When you have finally plucked up the courage to get that tattoo you've always dreamed of, the next hurdle is choosing the best tattoo parlor. Most major cities have a number of tattoo parlors, each boasting what appears to be an exhaustive range of designs and options, so it's often hard to decide where to start.
Body art is an investment for life. While it is now possible to have tattoos removed, the process is costly and time-consuming. It's always better to choose the right tattoo design and have it executed by the right tattooist, so you'll never regret the decision. But how do you choose the best tattoo parlor?
Harness the power of word-of-mouth
Tattoos are becoming mainstream, so you have more body art to admire. Few people with tattoos will object to being asked where they had the work done and will be pleased to share their experiences with you. People with tattoos can tell you what their particular experience was like, and you'll be able to see in front of you the evidence of the tattooist's skill. Ask around for recommendations for the best tattoo parlors.
Research online and print media
The body-art community is thriving, both online and in the printed press. You can buy a variety of specialist tattoo magazines, and you'll easily find a number of dedicated websites. Once you find art that you like in a style that you think works for you, do further research. Find the location of a tattoo parlor that caters to the style and designs that you admire, and remember that you might need to travel to find the right place.
Visit tattoo parlors
A tattoo can form a surprisingly personal connection between the artist and his or her subject. It's important that you feel comfortable and relaxed so you'll be confident in the artist's skills. The standards of hygiene in a parlor are important, too, and you can only gauge these by visiting the premises in person. A good tattoo artist should not object to meeting with you for a conversation and a tour. You could be spending a lot of money, and you need to know that you'll be spending it wisely.
Discuss the right design
A tattoo artist will not normally work from a completely blank canvas, so he or she should help you establish the right design. Before the work commences, many tattoo artists will arrange several consultations to discuss designs, share ideas and gradually work up a proposal. Remember that tattooists are paid professionals, so you may need to pay for this consultation time, which could be a sound investment. Different artists specialize in different styles of art; some are good with text, others with images. You need to be confident that your tattooist will be able to expertly create the design you are looking for.
A tattoo is a personal, lifelong accessory to wear on your body. Never rush into getting a tattoo. Make sure to take the time to explore all the options to find the best tattoo parlor for you.