Today, at the same time I’m uploading this post, a video all about my tattoos is going up on my channel, so I thought I could give some tips I’ve gathered after getting 13 tattoos. At first I wanted to talk about all this in my video, but I ended up talking a bit too much so I though it’d be better to write a post about this. And here I am.
Now, I don’t consider myself an expert. Most of the tips I’m going to give are some most people know or are easy to find on the internet. But I get asked a lot if I have any advice on getting tattooed for the first time, so I thought me writing a post about it was still worth it.
Getting your first tattoo can be very stressful, especially if you don’t really know what you’re getting yourself into. There are many things to think about, some that don’t always come to mind. The first thing I usually say is to find the style of tattoo you want so you can find a tattoo artist that specialises in this style. Do you want an old school tattoo? Realist? Black and white? Watercolour? Geometrical? Once you know what you want, it’s easier to find the right person for you. Personally I prefer when my tattoo looks like a sketch, it’s the way I like it, and my tattoo artist does a wonderful job. Find your style. It’s the first step.
Let’s say you know your style and now you need to find your tattoo artist. How do you do that? Personally I’m team google & instagram. I google the area and try to see if someone has written about the top 10 tattoo artists of the area, if they detail the style, the waiting list, the popularity (etc) and then I see if I can find the tattoo artist on instagram. Why? Because I want to see with my own eyes what they’re capable of. I found my current (and favourite) tattoo artist through instagram. She was exactly the person I was looking for: she uses vegan ink (yeah, some inks are vegan and some aren’t, you might want to ask your tattoo artist about that), she posts pictures of her healed tattoos so you can see how they turned up a few months (sometimes a year) after, and to me that that’s very helpful. It’s important to get a feeling of the person you’re trusting your body with. You’re going to spend some time with this person, you might as well like them.
Now that you’ve found your style, your tattoo artist (who specialises in this style) it’s time for you to email the chosen one. It’s important to show where you want the tattoo with the dimensions (of the tattoo and the area on your body) so take pictures, draw on your skin the emplacement, don’t be scared it’ll wash off after a shower. It’s important that your tattoo artist is able to visualise what you have in mind, and for that you also have to give as many details as possible when it comes to what you want. I have a tattoo of a pair of hands, and when I emailed my tattoo artist I told her the reason behind the tattoo, but I also sent her a video so she could get exactly what I wanted. Like I said, don’t be scared. You won’t look like someone who does too much just because you’re making sure you get what you want. But that being said, be open. If your tattoo artist tells you the tattoo needs to be bigger so it doesn’t look bad after it’s healed or in a few years, you need to think about that for more than a second. Don’t think you know best because you don’t. You’re not the specialist here. A tattoo artist is here to help you get something that will not only look good after you get it, but will look just as good when you’re older. Listen to them.
I know some tattoo artists won’t want to tattoo something they didn’t draw, something that isn’t theirs, but some won’t mind as long as it’s not stolen art from another tattoo artist (duh). I have tattoos that weren’t designed by the tattoo artist I used to go to, but we did alter them together so they could be unique and mine. And people, please, if you don’t like what your tattoo artist came up with, don’t be afraid to tell them. They can change it. Don’t get something inked on your body if it’s not something you’ll be proud to have for the rest of your life.
Now some general tips for you. Let’s say you’re about to get your tattoo the next day, what should you do? Well it depends. If you’re getting tattooed on an area with hair, I’m sorry but there’s a 99.99% chance you’ll have to shave. It’d be a better idea that you do it yourself, moisturise your skin, this way it won’t itch after. Trust me. Then make sure you have a good night sleep. It’s very important. The more tired you are, the more it’ll hurt. I speak from experience. I got a tattoo after staying up all night, surviving on coffee only, and it was the worst tattoo experience I’ve ever had. Don’t deprive your body of sleep. I know this one may be hard for some of you (me including), but it’s important that you eat a good meal before. Your body is going to go through some intense stress, it’s important it has the energy it needs.
I’m pretty sure that’s all I have to say, but please don’t hesitate to comment if you have any question I haven’t answered in this post! And please remember that getting tattooed is supposed to be an exciting experience, you just have to be a bit prepared for everything to go as smoothly as possible:)
That’s it for today, I’ll see you soon, have a nice day 🌿