1 If you're thinking about getting a tattoo, there is one very important thing you have to keep in mind — getting it done safely. Although it might look a whole lot cooler than a big scab, a new tattoo is also a wound. Like any other slice, scrape, puncture, cut, or penetration to your skin, a tattoo is at risk for infections and disease.
Make sure you're up to date with your immunizations (especially hepatitis and tetanus shots) and plan where you'll get medical care if your tattoo becomes infected (signs of infection include excessive redness or tenderness around the tattoo, prolonged bleeding, pus, or changes in your skin color around the tattoo).
If you have a medical problem such as heart disease, allergies, diabetes, skin disorders, a condition that affects your immune system, or infections — or if you are pregnant — ask your doctor if there are any special concerns you should have or precautions you should take beforehand. Also, if you're prone to getting keloids (an overgrowth of scar tissue in the area of the wound), it's probably best to avoid getting a tattoo altogether.
2 Think of a design you want to get.Make sure it is something you feel comfortable showing off, and that you want on your body until you die.
3 Make a rough sketch of your design. It doesn't have to be perfect. Tattoo artists are just that: artists. If you can give a good idea of what you want, your artist can really fly with it.
4 Find the location on your body that you want to put it. Make sure it fits. Not too big, and not too small.
5 Touch up your design. Smooth out the lines, add a basic color scheme, and make it fit to your desired location.
Tips: Many people worry about the pain of a tattoo, especially if it's your first. Getting a tattoo can hurt, but the level of pain can vary. Because getting a tattoo involves being stuck multiple times with a needle, it can feel like getting a bunch of shots or being stung by a hornet multiple times. Some people describe the tattoo sensation as "tingling." It all depends on your pain threshold, how good the person wielding the tattoo machine is, and where exactly on your body you're getting the tattoo. Also, keep in mind that you'll probably bleed a little.
It will really help you to bring a friend who's had tattoos done before. They'll help ensure the best experience possible and you'll feel a lot better.
Shower. Being clean is the best way to prepare for the big day, and care for your tattoo. Cleanliness is your best defense against infection.
Save! You don't want to come up short on cash when you go for the tattoo. Bring more than they tell you.
Make sure the tattoo is something you want to decorate your body permanently. If you aren't sure, consider putting a picture of the potential design somewhere where you will see it every day. For example, you can tape it to a notebook you carry around often, a laptop computer, or the dash of your car. After a few weeks, the image may not appeal to you as much, and you may choose to reconsider. Or, you may love it as much as ever, and you can get your tattoo more confidently. Leave it up for as long as it takes for you to be sure.
It's okay to be nervous! It's perfectly normal and natural to feel a few butterflies before you get a tattoo, If you're worried about how nervous your going to get then bring a good friend along.
Don't take pain killers before, as they thin your blood and can cause you to bleed more than what is usual.
Don't drink alcohol before getting a tattoo. The most important reason is because alcohol thins your blood and can cause unnecessary bleeding.
Make sure to check out the tattoo parlor and artist thoroughly, in advance.
Go temporary before going for the permanent. When you have selected a design and a place (on your body) to do the tattoo, get a temporary tattoo for some time and see if you are comfortable with the tattoo. If you feel odd, select another design and a place. This will give maximum satisfaction (and zero worries) when you get it permanent.
Warnings: Remember this is permanent. You can't just wipe it off. It is there for good, unless you get a cover-up or get it removed by expensive laser surgery.
Remember - don't drink alcohol or take drugs before your appointment! Don't even take painkillers, as some are also blood thinners!
Skipping out on your appointment will lose your deposit, and most likely the artist won't want to tattoo you. If you can't make it, call ahead and tell them so you can make a new appointment on a better day.
Things you need: A design. You can make your own, take one from online, or use one from in-store. The tattoo parlor will usually have designs all over the walls. Remember though, it is considered very rude to copy others custom tattoos.
Money. You can't get a free tattoo, unless of course, it's free tattoo day at the parlor.