by Owen J.
If you have decided to have a tattoo, the decision was almost certainly difficult enough - at least it ought to have been - but now you have to make a decision where you are going to get it done. It is not so difficult to find a reputable tattoo artist in most countries, but it is still worth carrying out a few routine checks before you walk into the parlour.
To begin with, you should keep in mind that they are going to carry out minor surgery on you and that that person is not medically qualified, which is why it is worth being cautious. You do not want to have an infected tattoo and have to go to hospital. So, the first thing you could do is call the environmental health department and enquire whether they know of any worries with that particular tattoo salon.
The chances are that they have not, otherwise they would probably have shut it down, but at least you will know for certain. The next thing to do is to go into the shop as if you merely have a passing interest. Look about for certificates of competence and make a mental note of the name of the person it was granted to and when.
Most people find it more comforting, the longer the tattooist has been carrying out his or her trade. If the parlour is busy come back later or make an appointment to talk to someone. Make certain that the person you are going to talk to holds some position of responsibility - the proprietor or a qualified, working tattooist.
Whilst you are there, look for signs of cleanliness. Does the parlour look clean? Are people wearing gloves? Are they smoking or eating whilst working? Disease is the biggest problem, but some infections can be deadly
Therefore, we are not only talking about perhaps having to take a course of penicillin. Infection can be very serious, although it hardly ever is, but you do not want it anyway.
While you are discuss the tattoo that you would like, enquire if the tattooist has experience with that sort of design. Some tattoo artists may specialize in Celtic designs or Dragons. It is definitely worth making sure that they are able to do the job. Request to see an example - they probably have photos of previous clients.
Whilst discussing your tattoo, does the tattooist try to encourage you to have a bigger or dearer tattoo? There should not be any hassling. If they think that your job is too small for them, they ought to only say that they are too busy. If you feel that you are being pressured into getting a dearer tattoo, go elsewhere.
Finally, cost is not everything. If it all works out well for you, you will be happy with your tattoo for the remainder of your life, so paying a bit more to have it done properly and safely is a small price to pay unless you are an octogenarian already.