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Body Tattoo – blog about tattoo art

Body Tattoo – blog about tattoo art
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Tattoo Parlors: How to Find the Right One for You

August 18th, 2010

Getting a tattoo is a lifelong commitment, plain and simple. While you might be excited to get your ink, take your time to find the right tattoo studio and artist for you. Tattoo removal is not nearly as advanced as some make it sound, and it’s not very reliable. So what you get today could be with you for decades. Make sure it’s an informed decision.

1) First and foremost, do your research. There’s no sense even looking into the tattoo artists or the cleanliness of the environment unless the parlor itself comes highly rated. This is much easier than it sounds, as you’re not really trying to find the best parlor at the stage; instead, you’re trying to weed out the worst.

2) Ask around. Chances are that your friends and acquaintances have tattoos and you can ask about their experiences. Of course, if their tattoos are awful, don’t bother asking! Surprisingly, even strangers are open to talking about their tattoos. After all, they are visible, so their owners want them to be noticed, and they’re impersonal enough that few people take offense to questions. And it’s a great way to meet people to boot.

Once you have personal recommendations, do some web searches for each of the specific parlor names. Search for phrases like “tattoo-shop-name complaints,” “tattoo-shop-name problems,” etc.

Your local independent paper is another good source of referrals. Tattoo shops very often advertise in these papers, and if the ads are long-running, odds are very high that the shop is favored in the community.

3) Do your safety checks. Once your list has been narrowed down, visit each of the shops. At this point you are interested in safety and cleanliness.

Are the tattoo artists wearing gloves?
Do they wash their hands between tattoos?
Are people smoking in the shop?
Is the parlor licensed?
Is the parlor clean?
Do the artists pull their needles from the autoclave (sterilizing equipment) prior to each tattoo?
Does the parlor use single-use materials, such as inks, ink cups, needles, etc?
Do the artists shave and disinfect each client?
Are spray bottles and other hand-held equipment wrapped in plastic bags (prevents cross contamination)?

4) Find an artist. If you’re satisfied that the shop is clean, it’s time to look for a specific artist. This is a matching process. While most artists are very versatile, if you’re looking for a skull tattoo, wouldn’t it make more sense to get it from someone who specializes in skulls? Often by looking through the art books in the parlor, you can get a feel for the style of each artist.

When you meet the tattoo artist, they should be friendly and helpful. They get a lot of window shoppers, so don’t expect them to be bubbly and excited to meet you, but they should still be accommodating. They should never try to talk you into getting larger or more intricate tattoos. Any artist who has been in business knows that the most satisfied clients are informed clients. Experienced tattoo artists will usually offer their opinions and guide the process, they should never push you

If you feel that you are being pushed into something that you don’t like, or if the artist is dismissive of your questions, you might need to move on. Many experienced artists prefer working on intricate, large designs, so you might just fall under their radar. Not to worry: there is someone out there perfect for your tattoo.

5) Don’t price it. Never, ever, under any circumstance, comparison shop for prices. The cost of your tattoo is the absolute last consideration that should enter your mind. This tattoo will be with you for a lifetime. Trust it only to the best shop you can find and don’t let price affect your decision.

Likewise, don’t settle for any old design you find in their books. With the abundance of tattoo designs available in online galleries, there is no reason you can’t find the perfect tattoo for your skin.

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