Are you looking at getting your first inking? I’ve been getting tattooed for a couple of years now, and have picked up some things from experience over time that I thought I would share with you. Keep reading to hear my advice, on going through the process of getting your first tattoo.
Start by doing some research
Although I’ve wanted tattoos since I was at least 12, it helped me to know what I was going into before getting it done. Familiarising yourself with the general process, and knowing what to generally except should help to put you at ease rather than throwing yourself into the situation with your adrenaline running.
With that said, don’t forget to research your design thoroughly too. Consider different styles, composition, colours etc before finalising your decision. But most importantly, research your artist! Check out the portfolios of artists in your area, or look for artists through Instagram that you’ll be willing to travel to. Never settle for an artist because your friend said they were okay, they’re cheap or because they’re close by. A tattoo will last longer than a laptop, tv or car, so if you’re willing to splurge money on those, you should be willing to on your ink. Sadly, amazing artists don’t come cheap, but they’re definitely worth it.
Get a consultation and an appointment
Depending on your shop you may need to call for a consultation, or just walk into your shop and speak to your artist, but either way you should discuss your design with your artist before booking. Be precise as you can with explaining your vision for your tattoo so the artist understands what you are after. Once you are happy to go ahead, arrange a booking and pay your deposit. Some artists can be near impossible to get appointments with, some have year long waiting lists and some can do walk ins. The waiting time can vary but if you know your artist is popular, I’d recommend booking in as soon as you can.
I’ll do a more in depth post on preparing yourself for a tattoo appointment, but you’ll want your appointment to go as smoothly as possible, so just as a few pointers I would say:
• Take out the money for your appointment the day before
• Get a good nights sleep
• Do not consume alcohol before your appointment
• Go freshly showered and wearing comfortable clothes
• Eat a good meal before, and possibly take a snack to keep your sugar levels up
• Don’t take more than one friend with you
Relax and enjoy it
Make sure you are 100% happy with the design before committing, and bring up any points about the design/placement you are not happy with before you begin getting inked. Do not be shy, or feel guilty for wanting to perfect your design. Also, it’s a common fact that tattoos hurt. But don’t work yourself up over the pain. It’s usually no where near as bad as you’re expecting. Getting tattooed is something you should enjoy, so take time to absorb your surroundings, chat to your artist and have fun. Try your hardest not to tap our of your session, especially if you have less than an hour left as you’ll have to go through the healing process twice, and have an unfinished tattoo until you can go back. Sometimes tapping out is unavoidable, and your artist will understand, so don’t put too much pressure on yourself if you do have to. Try to book an appointment that you’re confident you can handle in order to avoid it though.
Follow your artist’s advice
If you YouTube different tattoo care videos, you will get many people telling you different things. I always follow the advice of my tattoo artist and do what I personally think is right and will benefit me. You will get different people telling you to use Bepanthem, Sudocreme, moisturiser, coco butter, expensive tattoo creams and many more different products, and no matter how much you look it up, you’ll always get told a different answer. I would suggest starting off by following your artists advice, and see how it works for you, before trying out anything you heard from a friend or video.
Care for your tattoo like you would a new iPhone
Again follow the advice your artist gives you for healing, and they’ll probably tell you these following things, but here are some general rules when you have a tattoo in the healing process:
• Wear comfortable clothing that won’t suffocate it
• No direct sun exposure
• Keep it clean and stick to your healing process
• No soaking the tattoo ie. stick to showers, no swimming, hot tubs or jumping in lakes.
• Do NOT itch, scratch or pick at your tattoo under any circumstance.
The healing process time will vary for different people, but once you are 100% convinced it is fully healed, you can check your tattoo over for any touch ups needed and book an appointment if required. Always apply SPF 30+ to your tattoo whenever it is out in the sun to avoid fading.
I hoped this helped you. Let me know in the comments below if you enjoyed this post, and what your first tattoo will be. Alternatively, if you are already tattooed, let me know what your first tattoo was.
Don’t forget to sign up in the side bar to keep updated with more tattoo related posts and more! April.