What You Need to Know Before Getting Your First Tattoo

So you’ve decided to finally get a tattoo for the first time. It is something that you can’t turn your back against once you started. That is why you want this experience to be meaningful. You will want to know the difference between a good tattoo and a bad one. Ending up with a bad tattoo is not only painful but it’s also expensive. Here are simple steps that will hopefully make your first tattoo a meaningful experience you’ll never want to erase.

Think it Through

Are you really sure that you’re going to get a tattoo? Getting a tattoo is something that you can’t back out on once you’ve started. Make sure that you really want this piece of art to be part of your body and, hopefully, part of your life. Getting one involves pain, responsibilities, and consequences. The process is no walk in the park but it can be very rewarding if you get through it. It’s like getting a pet cat or a puppy. You decide to get one because it looks cute but you’ll also need to deal with the ugly parts like cleaning its waste.

Depending on the circumstances, you can also let your friends and family know about your decision to get a tattoo. This way, it won’t come off as a shock to them once you do have a tattoo. Maybe they can even help you out on picking a good tattoo design or provide encouragement.

Don’t do it out of impulse or because someone forced you to. You have to genuinely want to get the tattoo and feel proud about it. Many people who get a tattoo because of a dare or a bet end up regretting the decision. The same holds true because you’re drunk or tipsy.


What and Where

The design is the first thing you need to consider. You start with a concept that for your first tattoo. You don’t need to think too much about what it is. It does not need to have a profound or meaningful message. You may keep it simple because what matters is that you truly want it.

Once you have a concept, research some design ideas so you’ll have plenty of options to work with. Get more than one reference material so you can have a better chance at coming up with the best design. Make sure that you get a clear and large image if you are aiming for more details.

The second thing to consider is the placement of the tattoo. Do you want it hidden or do you want it extremely visible? Do note that having a tattoo in parts where it is shown can possibly affect your employment opportunities.

Pick a Tattoo Artist

Upon deciding on a final design for the tattoo and knowing where in your body to put it, it’s time to look for a tattoo artist. Do note that different artists specialize in different styles. You need to look for a tattoo artist with a style that matches your design choice. Some artists work better with a small tattoo while some prefer a tattoo that does not have too many details. So if you want a tattoo with plenty of details and covers a huge part of your body, you may want to avoid the artists mentioned.

There are plenty of resources to find a local tattoo artist. You can find many on Instagram or Facebook. Try to look at their portfolio if their style matches or can work with your final design choice. Try to check the artist’s reputation, read reviews about them, and find out what their previous clients have to say.

Pick an artist and try to meet with them before the actual appointment. Send a message, e-mail, or call the artist if he or she is busy. Communicate with the artist what you want and be as descriptive as possible. Present the several reference materials you gathered so the artist can have a clearer idea on what you want. This is to make sure you are on the same page before you get your tattoo done. Try to see if he or she is enjoying your idea so that you can get a vibe if he or she understands your vision.

Don’t hesitate to ask for input. Welcome their feedback if they have some. Be open to changes and trust their opinion. Collaborate with them to get the best possible result. If they cannot give you what you want, it’s not really a total loss. This is because they can provide information about other artists that best suits your needs. So don’t get disheartened if the artist you approached first is not the person you will work with. There are plenty of other artists who can pull off what you need.

Relax and Enjoy

You’re ready with the final design for your tattoo and you’ve picked the artist. Now, it’s time to get the tattoo done. Make sure that you have eaten and are hydrated well before the appointment. Try meals rich in protein or get some fruits so that you will have more energy for the incoming pain. During the tattoo session, the body feels attacked. Having a full stomach can help your body prepare for that. You’ll also less likely to get light headed or pass out. You can also bring a family or a friend along for moral support. One or two persons will do because having too many people inside the room will probably distract the tattoo artist. It’s also possible to watch your favorite series or listen to music on the phone while the artist does his or her craft.

Once you have your tattoo done, the whole deal not entirely over yet. The next two or three weeks is crucial for your tattoo. It has the possibility of developing unwanted scabs or scars if you’re not too careful. Follow the after-care instructions provided by your tattoo artist. Just as artists have different styles, they also have different instructions on how to best take care of your tattoo. This is because tattoos with more details or color in them require special treatments. If you can’t stand the pain, ask your artist if they have a numbing cream for your tattoo.