Never get tattooed by a scratcher. A scratcher is someone who is just learning and most of the time they are learning on you. They may think their work is good when they are actually putting bad tattoos on people. A professional tattoo is safe and clean. It will be done under sterile conditions. Unless you want to spend more money getting a bad tattoo covered up, or get it re-worked by a professional, do it right the first time.

Choose your design carefully. Make sure you pick what you really want. Never choose something second best, something you’re talked into, or because it’s cheaper. If you do, you’ll most likely be sorry later that you did not get the piece that you really wanted. Never place a tiny tattoo in a prime tattoo location, because as time goes on, it will be the curse that keeps you from getting an awesome piece in that location.

Go see him and look at his\her tattoo work. Any good artist will have photos of his/her work so you can judge for yourself how good they are. Check how clean the shop is. Is there a clean, sterile work area? Do they have an autoclave sterilizer? Do they use clean, sterile, new needles out of a sterile package? Do they use all new disposable items on each customer? Do they use cross contamination control? Are all the things touched while tattooing the customer covered with a plastic barrier and removed after each tattoo to prevent spreading of germs to the next customer? Do they wear gloves to protect themselves? Is it an environment you feel comfortable in? Is the artist someone you feel comfortable with? Once you know that the artist does great work and that they are clean and sterile you can begin to pick the tattoo you want. Don’t rush the process. Make sure the piece you choose is what you want to wear permanently. Remember a tattoo is forever and it will still be there even after you’re gone.

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