Planning Your First Tattoo

So You Think You’re Ready To Get Your First Tattoo?

Planning and preparing for your first tattoo is something that should be done with extensive thought and planning. Otherwise, a poorly planned and considered tattoo could wind up being a regret that lasts a lifetime. Here are some tips on making sure that doesn’t happen to you..

Don’t Rush

The design is quite possibly the most important step, followed closely by where you get it done. If you’re not sure that you’re 100% happy with how the preliminary sketches look, talk to your artist about it. They can adjust the drawing and answer your questions.

Research The Shop & Artist

Read the online reviews and visit in person to check out the health standards, clientele, and tattoo artists. It’s important to make sure you’re comfortable in the shop, so do your tattoo research well ahead of time.

Research Design Ideas Ahead Of Time

Research the design ideas you like ahead of time and come in with as much reference material necessary to deliver an articulate description for your tattoo. We will use your base description as a guideline to create a custom piece of art just for you. If you are considering a portrait, it’s best to supply a large (preferably 8×10) clear image to work from so the detail can be captured as much as possible.

Ask Questions

Don’t be afraid to ask questions, questions, and more questions. A good tattoo artist will answer every single one and take the time to make sure you’re comfortable before they start the process with you. If they don’t answer to your satisfaction, you’re just not connecting, or if they seem shady, they might not be the artist for you.

Consider Placement

Your first tattoo is a special experience in and of itself, you may not want to choose something really huge or extremely visible (such as your face/neck/hands) for your first one. First of all, it’s a big commitment and it could make it difficult to get employment depending upon your field. We’ve got a whole blog post about advice on tattoos and jobs.

Don’t Be Too Thrifty

You don’t want your first tattoo to end up on Fail Blogs. Go ahead and shop around until you get an idea of fair pricing, but it’s a great idea to choose a shop based on the artists’ skills, experience, and health standards, rather than price.

Take Care Of Yourself

Don’t go to the shop drunk (impaired judgment + tattooing = bad idea), and make sure you eat a decent meal and drink lots of water beforehand.

Mentally Prepare

It’s going to hurt a little and you’re going to bleed a little, but it never hurts to know what you’re getting into when tattoo machines are involved. Trust us, it’s worth it. And it doesn’t hurt all that bad.

Wear Comfortable Clothes

Depending upon where the tattoo will be, you’ll want to wear clothes that will allow easy access to that part of your body (if you’re going to get a leg tattoo, don’t wear skinny jeans). Also, if the tattoo is large, you may be there for awhile, so wear something that’s comfortable to sit in.

Take Care Of It

Tattoo aftercare is something you should take seriously – we do. Healing your tattoo is just as important as the process itself, so don’t use any type of ointment or left over tattoo wax or goo from 5 years ago. If you want it to stay looking great for years to come, check out our tattoo aftercare instructions.

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