Tattoos have been used as markers of association for probably as long as human beings have walked the earth, to mark tribal affiliations, regimental membership in the military, membership of fraternal orders such as the masons or US college Greek letter groups, and to signify gang membership.
However, there are some important aspects to consider before marching into a shop, plopping down on a bench and rolling up your sleeve. If followed the steps correctly, things will go smoothly and you’ll be showing that new ink in no time.
1. Most people, and especially people new to tattoos, should avoid getting tattoos, on their hands, neck, or head and face. In fact, most shops will refuse to do the work unless it is obvious you are already ‘in the tattoo game. The artist knows the possible negative reaction people may have to tattoos, and placing them in a highly visible spot only increases the possibility.
2. Relax! Worrying about picking the right design, the unknown level of pain, and whether you will enjoy your tattoo, will only make these negative things come true for you. If you have done your research, then you will know what to expect, and you should be able to relax and enjoy the process.
3. Take something to distract you or keep you entertained. Books, magazines, iPod, and something to drink are all good ideas. Getting a tattoo can take some time, so you want to be comfortable while you are getting inked. Finally, bring a friend who supporting your decision to get a tattoo. They can help you through the emotions of getting tattooed.
4. CLEAN, CLEAN, CLEAN. This means you, the artist, the tattoo shop – everything. Make sure you’re not sick, and don’t skip your morning shower. The artist will be working closely, and you don’t want to smell spicy! The artist should also wash his hands, wear gloves, and wipe down the area to be used before you sit down. Make sure the autoclave is working, and that in general, the shop looks clean. While your tattoo is healing, if you must touch it, wash your hands first.
5. Don’t drink beforehand. Not only will you regret getting a drunken tattoo, but alcohol acts as a blood thinner, which means you will bleed more than normal, and this will make the artist’s job harder.
6. Think. Think about the design, style, color of your tattoo. Think about the placement, the artist, and the shop. Do some homework, join a tattoo gallery…but once your are certain, don’t second guess yourself.
So, are you ready for your first tattoo? After reading this paper, you may know some basic things to prepare your first tattoo. If everything is right, just go!