A friend recently asked me about getting her first tattoo and now that I’ve got three, I feel like I’m somewhat qualified to talk about getting tattoos now (some would beg to differ but I thought I’d share my experiences).
I thought I’d share some of the things I think are worth knowing having got a few tattoos and having talked to someone who’s about to get their first!
1. Make sure you actually want a tattoo – I don’t want to sound like your mum, I’m not saying you shouldn’t get a tattoo and I’m not going to lecture anyone about ‘getting a job’ or whatever. What I mean, is that be sure that you won’t regret your decision six months, two years, ten years! You have to know why you want your tattoo whether it be for sentimental reasons, to mark a moment in your life or simply because you like the design – just be sure you’ll still like the design in the long term!
2. Do your research – make sure you’re going somewhere with a good reputation that really know their trade and care about giving you the best tattoo they can. When I got my third tattoo, my sister booked it all because we got them in a shop at home and I was at uni in Southampton – we went to a studio called Mod ‘N’ Ink and out of the three places I’ve been to get my three tattoos it was without a shadow of a doubt my favourite. The tattoo I got there was the matching one with my sister and it was her first tattoo, so I was nervous that she was going to hate it and I’d be responsible for it. But the artist was incredible – he was really impressed with my design, he showed us both all the needles he was using in the packing and their expiration dates so we knew it was safe, he talked us through the whole process and he was the least judgemental artist I’ve been to yet (and the studio is gorgeous!). Whilst he was working on my sister’s tattoo, he was talking about doing white tattoos and he talked us through the whole process and how important it was to get it right – he really knew what he was doing and he was a truly incredible artist. Highly, highly recommend the studio and recommend looking for that kind of standard.
3. Try and get as good a picture of the design as you can or work with your artist to make a custom design – it’s all well and good finding a tattoo that you love on Google Images and taking a screenshot of it but if it’s not flat or of a reasonable quality it’s really difficult for your artist to recreate it.
What I mean, is take an image more like the one on the left than the right, because if you’re going to copy an image directly, you need it to be as clear and as easy as possible for your artist to recreate on your body.
4. In terms of pain, go in open minded – people have different pain thresholds and whilst some people have horror stories, personally I’ve never felt anything more than mild discomfort and my tattoos are on the bone, on veins and on muscle. However, if you expect the worst you’re probably going to be more nervous and more tense and it’s likely to hurt more than it may do if you stay as relaxed as possible.
5. No question is a silly question – when my friend was asking me about getting her first tattoo she kept apologising for asking ‘silly questions’ and for one – I was honoured that she trusted my opinion and asked for my help so didn’t mind answering her questions at all and for two – your artist would rather you asked a question and looked after your tattoo properly than got it wrong and ended up with a tattoo you’re not happy with. No question is a silly question so ask any questions you have because it’s more than likely they’ve heard it before and have been asked much sillier things before.
6. From my experience, it will itch like nothing has ever itched before but you have to resist – aftercare is really important to having the highest quality tattoo and it’s quite clear from my tattoos that you can tell which order I got them in. Do everything you can to look after your tattoo.
7. When you’ve got your tattoo, show it off as much as you want (without interrupting the healing process, see tip 6) – getting a tattoo is exciting and fun and when I got my first one, I think everyone I went to school with asked if they could see it.
And there are some tips for getting your first tattoo! I based this post mostly off things I wish I knew before I got my first tattoo, but if there’s anything you think I missed please leave it in the comments!
Thank you for reading,
Uni blog: http://sophieannblogs.blogspot.co.uk/