I’m no expert, that’s for sure, but since I do have a few tattoos… I feel like I can give you all guys a few good advices, especially in order to help you avoiding bad choices, like it did happen to me.
These are my own personal advices and suggestions, tasted on my own skin, literally.
- A couple of days before getting a tattoo, use a light scrub on the area that will be tattooed. Light, nothing too rough. It will help getting rid of dead skin cells and will leave your skin smooth and ready for the ink. Do not do it the night before, the scrub may leave your skin slightly too sensitive and this wont be of any help during your tattoo session.
- Do not drink any alcohol the night before. For two main reasons: first, you’ll feel shit the day after and this is totally not ok, secondly alcohol thins your blood and this may lead to extra bleeding during your tattoo session. In any way, it is not good to drink alcohol and stay up all night. Make sure you get there feeling good, and after having had a sugary meal.
- Wear comfy clothes! Especially is you tattoo session is going to last a few hours, make sure to wear something loose enough not to restrict movement or slow down blood circulation
I strongly advice you all to follow the above steps, but my own biggest mistake is yet to come, and I’m sure you do wanna know about it!
- Don’t be too chatty with your tattoo artist unless they encourage you to! They are working, and need to be concentrated on what they are doing, ON YOUR BODY and this will be a permanent job, so try not to distract them, it’s your body they are working on!
- The word “permanent” is actually very important. Please think it over and over again, sleep on it, re-think about what you wish to have tattooed. Yes of course you can have it removed, but it’s very expensive, very painful, and the end result is not always very good, in many cases it leaves scares and the skin will never ever be the same. So please think carefully about what you wish to have tattooed on your body for the rest of your life
- Ask for the final price and do not try to bring the price down. A professional tattoo artist with amazing skills will perform an accurate job on you, it will give you a gorgeous tattoo and please remember that it’s a job, not a hobby. They pay taxes, equipments, rent, and I don’t see the reason why you should expect them to lower their fare just because you can not afford it. I do not shop at GUCCI, I can not afford it, and I’m not that crazy to get in there and ask for a discount. So why should you do it with a professional tattoo artist?!
- Leaving for your summer holiday? DO not plan to have a tattoo within the previous 4/6 week. Any tattoo should not be directly exposed to the sun without a good SPF cream, especially fresh tattoos. Swimming pool water is also very bad for your tattoo while healing, so plan your tattoo session accordingly to your holiday.
- And yes, this is still my biggest mistake.(can’t wait to read about yours if you have any, please comment below!). I have picked the wrong tattoo artist. Yep. I did it. I was in a rush to have a particular tattoo done, I kinda picked the first tattooer I have been advised and I did not researched his work very much. He is ok, but not an artist, does things approximately and with no sense of space and has no “artistic mind”. A 4 y-o kid could have avoided the mistakes he made on my tattoo. Have a look at their portfolio, and ask yourself questions. I want a realistic tattoo, are they good at realistic tattoos?! Is there a similar design they have already tattooed that I can have a look at?! What kind of tattoos do they usually do?! I’m a designer myself, and a professional cake designer. I make wedding cakes with amazing handmade sugar flowers. This doesn’t mean that I can make a Disney character themed cake, actually I’m pretty crap at modelling figurines! That’s the reason why I do not make such cakes. I’m a professional, I simply say “no”. I had my tattooed finished off by another artist, but of course he could not work miracles, tried his best to kinda fix it, but the overall design was already inked in and he could not fix major mistakes.
- I’m not going to give you aftercare advices cos your tattoo artist will do that, they usually advice you to use Bepanthenol every day at leat 3 times a day for the following 14 days, and to keep the tattoo cover with clingfilm just for a few yours on the first day. It is not easy to spread out Bepanthenol cream because it is a very thick cream, doesnt run smoothly on your skin, and since your skin will be kinda sore, you’ll feel like that in order to avoid the pain you feel while trying to spread the cream…you have to use a big dollop of cream. Just don’t. Too much cream will over mustarizing your healing tattoo, which needs to dry out, too much cream may causes blisters and slow down the healing process, use a small dollop! E45 cream worked fine on my too, I suggest you to try this cream as well, it is not as think as Bepanthenol, runs smoothly on your skin.
- Last but not least, do no ask your tattoo artist whether it will hurt or not to be tattooed in that specific area. They can honestly tell you that it does hurt more in specific area (neck, feet, fingers, collarbone, ribcage etc) but it is all so personal. The level of pain varies from a person to another. some areas hurt more than others . I felt pretty much nothing for my wing tattoo on my right forearm, at the same time I though I was going to die for the part inked on my collarbone!
5 Extra advices for you!
- Ask, ask ask. Not sure about something? Ask your tattoo artist.
- I don’t suggest you to pick a random design from a catalogue, design your own. Something that means something to you.
- Ask the artist if you can bring a friend along. I said “A” friend, which means 1. Read step number 4 off the above list!
- Remember to breathe and do not hold your breath, you might get light headed and pass out
- Do not move. If you are not seated comfortably and need to move, tell them to stop for a second, sit comfortably and let them continue.
Remember. “Cheap tattoos aren’t good and good tattoos are not cheap!” and it’s YOUR body we are talking about!