Tattoos 101: The Basics, Before the Ink

Tattoo Artist Inking an Arm
Photo by Lucas Lenzi on Unsplash.

Getting a tattoo is a big commitment, and there are many things to consider beforehand. Here are some things to think about before picking up the phone and scheduling the appointment with your artist.

There’s a wait time

As much as you might want to just gather the courage and walk straight into a tattoo parlor and get one, the majority of tattoo artists require you to make an appointment ahead of time. This is especially true if you want something specific. This process might lead to multiple consultation meetings where the tattoo artist takes the drawing or idea you have and creates multiple designs for you to choose from. While some tattoo parlors do have specific walk-in days, those are typically for smaller pieces.

Have an idea of the details

It’s perfectly acceptable to begin your tattoo journey without knowing what design you want, but you should have an idea of where you want it. The placement of your tattoo could affect the size and detail. If a piece is large it could take multiple sessions to finish while smaller pieces can usually be done in one sitting.

Beware of Skin Allergies

Most inks used by professional tattoo artists will have some sort of heavy metals in it. If you have an allergy to certain ingredients, it is important that you mention this to your tattoo artist so they can use an ink that fits your needs.

Of course, there’s $$ involved

Getting a tattoo usually isn’t cheap. A lot of prices depend on the size, detail, and materials needed for the, so there usually isn’t a set flat rate. There are also extra costs to consider such as any aftercare products you might need and any deposits that might have to be made before your appointment.

Oh, and pain too

There is a chance there is going to be some level of pain, but it completely depends on the person and their pain tolerance. Areas on bodies that have more fat, like thighs, typically hurt less. Areas with a lot of nerves and bones (like knee, ankle, ribs) are much more likely to be painful. Don’t worry, there are breaks to be taken while getting your tattoo (most tattoo artists may even recommend it), especially for larger pieces.

Post-tattoo care is a thing

Tattoos are a commitment. After the appointment(s), care and recovery lasts around 3 weeks, depending on the person and their tattoo. Tattoos also can require touchups pretty far down the road, but it is still something to keep in mind.

Everyone’s experience of getting a tattoo is different but doing research and having an open dialogue with a tattoo artist can do wonders for this experience. It’s your body, so just make sure you feel confident with what you decide to have tatted onto it.

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