So you’re thinking about to getting your first tattoo, not sure what to do or expect? Well you’re not alone, In this article we will explain the process from start to finish
Finding an Artist and/or Studio
The first thing you will want to do is determine who exactly you would like to do your tattoo. Depending on the difficulty and style this can make a big difference. You should spend a little bit of time going through some portfolios on our web site as well as stopping in to see the artist’s portfolios in the studio.
Consultations- a time to discuss your tattoo (free and usually takes about 10-15 min)
It is important to be able to communicate clearly and exactly what you would like to the artist. The more information about what you like, or even what you don’t like will help the artist tremendously. Bring in as many references as you can, such as graphics you find online or magazine clippings. The artists will take note of all of this information and will create a custom design of what they picture the tattoo to be. You will be asked to come back to preview what your tattoo giving you a chance to make any final adjustments that are needed. The artist will make a stencil for placement on your body the day of getting the tattoo. You will also discuss how long the design will take and how much it will cost. It is highly recommended to discuss your budget with the artist rather than trying to find out what you can get for the minimum. If you decide to go ahead and book your appointment a deposit is taken which will be taken off the total price of your tattoo.
Setting an Appointment
Most studios don’t require appointments, but they are definitely recommended and preferred so the artist can prepare for your tattoo just as you are doing, especially if the tattoo is going to take more than a couple hours to do. You don’t want to be in a rush to get somewhere afterwards, and you definitely don’t want an artist to be in a rush to finish a piece of art that is going to permanently be on your body.
The Big Day
The day of your tattoo you will have a lot on your mind. What should I do, what should I not do. Some things are more obvious than others, but we will go over it all to ensure your experience is a good one.
For the don’t, we ask that you do not take or ingest anything that will thin your blood. This will make the job for your artist that much more difficult because of the excessive bleeding that will be taking place. It may be tempting to take Aspirin or have a few drinks before heading in to the studio, but it is highly discouraged. The artist may ask to rebook your appointment if necessary.
Do not bring children or little ones with you for the appointment – they are often a distraction for the artist who should be focused on your tattoo – not about what the little one should not be touching
Now for the Do’s. The first is pretty obvious, show up on time if you have an appointment. If you don’t you can be bumped or rescheduled entirely depending on the artist’s availability. Next be sure to be as clean as possible before going into the studio. Take a shower just before and try to take it easy on the deodorant and cologne. The artist will be right on top of you, and you don’t want the artist to be uncomfortable if he or she is not feeling your fragrance. Make sure to eat a good meal before going into the studio. This is a fairly obvious one, but often looked over. Keep in mind you may be sitting in a chair for 2, 3, or more hours and you don’t want to have to stop the session just because you’re a bit hungry. This is also very important because it take a lot of energy for your body to attempt to block out the pain that it is going through. A majority of the cases where people pass out during a tattoo is because the person did not have a good meal, and their body gets completely drained of energy. It is also highly recommended to wear comfortable clothing that you don’t mind getting a little blood and/or ink on. Guys usually don’t have a problem walking around with their shirt off, but ladies plan accordingly. If you are not comfortable being topless in a tattoo studio and you’re getting a tattoo on the top half of your body wear something that can easily be removed from that area. Shirts like tank tops work well for a lot of placements, and if you’re getting a tattoo on your back, a shirt that buttons down the back will be the best because you can keep it on.
Last but not least, bring a friend or family member for moral support. Most of the time the artist will allow one person to come be close to the person getting tattooed. So if you are unsure of yourself, and feel you may need a little support, than by all means bring somebody with you to give you that support.
Take medication such as Aspirin.
Drink beverages containing alcohol.
Drink caffeinated beverages.
Wear excessive deodorant or cologne.
Do not bring KIDS
Bring ID and form of payment.
Show up early, or at least on time.
Eat a full meal at least 1-2 hours minimum before coming for your tattoo- if you have not eaten within these times we will send you to eat prior to getting tattooed.
take a shower, and keep the area to be tattooed clean.
Bring a distraction, like a mp3 player, book, or magazine.
Wear comfortable clothing.
Bring a friend for moral support.
Shave the area to be tattooed if it is a hairy placement.
Actually getting the tattoo is the most painful part of the process. You will experience a little discomfort for a day or two after the tattoo is finished, but most people equate this to a very minor sunburn.
Everybody knows that tattoos definitely don’t tickle, but if you are prepared, you will be done in no time, and you will have a piece of art with you that will last you a lifetime.
what about Pain? – Pain is just part of getting a tattoo. for some people the pain is a welcomed and important part of the entire experience, it allows them to connect with their physical existences (it lets you know your alive!).
Regardless of your attitude about the pain of getting a tattoo, you are certainly entitled and should be inquisitive in how much it will hurt as you anticipate your first tattoo, unfortunately its different for everyone, and there is no way of truly knowing how painful – or not – you will find it.
The first thing for you to understand is that pain is subjective. This means that people feel pain in many different ways and cope with it according to their own abilities. so for each individual, the pain they may experience is completely different from person to person.
ie: if you are particularly worried and nervous about pain, then you are preparing your brain to interpret the pain in a strongly negative way. some people have a higher tolerance to pain, some lower, tolerance for pain derives from your own mental preparation for the experience and accepting and acknowledging that getting the tattoo will hurt.
Tattoo’s on foot, wrist or hand have special things to consider, please read!
Foot,Hand or Wrist tattoo’s look very striking, These area’s provide a nice flat place for the tattoo to lie.
there are some very good reasons why these tattoo’s are a little less common than other tattoo’s, in fact. There are some tattoo artists who wont even undertake them.
For starter’s, tattoo’s on the foot hand or wrist tend to be a little more painful than other tattoo’s. The general rule is this. if the tattoo is right over the bone, it will hurt more than if its on a more fleshy part of your body, it’ll hurt a lot less. That’s why shoulders or upper arms might be a better place for a first tattoo- if your a little worried about the pain and not sure what to expect these placements might not be for you for your first tattoo.
There is also a greater incidence of ink migration with these placements. This simply means that the ink is likely to spread over time, blurring your tattoo design. This is possible with any tattoo of course on any part of the body but is most common within these areas.
if you choose to get your tattoo in these area’s be prepared to go back regularly to have it re-inked if need be. If getting a foot tattoo avoid area’s like the sides close to the edges of your foot, or toes.
Then there is the healing issue, a new tattoo should not be allowed to rub against clothing while its healing. This usually takes 2 to 3 weeks minimum. For most tattoo’s this s a simple matter, but not necessarily easy for the foot, wrist or hand.
The best time to get a foot tattoo is in the summer, other wise it might be a bit cold to go without shoes in the winter.. you can roll up your pants if they touch the tattoo. And remember to keep the sun off your tattoo at all times!
you need to keep these area’s clean. Wash the area’s regularly with water and milk soap and patting with paper towel – no rubbing!
Keep the tattoo moist by applying a good unscented ointment (luberderm/aveeno to recommend a few) – don’t make it too moist or the colors might bleed.
don’t rub the tattoo – and no swimming until the healing process is over or you can risk infection!
Keep in mind that swelling in these areas post tattoo is common and may cause some discomfort to use, if its possible to take a couple days off you might find it beneficial, also the use of anti-inflammatory can help alleviate some of the pain and swelling.
it takes approximately 3 months for the human skin to completely restore itself after being tattooed. During that time, it builds up millions of cells that cover the ink that’s been implanted underneath. Until that process is finished your tattoo is extremely vulnerable. Even after those first 1 critical weeks.
for foot tattoo’s you can begin to wear shoes when needed but you still need to baby your tattoo. Get shoes off as soon as possible and then wash and treat your tattoo immediately. Keep it out of the sun as much as possible, and apply strong sun block if you do need to expose the tattoo to the “elements” friction and UV rays can still cause serious fading so until its been 3 months you need to be extra careful.
Also- going around barefoot can lead to one more problem related to foot tattoo’s – INFECTION! Feet, as we all know are harder to keep clean than any other part of the body, thought its fairly rare to get an infection from a professional quality tattoo. It is possible especially having a tattoo on your foot makes it slightly even more which its crucial to follow the instruction set in the aftercare program set by your tattoo artist!