Getting your first tattoo is a big step. You may have thought about it for years and have finally decided to take the step to get it done. Before you go all-in, keep these first tattoo tips in mind before your first appointment and throughout the process.
1. It is okay to start small
While your friends may have full sleeves or big tattoos, there is no shame in starting small. You can continue to add on if you wish. Starting small allows you to see how your skin reacts to the ink and will help you learn how to care for the tattoo.
2. Know your pain tolerance
Know your pain tolerance. This will help you determine where you get your tattoo and may decide how big you go. If needles freak you out, bring some kind of distraction when you get your tattoo done and express concerns with the artist.
3. Have an idea of what you want
For your first appointment, bring in a visual aid of what you want, whether it is something you drew or something you found online. One of our most valuable first tattoo tips is to make sure the tattoo is meaningful and will matter to you in the far future (a life mantra instead of a Ninja Turtle is your best bet).
4. Decide where you want the tattoo
The placement of the tattoo is crucial. If you want to remain professional, get your tattoo in a place where it can be hidden. Also, certain places on your body are more sensitive than others, so know where these spots are and keep them in mind.
5. Do not settle for the lowest price
Quality comes at a cost. Do not settle for the lowest price of a tattoo, and avoid going in with a cheap mindset. You will have to pay to have the tattoo done itself, and you will also have to tip the tattoo artist as well. This is one of the first tattoo tips you don’t want to forego, it’s best to avoid a blotched version of your tattoo idea!
6. Know how much care is needed afterward
Getting a tattoo is not complete once you get it done. You will have to take care over several weeks to make sure the scabs heal properly and that the quality of the tattoo remains for life. Ask the artist about the care of the tattoo and see if it fits your lifestyle.
7. Be open with your artist
It is important to get to know your tattoo artist and vice versa. Getting a tattoo is a huge commitment, so being able to trust your artist is crucial. Ask to see a portfolio and do not hesitate to ask questions and express your concerns.
8. Take your time through the process
Do not rush the process. This is a permanent commitment and can be expensive, so it is important to know what you are getting into. Make sure you solidify your design and that you are aware of everything that goes into caring for your new tattoo.
9. Remain calm
It is acceptable to be nervous about getting your first tattoo, but take a few deep breaths before your first appointment and when you do get the tattoo done. Stressing out will give the artist skepticism about whether or not you are ready.
10. Take a friend with you
If you have a friend who has gotten a tattoo before, do not hesitate to take him or her with you to your appointments. They know what to look for and will know what to ask the artist. They can offer their opinion on shops and the placement of the tattoo.
11. Ask friends for advice
If you have a variety of friends who have tattoos, ask them for advice before your first appointment and throughout the process. Bounce ideas for tattoos off them and ask them about their experiences when they were dealing with the care after the tattoo.
12. Be prepared for questions to be asked about your tattoo
Once people know that you are getting a tattoo or are least in the process of getting one, there will be a lot of questions coming your way. There will be people who will judge you for wanting to go through with getting the tattoo. Have answers prepared and know how to respond to various comments.
13. Do not get drunk before your tattoo appointments
This is true over all of your appointments, including actually getting the tattoo done. The artist will tell you important things at each meeting, so it is important to be sober and in-the-moment to make sure you get the information you need. This is definitely one of the first tattoo tips you should always keep in mind. Getting an unwanted tattoo after a wild night out is the worst way to get your first tattoo!
14. Do your research
Go to as many local shops as possible before making a final decision on your shop. Ask friends and loved ones for their opinions. Ask coworkers about the policies within your field regarding tattoos. Having all the information you need is crucial since this is a huge commitment.
15. Wear comfortable clothes
Being comfortable throughout your appointments is crucial. Make sure you wear clothing that makes where the tattoo will be so that it is easily accessible and so that the artist can see what needs to be done with the area of skin.
Did you find these first tattoo tips useful? Let us know in the comments section below!
Featured image: www.unsplash.com
Ashley is a recent graduate from Temple University in Philadelphia, PA with her Bachelor's in journalism. She love writing articles about music and Philadelphia. Ashley would love to pursue a career in journalism in New York City.