If you are in the Boston area this weekend, then you definitely want to check out the Boston Tattoo Convention. Here you will have access at your fingertips to experts in the field, the latest and most creative designs, and a bevy of tattoo artists that are leaders in the industry. Joe Boo of the Lightwave Tattoo parlor in Saugus, Massachusetts will be there, and he has a few pointers to offer those that aren’t sure how to get ready for their first (or any) tattoo. He says it all boils down to three words. Portfolio, portfolio, portfolio….

Joe was asked what is the main thing that people should know about getting tattoos, or tattoos in general…

You can walk into a shop and see all sorts of cool stuff on the walls like real cool arty stuff, but that does not mean your tattoo artist can reproduce that stuff on you!! LOOK AT THE PORTFOLIOS!!!! There should be a photo book of the actual work being done there to give you an idea of the quality of work being executed!!! THIS IS SOOOO KEY PEOPLE!

And, if you are an aspiring tattoo artist yourself, what is the first or best thing you can do to prepare yourself. What skills should you be thinking about? Joe says people should…

Look at their drawing skills, think about their people skills, contemplate how hard they are willing to work for this, and think about bloodborne pathogens, disease transmission, first aid. Are you ready??? really??? Look at the tattoos in the magazines: can you honestly compete with that? If you can’t… why would anyone waste their time, money and suffering on you? Yeah we make it look easy… but we are pros.

And, as far as any openings for Joe if you want to catch him in Boston this weekend, is he available? Act now!

I have some time on Friday as of now… who knows!!!