You have decided that you want a tattoo. You may even have an idea of the kind of tattoo that you want. Something unique, something that reflects your personality, a statement to the world!

The question is where you begin. This may not be the sort of question that experienced recipients might ask themselves, after all they have experience, so let us assume this is your first venture into the world of the tattoo artist.

On the website lovetoknow, Alison Fraley suggests that there are at least five steps to getting your tattoo. The first is to find a good tattoo artist. Now this may seem like an obvious thing to do but there are many occasions when bad choices have been made, with catastrophic results. So, take your time. Locate an artist and find out what others have to say about their work.  Check social media, for instance, really good artists will have a wide following on twitter and facebook.

The second step is to set up an appointment. Get in the shop and talk to the artist. Have a look at the way in which he, or she, works. How friendly are they with their customers? Are they willing to answer questions and discuss ideas? Most important of all is, do you feel comfortable in the surroundings?

The third step would be to prepare for your appointment. Have some ideas about the kind of tattoo that you want to have. Do some research.What is your motivation? There are many websites out there that will have a gallery of artwork that you can look at. Even if you are going for something original it does no harm to take drawing or diagrams of the kind of thing you have in mind. Being prepared before your meeting will give you something to talk about with the artist and it is often said that a picture paints a thousand words.

If you haven’t yet got an idea of exactly what you want, then this step is crucial as it will help to inspire your creativity. It is far more beneficial to go to a meeting with a tattoo artist having some idea of what you want rather than just simply turn up without a clue. Remember, the artists needs to know something about you and your motivation if they are to do justice to your design.

With the advent of technology and the internet there are now websites that will allow you to design your own tattoo. Take some time to play with these tools. They will allow you to reshape, size and amend drawings and pictures until you have come upon the design that you really want. Really good sites will even have a facility to download your eventual design in high resolution for printing off. You can then take your design along to your meeting with the tattoo artist and show them exactly what it is you want.

The fourth step is to actually have the meeting. It is at this meeting that you will discuss topics such as; where the tattoo is to be located, what size it will be and so on. If your design is too complicated the tattoo artist will be able to discuss alternatives. Also, keep in mind what will happen to the tattoo in future. Colors tend to fade and lines become obscured. There may be a need to have the design touched up at a later date.

Step five is actually getting the tattoo. Before you do there are some things that you ought to keep in mind:

  • Complex tattoos can take some time to complete
  • Having a tattoo does cause some degree of discomfort until it is finished.
  • There is always the risk of allergic reaction or infection

Be prepared to visit the artist’s studio on numerous occasions to if the design you have settled on requires extensive work. Scheduling additional sessions may cover a long period, this is to enable the skin to heal before the next stage is applied.

Taking into account the advice above, the following website would be a good place to start: TattooMeNow.com

This site comprises a gallery of more than seven thousand design ideas, all available to browse, with more being added regularly. There is a section devoted entirely to stencils which, like the full color designs, can be downloaded in high resolution. The site also has a tattoo design feature which allows you the opportunity to explore variations in composition, enabling you to create something that is wholly unique.

In addition, the site also incorporates an online tattoo community. Here people share their experiences of having a tattoo, discuss the pros and cons and even share pictures of the designs they have had done. As a source of inspiration it is without equal. For those who like a little recognition there is even a page devoted to the ‘Epic Tattoo of the Day’ where the top 1% of submitted pictures are given pride of place. Yours could be one of them.

Finally, there is a section of the website that it provided for all those that have questions. The ‘Ask the Artist’ pages are filled with advice and information based on the questions, queries and feedback that the site has had from those considering having a tattoo and those who want to be more adventurous.

This site is perfect for step three of getting a tattoo. In one place it has everything that anyone considering having a tattoo would want. It is a source of information and inspiration, a tool to try out your own ideas, a meeting place for those with similar ideas and a contact point for questions.

Make the most of it; prepare yourself well, keep in mind all of the issues that having a tattoo brings, be creative but most of all, have fun along the way. Remember a tattoo is something that will potentially last a lifetime, so make it a good one.