Step by Step Plan to Follow if You are Thinking About Getting a Tattoo

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#1. Find a purpose or a meaning

The tattoo industry has come along way in the past 10 years. Tattoo's have hit the mainstream market with shows such as Miami Ink and LA Ink... Have you noticed that every single person that walks in their door and is being showcased on the show has some kind of purpose or story behind their tattoo?

Why is this important?

Well, first off it makes the odds that you’re still going to be happy about that tattoo a few years down the line that much greater.

So how do you find that “special meaning” for your tattoo?

Here are some ideas…


    • Have you experienced a tragic/happy event or moment that you’ll never forget?


    • What are your values and beliefs?


    • Is there a person in your life that has a special place in your heart? (be careful here…you know what I’m talking about!)


    • What are your aspirations/goals?


on the reverse side... there is nothing wrong with getting a tattoo “just because it looks good”. But if you want a tattoo that you’ll be sure to feel proud of and love for the rest of your life, you’ll want it to have some kind of “deeper meaning”.

#2.  Come up with a *killer* idea

This is often the hardest part…But a lot of people often make it a lot harder than it has to be.

Once you know what you want your tattoo to represent, all you have to do is figure out what it is that is going to symbolize that memory, value, event or whatever it is.

One mistake we see a lot is people looking around forever for that PERFECT tattoo design, but there’s always something wrong with the designs they come across. Be it the colours, that something is missing, the size, or that it’s just not the right “style”. As a result, they end up frustrated and never get that tattoo they wanted.

It’s highly unlikely that you’re going to find an existing tattoo flash design that’s a 100% spot on no matter how long or how hard you look for it.

BUT, it’s very possible that you’re going to find a great design that can be slightly modified, added to, combined with another design, or something that’ll just spark an idea.

The real secret lies in realizing that most tattoo artists are willing to make any changes you’re asking for. Especially in a custom studio like Black Line Studio.

Here are a few tips on what you can do that will hopefully get your ideas flowing:


    • Combine two tattoos into one


    • Add script to an existing design.


    • Ask your artist to customize, modify or add something to a existing design


    • Find a photo of what you’re looking for and tell your artist to turn it into a tattoo (be sure the artist you choose is a detailed/portrait artist that can replicate the photo- this is a specialized form of tattooing; not all artists can do this)


If you simply can’t find ANY design, photo or whatever that you can bring to your artist, you’re pretty much left with one option and that is to try to communicate to the artist exactly what it is that you want and have him/her draw a custom design for you. This MAY work well if you’re good at communicating and the artist “gets it”. (even bad references help artists determine what you are NOT looking for)

Lets not forget…there’s of course the option of drawing it up yourself, if you have a talent for that.

#3: Find a world-class, super-fantastic artist

This is obviously a crucial step to making sure you end up with a great tattoo.

Here’s a step-by-step approach that we recommend you follow…

Step 1. What type of tattoo are you getting? Is it going to be black & grey or coloured? will your tattoo be a realism/portrait or old school? Are you willing to travel or are you going to be limited to the artists in your local area? These are all important questions you should ask yourself before you start looking for an artist. Also, look for studios that have various artist- of various styles.

Most artists specialize in or are better at certain styles or types of tattoos. Others only work with color etc. The answers to these questions will determine the size of your list of potential artists that will compete for the honor of doing your super-tattoo.

Step 2. When looking for a shop and an artist, look at their previous work. Most shops have websites where you can view the tattoos the artists have done.  Type in “Tattoo shop” + “your city” into Google and you’ll most probably find the majority of the artists in your area. If you have friends with tattoos you like, ask them who the artist was.

Other ideas for finding artists are browsing tattoo magazines, visiting conventions and talking to people online. Don’t forget to create a list of all the artists you find most interesting.

Step 3. If you’re really serious about finding the very best, you’ll want to pick the 2-4 artists from your list you’re most interested in and do some more research on them. Search for their name and studio online and see if you can find any further info on them, maybe even comments from previous customers.

Then, go visit all the shops and ask a few questions and have a look at their portfolios. Based on the impression you get when visiting the artists, pick the one you like best and make an appointment.

Step 4. When showing up in the studio, make sure the artist’s work area is clean and all needles are new.

This may look like a lot of things to go through just to get a tattoo. But if you look at your tattoo as a lifetime commitment that you’re going to be looking at every day I’m sure you’ll realize it’s worth it.