Tattoo Trend Claims Student Skin

El Vaquero Photo Editor

How to Avoid a Bad Tattoo

_õ Only get tattooed in a reputable shop, never in someone’s home or garage.

_õ “Flash,” or the pictures commonly seen on the walls of tattoo shops, are only the beginning. A competent artist will be able to draw a custom design that is uniquely yours. Usually a deposit for drawing time will count towards your tattoo. Bring examples of art you like.

_õ Adequate sterilization requires an autoclave, like the one pictured on the left. If you have any questions about the cleanliness of the shop, ask to see their autoclave.

_õ Tattoo artists only use fresh needles because old ones are too damaged to use, however, you should make sure that the needle has been sterilized before use.

_õ A $20 tattoo can become a $500 problem. Your tattoo will be on your skin for the rest of your life; don’t look for a bargain. Expect to pay $100 to $200 an hour.

_õ If your artist appears to be intoxicated, leave immediately. You’re paying for a professional’s expertise, not taking chances on someone who already started the party. You shouldn’t be drunk either, as you will bleed and squirm more.

_õ Do not ever pick at your tattoo or allow your clothing to rub on it and follow your artist’s aftercare directions to the letter.

_õ Bonus points if the shop is a member of an organization such as the National Tattoo Association. It shows a commitment to the industry, and pride in the quality of the shop.