Cover Image 7 Things to know about getting a tattoo image

7 Things to Know About Getting a Tattoo

7 Things to Know About Getting a Tattoo


woman getting a tattoo under chest tattoo image Empire State Tattoo Convention 2015

Ever since Miami Ink aired on the TLC network back in 2005 tattoos have become very popular. Once Ami James opened up the “world of tattooing” to the masses there seems to be a shop on every corner of America. Before 2000 in many areas it was illegal to operate a Tattoo Shop. Just think from 1961 to 1997 it was illegal to tattoo someone in the 5 boroughs of NYC; it was banned by the Health Department. Now every State, Town and / or City has their own rules and regulations on what they consider “safe”. So how does one find a reputable shop or artist? Here are 7 things to know about getting a tattoo and before sitting in any chair for your newest piece of artwork.

  • Know what you want. This maybe a no-brainer for some but you would be surprised on how many people walk into a shop and say, “I want a tattoo”. This is a disaster in the making. The tattoo shop is not going to be wearing the tattoo for the rest of their life, you are! So know what you want and where you want it. Your artist is there to help assist in ideas of size, detail, correct placement but not to make major decisions on your piece. No matter what you may have seen or heard on Ink Master.
  • Research, Research and more Research. Now that you know what you want and where you want it. Great, but now what? You need to find the artist that is right for you and the piece you want. Why is this important? Would you bring your Chevy to a KIA dealer for auto repair? No, right; not every tattoo artist is “good” at every style of tattooing. So plan on going to an artist that specializes in what you want. If you’re looking for that koi fish and Japanese dragon don’t go to the person who does not have one in their portfolio.

C3PO Tattoo by John Slater image Cape Fear Tattoo Expo

  • First impressions do matter. Now you are ready to book that appointment, you drive to the shop where your artist is working and you are ready to drop down on the counter your deposit (we’ll talk about the deposit in a few) but the shop is nasty and dirty. The front staff rather play on their phone then to welcome you to the shop / studio. Walk OUT! Start your research again. Getting a tattoo is a “special” experience for the person. This is hard for some first timers to understand but you create a bond with the artist and some cultures believe it is a spiritual experience. Don’t lower your expectations just because you want a tattoo. It is not worth a bad tattoo, experience or even worse HEP ‘C’.
  • Appointment time. Ok everything is great at the shop and now it is time to set your appointment. Most artists do have a small waiting list, unless you want a small quick tattoo, chances are you will make an appointment. This is the perfect time to get your ideas down, met the artist and discusses the piece you want. Yes you need to leave a deposit. The amount varies based on the artist and shop. They can be from 20 dollars up to 200. This covers the artist’s time in drawing and preparing for your appointment. Yes, this deposit does to the overall cost of your tattoo and you need to make sure you understand their policy on refunds, but keep in mind a no show will most definitely result in a lost deposit.

Tattoo Setup Twisted Image PSL Image

  • Tattoo day in now here. Your appointment day is finally here and you are going to get that tattoo you want. There are some important things to remember before heading out. It is not a fashion show, wear comfortable clothes and ones that allows easy access to the area in which you are getting a tattoo. Make sure to eat something before you go. Your body goes through different phases while getting a tattoo, which can result in a “low blood sugar” effect and you can pass out. This is not generally from the pain but the body trying to adjust itself from the trauma of the tattooing process. Some people bring lollypops to help with their sugar levels during the tattoo. Also keep in mind that you don’t need to bring a small entourage with you. Shops are small and the process can take hours and it’s better to come either alone or with a single friend. Each shop also may have rules on this so make sure you find out before you arrive.
  • Aftercare is just as important. Now you have your tattoo done and the artist is explaining to you the aftercare he or she would like you to use. This is just as important as finding an artist. If you don’t take care of your tattoo in the first few days and weeks you are setting yourself up for disappointment or worse an infection. A fresh tattoo is considered an open wound and just like any cut to the skin it can be prone to an infection. So listen to your artist on how to care for it and what to use on it in these first few days. NO direct sunlight, NO exposure to chlorine and NO submersion of the tattoo. There are other things to stay away from but again listen to your artist. If you have questions or concerns call your artist. They want you to have a great experience with your new tattoo and are here to answer all your questions.
  • Overall care of your tattoo. Everyday care for your tattoo is important as well. Direct sunlight can increase the fading and lower the vibrancy of your tattoo. So remember to use sunblock and clothing, if possible to cover your tattoos so they stay new looking longer.

Leg Tattoo by Jeff Covell Twisted Image Tattoo PSL

These 7 steps are just a top overview of what to expect while planning, getting and taking care of your tattoo. It is important to go to a reputable shop, listen and ask questions. If you like this article make sure to follow us online.

~ ☠  AnoTat2 
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