Does it feel like everyone is getting a tattoo lately? From tiny geometric designs to splashy watercolor tattoos, the art form is everywhere. If you're ready to go under the needle, the
brilliant tips anyone who wants to get a tattoo should know will make the whole process easier.
By all accounts, tattoos are more popular now than ever before. Approximately
42 percent of Americans have tattoos, according to Support Tattoos And Piercings At Work. People drop serious cash on these creations, too. About $1.65 billion is spent in the U.S. on tattoos in one year, according to Tattoo Connection. Tattooing is not only an art form that encourages creativity and self-expression, but also a giant, growing industry.
Although there are more tattoo shops and artists around, getting ink is still a big decision that takes prep work. Finding a cool artist, clean shop, and significant design takes a bit of time and effort, but the end result — a gorgeous, permanent piece of body art — is well worth the effort. By keeping these tattoo tips in mind, you're more likely to come away from the experience with a beautiful piece that will last a lifetime. Take a deep breath and get ready for the needle.
1 Double-Check Spelling
Tattooing a meaningful word or phrase on your body is a powerful investment. But for your own sanity,
check the spelling of your tattoo before it's inked, as noted on Tattoo.com. Look in the dictionary, ask a friend, or call up your high school English teacher. If the word is in another language, have a native speaker check the spelling beforehand. This is not the time to go without spellcheck. 2 Try It In Henna First MOHAMMED HUWAIS/AFP/Getty Images
Want a test run? Get a henna version of the design applied in the spot you want tattooed. Granted, this may not be helpful for an intricate back piece, but you can try out life with an anchor on your wrist for a few days.
3 Consider Your Career
Tattoos are gaining more acceptance in the workplace. In fact, plenty of companies, including
Whole Foods, Anthropologie, and Home Depot, are considered tattoo-friendly, according to Skin Info. If you're in a more conservative field, though, consider a tattoo that can be easily covered by workwear. Bonus: you can still get a giant piece along your rib cage and no colleagues will be the wiser. 4 Invest In Long-Term Care Earl Gibson III/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images 5 Dress Comfy On Tattoo Day Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
Dress for the occasion when it's time to get inked. Choose
clothes that allow easy access to your tattoo location, and avoid anything that might be tight or constricting, according to Hart & Huntington Tattoo Company. Plus, larger tattoos may require you to stay in the shop for a few hours, so dress for comfort. 6 Study Your Artist Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
When choosing a tattoo artist, take your time and do research. Look for
portfolios that showcase clear photos of the tattoos and study them, according to KQED Arts. Do the designs appeal to you? Or does the artist need a bit more practice at creating clean lines? If you can study lots of photos from the artist, particularly healed tattoos, this is especially helpful. 7 Find A Good Fit
Sometimes you just "click" with a person, and hopefully this will happen with your tattoo artist. Ideally, you'll find a shop and an artist who just feel like the right fit for your next tattoo. Some people stay loyal to their tattoo artist for years, so it's well worth the effort to search around.
8 Find A Safe Space Rob Foldy/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
When you're scouting out tattoo shops, look for a clean, well-lit facility. (If the shop is just some rando's garage, then choose a different artist.) Finding a
licensed tattoo artist who uses sterile equipment is key, according to WebMD. Feel free to ask about the shop's cleaning procedures, because non-sketchy artists should be happy to discuss them with you. 9 Go Sober Jason Merritt/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images 10 Tip Your Artist
Hairdressers and brow waxers typically get tipped, and the same goes for your tattoo artist. It's standard to
tip 15 to 20 percent of your tattoo's total cost, according to the website for The Week. Be sure to build this extra amount into your tattoo budget. 11 Don't Go Hungry Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images 12 Think About Your Pain Threshold 13 Pick Colors Carefully
Think about your skin tone when getting colorful designs.
Darker skin tones tend to look best with tattoos in rich colors like crimson red and royal blue, whereas fairer skin tones work well with red and violet pigments, according to Custom Tattoo Design. There's a whole world of color theory behind skin tone, undertones, and the shades that work best for your individual skin, so pick an artist who is versed in these ideas. Picking colors that play well with your skin will make for a long-lasting, beautiful piece. Watch Romper's new video series, Romper's Doula Diaries : Check out the entire Romper’s Doula Diaries series and other videos on Facebook and the Bustle app across Apple TV, Roku, and Amazon Fire TV.