You find yourself exceedingly excited because finally, after months of saving and decision-making, you’re ready for that awesome tattoo. But before you commit, here are things to seriously consider since a tattoo is a permanent body modification.
1. Do your homework and research the local establishments and artists. Ask around and get referrals from friends, family, or co-workers. They’ll be the ones to guide you for the best experience. Don’t go in on a whim because you’ve finally got the nerve. Odds are, you’re not getting ink done by the infamous Kat Von D.
You don’t want to end up on one of those Facebook pages that make fun of messed up art work. You also don’t want an infection or disease. Now this is uncommon as most Tattoo Studio’s are valid business establishments that practice safe sterilization methods using auto claves and spore test that equipment. If someone becomes offending by you asking about the shops sterilization methods, walk out!
2. No two artists are alike. Each tattoo artist has their own technique and favorite art form. Some are amazing with color, while others will do the unimaginable with grey and black pieces. There are artists who specialize in unique, custom tattoos and some who will only work from flash. Specialties can include Japanese style, traditional American, cover ups, cosmetic such as permanent makeup or camouflage, fine line, tribal, full body pieces, and portraits.
Regardless of style, it’s best to remember quality is better than price. You get what you pay for. Skin artists have a library of art available in the studio and on their websites. Some will even offer free consultations.
3. Have valid identification available. Each state has different laws on age requirements and most establishments will require ID at the time of your appointment. Signs or notices will be posted indicating if minors under the age of eighteen are allowed on the premise.
The artist you’ve chosen will likely have you fill out paperwork and have you sign a liability waiver. This document should also have a clause that you, the client, are not under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
4. Don’t drink heavily and stay up late the night before. Being tired creates anxiety and drinking thins the blood which makes the skin more sensitive. Tattoos hurt. As silly as it sounds, you’d be dumbfounded by how many times I have seen grown men whining and crying like a three-year old. Or worse, pass out and fall right on their face.
It’s beneficial to be hydrated and eat before you arrive for your appointment. Drink lots of water so your skin is more tolerant of the pain. Eating will decrease your chances of fainting spells. Bring snacks and water or Gatorade. Tattoos create trauma to the body, food and water help combat shock.
5. Listen to your tattoo artist not the dummies who think they know-it-all. Aftercare is so important. The artist you’ve hired should give you detailed instructions on what you can and shouldn’t do while the piece is healing. You’ve trusted this person to permanently modify your skin. You can trust their instruction to care for that work of art to last forever.
6. Don’t ask for a quote over the phone or in an email. This is borderline insulting and might end the conversation with a resounding no thank you. Advise the artist of what you’d like and the placement of the piece. Size, color, and placement play a key role in the price of the work. Be careful of those who are cheap.
Remember, you get what you pay for. Quality before pricing. This is why most of us save up for that masterpiece.