Tattoos have never been cooler. If you don’t have a tattoo, at some point you have thought about getting one. You’ve imagined the kind of design you’d get, where you’d put it, and how big it would be. The last thing you want is for something to go wrong the day you get a tattoo. So let’s discuss the 5 red flags you should be on the lookout for when you’re getting inked.
Listen to Your Gut
In Malcolm Gladwell’s book, Blink, he points out that our gut is often able to come to accurate inferences with very little information. Across your lifespan, you have accumulated so much knowledge and wisdom that lies buried deep in your unconscious mind and allows you to judge situations quickly and accurately. Trust in your gut.
You want to walk into a tattoo parlor that has a positive energy. That’s something you feel in your bones. If you listen, you’ll know. A bad energy can upset the whole experience of getting a tattoo. So if you feel any negative vibes, walk out.
Cleanliness is Next to Godliness
Cleanliness is super important. A filthy tattoo parlor is not a place that you want to trust. Look around, see if everything is clean, that there is no trash lying around, that the work stations are well kept. Cross-contamination happens, so you don’t want an unclean tattoo parlor contaminating you.
Make sure needles are fresh and that they are disposed of once the tattoo artist is done using them.
Tattoos will often bleed once they have been done so it is important that everything is clean.
Do Your Research
It’s so important to research a tattoo artist’s body of work. Look through their portfolio to see what kind of work they have done, what the quality is like and if you like their style. You need to understand what kind of artistic commitment you are making before you make a decision. If you visit the best tattoo shop, they will be able to show you what they have done so you can make an informed decision.
Make Sure You get Aftercare Instructions
Your tattoo artists should give you aftercare instructions. Tattoos have to be taken care of, so any tattoo artists who will not give aftercare instructions is a bad tattoo artist. Without aftercare instructions, you run the risk of infection. Several states have even passed laws to ensure that tattoo artists educate clients on aftercare.
If you ask for aftercare instructions before you get the tattoo, and they leave you feeling confused, then you need to go to another tattoo parlor.
Don’t Get Pressured Into Anything
Ultimately, a tattoo is an artistic expression of your personality, not a display of the artistic beliefs of any tattoo artist. A tattoo artist exists to serve the needs of the client.
So, when you visit a tattoo artist, be firm in standing for who you are and how you want your personality to be expressed in your tattoo. Do not let a tattoo artist pressure you into any choices. They do not know you as well as you know yourself. In the end, it’s you who will have the tattoo for the rest of your life, not the artist.