Last Updated on 4 years ago by Nicky Johnson
There are plenty of style trends that come and go, but tattoos have been around for many generations. Once the domain of bikers and sailors, today, ink art is also found on professionals, entertainers, and your next-door neighbors. Tattoos are often used to commemorate important events or to offer a visual symbol of cherished hobbies, loved ones, and strong emotions. Although tattoos, in general, tend to be trending these days, don’t approach the decision of getting inked without giving it some careful thought.
Step One: Plan Months in Advance
Remember that a tattoo is a long-term investment. Don’t rush into the experience without carefully considering the art you’ll carry on your skin.
- Scroll through examples of tattoos online or in tattoo shops.
- Sketch out some designs from your own imagination.
- Ask others about their ink.
Once you think you know what you want, sleep on your decision for several days. You want to be confident that you’ll love the design as much in five years as you do today. If you’re concerned about the pain of getting inked, begin with a fairly small and simple word, a greek symbol of strength, or a small picture representing your heritage.
Step Two: Choose the Location
Some parts of your body are more sensitive to pain than others. For your first tattoo, it’s a good idea to start on a fleshy part of the body, such as thighs, shoulder, calves, and biceps. After you’ve experienced the pain, you decide to move to a more sensitive spot for a second or third tattoo. It’s also important to make sure the chosen spot for the tattoo is clear and healthy. Avoid scarred areas, bruises, rashes, and other uneven areas of skin. Some experts recommend moisturizing the area for a couple of weeks before you head into the tattoo parlor.
Step Three: Research Tattoo Shops
Many people find a great artist by asking their friends and family for suggestions. It’s also important to read reviews online and to research previous art by the tattoo professional; ask to see professional portfolios. You’ll recognize great work when you see clear, bold lines, vibrant color, and smooth shading. Too many people rush into inexpensive shops, only to come out with obvious spelling mistakes or subpar results. For a tattoo that lasts with clarity and detail, it’s important to invest in a good quality professional.
Step Four: Visit a Few Tattoo Shops
After you’ve narrowed down your list of shops, visit a few in person. Look for shops that are clean and sanitary. Ask to see certifications and licensing. Talk to the person who will complete your tattoo and find out what type of hygienic precautions are taken. When you’re heading in for your first ink, this is a great time to get some of your concerns addressed, so you feel a bit more relaxed when you finally head into your appointment.
Step Five: Discuss the Design With the Tattoo Artist
This should be done at least a few days before your appointment. It may be done in person or over the phone. Go over the design, colors, and reasoning behind your tattoo. After going over these details, you can still change your mind before committing to the art. If you choose a familiar shape, such as an actual greek symbol of strength, it may be easier for your artist to recreate exactly what you want.
Step Six: Prepare for the Experience
It’s important to prepare physically and mentally for your first tattoo. It’s a good idea to eat a small meal with protein and complex carbs. Stay away from refined sugars. The idea of healthy food choices is to help you get through the process without fainting or feeling lightheaded. You should also drink plenty of water. Get to your appointment about 10 to 15 minutes early to complete paperwork and be sure to take your ID along with you.
Remember that tattoos are permanent and shouldn’t be rushed. Approach this process with careful forethought and preparation. Following these steps should help you get a tattoo that you appreciate for many, many years.