Getting your first tattoo!
Getting your first tattoo can often be a daunting process so we have put together a quick guide to make the process a little bit less stressful for someone who is new to ink.
How bad is the pain?
This will depend on 2 factors, 1. Your personal pain threshold and 2. The area of the body you are having your tattoo. Generally if you are getting your first tattoo you should ideally look to get one of the less painful areas tattooed such as your outer arm, quads, chest or main part of the back. Avoid areas where you know the skin is generally more sensitive such as inner arm, inner thigh, foot, hand, neck, face etc as these will be vastly more painful in general.
We would recommend booking a session no longer than 3 hours for your first tattoo as this is generally when most people with lower pain thresholds tend to tap out.
Use numbing cream - yes or no?
Numbing cream is only usually effective for about 45 minutes to an hour, this is fine if you are getting a small tattoo but if you are going for a 3 hour plus session it can often make it harder to complete as when the pain kicks in it generally feels more intense due to the change in pain level than if you had not used the cream in the first place.
Do your research
Make sure you love the work of the artist you intend to go and see, look through their portfolio and ensure that their style is exactly what you want. In addition read up on tattooing in general don't just rely on the answers provided to you by the studio you initially speak to, there is a wealth on information on google, just type your questions in there for less partisan explanations.
Don't go cheap, its permanent!
Price shouldn't ever be a consideration when choosing which artist to use, you should always choose the artist whose work best suits your personal style. The tattoo is likely to be on your body for the rest of your life, tattoo removal isn't very effective and often leaves a lot of scarring and getting tattoos covered up will limit your options as the coverup tattoo will have to be designed for a practical purpose rather than the art. Think before you ink!!!
As a tattoo shop owner please understand that people making impulsive tattoo decisions is our bread and butter so I am not criticising this, however on a personal level I like to wait a year at least on a tattoo idea/design before getting it done to ensure it is a reflection of me and not just a particular emotion I am going through at any one particular time.
Control your Image
A well thought out plan for the tattoos on your body should include future life possibilities, people still attach a stigma to visible tattoos across large swathes of life and you always want to be in control of the image you wish to represent. When considering your first tattoos we would strongly advise you avoid areas that are always visible such as hands, neck and face. Its perfectly fine should you choose to get these areas inked further down the line but be aware that as society is currently structured people will always look to visual stimulus to make an instantaneous judgement of you.