Getting your first tattoo can be both really exciting and a little bit scary. It can be easy to rush into it and, if you’re not careful, things can go differently to how you envisioned it. There are a lot of important things to think about before getting your first tattoo to make sure it all runs smoothly.
Choose Your Artist
Different artists specialise in different styles of tattoos. Some are better at small and more intricate designs, while others are better at larger realism pieces. Take a look at the artists and their previous work to decide who is best for your desired style. Remember to look at reviews and ensure the artist has all the relevant qualifications and a hygienic studio.
Think about exactly where you want your tattoo. Some professions will not allow visible tattoos so make sure you consider your career when choosing your placement. For your first tattoo you may also want to consider pain. All tattoos are a little painful, but some areas such as ribs, knees or ankles can be more painful. If you are worried about the pain, consider choosing a fleshier area to start off with as these will be the less painful.
Speak to your artist about the type of design you want and send plenty of reference photos, so they have a good idea of exactly what you want. Your artist will then draw up and design and send it to you before your appointment. Be sure to speak up if it isn’t perfect as your artist will be used to making changes and you don’t want to be tattooed with something that you don’t love. Remember that you will have this tattoo forever, so be sure to pick a design that you will always like, don’t just get fashionable tattoos!
Speak to your artists about the cost of your tattoo before the appointment. Most artists will have a shop minimum, meaning that even the smallest of designs could cost £30-£50. If you’re looking to get a few smaller tattoos it can often be cheaper to get them all in one sitting, so speak to your tattoo artist about this. Remember to tip your artist at the end of your appointment too.
Preparation and Aftercare
Don’t drink alcohol the day before or the day of your tattoo as it can cause you to bleed more. Remember to eat and drink before your appointment. It can also be useful to take a sugary drink with you just in case you feel a little faint. Your artist will speak to you about aftercare when your tattoo is finished but remember to keep it clean and moisturised while it heals. Don’t go swimming or submerge your tattoo in water for two weeks. A few days after your tattoo it may start to flake and can be itchy. Don’t scratch it or pick at the skin as this can impact the final look of your healed tattoo and may mean that you need touch ups sooner.