Finding a shop that handles body piercing and tattoo work in a manner that you'll be comfortable with takes an investment of time. You want to find a location that has talented artists, but you'll also want to know that the folks doing your work are competent in dealing with safety concerns, too. Follow these four tips in order to identify the tattoo shop that's right for you.
Pay a Visit
Seeing what a tattoo artist's location looks like will tell you a lot about them. If the tattoo shop looks orderly and clean, you're probably well on your way to finding someone who appreciates the importance of sterilization and safety. Should it be possible, ask if you could watch them do some work. Make a point to ask the subject of the work if it's okay, too.
The foremost concern you should have when getting a tattoo or a body piercing is safety. One big item you'll want to see is an autoclave, a device designed to sterilize equipment using steam and pressure to trigger chemical reactions. Some models also use gases like ethylene oxide. Autoclaves look a lot like pressure cookers, and they're standard equipment used in many laboratories and medical facilities. If the tattoo or piercing artist says they use something different, it's probably time to leave.
Watch for how the artist handles basic cleanliness, too. Are they washing their hands? Do they make a point to wear rubber gloves while working? Bear in mind that a commitment to quality in one area, such as sterilization, will likely transfer to other areas, such as precision in tattooing and piercing.
Seeing examples of an artist's work is important. In the case of getting a body piercing, you want to see exactly how they make holes, as you don't want to be dealing with an unexpected situation. For those getting tattoos, seeing evidence of a clear style is beneficial, as it's unlikely you'll get great results from someone whose vision doesn't match yours.
Tattoo prices can range widely, but most places start at a house minimum of $50 and then go up from there. Highly customized work will easily go into the hundreds, and larger items will get into the thousands or tens of thousands. A body piercing will cost somewhere between $20 to $85 depending on the location and complexity, with advanced ones going higher.