Do I really want this?
It might seem to go without saying, but make sure you really want that tattoo. Sometimes a client will come into the tattoo shop with an idea in mind for the perfect tattoo, but for whatever reason they will leave with something other than what they said they wanted. How does this happen? Perhaps the client gets talked into something they don’t really want. Perhaps the client is too nervous to speak up when the tattoo artist makes changes. Perhaps the tattoo discussed is not the one that is actually put on the skin.
Be sure that you have complete communication with your artist and that you remain on the same sheet of music throughout the entire process. Don’t be afraid to speak up and ensure that you get what you want. Most of the time, if the artist gets no feedback he or she will assume that everything is in agreement.
Think through your tattoo design and be sure that it is really something that you want. It is going to be with you for a very long time. Try to veer away from clichéd or dated tattoo designs. Things that are trendy or faddish also make poor selections. Again, these things should go without saying but you would be surprised how many of these poor choices eventually become cover-up candidates.