It’s that time again! I’m adding to the sleeve today and I thought I would give you guys a little guide to when you get a tattoo.
Let’s imagine that you’ve already found an artist that you like and respect. You’ve already told them what you want and you two have the design drawn up and now you’re ready to make the “big appointment.” (sometimes artists will want meet a few times to talk about the design before actually tattooing. So think of it as a “pre-op” before the “operation” lol)
Depending on how big your tattoo will me or how much detail is going to go into it, you want to be prepared for that day. Some artists take forever to tattoo…while some are lightening fast. But being prepared never hurt anyone!
First and most importantly, CASH! The last thing you want to do when coming to get a tattoo is not have money. Not all tattoo parlors have credit card machines. I worked at a shop that fortunately DID have a debit card machine, but most if not ALL tattoo shops require payment in CASH! If you haven’t already talked to your artist about pricing in the “pre-op” you should ask ASAP! Some charge per hour, while other may charge a flat rate by the piece. Make sure you know what the pricing is and how they will charge you!
Always take more than expected as well. Artists love tips, and if you had a good experience, it’s really appreciated!
Pictures! Depending on what you’re getting tattooed, your artist may need some reference photos to help them with your tattoo. I know you may see a really cool design or another tattoo that you really like, but if you don’t have any pictures and your trying to explain it to your artist…they may have a totally different idea than you do. Trust me, the more pictures the better! It’s going on your body, so make sure its perfect and how YOU want it to look!
WEAR COMFORTABLE CLOTHES! I cannot stress this enough! If you’re wearing tight skinny jeans and want a tattoo on your calf or thigh…those things are coming off! Know where you’re getting your tattoo and dress accordingly for easy access for the artist. If you’re getting a thigh tattoo, wear some lounge shorts. If you’re getting your shoulder done, wear a tank top. If you’re getting you’re back done, wear a zip front hoodie and wear it backwards; you stay modest and covered while still leaving the skin open for tattooing. Make sure the clothes you wear aren’t your favorite or white! They might get stained from the ink! I’ve ruined a few bras like that when I got my chest piece. So save yourself from that heartache and wear older clothes that you don’t really care about.
Snacks! Like I said, some artists may take longer than others. So bring some snacks! sooner or later your tattoo artist will need a break so this is the perfect time to eat a quick snack. Better yet, eat a big meal before your tattoo. But if that’s not an option; take some granola bars, bring an apple, or even a protein shake!?
Bring water! Always wanna stay hydrated! Some tattoo shops may offer you food and drinks, and by all means you can take them up on that offer! They usually have a manager or apprentice that runs errands for them, and they’ll sometimes ask if you need anything. This is where the tip comes in. If you tip the artist, they’ll usually tip the apprentice for helping out and catering to their clients.
But if they don’t offer you anything, that’s fine too. Just be prepared and have your own refreshments and snacks!
BRING A FRIEND! Or in my case, Significant Other! Having support when making a decision to get a tattoo is important. Ultimately its your body, and its ALWAYS your final decision. But if you’re nervous or just need a second pair of eyes, bringing a friend (that knows a thing or 2 about tattoos) really eases the tension. And you have someone to talk to while getting your ink! Just be wary that some tattoo shops DO NOT let extra people in the back/side/front area where that tattooing is happening. It’s a safety/health risk and can result in revoking tattoo licenses. But some shops, are more “cool” with a single person being with the tattooe as long as they’re not rowdy or loud and obnoxious. Also I find it helps to carpool with them if you have a large tattoo because when its all over, you’re going to be sore and tired and not feel like driving your ass home.
Some other things you may want to bring: ipod/mp3 player, phone (for social media-ing) a book, coffee (in case its a late session) Happy tattooing!