Think Before You Ink! Part 1: Tattoo Do’s and Don’ts
Think Before You Ink! Part 1: Some Basic Tattoo Do’s and Don’ts. Hey Tattooed Fans and Friends…it’s finally time for your first (or second or twenty-second) Tattoo! Here are some BASIC Do’s and Don’ts to think about before you walk into the tattoo shop, and most apply whether it is your first or twenty-first Tattoo…
Do make an appointment. And be patient when waiting to get your tattoo. Tattoo Artists do not rush through a sitting to get to the next person. They take their time with each customer in order to do their best work. Tattoo Artists tend to be perfectionists and YOU are their canvas AND their best advertisement. Besides, you don’t want them to rush through your tattoo, do you?
Do wear comfortable, loose fitting, appropriate clothing. Think about your tattoo placement and wear clothing that will easily allow access to that area. And remember that your tattoo session may take one or several hours, be cool and comfortable. And try to be very….still.
Do some advance research on your tattoo. A tattoo is a lifetime commitment, know what you want, or at least have a general idea of what you want before you go. Unless you are VERY free-spirited and a live-in-the-moment type person, impulse buying isn’t a good way to choose a tattoo. Your Tattoo Artist can help you explore and develop ideas, but have some idea or direction.
Do research the shop. Know the precautions they are taking for YOUR safety and theirs. Sterile equipment and supplies should always be used for tattoos and piercings. Watch for unacceptable or unsafe conditions, such as the re-use of STERILE single-use needles or Artists who don’t wear gloves….and
Do ask questions. Tattoo shops can be intimidating, but don’t be afraid to speak up — it’s your body! Make sure you see them take the tattoo needles from a fresh sealed package. The Tattoo Artist will generally open this package directly in front of you prior to your sitting. Alert your Artist if you know you’re allergic to red ink, or Latex or any other condition he or she should be aware of.
Do keep things simple. This rule applies if this is your FIRST tattoo. Start small. Getting a tattoo is painful, especially on areas with a lot of nerve endings, and different people react differently to pain. The pain IS tolerable, but start with a smaller, simpler design to see how YOU handle the pain before you get that huge, intricate back piece! (You CAN do those LARGE pieces in multiple sittings.)
Do choose an appropriate location for your tattoo(s). Think twice about where you place tattoos (and piercings) on your body. I would never (nor will I ever) tell you what you should or should not do to YOUR body, BUT – There IS Body Modification Discrimination out there in the REAL world! Consider placing your tattoo or piercing in an area that can be covered by clothing worn in the work place. More on Discrimination in future posts.
Do ask for recommendations. If you see someone with beautiful, detailed tattoos compliment them and ask where they were done, and WHO did them and find THAT Tattoo Artist. Tattoo Artists have ‘specialties’. There are experts in Tribal work, Fine-Line work, Lettering and Text, Portraits, etc. Ask to see their Portfolios. Find YOUR expert.
Do take a shower. It’s not a good idea to go get a tattoo right after work. Be considerate, go home, and take a shower. Your Tattoo Artist will appreciate it (and possibly spend more time on the details of your new body art).
Do listen to your Tattoo Artist. Once your tattoo is completed, your Tattoo Artist will tell you the best way to take care of your tattoo. Don’t listen to your family, friends or neighbors…follow your Artist’s tattoo aftercare instructions.
Do TIP your Tattoo Artist! If you didn’t know that tipping a tattoo artist is customary, and expected, now you do! Many Tattoo Artists are not paid an hourly wage, they work for a percentage of the money you pay for your tattoo. OR, they are independent contractors who pay the owner rent and overhead. Either way, they depend on tips. Tip your Bartender, Tip your Waitress, Tip your Barber or Stylist and TIP YOUR TATTOO ARTIST! And if you receive exceptional service, show your appreciation by tipping exceptionally well!
Next time (in Part 2) we’ll go over the Tattoo Don’ts. Talk to you then. Thanks! Kevin at www.SABodyArt.com To read this article in its entirety (and other Tattoo and Body Modification Articles) visit our Tattoo Article Archive at www.sabodyart.com/articles