So obviously from my last few posts you can tell I have quite a few tattoos. But hey, why listen to me, right?
First thing I want to talk about is deciding what to get. My general rule is not to go sporadically; pick something out and sit on it for about 3-6 months. Think about what the tattoo means to you. Ask yourself “Why am I getting this?” After you know it’s something you’ve wanted for a while, go get it! This isn’t to say none of my tattoos were sporadic or all have a meaning. From my last post I explained I got my bats because I like bats. That’s it. There is no real meaning to it. I just don’t recommend getting something on a whim where you will regret it later. Spend a lot of time on google or tumblr or Pinterest (or even deviantArt like I do.) Try to find something original. If you have an idea in mind, talk to the artist. I’m sure they’d be glad to draw something up for you!
Next thing I want to talk about is where to get it. DO NOT get your first tattoo based off of what someone else said regarding pain. Everyone’s pain tolerance and bodies are different. Just because my elbow tattoo almost made me pass out doesn’t mean you can’t handle it. The pain scale pictures you see on Facebook aren’t always accurate. So think about the perfect place for your tattoo. Do you want it hidden or to show it off? Are you wanting to make it into a sleeve? There’s many questions you have to ask yourself in this process.
Now, about the pain. Like I said, it’s different for everyone, but I think all of us tattooed people can agree it’s like a burning sensation. Sometimes you have to grit your teeth through the pain, but it’s worth it. Another debated topic is which hurts more, the color or the outline? Personally, it’s always been the color or shading for me.
Now how do you find the perfect tattoo artist? I go by word of mouth. I’ve been through 4 tattoo artists and 2 of these did work out of their house. A lot of people won’t go to someone who does tattoos out of their house. So I encourage you to have a consultation and maybe watch the artist work in their space. Also talk to people they’ve tattooed if you can. They should have sterile needles just opened from the package. The chair should have some sort of sanitary changeable wrapping. The artist should be using gloves when sterilizing all the tools and everything, There’s lots of things to look for. I also have found Facebook and Instagram to be reliable in finding an artist as well. Looking at their work will help you decide if you want to go to them.
Another thing you need to think about is price. Just because the artist is charging you $100 for a tattoo doesn’t mean you walk in, get a tattoo and pay $100. To me it’s just common courtesy to tip your artist, EVEN IF they don’t work in a shop. I try to tip about 20% so 25% of $100 tattoo would mean a $25 tip. Your artist will appreciate it and if you’re lucky they won’t be so heavy handed when tattooing. Tattoos are not cheap. You shouldn’t think you’re getting something the size of a post it note for less than $60. The minimum is usually $50-$60. Some people may think tattoos are expensive, but you’re paying for quality and something you’re going to have on your body for the rest of your life.
I think that’s about everything you need to know. Please let me know if you have questions or there’s something I didn’t talk about!