A lot of people think tattoo artists are able to draw up tattoos on the spot, and have the tattoo done the same day. In some cases this may be true, but is rare. If you are looking for a larger piece, such as a sleeve, or something that is intricate, setting up a consultation appointment may actually be a good idea. Some artists are very busy throughout the day, and if you just walk in to a shop expecting to talk with an artist, chances are you will just be asked to schedule a consult for another day when the artist has time. Consults can also be beneficial because if you have ideas but don't know how to put it all together, the artist will be able to tell you what will work, and what may not. Or they may have a better idea of placement, colors, how to tie it all together, etc. So before you walk in to a shop to talk with an artist, call ahead of time and see if the artist has time that day, or if you will need to schedule something. Consults are always free! And it never hurts to ask for one.