I am no professional… but I love my tattoos and am getting number 12 this week! Since today is #NationalTattooDay, it seemed fitting to share my own tips for your first (or 12th) tattoo.
find your artist. Oh hey social media! Facebook, Instagram and even Yelp… But also ask around, or even ask a stranger if they have a piece you love. When you are searching for your artist, look at their style, coloring and how they do their wording and fonts.
decide on your piece. Have a solid idea on what you want and put it where you can see it daily (in your bathroom or as the background of your phone) — you want to make sure you love it! Bring a few images of your ideas with you to your appointment (or email them beforehand) — Pinterest is great for this! While you have a plan for your piece, I would suggest allowing your artist to get creative with it — they are the pros. Each artist has their forte & style, so keep that in mind for your piece and when choosing your artist. But, if you want something exact, do not be afraid to ask for that too.
the details with your artist. Do you need to email them images ahead of time? Make an appointment? Give them a down payment? Ask these things first — you don’t want to show up ready to go and not be able to get inked.
week of your appointment. Water up. Plan your workouts — I do! Send your artist pictures of your piece if need be.
day before your appointment. More water, notice that trend?! Ideally, no alcohol. And book your crew; I would suggest asking about this when you make your appointment… Some studios do not let anyone back with you (almost always for piercings), but my studio does not mind a friend for support. But, definitely do not bring Mom, Dad, Aunt Susie and your best friend from 2nd grade — that’s too many.
day of your appointment. Be early for your appointment. And just in case you are running late, call them — my artist is in Orlando and one time I was late, but it worked out since my artist was running a little behind. Bring cash for your tip, and make sure you don’t need cash for the entire purchase. Wear comfortable clothing as you may be sitting in the same position for a while — and make it dark clothing; tattoo ink does not always come out easily. Plan when you will eat — not too soon before and you may not want to eat afterwards (oddly, I never do). Don’t drink any alcohol and do not take tylenol (it’s a blood thinner).
afterwards. If you feel the need to, take that tylenol — if your piece is large, you’ll be sore. Listen…your artist will share how to care for your new ink best! I love to use Aquaphor, but take your’s artist’s advice. Keep it out of the sun, let it heal, and ta-da!
later… Leave a review for your artist, because you’re nice like that. And, within a couple weeks or a month after and you need a touch up, let them know! Sometimes the healing process will change the way a line looks; my artist has always offered to touch it up after it heals — just make sure to ask.