The day that you are scheduled to get a tattoo, be prepared for more than your money’s worth of pain and ink. There is so much more than meets the eye when it comes to getting a tattoo from a pro tattoo parlor. A lot of people have this initial impression of tattooing, that any old stock photo or clip art will do for a tattoo. The truth is, while tattoo artists don’t entirely mind giving their customers a redundant tattoo, it might behoove those who decide to seek an artist out to ask them for their personal opinion first.

Ask any tattoo artist for their opinion and you’re sure to get a very honest and straightforward answer. Artists are artists for a reason and they generally know a thing or two about the nicest way to lay a tattoo design out, what location of the body would be best to place what design, and can even usually draw something up for you. Even if tattoo artists, such as those working at tattoo shops in Salt Lake City, aren’t necessarily traditional artists, they will undoubtedly know at least a dozen other people who are competent freehand artists. Having a pro artist draw up a pro design from your idea is honestly the best course of action, in most cases.

There is a lot of planning that can go into a tattoo design. Emphasis on the word “can” since it has definitely been proven that some people can go headfirst into the implementation phase without much, if any, planning. Generally, this is followed by many months of increasing regret since this is something that they will be stuck with potentially for the rest of their lives. Even if you do end up (somehow) with a tattoo that you aren’t much of a fan of, after all, tattoo removal by laser is both expensive and painful, even more painful than getting the design done itself. As for the cost, tattoo removal usually requires many expensive visits over the course of a long period of time, depending on how dark and deep of a tattoo we’re talking here. Basically, it’s really something you want to try to avoid, so giving some real thought to what you’re going to have impressed upon your body is a very good idea.

With all of that said, it’s good to really consider being as creative and original as possible with your tattoo design choices. It will help you to avoid potentially embarrassing situations later on when you realize that the yin and yang fish design that you’ve had in mind all of these years have been done way too many times and have been placed in the same spot countless times. Most clients who get tattoos want to be proud of having something one of a kind on their bodies, rather than copying something they saw online in one of their social media news feeds. Even though that may be tempting at first, if you are too impulsive, then you may end up regretting it since the tattoo didn’t really have any significant meaning to you on a more personal level.

Avoiding more superficial mistakes can save you a lot in the long run. If you work in the media or entertainment industry of any kind, including being a Youtuber or a model on another social media site, then you could easily run into a copyright issue if you end up with someone else’s design online and are not crediting the artist. The same principle applies to logos and other copyrighted or trademarked images. This is a very extreme example of tattoos that are sought after without much forethought, but it does drive the point home that with some planning, you can cut any possibilities. On the same note, there may be certain images that your potential boss or work, in general, would not find appropriate for you to get a job with.

Consider both the image and the artist when you are getting your tattoo. Does your artist have good working practices, such as keeping a clean place? Do they possess a positive reputation among others who have gotten tattoos from them before? Be sure to do your research to see if the artist you are going to is the right fit for you and your personal values. If proper training matters to you too, then ask them about their background and experience before setting up that initial appointment.