Finding a reputable tattoo that is concerned with your best interests is a must, tattoo placement, tattoo choice are big decisions remember a tattoo is permanent. There are also this to take into account:

  • Take a look around, it’s easy enough to tell if the shop is clean.
  • Has the artist you are considering at the shop taken a course designed for tattoo artists and piercers in the prevention of blood-borne pathogens?
  • In the tattooing area any furniture that comes into direct contact with a client should have a water proof barrier between the client and the surface that is changed between clients.
  • Inks should be poured into individual cups before use then discarded.
  • Needles should be opened in front of you and disposed of after every client.
  • Ask to talk to the artist that you are considering. Is it someone you are comfortable enough with? You need to be able to communicate with the artist if something makes you uncomfortable, if you feel sick, etc. Nothing worse than going into a studio and talking to someone who acts like they are put out by you asking questions or acts like it’s a chore to help you out.
  • Check out the portfolios that are on display. This will give you an idea of the work you can expect from the artist. Make sure the work meets your standards.
  • You don’t really want to pick the cheapest place. If a place seems a lot cheaper than every other shop you look into, they are bound to be cutting corners somewhere.
  • Do not go to someone who tattoos out of their home because they can give you a good deal because you are really putting yourself at risk. Sterility can not be guaranteed under these circumstances. Autoclaves are expensive and a lot of home tattooists believe that you can properly sterilize something with boiling water on the stove. This isn’t true.
  • Ask about aftercare. How do they want you take care of your tattoo? Some artists will tell you to use inferior body lotion or to wrap it in plastic wrap for an extended period. Basic first aid states these are bad ideas as both run a high risk of trapping bacteria and giving it a nice home to grow in. Common sense should tell you that an infected tattoo is a bad idea, especially when MSRA (antibiotic resistant staph) is very common.
  • Is the shop licensed? Do your homework and find out what those regulations are. Yes, there are some studios that will set up shop without getting licensed.