Choosing An Artist At A Tattoo Convention
Tattoos are forever -- well, maybe not quite forever, but it's certainly easier to lose that diamond ring than it is to misplace your tattoo. You can wander into a tattoo parlor on a whim and walk out a few hours later with a tattoo you can be proud of, but it's best to keep in mind that, should you be dissatisfied with your ink, it'll take months or years and hundreds or thousands of dollars to remove it.

Even if you are able to cover the old ink with something new, it will be an added expense in time and money. Even if you've been planning for a long time to get a tattoo, and you believe you have the perfect design idea, it's important to take your time in choosing the artist to make your idea into flesh.

Getting Ideas: First, make sure you have a pretty good idea of the design elements for your tattoo. You can choose a design from flash (mass marketed tattoo designs often lining the walls in tattoo parlors), you might draw it yourself or you can get help from a third party (check out our custom tattoo design service). Also, when you find the right artist, he or she can also help you make your own ideas for a design into something unique and personal.

A lot happens at a great tattoo convention in a relatively short time. Especially if you didn't make arrangements ahead of time, you may not be able to get a tattoo from your favorite artist. Try not to get impatient. Maybe you can visit the studio later, or travel to another convention where they'll be. Or maybe you'll need to mull over that design and get it done next year.

If you're new to the world of tattoos but are sure you want to get inked, start exploring the multitude of design options out there. Don't be impulsive and get attached to the first great design that catches your eye! If you do, you're sure to find out that there are lots of other wonderful options you didn't know about. Of course, you can always get a second (and third, and fourth…) tattoo later on, but you don't want to regret that first one, either.

Check out tattoo magazines for great pictures and a wealth of information on artists and studios in your area, around the country, and all over the world. The Internet is another source for the ideas on choosing and getting tattoos (otherwise you wouldn't be reading this article, right?) Attending tattoo conventions is another terrific option. These are often annual events lasting a weekend or more, where you can watch artists in action, examine portfolios, and ask a lot of questions.

Always check the convention's website ahead of time to get a preview of all there is to offer, and decide what you want to see most, or which artists' booths to visit first. Remember that if you can't see it all, there are probably already plans for next year's convention, or there may be others you can visit within the coming months.

Click here for the previous part of this series, "What to Bring to a Tattoo Convention".

Click here for the next part of this series, "Getting Started and Inked".
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