Tips For Getting Your First Tattoo
You’ve finally booked your first tattoo. It took you forever to settle on your design, find the perfect artist at the perfect studio (Black Label obviously), and book an appointment. It’s a great feeling.
Now imagine you’ve turned up hungover, the artist refuses to tattoo you, you’ve lost your deposit, and missed your chance to add some great art to your body. If only you’d known.
Here’s some advice on getting inked for the first time.
Be on Time
First and foremost, your appointment is time-sensitive for a reason. Tattoo artists are busy people, and they need to rely on you to turn up to your appointment on time.
Many artists aren’t on salaries and depend on their bookings to make money; if you turn up late to your slot, you’re potentially losing your artist money.
Don’t be too early either. Artists need time to prep for your booking, be sure to give them this time.
Eat Before Your Appointment
Okay, this one’s essential. Tattoos are massive wounds, albeit pretty ones. The process takes a lot out of your body and can be exhausting.
Tattoos cause you to bleed, and you need to make sure you have enough blood sugar to withstand this.
If you don’t eat before your appointment, you’ll start to feel light-headed. You could pass out. Your artist could also recommend that you stop and book another session to complete the piece.
Don’t skip breakfast. You’ll be out of pocket and feel unwell.
Don’t Be Hungover
Seriously. Do not, under any circumstances, turn up to your booking hungover. Artists will not be impressed, you’ll lose your deposit, and most parlors won’t tattoo you.
Hangovers cause your blood sugar to plummet. You’ll simply bleed too much for the artist to see what they’re doing.
Tattooing is also a very intimate profession, and artists do not want to spend hours near clients who reek of alcohol.
The night out can wait. Save it for when you have an opportunity to show off your first tattoo.
Yes, it Hurts
People like to say that their tattoos didn’t hurt. But they do. It is a needle repeatedly piercing your skin.
This isn’t to scare you. It’s so you know what you’re to expect.
If you walk into your booking expecting a pain-free experience, you could end up with a nasty shock when your artist starts.
Certain body parts are more painful than others, special mentions to calves, ribs, and inner biceps for being exceptionally painful areas to get done.
Just keep reminding yourself of why you’re getting this done and how it will look when it’s finished.
You Can Take Breaks
Nobody is going to laugh at you for taking a break. Artists would prefer to work on someone who’s relaxed, not someone’s who’s straining to tolerate more than they can take in one sitting.
During longer sessions, it is not unusual to take several breaks. This also helps the artist rest their eyes and stretch their legs.
You wouldn’t work 5 hours straight without so much as a water break, don’t expect your artist to either. Artists will regularly ask you how you’re doing and if you want a break.
You won’t be inconveniencing them.
Look After It
The moment you leave the tattoo parlor is where the real work starts. Your artist will talk you through how to care for your new tattoo. Listen to them carefully.
Different artists recommend different things, but the essentials are as follows: keep it clean, moisturized, and out of the sun.
As previously mentioned, tattoos are big wounds. You must keep them clean to avoid infection.
Gently wash your tattoo one to three times a day for the first week and once a day for the two weeks after that.
You can buy specialist tattoo gels to keep your tattoo from drying out. Household goods like coconut oil are also excellent.
Getting a tattoo is an addictive and rewarding experience. You’re paying for work that will last a lifetime. Enjoy the atmosphere of the parlor and the process of being tattooed.
Following the tips in this guide will help you get the most out of the experience and ensure you end up with a quality piece that stands up to the test of time.