After years of waiting and wanting to get inked, the time is finally right to get your first tattoo. You’re both excited and a bit nervous! Everyone has heard horror stories about people regretting their tattoos. Even you have seen some tragically funny examples of regrettable ink and maybe now you’re worried about making the same mistake. Good! That means you’re taking getting your first tattoo seriously. And you’re in luck because Body Art & Soul Tattoos is here to help! We’ve put together some great tips about what you should and shouldn’t do before, during, and after your first tattoo to make sure it is the enjoyable experience it always should be.
It is important to find the right artist and style for the tattoo that is right for you. For a first tattoo it makes sense to pick a design that is personally relevant to you. 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 a custom design 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 and meaningful to you personally.
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 it to always be on display? The important thing to remember is that you have to live with your tattoo and wear it in your daily environment. And even though tattoos are becoming increasingly popular and accepted (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 may have 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 something like that on your thigh or back instead. A good artist will be able to advise you if a design works best on one part of your body or another. And, of course, there’s always the pain factor to take into consideration: some places on the body hurt more to get tattooed than others.
These days most tattoo artists use social media to promote their work, and Instagram is a great place to start your research. You want to make sure you get your tattoo from someone who is invested in giving you a great tattoo, so make sure you love their art! Also make sure their art is right for what you want to get. For example, 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, then ask yourself if someone else may be a better choice. Hashtags are your friend!
The key to a good relationship with your tattoo artist is communication. It’s your first tattoo and it is an important event for you! If the artist is unfriendly, or acts as if tattooing you is doing you a favor, take your skin and your money somewhere else! A good tattoo artist will be interested in talking about your tattoo as they want to create good tattoos and have satisfied customers who will 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 you want. Be sure you practice good tattoo etiquette and are prepared to pay a deposit before the artist begins to draw 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 actual tattoo appointment.
Taking our top 5 tips into consideration 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 almost ten 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.