Getting your first tattoo may sound easy, but there are thing you need to know before you do. Let us help you make the process of getting your first tattoo more comfortable.
You want to express yourself and what better way to do it than get a tattoo to represent exactly what you want to say. You’ve picked the exact piece of art that you know will look amazing on you. You know precisely where you want it and the colors you want them to use, but have you taken the proper steps to make sure you get exactly what you pay for?
Don’t despair, we’re here to help! Here’s our advice to those considering their first tattoo. If you’re under age, speak with your parents first. Parents today are more open than you think, but their permission will be required.
Selecting The Right Tattoo
If you haven’t already selected a piece that speaks to you, don’t worry there’s still plenty of time. Don’t make any impulsive decisions, you’re in no rush. Remember, the tattoo will be with you forever.
Picking the right art piece that will be displayed on your body for the rest of your life sounds like fun, but take your time. Do your research to be sure it’s exactly what you want. We don’t recommend selecting a tattoo that is trending because it will quickly go out of style. Be patient and take your time. Select something that represents who you are. Select a piece that speak to you visually as well as spiritually.
It doesn’t have to be an image of something or someone. A word or two or even a short sentence like a quote can look beautiful. We also don’t recommend you tattooing your boyfriends or girlfriends name on you. Nothing trashy either, remember it’s art!
Prepare in advance and do your research on the tattoo parlor you’ve tentatively selected. Choosing a professional tattoo artist who is reputable and responsibilities is just as important as picking the right tattoo, if not more. Use social media to help you with this step. Use your own investigative skills and check out what the reviews say about the artist.
There are precautions that tattoo artists are required to take and you need to monitor to make sure they are being followed. A quick trip to the tattoo parlor if possible will help you make the decision faster. Check out the place before going to the actual appointment. Make a consultation appointment with the artist to discuss your piece before you actually commit to it. While there, check out the cleanliness of the tattoo shop, it will tell you a lot about the artist and his business. Tattooists and their clothing must be clean at all times. No cuts, infections, dermatitis or wounds on the skin can be kept exposed, so pay attention.
Check reviews online as well as the BBB. We recommend that you select a tattoo shop that has registered with the state and are following all state laws and regulations involving tattoos shops in your local area. The requirements will vary from state to state so check with your local health department to determine what licensing they require and make sure the parlor has it displayed.
Referrals Work Best
Do you have any friends with tattoos; have them recommend someone they’ve worked with in the past. If you’ve admired your friends tattoos, chances are you’ll like what the artist has to offer as far as the style you’re looking for. Have your friend tag along to cheer you on and make you feel more comfortable. Social media is a great place to get referrals. There are groups and pages that are dedicated to giving ideas and advice on tattoos. Instagram and Facebook is a great place to get an idea of what you may want to get.
There are health and safety concerns when it comes to the art of tattooing. Just like other businesses, they will also be subject to inspections so pay attention if it’s displayed. We don’t recommend you get your tattoo in someone’s basement that’s just starting out. That’s a big no no! Even if it’s a friend you completely trust, accidents happen. Prevent one if you can by not placing yourself in any uncomfortable situations.
Keep in mind the law is on your side and requires all tattoo shops to sterilize their utensils before every use. Do yourself a favor and make sure the necessary steps are being taken by the facility to ensure safety precautions for their customers. There is a huge increase in hepatitis due to infectious needles being used. Diseases such as HIV are still very common with new ones being discovered daily. The last trend reported was tuberculosis found in water that was used in ink. For this reason, it’s become very common now to use disposable utensils that come prepackaged and can be disposed of after each use. Disposable gloves are also a must for the artist, for his and your protection. Find out what process they use for their customers.
Negotiate a price, but do your research first. Find out what their competitors are charging so you always have the upper hand. Keep in mind tattoos can get quiet pricey depending on their size. Shop around and get a few price quotes!
If you are happy with your selection of the tattoo, speak with the artist to make sure this is something he can do. He needs to be able to copy the picture or the writing the exact same way. This is especially important when doing a portrait of someone like your child. If he doesn’t specialize in portraits, select someone who does. Certain tattoo parlors may charge extra if the picture is your own and you’re not using a piece he’s done in the past. Tattoo shops will usually display their work on their wall, so you’ll have a huge selection to pick from. Do pay attention to the price while you’re looking. It’s easy to get carried away.
Size Matters Too
If this is your first tattoo, try not to pick a large piece because it WILL hurt. Start off with something small to see how you manage the pain. Some tattoo artist will split the session into two if you experience a lot of pain during your first one.
Once you’re comfortable with your piece and you’re happy with your tattoo artist then schedule an appointment for the near future. Don’t forget to bring a friend with a car just in case you’re not well enough to drive after. Nobody ever knows the affects the tattoo will have on their body, so better be prepared than sorry later.
No drugs or alcohol before the tattoo because it thins your blood which will cause excessive bleeding. You don’t want any complications, so be smart!
Be sure to advise your tattoo artist if you are pregnant or have a serious illness so that he takes extra precautions if necessary. If he feels the time is not right for you, follow his advice and don’t go elsewhere. He will ask you these questions regardless because once again, it’s the law. If you have allergies, that’s something you need to mention as well.
There are certain precautions you must take. Specific instructions you must follow once you get your tattoo. Your tattoo artist will provide you with the list. He will also provide you with a list of things that you must avoid after getting a tattoo. We recommend that you follow his instructions exactly! If you feel there is a problem, be brave and speak up. Don’t procrastinate and be sure to follow up with your tattoo artist in a timely manner. You must make sure everything is healing correctly. You are the keeper of your body, not the artist who place the tattoo there. If you feel you need medical attention, go immediately. Provide the local emergency center with all the necessary details and don’t try to hide any information. It could be a blood infection which is not a good sign.
If you’re happy with your tattoo, you’ll feel confident in coming back. Ask the tattoo artist to keep your information on file. You won’t have to go through the process of completing paperwork and the artist will know your style. It’s like building a relationship. The studio will hold all of your information for up to 24 months, in the event you want to come in for another piece.
Bring a camera along with your friend. You want your friend to capture memories of your first tattoo. It will be fun to share on social media and look at later!
We hope you find this information useful. Getting your first tattoo is no easy task. Remember it’s always better to take precautions whether you’re young or old. Take care of your body and the beautiful art you’re now displaying on it.
By: Ida L