How to Get a Real Tattoo

by Shaunta Alburger
Getting a tattoo is a difficult-to-reverse decision.

Getting a tattoo is a difficult-to-reverse decision.

Pixland/Pixland/Getty Images

Getting a tattoo is a permanent decision that requires painful procedures to reverse. As such, making the decision to get one is an important part of the process. Consider your future plans and how you'll feel about your tattoo later in your life. After you've made the decision, be prepared to choose the right art and artist, and to take care of yourself to keep infection at bay.

Items you will need

  • Tattoo art inspiration pictures
Step 1

Choose your tattoo design. While you might be inspired by tattoos you see on others, don't copy any tattoo exactly. Look at tattoo magazines for ideas and gather clippings to show your artist. The goal is to have an inspired idea and allow the artist to design something that is uniquely yours.

Step 2

Choose an artist. Get recommendations from others who have tattoos you admire. Choose a tattoo parlor that is properly licensed and has a good reputation. Ensure that any needles used on your tattoo will be sterile. Ask to watch the sterilization process to be sure. Interview the artist you choose. Bring your artwork and discuss it with the artist, and settle on a price.

Step 3

Wear comfortable clothing to your appointment. If your tattoo is large, especially, you may have to sit for a long period. Your clothing should not confine the area of your tattoo. Arrive freshly showered, so your skin will be clean, and after having eaten a meal. Do not take aspirin or drink alcohol prior to your appointment, as these will thin your blood.

Step 4

Update your immunizations prior to obtaining your tattoo. Most important are hepatitis and tetanus inoculations. A tattoo is an open wound in your skin, and as such may become infected. Be aware of what constitutes infection and be prepared to deal with infection if it happens by visiting a doctor. Excess bleeding, puss or pain are all signs of infection. If you get keloids -- thickened areas of skin -- when you scar, tattoos are not a good idea for you.

Photo Credits

  • Pixland/Pixland/Getty Images