Getting a tattoo is a decision with permanent results. Physical preparation for the actual process should start at least 48 hours prior to the appointment.
Choose a design
Look for images that carry some personal connection. Many websites offer free tattoo graphics. Likewise, tattoo artists display their best work in portfolios both in the studio and online. It's also possible to adapt a picture into a tattoo.
Select a tattoo artist
Always get tattoos done by a professional artist in a tattoo studio for best results. Choose an artist who is willing to work with you on your design. Visit the artist ahead of time with your ideas, and make an appointment for the tattoo itself even if walk-ins are accepted. This ensures adequate time for the process.
Abstain from alcohol
Alcohol can thin the blood, so don't drink for at least 48 hours prior to the appointment.
Stay out of the sun
The tattoo artist cannot work on skin that is burned or even pink from the sun. Depending on your natural skin tone, stay out of the sun for a minimum of 48 hours before the appointment.
Prepare the area
Bathe with an antibacterial soap. Shave the target area if necessary.
Eat ahead of time
Eat a meal just before the appointment, especially if the artist will be working for an hour or more. Likewise, bring a snack such as nuts or orange juice to keep your blood sugar up.
Use aftercare products
During the consultation with the tattoo artist, discover what products are recommended for taking care of the tattoo. Buy them before the appointment, and have everything ready at home.