Choosing a tattoo doesn’t have to be stressful and with a little research, you can be prepared to get your first ink. A tattoo is (semi) permanent and making the wrong decision can be painful, costly, and inconvenient. There are many factors to consider before making the final decision including size, location, style, placement, and most importantly, the artist.
When you go to the shop with the design and placement ready, it allows the artist to help you in the fastest and most efficient way. If you’re nervous to get ink, you can bring a friend with experience to help you through the process. Be prepared to take a couple of pinches and scratches. Also, taking deep breaths should help to make a great memory and know that it’s not worse than that. Remember if its right for you, the decision is too.
Tattoo newbies usually spend a lot of time picking out a tattoo design, choosing a tattoo artist, and saving up enough cash to pay for their design. Once these important tasks are completed and the time comes to sit down for that first tattoo most people draw a blank when asked: “How big do you want this to be?” For some reason, the size of the tattoo is something that a lot of first timers never really consider.
Many assume that their tattoo will be the exact size of the design they have found online while others believe that the tattoo artist ultimately decides. There’s no shame in starting small, give yourself a chance to learn the process. Everyone is different and how the body heals and takes in ink.
For larger pieces (4+ hours) such as half sleeves, full sleeves, back pieces, whole calf/thigh pieces, etc. most artists will go by hourly rate. If you’re very sensitive, avoid choosing ribs, back of knees, elbows, or groin areas. Once you’ve decided on your placement, have an idea of the most convenient bathing and showering method for the first couple of days.
This includes placing a cling wrap over the area or gently washing before keeping it out of the stream for the rest of your rinse. Your tattoo artist will likely tell you how to move forward caring for your healing tattoo it’s very important to provide daily care to your healing skin.
Choose wisely, putting your girlfriend’s or boyfriend’s name on your body is a risky choice. Be extremely sure that you can stand behind your choice for the rest of your life. Drawings can be helpful in visually communicating your concept. Your tattoo artist will appreciate your efforts. Even if you want an artist to customize a design for you, attend your appointment (or pre-meeting) with inspiration likely to be a visual communicator.
Look into who you trust your body with. Choose an artist at least a week in advance, and look over their portfolio before committing. Shots of their work should be available in the parlor and online, it will help you determine if you’re comfortable. The bigger the piece, the harder it is to accurately price the project.
Caring for a new tattoo is your responsibility from the very moment you get out of the tattooist’s chair right until the moment you get old. It is vital that your new tattoo care routine with the respect it requires. A well-maintained tattoo will always look as crisp, sharp and colorful as the first week you got inked.
Your tattoo Artist may or may not supply you with care cream, so to be safe, pick up a tube of Bepanthen+ at a pharmacy in advance of your appointment. This cream is excellent for sensitive and sore skin. Remember to apply it at least twice a day for several weeks.
During my first tattoo, my artist said he’d had seen a lot of people stressing (even hyperventilating) during their first tattoo, in the end, they all were happy they got their first ink.