To find the right tattoo, search online reviews of tattoo artists in your local area, or search for online galleries of original pieces, or "flash."
Most tattoo shops welcome walk-in visitors, though calling or emailing before your visit can save you and your tattoo artist time. If you have a specific design in mind, email it to your tattoo artist before your visit, or print it out and bring it to your local tattoo shop.
Tattoo studios almost always keep books or boards on display that contain "flash" images or tattoo designs drawn by their resident tattoo artists. Browse the design displays at a few shops in your area before choosing a tattoo.
Most tattoo artists have backgrounds in drawing or painting and post galleries of their artwork and past tattoo work online. If you find an artist whose work you admire, contact him or her to draw a custom piece for your tattoo. This is a great route to take when you want a tattoo, but aren't sure what to get.
Tattoo artists can create a tattoo design based on almost any image, even if the image wasn't originally intended for tattooing. If there's a drawing, painting, photograph or cartoon that appeals to you, send it to your local tattoo artist to see if he can convert it into a tattoo design.