Many people at least contemplate the idea of getting a tattoo at some point in their life, though not everyone ends up going through with it. For those who decide that getting a tattoo is something they want to do, there can be many things to consider before actually getting the artwork done. Getting a tattoo is a major decision, and getting the first one brings about extra stress as the process is all new.
First, decide just what you want to get a tattoo of, and where you want it. These are both very important parts of the tattoo process. Remember that this tattoo is going to be on your body for the rest of your life, so you want to make sure it's something you'll want to see even when your life is much different from what it is now. Deciding where to get the tattoo on your body is equally important. Is your tattoo something you want to show off, or is it something you want to be hidden, and just for you? Do you plan on working in a more professional environment, where visible tattoos aren't allowed, or are you planning on working in an area where visible tattoos are openly accepted. Other things to consider are the size of the tattoo in relation to where you want it, and how your skin will stretch and change over time. A tattoo on a muscular arm might look great now, but if you stop working out later in life, the tattoo will look much different.
After you've got a design and location picked out, you must choose a parlor. Often you can go online and read reviews for parlors, to get a taste of the service. It's a good idea to check out the parlor yourself, too, to make sure you're going someplace that's clean and hygienic. Your tattoo artist will also be willing to work with you on your design, in case you want some extra opinion, or help on the drawing aspect.
Getting the tattoo itself is likely a scary experience. If you want extra support, invite someone to go with you. Don't be too nervous, and remember that your artist knows what he or she is doing. The tattoo will likely hurt to a degree, but it will be over shortly. If you're getting a large piece done, and it will take more than one session, don't be afraid to end one session early if the pain is getting to be too much. Smaller tattoos usually are more tolerable as far as pain goes.
After you have the tattoo, follow the care instructions given to you by the artist. You will likely receive some type of lotion to apply to the tattoo two or three times a day for a while. With proper treatment, your tattoo will look great for years to come.