Small gallery of dragon tattoos, followed by information on getting a tattoo.
Girl with Dragon Tattoo / Digital Art
Levi’s Ad Dragon Tattoo
Red Dragon Arm Tattoo
Tattoo artist: Darren Brass. © TLC Miami Ink
Dragon and Phoenix
Andy Shou Dragon Tattoo
Design by Andy Shou of Taiwan. BBC: In Pictures
Miami Ink, Dragon Tattoo
Courage Dragon Tattoo, Chinese Characters
Blue Japanese Dragon Backpiece
Green Dragon Tattoo
Dragon Shield Tattoo
a) Where do I start?
Browse websites and get a good idea of the range of different styles out there. Popular ones include tribal tattoos, Celtic tattoos, traditional ‘tattoo parlor’ designs, biker tattoos, Japanese tattoos, Chinese tattoos, etc.
Think about what inspired you to want a tattoo. What style of tattoos do you like? What did you like about it?
You can visit local tattoo shops, which are likely to have albums of designs you can view. While you’re there, pay attention to the place and whether you’d feel comfortable getting a tattoo there.
b) Is it safe to get a tattoo?
Go to a professional tattoo shop where the proper tattoo equipment is used. If new needles are used for each new customer, there is no chance of contracting a blood-borne disease. Professionals will not mind showing you the unopened package of needles they will be using. They should dispose of the needles when your tattoo is finished.
Visit several tattooists to make sure the one you select meets basic health standards. Be sure your tattooist has:
- a medical sterilization machine that can use very high heat and steam to sterilize the tattooing equipment (leave if there isn’t such a machine)
- individually packaged, dated and sealed needle sets (a small icon on the packages will change color when they’ve been sterilized)
- clean and disinfected surfaces, ointments, pigments, and gloves
- your health in mind -the artist washes his or her hands and puts on a new pair of gloves for your work and keeps them on throughout the procedure
- written instructions on the proper care of the tattooed area to prevent infection (read them before the procedure)
If a tattooist doesn’t follow sterile procedure, or is unwilling to discuss health issues with you, find another tattooist.
Avoid “scratchers” who work out of vans or their kitchens. Your tattoo will be with you for a lifetime so it’s worth the effort to prevent infections and complications!
c) I’ve heard tattoos don’t look so good once you start to age. Is that true?
Skin and flesh may sag in some places as you age. You know roughly where skin tends to sag as you get older, so try not to get a large tattoo in those areas. A small one is usually alright, and there are several places where you can get a tattoo that won’t change substantially over the years, such as your ankle or shoulder.
Keep in mind that tattoos may fade over time. You may need to get it re-inked. Colors tend to fade faster than black.
d) What can I do if I’m dissatisfied with a tattoo?
Options are limited. Depending on the design, it’s possible that the tattoo can be added to to alter the appearance. Or you can look at (costly) laser tattoo removal methods.
Make sure you’re getting the tattoo you want before the inking process actually starts.
e) Will having a tattoo make it harder for me to get a good job?
It depends on where you work and where your tattoo is. If your tattoo is in a place where office clothes cover it, there’ll be less worries.
f) Can I give myself a tattoo at home? Can a friend give me one?
It is certainly not advisable. You should have your tattoos professionally done – otherwise you’re just asking for trouble in the form of an infection or slower healing time. Do-it-yourself tattoos hurt a lot more and they seldom turn out as well as professional tattoos.
Reference for FAQ: Free Tattoo Designs
Jess Chua has been webmistress of Dragonsinn since 1999.
She works in the online writing/editing field. She enjoys yoga, reading, and sketching.
Her debut poetry chapbook was published in 2023. Her writing website is jesschua.com