The most important thing you can do before getting a tattoo is to take the time to find the right studio and artist. Many people just decide on a whim that they want to get a tattoo and enter the nearest studio without much thought about what they are doing. Some get lucky and walk away with a great tattoo, while others are not so fortunate. Getting a new tattoo is exciting, and when you finally decide this is what you want, it is hard to wait. But this is not something to be rushed into. If you really want a tattoo that you are going to be happy with, it’s going to take some time. Shop around. You’re probably familiar with Instagram, the most commonly used social media platform for tattooing! Start by searching there. After all, tattoo artists tend to use Instagram as their portfolio nowadays as it’s the easiest and fastest way to showcase their work and what they’re capable of. You’ll quickly get an idea of an artist’s style from their social media pages and will know whether or not that’s what you’re after. You’ll also be able to see their following, and well-established, trusted tattooists tend to have a higher one. Once you’ve found an artist you like, get in touch with them through social media or call the studio. Start by explaining what it is you want and give as much detail as possible. Talk about the size, style and where on your body you would like the tattoo to be. When the artist responds, you’ll get a good idea of whether they’re going to be right for you. They’ll either love your idea and build on it or they’ll be completely honest and say they don’t think it’s quite their thing. You don’t have to be an artist to be able to tell quality work from a bad job. Whether you get a chance to view pictures in an artist’s portfolio or see a live example, really look closely at the work. It’s easy to be swayed by pretty pictures. Don’t get caught up in this trap. Look closely at the lines. They should be smooth, not jumpy, jagged, or shaky. Colors should be bold and filled in completely with no blank areas. Circles should look like circles, not ovals. Be objective. Your friends can be a great resource to you as well. If they have had a good experience they will probably recommend their artist. And if they’ve had a bad experience, they can warn you not to make the same mistake and what to avoid. Don’t be afraid to ask around. If you see someone walking down the street with a great tattoo, don’t be afraid to ask them where they got it. Most people love to talk about their tattoos.