With Great Tattoos Comes Greater Responsibilities
So you have decided to get your first tattoo design and you are ready to commit for it… but wait HOLD ON. Do you know everything that you need to know before getting a tattoo? If you are a newbie in the tattoo world then you must know all the good and bad of a tattoo before committing to it.
There are dozens of things to keep in mind before getting your first tattoo. Here we present you a complete guide on what to do before getting a tattoo –
- 1 1. Prepare Mentally –
- 2 2. Prepare Physically –
- 3 3. Prepare Economically –
- 4 4. Choose Your Tattoo Design Wisely
- 5 5. Size Matters –
- 6 6. The Right Tattoo Placement
- 7 7. Tattoo Pain –
- 8 8. Research –
- 9 9. Discuss with other Tattooed People –
- 10 10. Timing –
- 11 11. Take Time Before Getting a Tattoo –
- 12 12. Search for the Best Tattoo Artist –
- 13 13. Hygiene of Tattoo Parlor and Tattoo Artist –
- 14 14. Don’t Bargain –
- 15 15. Reaction to Tattoo Ink –
- 16 16. Print the Design you want –
- 17 17. Know About Tattoo Sessions –
- 18 18. Know and Respect the Rules of Tattoo Parlor –
- 19 19. May not Get Exact Tattoo –
- 20 20. Shave –
- 21 21. Don’t Panic –
- 22 22. Tip The Artist –
- 23 23. Tattoo Aftercare Cream –
- 24 24. Fix Up New Tattoo –
- 25 25. Know About Healing Process –
- 26 26. Don’t Swim –
- 27 27. Protect from Sunlight –
- 28 28. Get Ready to Face Criticism and Answer People –
- 29 29. Tattoo Cover Up –
- 30 30. Tattoo Removal –
1. Prepare Mentally –
Many consider tattooing as a physical and spiritual journey. You may not agree with this but still you need to know that getting a tattoo on your body is not as easy as getting a haircut. There are lot of things involved in tattooing and you must prepare yourself for it beforehand. You should be open to new ideas (that might result in change of final tattoo) and criticism. Yes people are going to keep their nose in your tattoo design. So be mentally prepared for it.
2. Prepare Physically –
Don’t take it as joke. Preparing physically is as much important as preparing mentally before getting a tattoo. You are not running a 5K marathon though but still you have to prepare your body for its first tattoo.
- Don’t Drink Alcohol. It would thin blood which will make it difficult for the artist to work.
- Take healthy diet full of protein and carbs.
- Drink Lots of water.
- Do Yoga and meditation. It is not only a healthy lifestyle to follow but it also helps you to control your mind in extreme situations.
3. Prepare Economically –
Here is another Big tip – Know your Budget. Tattoos are not cheap and if someone tells you otherwise then quit your tattoo plans forever. The cost of tattoo depends on a lot of factors ranging from the size and placement of tattoo to the reputation of tattoo artist. Also you should consider budget for tattoo aftercare creams, fix up sessions, tattoo cover up and even tattoo removal.
Never choose a cheap artist just because it will save you few bucks. You are changing your body for life and it is no joke.
4. Choose Your Tattoo Design Wisely
If you are reading this guide then chances are that you already have chosen a design for yourself but is it good? You will find millions of tattoo images online. TattoosBoyGirl also have a wide range of tattoo ideas for men and women but in the end it all depends on your personal choices. Instead of choosing just one design pick up 5 or 6 tattoo designs so that you can discuss it with your friends.
5. Size Matters –
One common mistake made by tattoo beginners is large size tattoos. Very often I see people with full back tattoos of some weird tribal patterns and when I ask them about it they admit that it was their first tattoo. So before getting a tattoo you should choose the size of your tattoo design.
Small tattoos look way better than large size tattoos. They will cause less pain. They will be budget friendly. Also they will be easy to hide. All in All, your first tattoo should be small in size so that you can know how it feels to wear a tattoo for life.
6. The Right Tattoo Placement
Another big mistake made by newbies is the placement of tattoos. If you are a blue collar employee then obviously you do not want tattoo to be on visible part of body. Also you should know about the tattoo pain chart which tells you which body part can handle the tattoo pain. Depending on all these factors you should choose the best part of body for your first tattoo.
7. Tattoo Pain –
Yes Tattoo hurts, but how much? It Depends. Different body parts react differently to the tattoo pain. The tattoo pain chart will come handy in this. As I said you have to prepare yourself mentally for this pain. Lots of Newbies (especially girls) scream a lot during their first tattoo session. Many even pass out. You should know your pain limits. The needle of tattoo machine is going to puncture your skin thousand times a minute. Your skin pores will open up and blood will come out.
Are you ready to handle this pain? You do not want a half done tattoo just because you were not able to bear the pain.
8. Research –
The more you research about tattooing the more you will know about the process. Knowledge is power. You not only have to research about the tattoo design you want but also about the tattoo artist you chose. Google will help a lot. Follow your artist on instagram, browse through tattoo guides on pinterest, discuss about tattoos on tumblr and reddit. It will help you in preparing yourself before getting a tattoo.
9. Discuss with other Tattooed People –
It is always good to discuss about your thoughts and ideas regarding tattooing before the actual process. Discuss with your friends who have tattoos on their body. Ask them questions. Clear your doubts. If you know any good tattoo artist then discuss with them about your tattoo design. Join tattoo forums to meet people who take tattoo as a culture and lifestyle. Such people will help you a lot in giving tips on getting a tattoo.
10. Timing –
If you are going to a beach vacation with your family then skip your tattoo plans. Don’t get a tattoo if you are planning for a summer vacation near a beach. The best timing to get tattoos is during winter. You will protect it from sunlight and water. It will heal quickly.
11. Take Time Before Getting a Tattoo –
If you are thinking that getting a tattoo is one day process then you are wrong. You have to question your own decisions before getting a tattoo. You have to ask yourself is it worth it? Do you really want it? Many people get tattooed with the name of their girlfriends/boyfriends and later regret it for life time. You do not want a tattoo that you are going to hide from everyone for the rest of your life. Give yourself 6 months to a year before committing to a tattoo design. You will have a lot of thoughts during this time period but in the end if you still want it then go for it.
12. Search for the Best Tattoo Artist –
Every tattoo artist has a different style. Some are slow and careful, while others are fast and rough. Speed does not necessarily define the tattoo quality but it surely takes test of your pain bearing capability. The end result will matter a lot before choosing the right tattoo artist. It is possible that the tattoo studio you are considering have an official website or an instagram account. Check out their website, follow their instagram profile. See if you like their tattoo designs or not.
Do not focus on tattoo prices while choosing your artist. Remember Cheap tattoos are not good and good tattoos are not cheap.
13. Hygiene of Tattoo Parlor and Tattoo Artist –
A tattoo is like an open wound and it can be easily infected by outside contamination. While choosing the right tattoo parlor and tattoo artist for yourself, you should also consider their hygiene as an important factor. If the tattoo parlor is not clean then reject it. If the artist is not well groomed, well-mannered and healthy then reject him. You do not want the tattoo artist to wipe off his nose while inking a tattoo on your body.
14. Don’t Bargain –
Bargaining is default human nature. You cannot avoid it. But there are few fields where you should not bargain. Tattooing is one such field. Do not bargain with your tattoo artist. It’s not the time that you are paying for but the art and Art is priceless. A Tattoo artist might reject you just because of bargaining.
15. Reaction to Tattoo Ink –
Just like hair dyes, many people have reactions to tattoo inks. There are different types of inks used in tattooing. These inks are made of different chemicals which might not suit your body. Ask you tattoo artist about the ink he/she is going to use. Research about it.
You can carry out a little experiment by using the ink on your index finger. Wait for a week. If it gives an itching sensation or give a feeling of burn then avoid it. If your body do not give any strange reaction to ink then go for your first tattoo.
16. Print the Design you want –
About 95% people already choose their tattoo design online before finding a tattoo artist. The other 5% just ask their tattoo artist to ink whatever comes to his/her mind. If you belong to the other 5% then skip the decision of getting a tattoo.
If you belong to the 95% group then bring the tattoo design in printed form to your tattoo artist. You can have a high resolution image too but it is always better to bring a paper copy. The tattoo design must be clear to understand and you should discuss about it with your artist.
17. Know About Tattoo Sessions –
Inking a good tattoo takes time. Many tattoos are not completed in one session. In fact the whole process is divided in to multiple sessions (especially if it is a large size tattoo). Your tattoo artist needs a lot of focus and active mind while tattooing your body. He/She may feel tired and ask you to come back again. Don’t be rude on this decision as it is good for both of you. Come back again and get your tattoo done with a fresh mind.
18. Know and Respect the Rules of Tattoo Parlor –
A tattoo parlor is not a pub where you will bring all your friends to hang out. Nor it is a day care school where you will bring your kids. Each tattoo parlor has their own set of rules and you must know about them before you go to the studio. You can visit them before hand to ask about their policies. Usually most parlor allows one friend with you but still many people bring about half a dozen people so that they can witness the golden moment. Don’t do it.
19. May not Get Exact Tattoo –
You stumbled upon an amazing tattoo and you immediately decided to get it tattooed in same fashion on your body. You found the perfect tattoo artist with lots of experience and you went through all the pain to get that perfect tattoo but the end product didn’t match your chosen design. Now What? Don’t worry because the finish product depends on a lot of factors. Your skin tone and your physique also contribute to the look of factor.
Can you have Dwayne Johnson’s elaborated Bull tattoo design (updated in 2017) on your biceps? Unless you have bigger biceps then Dwayne Johnson then there is no other way you can get the exact tattoo on your biceps. Your expectations should be based on facts and not just imaginations.
20. Shave –
Most people think that shaving is useless for getting a tattoo. You are wrong if you think so. You do not want the tattoo to hide under the hairs on your skin. If you want your tattoo to stand out and be meaningful then clean hairs around the body part where you want it. Cleaning just 3 4 inches around the tattoo won’t work. You might have to clean hairs that are not even near the tattoo. So be prepared for it.
21. Don’t Panic –
Most people just skip the process of thinking and researching before getting a tattoo. They just go to the studio and sit on the chair for their tattoo. What commonly happens to such people is an inevitable panic attack. Mind work mysterious ways. It questions your decision right in the middle of tattooing thus resulting in a discomfort for both client and artist.
If you have prepared yourself physically, mentally and economically then there is no need to panic. Take it as a spiritual process and you will love it.
22. Tip The Artist –
You might not know but many tattoo artists are actually employee of the tattoo shops. They do not own it and they have to share the price of tattoo with the owner. If you liked the work of your tattoo artist then don’t hesitate in giving 15% to 30% tip. This way you will acknowledge their art and appreciate their time and effort.
23. Tattoo Aftercare Cream –
Getting a tattoo without a aftercare cream is liking fighting a battle without an armour. You must buy an aftercare cream for yourself. Usually I would not advise you to pick the cream that your tattoo artist gave you in the studio. Research about aftercare creams and pick the one that best suits you. Personally I would advise Bepanthen+ care cream and Vasocaine Numbing spray.
24. Fix Up New Tattoo –
As I Said tattooing is not one time process. You might have to visit your tattoo studio for a couple of times before your tattoo completely heals. Your tattoo is not finished after you leave the studio. Wait for few days and you might notice leakage of ink or white spots in the tattoo design. It is common. Go back to your tattoo artist and ask them to fix it up for you. Do not hesitate in this. If you tipped the tattoo artist well then he/she surely will be happy to help you.
25. Know About Healing Process –
Keep it in Mind – Tattoos Take time to heal. There are many different things that happen during the tattoo healing process that might worry you. Please know that Tattoo peeling and tattoo scabbing are common and nothing to worry about. A tattoo takes 4 to 7 weeks to heal completely. You should take care of it before it heals completely.
26. Don’t Swim –
There was news in mid-2017 that a man died due to swimming after a tattoo. It may sound weird to tattoo newbies but it is one thing you should not neglect. Do not go for swimming in any kind of water (pool, pond, river, sea) for at least 5 weeks after getting a tattoo. Tattoo is like an open wound and you should know what an open wound can do. It killed Khal Drogo.
27. Protect from Sunlight –
Sunlight is archenemy of Tattoo. Even if your tattoo gets a year still it can be ruined by Sunlight. How? Sun light include many different rays including the harmful UV rays. These rays cause cancer. UV rays are the most harmful enemy of Tattoos. You have to protect your tattoo all the time from them. Use natural sunscreen products to avoid your tattoo getting directly into contact of sun light.
28. Get Ready to Face Criticism and Answer People –
It doesn’t matter if you are an introvert or a social person; you are going to get a lot of comments after you get your first tattoo (especially if it is easily visible). Most will ask its meaning and its importance to you. Everyone will give you a review of it.
Not everyone will be praising it. Criticism is natural quality of human being so prepare yourself for critics. Don’t let other people’s thought and decisions get heavy on you. It was your choice in the first place and if you did it then stand by it.
29. Tattoo Cover Up –
One thing that you should keep in mind before getting a tattoo is that it can be covered up. A recent survey says that more than 30% tattooed person regret their first tattoos. Why? Because they never thoroughly analysed about it.
You should know that if somehow you dislike your tattoo or want to change it then there is always a option of cover up which is much more budget friendly than tattoo removal.
30. Tattoo Removal –
More than 18% tattooed Americans stated in a survey that they want their first tattoo to be removed. Tattoo removal is a costly process.
We tried to give almost all the information that a person would need before getting a tattoo. Comments and suggestions are welcome.