Have you been wanting to get a tattoo for a very long time now? Have you been in front of the mirror and drew yourself an imaginary tattoo on your body? Do you have a secret Pinterest board with endless tattoo images?
This is for the tattoo virgins out there – here are some tips on what to consider for your very first tattoo.
Do your research. In this day and age we have access to so much information online. Instagram is a great platform to search for tattoo artists in your city. If you don’t have Instagram simply Google for tattoo studios around your area. Check out the website, look at the artist’s work, look at the studio reviews – simply know what you should expect from the artist or studio you chose to get your first tattoo.
Know what you want – at least roughly. It makes sense to dedicate some thought in to something that will be on your body forever. Having a rough idea on what you would like, where and how big would be great. This will serve as the starting point for you and the artist. The artist is no mind reader to guess exactly what is in your mind. A good idea can be described to anyone so that person will know what you are talking about. For example, saying “I want a pretty flower on my arm” is very subjective. It’s better to refine your description as “I want a peony flower on my arm.”
On the other hand, it may be the case that you are 100% open to whatever the artist comes up with, which is also fine. However from our experience this is extremely rare for tattoo virgins despite their initial instinct. Once the consultation begins, the client suddenly has a list of things that they are not so keen on getting. If you genuinely have no idea of what you want – and you just want a tattoo from someone who you think is a great artist – I would recommend to pick and chose a few favorites from the artist. If the studio or artist accepts consultations it’s always a good idea to book a consultation beforehand to discuss your situation.
Do not over think your tattoo. Having an idea of what you want is great. However overthinking your idea usually does more harm than good. Having meaningful tattoos are great but don’t be too invested in the meaning that you lose the aesthetic. Remember the artist’s job is to help you create your idea become a beautiful tattoo. Start with a simple idea and trust your artist to create something beyond your expectation. If you are uncomfortable not knowing what to expect, a custom tattoo might not be something for everyone. From our experience first tattoos are usually simple lettering or symbols. It’s okay to start small. Having said that it’s also completely okay to start big. There is no answer so just go with something that you feel comfortable. If you feel uncomfortable working with an artist or getting something small to begin with, it may be that you are just not ready for your first tattoo.
Do not rush. Like mentioned before, there is no ‘right’ way to start your first tattoo. Whether it is getting a simple name or whether it’s getting a custom tattoo from an artist you’ve been following for a while – just go with something that you feel comfortable with. What I would like to highlight is that DO NOT RUSH that you end up getting ANYTHING. If the artist that you would like to make an appointment with is booked months in advance that is most likely a positive indicator of your choice. Don’t suddenly go find another artist with a better price with an earlier opening. If you have an artist who you would like to work with – it is worth the wait.
Be financially prepared. It’s not a good idea to ask the artist to ‘fit’ your budget. It’s fine to let them know how much you have in mind and depending on the studio or artist they might suggest other means to help you. However remember good tattoos are not cheap. Be patient and save up to get something that you really like. If you like the artist and the price sounds right that is fantastic. However don’t sacrifice the quality of your tattoo to fit your budget.
1 Do your research.
2 Know what you want – at least roughly. (Be able to describe your idea.)
3 Don’t over think it.
4 Do not rush.
5 Be financially prepared.