You’ve been wanting to get inked for years, and finally the time is right to get your first tattoo. You’re excited and just a bit nervous! You’ve heard horror-stories about people regretting their tattoos, you’ve seen some tragically funny examples of regrettable ink, and you are worried about making the same mistake. Good! That means you’re taking getting your tattoo seriously. Luckily for you, Body Art & Soul Tattoos is here to help and we’ve put together some tips about what you should and shouldn’t do before, during, and after your first tattoo to ensure it is an enjoyable experience.
It is important to find the right artist and style for the tattoo that suits you. For a first tattoo it makes sense to pick a design that has a personal connection. You’ll want to be able to look down at the tattoo in years to come and still be happy about what it means. Avoid tattoo trends and be sure your artist is creating custom work for you! Once you have a collection, getting flash from a special or on a whim can be fun, but you’ll be happier in the long run if your first is extra special.
When you get your new ink, you have to decide how visible you want it to be. Is it just for you and will go somewhere hidden or do you want to always have it on display? Remember, you have to live with your tattoo and wear it in your daily environment. And even though the popularity of tattoos is rising (almost three in ten Americans have tattoos), there are still some “job stoppers.” We know plenty of successful professionals with full sleeves under their suits, but not everyone has the same freedom or job security. Make sure your tattoo doesn’t limit your career possibilities or negatively impact how you interact with other people. For example, if you work as a nurse, you might not want a grim reaper tattoo that is visible on your forearm when dealing with sick patients, you might consider putting it on your thigh or back instead. A good artist will be able to advise if the design works on that part of the body or not. And there’s always the pain factor to consider: some places on the body hurt more to get tattooed than others.
Most tattooists use social media to promote their work, and Instagram is a great place to start your research. You want to get your tattoo from someone who is invested in giving you a great tattoo, so make sure you love their art! If you are obsessed with bold thick lines and graffiti street art style, and the artist you are looking at has a portfolio full of photo-realistic grey shaded pet portrait tattoos, ask yourself if someone else may be a better choice. Hashtags are your friend!
The key to a good relationship is communication. It’s your first tattoo and it is important to you! If the artist is unfriendly, or acts as if tattooing you is doing you a favor, take your skin and your money elsewhere! A good tattooist will be interested in talking about your tattoo as they want to create good tattoos and have satisfied customers who recommend them to others.
Nearly everyone is nervous about getting inked the first time, and a good way to calm your nerves is to book a consultation with the artist and meet them in person to discuss the design. Be sure you practice good tattoo etiquette and are prepared to pay a deposit before the artist draws up your design. They are creating a unique piece of art based on your inspirations and passions, which takes time and technical skills. It also shows you respect their talent and are serious about getting tattooed, so they will be happy to spend time on it, and to make changes to the design before the tattoo appointment.
When you’ve followed our top 5 tips before your first tattoo appointment, you’re on track for a memorable tattoo experience! Wonder how we know so much about making getting tattooed a special experience? 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 keep an eye out for the next articles in this series where we give our top tips for a great first tattoo during and after your tattoo appointment.