Getting tattooed is a big deal and one that should require lots of research and planning. As a disclaimer I would like to mention that I am not an expert, just a tattoo collector and lover. But these are my top 5 tips that I give anyone who is considering getting their first ever tattoo.
1. Research the design
Research is key. Think about what you want? Big or small? Colour? What style? There are many styles available from traditional to neo-traditional, from water colour to realism. Research the style that you prefer and then find tattoo inspiration from other tattoos and/or art in that form. You would be surprised how many variations of the infinity symbol there are.
Side tip: Leave room for adjustments! Although knowing what you want prevents time wasting, sometimes a tattoo artist will give their own tips on how to take the tattoo to the next level. You don’t have to take their advice but they are artists and sometimes even the smallest adjustments can make all the difference.
2. Research tattoo artists near you
Some artists specialize in specific styles so looking into the artwork of tattoo artists nearby is necessary especially if you have a certain style in mind. Previous tattoo work might be displayed on their social media platforms or their website so you can observe their quality of work. Also as a bonus, research reviews of previous customers. Of course you will come across some troll comments but reviews are important. They can tell you a lot about the tattoo artist and often can be the final decision when deciding where to get tattooed.
Side note: I got a tattoo done and have never been back to the shop as I thought they were very unprofessional, how you feel in the shop makes a hell of a difference.
3. NEVER negotiate tattoo costs
This is the biggest no-no ever. This is how a tattoo artist makes their livelihood, how they keep a roof over their head and feed themselves. Negotiating prices is just rude. You can’t expect someone to spend 4+ hours of their time creating a grand masterpiece for £60. It just won’t happen. Good quality tattoos by artists who exceed in their style will cost a lot. But what would you prefer, a majestic lion or something that resembles a hairy peanut?
4. Follow the after care/cleaning routine
If it is your first tattoo then always follow the instructions given to you by your tattoo artist. There are a few ways to care for your tattoo but by following your artists advice you prevent them from blaming you should anything go wrong. Stick to one method until the tattoo looks healed.
Remember: Do not pick at the tattoo! Yes I know it can itch but keep those hands away! And I know the scabbing and peeling stage is not pretty, but if you pick at it, the tattoo might not look as pretty either!
5. Yes…it will hurt
Will it hurt? Multiple needles going through many layers of skin into the epidermis? Yes. It hurts. Some places will hurt more than others and the pain will vary depending on the person but yes there is pain. By researching tattoo artists you may find someone who has the option for numbing gel to help ease the pain but not all artists offer this. But remember the pain is temporary and the product is worth it.
So there is my top 5 tips on how to get the perfect tattoo for you. If you’re interested in more tips, here’s a link to a blog post written by an actual tattoo artist.
Do you have a tattoo? If so what is it of? What’s style do you prefer? And what is your number one tip that you would give someone thinking about getting their first tattoo?
“I am a canvas of my experiences, my story is etched in lines and shading, and you can read it on my arms, my legs, my shoulders and my stomach”
– Kat Von D