If you are a tattoo virgin and do not have a tattoo artist that you regularly go to then you should most definitely do your research on a tattoo artist. There are hundreds of tattoos artists out there but some are better than others. For instance some tattoo artists specialize in certain kinds of tattoos. Take portrait tattoos, these tattoos are very hard to do. Not just any one can draw a picture of a real live person on your skin. This kind of tattoo takes a lot of training and experience. Portrait tattoos are one of the most difficult to do and not ever tattoo artist can pull them off.
So if you have your heart set on getting a portrait tattoo do your research first and talk to your artist and see if they feel comfortable doing one. Also don't be shy, look through their tattoo book of people they have tattooed before. Not only will this ease your mind that they are competent but it will also give you an idea of what kind of tattoo they excel at. If your artist does not feel comfortable doing a portrait tattoo then don't be afraid to ask them to recommend someone they feel would do the job better. More than likely there will be someone in the tattoo shop that specializes in these tattoos so you won't have to leave to comfort of your tattoo shop. If no one has experience with them in the shop simply ask for a recommendation of another artist.
Just remember when trying to find a tattoo artist you need to make sure you see pictures of their work or know someone who has been tattooed by them. There is nothing worse than getting a bad quality tattoo.
Source : http://ezinearticles.com/?Do-Your-Research-on-a-Tattoo-Artist&id=2745104