So you’ve decided to take the leap. You are going to get the tattoo you’ve been wanting to get for years. You know what you want. You know where you want it. You just don’t know where to get it FROM. Ah yes, there are many many steps you must take in order to prepare yourself for your first tattoo, and the oft too overlooked step is the one of locating the right tattoo parlor.
Yes, this is a topic we have covered before, and we will again. Why? Because finding the right tattoo parlor may be the most important step you take when you get a tattoo. Why? Because if you are in the hands of a qualified, respected, and talented artist, the rest will fall into place – design, location, comfort, it will all pull together at some point.

So picking someone out of the yellow pages isn’t always your best bet. You need to do some research. Because by looking in the yellow pages you can’t tell who is good and who has the best equipment. After you have found a few, visit them. Before you walk in the doors get into the mindset that YOU are the customer, and you are not to be intimidated.

Remember you want this to be as pleasant an event as possible. Many parlors are dark, small, and the people can look pretty fierce with their own myriad of body art. Don’t let this intimidate you. Be confident, look around, and if your spidey senses start wigging, then leave. Here is where your instinct comes into play.

Next, look around the shop. Window shop the artwork. You want to make sure: 1) The lines should be clean and well-defined? 2) Are the borders uniform in width? 3) Are the colors realistic and bright? 4) Are the proportions correct?
You then want to see the artist’s portfolio. Any good artist will be proud to show you, and if you get a negative response here, walk away.

If the tattoo artist has passed all these, and most importantly, you feel good about the artist. It’s time to go ahead with your first piece of art.