What you need to know before getting a tattoo

By Alan Crosby

Tattoos are a big part of the millennial culture. They can range from general interest images to powerful reminders of loved ones. Color or black and white, playful or somber, tattoos mean something to the people who get them. Every tattoo has a story behind it, and it lasts forever. Here are a few simple things to keep in mind before you go to the shop. Oh, and don’t forget to always get your inking done by licensed professionals only.

•Do Your Research and Know Your Artist
This is a person who is going to put something on your body that will be there for the rest of your life. You should take the time to think about what exactly it is you’re looking for and find an artist who you know does good work. You don’t want to just stop at a random tattoo shop you’ve never heard of – totally wasted – and decide, “OK, let’s do this!” That’s how grown men end up with butterflies tattooed on their butts.
•Know What You Want Before You Go You don’t have to know exactly what you want, but you should have a general idea of what it is you’re getting and where you’d like to get it. If you want a tattoo of your favorite band or TV show or something, having a basic idea and even a simple sketch can go a long way in helping the artist make your dream a reality. You should be willing to work with the artists; give them an idea and let them show you what they think. A lot of the time, their ideas can look so much better than your original. They do this for a living.
•Be Prepared
No matter where you go or who the artist is, there is going to be pain. And possibly blood. There is a needle repeatedly piercing your skin, so you shouldn’t expect much less. Even with the most experienced artists, there is a possibility of a little blood, and while that’s nothing to be concerned about, it is something to think about. This is also why it’s a good idea to NOT get drunk before getting a tattoo. One of the side effects of America’s most beloved indulgence is making your blood a lot thinner, meaning you’ll bleed a lot more while getting your tattoo, which is a hassle for both you and your artist.
•Have A Budget Planned
Most of the time when you are getting a custom tattoo, you give the artist an idea and they take some time to come up with a concept and create a design. Then you’ll come back, depending on how long it takes them to create a design, and they put the outline on your body. There are a number of factors that will affect the cost of your tattoo. How long it takes, how big it is, the amount of color you want. Artists will typically give you an estimate of how much the tattoo will cost when they come up with the design, but don’t be surprised if the final product comes out a little more. Remember, it’s an estimate, not a solid price.
•Take Care of Your Tattoo
After getting a tattoo, there is a healing period. The best thing you can do for your tattoo is to keep it covered up for the first 24-48 hours. After that, your tattoo will begin to peel like a really bad sunburn. It will be red and itchy, and it may burn a little. But whatever do, don’t scratch it! Just keep plain, unscented lotion on the whole area for the first few weeks after you get it, and don’t submerge it in water either. To help keep the color and quality consistent, always put sunscreen on your tattoo when your outside. Tattoos are a great way to memorialize someone, show people what you’re interested in, or to simply have a personalized piece of art. Whether it’s a picture or a poem, tattoos have a deep impact on how others see you, so be sure that your ink really represents you. Whatever the reason for getting a tattoo, always be sure that it’s not something you’ll regret.

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