Tips for Getting Your First Tattoo.

Cobra tattoo on woman's shoulder as she looks over on it

Tips for Getting Your First Tattoo.

If you’re a tattoo virgin, fear not, oh ye uninitiated…we’re here to speed you on your way to the beautiful world of body art with these helpful first-timer tips.

Do your research. Be sure the person you’re trusting with your tattoo knows what s/he is doing. Ask to see a portfolio, and make sure the work in the portfolio reflects the quality and style you’re looking for.

Don’t cheap out. Remember the old saying “you get what you pay for?” Well, it applies doubly to tattoos. A tattoo is permanent, so you need to invest wisely in a tattoo studio that is a clean, professional place of business, with talented and experienced tattoo artists.

Choose your design with care. Love isn’t always forever, but a tattoo is. So don’t tattoo your significant other’s name anywhere on your body. We know it’s tempting, but just don’t. And another thing…choose a design you can live with for the rest of your life. Take the time you need to really think about what you want. Trust us, this is no time for spontaneity.

Consider placement. A tattoo can be inked just about anywhere, so you have a lot of body parts to choose from. But before you give the green light, be sure to consider your employer and your family. If a tattoo is going to be a factor in whether you get a job or promotion – or whether you send your loved ones over the edge – you may want to tattoo someplace that can be easily covered up.

Schedule a consultation. One of the worst things you can do is to show up to get you tattoo without taking the time to meet and talk with your tattoo artist beforehand. A great tattoo artist will not only be okay with this, but will encourage you to ask questions. This is also the time to show any visual examples you have.

Know your limits. Since this is your first time, it might be better to avoid areas on your body that may be uber sensitive, and therefore a little painful to tattoo. Areas like the backs of your knees, fingers, toes, elbows, ribs and…uh…your groin.

Wear comfortable clothes. Your tattoo artist will need easy access to the part of your body you want tattooed, plus if it’s a large tattoo you may be there for a while. So dress accordingly!

Avoid alcohol. It’s tempting to take the edge off with a shot or two before you get a tattoo, but since alcohol thins the blood, it’s a really bad idea. Blood coming out of the needle holes makes it a lot harder for the ink to go in, and could mess up your design. So don’t drink and ink.

Prepare for aftercare. Ask your tattooist about aftercare before you get your tattoo, and make sure you have everything you’ll need on hand when you get home.

Most importantly, relax, and enjoy the experience. Yes, it’s a needle. Yes, it may hurt – but only just a little. It’s nothing you can’t handle with ease. Your first tattoo should be a good experience and great memory, so don’t ruin it by freaking yourself out!