The Do’s & Donts of getting a tattoo

It takes two to tango—and the same goes when creating a good tattoo. Getting a tattoo involves not just the Artist and his/her work, but also the client’s cooperation and ability to listen to instructions. You may have envisioned a bad-ass tattoo to grace your skin for the rest of your life—but as the old saying goes: “a goal is reached by beginning with a first step”. And the first step is KNOWLEDGE. A complete awareness of what you’re getting yourself into. So today I have gathered insights from a number of tattoo artists and here’s what they wanna tell you. Read this Tattoo Etiquette article for guidance and how to behave & I guarantee, you will walk out of the tattoo shop with total understanding, satisfaction, plus a good relationship with your tattoo artist.

Know What You Want

Seriously. Don’t just get tattooed. Think about it. It doesn’t have to have some deep, dramatic meaning to it. It can be as carefree as picking a flash design that you vibe on…just as long as you know you want it. And don’t let others (not even your girlfriend) tell you what you should get. It’s your skin. Be the Master & Know what you want. Seek books, read about tattoo meanings, and if anything fits, sketch up or print out some references of what you think you want & go to your preferred tattoo shop for consultation. Any tattoo artist would be more than glad to make deals with someone who isn’t confusing.

Save Up For Your Tattoo

A really good tattoo isn’t cheap. So save up for it because YOU are worth it. And DON’T HAGGLE. Tattoo artists, and all kinds of artists for that matter, are not art machines. If you take the cost of your tattoo and divide it by 365, and then multiply it by your remaining time here on earth, you will see that you end up paying about 50c a day for that tatto0, so don’t haggle. Their products aren’t like those mass-produced items you see at the mall on-sale. They risk their health for tattooing every day, and as if back pains, head and hand-aches aren’t enough…they also rack their brains trying to understand how to design your tattoo. Good tattoo artists should get paid by the hour, as justly as you do. If there should be any discounts made, it should be the artist’s call. Take it as a gift.

Hygiene

This should be self-explanatory. Clean yourself up, making sure to wash the area where you want the tattoo. It should be clean and undamaged. Make sure you smell good, to keep your tattoo artist from being distracted. For full aftercare instructions, make sure to click on the “Aftercare Page”

Be In Shape

For the best tattoo experience, get enough sleep and eat hearty before your tattoo appointment. Your body needs rest & rejuvenation for maximum pain tolerance. And please abstain from alcohol at least 48 hours before the tattoo session (alcohol thins the blood, making you bleed more than you should—thus giving your artist a hard time to tattoo).

Trust Your Artist

You looked through portfolios & websites, and finally found the perfect artist you want for the job. So if you’re really sure he/she is the artists for you, trust them. Try not to be manipulative when it comes to his/her tattoo designs. Listen when he/she tells you that what you want won’t work. And don’t take it personally when he/she thinks that your tattoo concept is shit. Trust me, it’s for your own good.

Dress the Part

Wear clothes that allow easy access to the area where you wanna get the tattoo. Think loose, comfortable clothes. You don’t have to dress up, really. ’cause you won’t be going anywhere

Time

Be on time to finish on time. Time is Money. Time is of the essence.

Do Not Be Drunk Or High

For one thing, it’s annoying to tattoo a loud & drunk person. For another, it’s hard to tattoo when you’re too drunk or too high to keep still. So please, be in your best condition. We take this job seriously, and any good tattoo artist will refuse to tattoo a person who’s not in good condition for tattooing. If it’s cool with your artist to down a few beers then do so, but do your part: keep still.

Don’t Bring Your Kids

The Tattoo shop is a place for grown-ups and we all know that. Having kids running around the shop not only will distract the tattoo artist, but it also subjects them to potentially encountering the tattoo shop’s bio-hazardous wastes which can be dangerous to their health. There’s a lotta blood happening in a tattoo shop; different kinds of blood from strangers with unknown medical histories. We want to keep our kids away from that. Also, getting a tattoo while telling off your toddler to chill out every 10 minutes is just unnecessary stress to give your body. So get tattooed wisely and leave the kids safe at home. It’s for you & your child’s good.

Leave the Bro’s & BFF’s At Home

At first it’s fun. But when the tattoo session starts to take long & grueling hours, some might grow bored & tired of waiting. They’ll stand up, walk around, check you out, and sit back again. It could be quite distracting for the tattoo artist to play host.

Sit Still

If it hurts, take some deep, meditative breathing. Clear your mind & think Mind over Matter. Pain is just there and it won’t kill you. Think strong thoughts. You’ll earn that beautiful tattoo soon. If you want to cry, just cry on the inside

Allow The Artist To Concentrate

If he/she is not talking, it doesn’t mean he/she is being rude. They are simply just concentrating. Tattooing, as in carefully inserting pigments to the correct area of the skin, requires much concentration. So if you want the best work, let your artist focus to conserve his creative energy.

Tip Your Artist

Not all tattoo studios do this, although it is not uncommon. Tip them as you would to a waiter or driver for his good service. Especially if you made them do a lot of revisions and a lot of laborious work. Tipping your artist makes them feel appreciated and establishes a good relationship for the next tattoo projects to come.