Tattooing is an ancient form of art that was used to beautify the human body. In today’s society body art is used in the same manner and is a way to display our personally perceived image and individuality. And as s tattooed stars like heavily tattooed Pink and Rihanna's tattoos show, it is now more popular than ever.
As recently as a decade ago tattooing was still a taboo that was believed to only be done by prisoners, gangsters, bikers, rock musicians, and so on. Within the past couple of years the taboo wall has slowly begun to crumble. Whereas today body art is not only more openly accepted, but is being embraced by a larger portion of the worlds populous.
Considering that receiving a tattoo is permanent (unless you have it removed) it is important to choose the design, location, and artist carefully. It isn’t something to do without having the right information or on a whim.
Design - Perhaps you will choose one of the many flash art pieces found on the walls of your local tattoo studio, or you have designed your own. Also know that many tattoo artists are in fact wonderfully talented artists, many of which are more than happy to design a custom piece for you.
After finding the perfect piece if you are still unsure that permanent ink is for you, don’t despair. There is still a way to try it out without having it done in perm ink. You can have the piece done in henna, using the ancient art form known as mendhi. The piece will last for a couple of weeks. Traditional mendhi is done in one color, so the piece will lack the array of brilliant colors that having it done in tat ink offers. Even though this is true, I still believe that it is the right way to go if you have any doubt.
Please know that mendhi is totally painless. Yes, receiving your new tat is going to hurt a bit. Even though everyone’s threshold for pain varies, the overall experience of receiving a tattoo is not bad. You will feel the many pin like pricks, but the end result is wonderful, and well worth it.
Placement - Where you have your art placed on your body is just as important as to what you have done. Again, if you are having difficulty deciding the best location mendhi is a good starting point.
Another consideration is the size of the tattoo. Perhaps after you receive your first piece and some time has passed you will desire another. So the location you receive the tattoo should be fitting as to the design size. If you place a small tattoo where you could later have a larger one you could run into a few different obstacles. One being covering the first tattoo, having it removed completely, or not receiving a new one.
Cost - When getting a piece done should cost be a factor? In my opinion, no. You are having a permanent piece of art placed on your body and I feel it is more important to have it done correctly than to save a few dollars. There are some people that choose to save a few dollars and have the work done by a less reputable artist and then they end up going to another artist to have it fixed.
Yes, some tattoo artists are more expensive, most of the time there is a reason for this. I once heard someone say,”A good tattoo is not cheap, a cheap tattoo is not good.” A valid point in my opinion.
Artist - Always have a tattoo done by a professional. There are some people known as “scratchers”, these individuals are not licensed and work mostly underground. I am not saying that there aren’t those “scratchers” that use sterile conditions and do very good work, but it is just easier to have it done professionally and to not put yourself at risk.
If you know people that have body art you can speak to them about the artist and studio they had it done. You can also find studio listings in the yellow pages of your local telephone directory. One of the most comprehensive listings of tattoo artists and studios is found at Tattoos.Com E-zine.
Studio - When visiting a studio you should be able to ask any and all questions. In doing this you should receive straight forward answers. If you do not receive answers to your questions then you should move on to the next studio.
Studios should meet these requirements:
The studio must be clean.
There should be a sterile work area.
The studio should have an autoclave sterilizer.
Only fresh out of the package new clean sterile needles should be used.
New disposable items should be used.
Cross contamination control.
The artist should wear latex gloves.
Proper disposal of used items.