Before you get all bent out of shape (I'm sure this is going to upset some people), please know I'm not claiming to be tattoo queen or anything. I just HATE seeing bad tattoos all the time. I know some people are going to be mad about this and that's okay. To each their own. I just see so many people who have terrible tattoos that were done by a terrible tattoo "artist" that gave it to them for free/really cheap. Cheap tattoos aren't good and good tattoos aren't cheap.
My tips for not having a sucky tattoo...
1. Does the artist have a portfolio? Do you like what you see? Awesome. If you don't like what you see or if they don't have one, then there's a problem. Don't go to someone just because they offer you a cheap tattoo, you get what you pay for.
2. If you have an idea for your next tattoo, put it somewhere you can see it every day. Keep it there for a few months and see if you still like it. Again, getting a tattoo is a forever thing unless you wanna pay for a coverup (which isn't always even possible) or pay to have it laser removed and that leaves a scar. Find an artist who you like their work or who specializes in the design you want + have them draw it up for you. I'm not saying that spur of the moment tattoos aren't going to be GREAT tattoos that you love, but waiting and thinking about the idea isn't ever going to hurt you.
3. Don't copy another tattoo. Just don't do it. With the world of the internet, so many people are getting ideas for tattoos on Tumblr or Pinterest. It's fine to be inspired by someones tattoo but don't just copy it. I won't lie, I've seen a lot of tattoos I've used for inspiration, I've really liked tattoo ideas I've seen online but I would NEVER straight up COPY another tattoo. You know how movies make it seem all awkward when you have the same dress as someone, well think about having the same TATTOO as someone you don't even know. Totally awkward. Be inspired by them but don't copy another persons tattoo. Tattoos are art and you should want to make yours as unique as possible... or at least that's how I see it.
4. On that note, no reputable tattoo artist is going to copy a tattoo to a T. I remember when I brought fonts in for my first tattoo and showed them to the artist. He was straight up honest with me and said he would NOT be doing a tattoo with one of the fonts I picked out because it just looked bad. I'm so thankful for that now because I would have had a nasty tattoo on my body forever. At time time, my feelings were hurt but I ended up happy with the tattoo I have now. I see so many of the "I refuse to sink" or "Take these broken wings and learn to fly"/bird tattoos and I get so bummed about it, be original.
5 Don't start out with a big tattoo that's visible if you're unsure if you can handle it. My first tattoo was on my foot and it's words. I can show it off if I want too and I can keep it hidden if I want too. So many people want get big visible tattoos at first but many regret that later. The sad truth about it is that there are still negative thoughts that come with having tattoos and if you can't handle that, go with something small and hidden. Not only that but tattoos are painful and it's best to start off small to know what you're getting into. (though different parts of your body hurt worse.)
These are my personal opinions. If you don't like it/agree with it, that's fine. I encourage you to leave your thoughts below in the comment section. Let me know some your tips to not having a sucky tattoo. My friend, Cheltee wrote a post about things to think about before you get a tattoo. Give that a read too.