How to Get A Tattoo?
Step 1: Choose a Design
The first step in the tattooing process is the selection of a design. Most tattoo shops will have pre-drawn pictures, also called "flash," that you can choose from, if you don't mind having a design that you'll also see on other people. These typically line the walls of the shops and books and there are a multitude of styles, including skulls, flowers, tribal, arm/ankle bands, lettering, kanji and more. You can also find "flash" online. Some pictures are available for free to download or for sale.
If you want something original, talk to the tattoo artist about creating a unique image. This can be based on something you or a friend has drawn or on a favorite poster or painting. In many instances, if you talk to the artist beforehand and bring in images of the style and type of tattoo you are looking for, he or she can create something based on your examples. You may need to shop around a little since not all tattoo artists will be interested in or able to do an original design. Of the many who can, not all will share your vision or have a style you like. Try visiting local shops' websites, or ask people with tats you admire where they got them done.
Step 2: Think About Placement
This step can come into play before or after choosing your design, but the placement of the tattoo is important.
Take into consideration that some designs fit better in certain places. For example, a larger tattoo with intricate details will require more space than is allowed on your wrist or along your ankle; whereas a small design just hanging out in the middle of your chest or back could look out of place, especially if it is your first tattoo.
When you're comfortable with how the tattoo is placed, the tattooist will pull the skin taunt and begin inking the design into your skin. A tattoo machine uses tiny needles to place the ink just below the skin's surface. The needles move rapidly up and down, a little like a sewing machine. The artist guides the needles to create fine or bold lines, shadows, and/or blocks of color. Usually, he or she will begin by outlining the picture in black ink, and then will fill in the outline with colors and/or shading. The artist may switch needle types during the tattooing process, depending on the need for fine lines, fill, or shading.