You’re thinking about getting a tattoo? Great! There are some tips before getting a tattoo that we think you’ll want to know. Research is an essential part of a successful tattoo, and the first steps before you get a tattoo can take months. That may sound like a long time, but these first two steps are so important to your experience that we recommend you do not rush them. These first tips are:
1. Figure out your tattoo design
You may know what design you want years before you actually get a tattoo, or you may know you want a tattoo and then spend time browsing hundreds of pictures for inspiration. Whatever path you take, it’s important to be able to give a significant amount of detail to your tattoo artist. They’ll want to know:
- Placement on your body: this is a complex question because different parts of your body move in different ways. You’ll want to think through how your skin stretches as you move and what potential sagging you can expect as you age. For example, you can expect more stretching or sagging in the stomach and upper arm, and less sagging on the leg, collarbone, or lower arm. Sun exposure can also affect the look of a tattoo in the long term, so if the integrity of the colors is a particular focus, consider a location without as much time in the sun.
- Dimensions: you do not need to be able to give the exact dimensions, but try to be more specific than saying a “small” or “medium” tattoo. You can lightly draw on your skin to get an idea of what size you like.
- Color or no color? This will affect the time the tattoo takes, the cost, and how it ages. If the color is important to you, that may also help you choose a tattoo artist.
- Design ideas: of course your artist will want as much detail as possible about the design you want. Remember you are dealing with a human and not a photocopy machine. You’re also getting a design that you’re picturing on a flat surface, tattooed onto a 3-dimensional surface. This will inevitably cause variations in the design. Good tattoo artists will work with your design and help you understand the implications of placement on your body, and what they recommend for adjusting your design.
2. Picking your tattoo artist
One of our most important tips before getting a tattoo is to pick your tattoo artist carefully. In today’s world of social media, channels like Instagram can be great venues to research artists. Many tattoo artists post pictures of their work online and make sure to look for their pictures of healed tattoos also, instead of only ones that are freshly inked. As you’re checking out artists you like from the standpoint of their work, also try to get a sense of their personality. This is someone you will be spending hours with and will be creating permanent art on your body. Feeling comfortable with the relationship you have with your tattoo artist can play a large role in your satisfaction. Don’t be afraid to reach out to an artist you are considering, and ask them questions about their process and whether what you’re looking for is a good fit for them.
Our next tips before getting a tattoo do not take nearly as long to carry out, compared to finding the right tattoo artist and picking a design. We recommend that before you get a tattoo you:
3. Understand the healing process
Yes, your tattoo artist should give you aftercare instructions when you leave the studio. However, you can improve your healing time and experience by knowing what to expect beforehand. This will also allow you to get any products you want, like HUSH’s CBD foam soap that’s specifically designed to clean tattoos and promote long-term color retention.
4. Have a plan for the day before
There’s not much you need to do the day before your tattoo to get ready, but we advise that you sleep well, hydrate, moisturize your skin, and avoid alcohol.
5. Dress appropriately
Think about where your tattoo is getting done, and what part of your skin will need to be exposed. Wear an outfit that allows for easy access, and bring another layer in case you want to cover up. Also, remember that you may be sitting or lying for hours, so make sure to wear comfortable clothes. When you’re planning to get a tattoo, knowing what to expect can make the whole process more comfortable. Beyond educating yourself on tips before getting a tattoo, you may want to consider products that are made specially to reduce the discomfort of a tattoo session and the healing process. To learn more about skin numbing and tattoo aftercare products visit HUSH’s shop here.