You’ve found the right artist for you, had the consultation, and booked the date to get your first tattoo. Excited? Nervous? Here’s the next installment in our first tattoo advice series focusing on what to do during your appointment. Read the rest of the series for the complete list of top tips for making sure getting your first tattoo is a great experience.
Getting ready for a tattoo is not the same as getting ready for a hot date. You don’t need to “dress to impress,” but wearing clean and comfortable clothes will make your experience more pleasant. The placement of the tattoo may also affect what you want to wear on the day. Wearing skin tight pants won’t do you any favors if you are getting your thigh tattooed, and wearing hot-pants won’t make you any more comfortable when you get your shoulder tattooed. Bring a sweater or hoodie with you so you can stay warm during your tattoo. You’ll find your temperature will vary while you get tattooed (you may feel warm if you are nervous and get colder while you sit still), so be prepared with something easy to take on and off.
Taking the edge off the pain might work well in the movies, but in real-life it is a bad idea! You will bleed more, which makes it harder to apply the ink properly. Good tattoo artists will refuse to tattoo drunk people, so you will probably lose your deposit too.
Getting tattooed on an empty stomach sucks. A light meal an hour or two before the session will help elevate your blood sugar levels and keep you alert. If it’s a long session your blood sugar levels may drop, so bringing some snacks such as apples, bananas, or a sparkling soda can help. Try to avoid caffeinated drinks, especially energy drinks, as you are going to have to sit still for the tattoo and these can also make you bleed more. Be sure to bring along water as well!
Tattooers charge what they feel is fair reward for their time. Everyone loves to receive a tip, so if you are super happy with your artist’s work, that is the best way to let them know. If you think you will be coming back to that artist for more ink, a tip is a good way of starting this relationship.
You’ve got your first tattoo, your artist has covered it in protective wrap, given you your after-care sheet, and you are ready to go out and celebrate. The temptation to party is strong, but your new tattoo is an open wound and how you treat it in the first 24 hours will have a massive impact on your comfort during healing. Going home and watching your favorite tv show and relaxing with a good meal is better for your body and tattoo.
When you’ve followed this first tattoo advice to get you through your appointment, you’re on track for a memorable first tattoo experience! Wonder how we know so much about giving good first tattoo advice? We’ve been training successful tattoo artists who excel at world-class customer service for over eight years! And we’re always looking for talented artists to join our team.
And be sure to check out the other articles in this series where we give our top tips for a great first tattoo before and after your tattoo appointment.