost – ask around, check with friends where they go and what they think. If you see someone with a design you like and that is well done, ask them where they had it done
Talk to the Artist – and talk to more than one. Go and visit a couple of studios and get a feel for the place and the artist. Do they think the way you do? Are they interpreting what you want properly? Will they customize a design for you or only do ‘off the shelf’ designs. Any reputable artist will take the time to talk to you, and will be happy to demonstrate their drawing skills as well. When you speak to the Artist, ask about tattoo after care. They ought to give you detailed instructions and you should follow these to the letter. Also ask about ‘touch ups’ should they be required.
Most good Studios display evidence of training in sterilization and hygiene procedures. It they aren’t obvious, ask about them and ask to see the certificates if you are not happy with their answers. No good artist will mind – in fact they will welcome the fact that you are prepared to take the time to make sure their work will be cared for properly.
Ask about training, particularly if the shop is new to the area. Most artists serve a fairly lengthy apprenticeship and are proud of the fact that they are well qualified. Certificates are usually displayed prominently. You should also check that insurance documents are up to date – again they are generally on public display.
The Tattoo Studio itself should be clean, tidy and well organized – it’s not going to be like a hospital but you should feel confident that floors and walls are regularly washed and cleaned, as should the windows. Any soft furnishings should be cleaned frequently and there should be no soiled rubbish around.
When you have chosen your studio, and you go for your tattoo you should find that all the equipment is well kept and cared for. The Artist will wear disposable gloves – make sure to tell them if you have a latex allergy so that the right ones are used. The guns should be covered in a clean plastic film and the needles will be in a sealed packet which will be opened in front of you. If that doesn’t happen – don’t have the tattoo!
If it doesn’t look or feel right to you – go somewhere else. If you are not comfortable that everything is just right then you won’t relax and that means your tattoo will hurt a great deal more than it would otherwise. A body tattoo is an investment for life and you should take just as much care in choosing where it is done and who does it as if you were investing in a piece of art for your home.