This little guide will help you in deciding on an artist and help you pick a design you will be happy with.

- Research is key!! There is no such thing as too much research. Look at different styles of tattoo and try to narrow down the things you like the look of. Researching an artist is crucial. Check out portfolios and drop into the studio and take a look around.

-Don't follow the crowd. When deciding on a design, do so because you like it, not because everyone else seems to be picking that style.

-Placement is key. Even a well executed tattoo can look out of place on the wrong part of the body. Your artist should have opinions on where they think a design should be placed.

-Don't decide on a certain studio because they are cheap. Good quality work comes at a price, as does high quality equipment.

-Do not be afraid to ask questions. An artist should be prepared to answer any questions they face about any stage in the tattoo process.

-Once you have found an artist you feel can deliver the work you want, allow them time and space to deliver a high quality design. Remember, don't try to squeeze too many meanings into a small tattoo. This can often leave the tattoo looking cluttered and busy.

-Trust your artist. They do this sort of thing every day and know what will work and what won't work. This goes for longevity too. They may advise a slight change in your design, but only because it will hold better over time. Their aim is to help you get the best tattoo possible, to last for the longest time possible.

-Follow the aftercare instructions. This part of the process is just as important as the application of the design.

Choosing an artist and a design

Handy hints