Getting a tattoo is an exciting moment, especially if it is your first. It isn’t something you step into lightly, and you should be well researched before heading into a shop. Knowing what you want and who you want to do it can ensure that you have the best tattooing experience and come out with a quality piece on your body. Deanna Smith, a 25 year old tattoo artist completing on Spike TV’s Ink Master, gives these tips and tattoo statistics when you’re thinking about going in to get tattooed.
Choosing an Artist
Find an artist whose style matches what you want. Take your time to find an artist that matches your style, has work similar to your vision and will be a good fit for the tattoo you want. As with any art, tattoo artists have their own style of drawing and creating, so you need to find the person that is going to best fit the look and feel you’re going for. Going to someone who does great abstract work doesn’t mean they can also do you’re super detailed portrait piece (and chances are they probably won’t do that piece). Doing research on Instagram is a great way to see new and healed tattoos so you can go in with an idea of what you want and who you want it done by.
You will get the best results of your vision if you let the tattoo artist have creative leeway. We all want something exactly in our mind, but it might not always be the best outcome in reality. A tattoo artist will know what will look best on your body at the end.
Keep Guests to a Minimum
Don’t bring everyone you know to the shop. If you need a friend or your sister to come with you, that is probably fine, but keep your guests at a minimum. Most of the time, the tattoo process is long, and your friend not getting tattooed runs the chance of getting anxious and bored while your artist works. That energy will make you and your artist feel anxious and rushed, and neither of you want to be feeling that when working on a permanent piece of body art.
Come to your appointment prepared. Eat a meal before you go and wear comfortable clothing, especially if you’re getting a large piece done that is going to take a few hours. Bring snacks and music and maybe a book if that is something you can do while the tattoo is getting done. Details, color and size all work together when determining how long your tattoo process might be. Don’t be afraid to ask your artist how long they think it might take either.
Plan accordingly! If you’re going to be going on vacation, have a big 4th of July pool party planned or are going on a big wilderness hike shortly after your appointment, it is better to wait. Your tattoo is basically an open wound you need to wash and take care of. Tanning, swimming, strenuous activities and even going to the beach all run the risk of your tattoo not healing properly or getting infected. There will be time after your big BBQ and hike to get the tattoo you want, without having to add on the stress of your tattoo aftercare.
Wait for Your Perfect Artist
Wait for your in-demand artist. If you’ve found the perfect artist for your piece, don’t worry about waiting for their appointments to open up or you’ll just end up getting your tattoo removed. You’re putting something on your body that will last forever, and you’ll enjoy the piece more if you wait for the right artist an extra month instead of rushing to a nearby person who doesn’t fit all your marks. It is worth it to wait.
Much like buying a house or a car, getting a tattoo is a big decision. Don’t go into it without a little bit of research and leg work to make sure you end up with something you want forever. Taking the time now will cost you less in the future, and you’ll end up with a tattoo that you really love.