First Tattoo Advice
I’ll never forget my first tattoo. I walked in, pointed at a stone angel in a flash book, sat down, sweat my ass of for almost 2 hours then left with the biggest smile on my face. This was almost 10 years ago and I now regret the decision I made. I don’t regret that I had a tattoo, I’ve had tons more since, but I regret not having made the effort to research exactly what I wanted. I regret not taking the time to find the artist I wanted to give me something that would stay with me for the rest of my life. (Well, unless you get it lasered off or covered up..) We all understand that you change as you get older, your style changes, your thoughts and ideas change, but I think going in for the first time with the mindset I have now and the advice I’ve had over the years since, I would definitely be a lot happier with the results.
Last month I had the chance to speak to some very talented, professional tattoo artists and while doing this, I asked them for some advice on getting your first tattoo…
“My advice would be to start by browsing a few different styles to see what grabs your eye. There will be an awesome artist somewhere for every style of tattoo, and don’t be afraid to travel. For something you will look at every day for the rest of your life, money or time shouldn’t be the factors driving you somewhere. Conventions are a great place to find amazing artists, and also the tattoo book is an amazing idea to find artists of your chosen style all in one place.”
“Be prepared to wait for the right artist. Try not to base your decision entirely on waiting time and cost. I’ve had customers try to play me off against cheaper artists and then still go elsewhere to save £20. I’ve even had these same customers come back asking me to cover up or fix their new tattoo. I know everyone doesn’t have huge amounts of disposable income but save up for the right artist if need be. Base your decision on the quality of work and the studio itself. Don’t be afraid to ask questions regarding hygiene practise if you have any doubts or niggles.”
“Research everything! If you like a particular style google it, search on Pintrest, Instagram. Check out your local artists, check out the convention circuit. Don’t limit yourself. Never walk into a tattoo studio and say “I want a tattoo but I don’t know what I want.” Don’t be cheap, pay for good work it’s on you forever.”
“Research everything! I think its crucial to research your artist, the studio and of course the perfect design that you won’t regret! The internet and social media are amazing tools for helping make the right choices for tattoos. We all get that person that will come in and say they want a tattoo but they don’t know what they want, I usually tell them to brain storm their interests and hobbies then when they are happy with a subject matter google up some existing tattoos based on that genre. Most folks get a clearer idea from doing that.
What is your favourite part about the industry? Aside from the fact that I love my work everyday its got to be conventions, I love everything about doing a convention. Meeting other artists, feeling inspired by their styles and techniques; the artwork on sale, the networking and social aspect. It is also a great opportunity to meet some great clients as they usually want some really cool work done.”
“I always tell potential customers not to rush into anything, speaking from experience. It’s about going to the right artist for the right job, be willing to travel to the right artist rather than settling for the closest of cheapest.”
“The first thing i’d say is don’t go to someone who’s quoting £10,20,100 cheaper than the first. Take some time in thinking what you want done, and the style you want it. Once you’ve done that then spend time researching artists who does the style you want. It sounds silly but i feel a lot of people forget that a tattoo is there for life.. Its as simple as that. If you find an artist who fits the style you want and smashes it every time just save up and pay the little bit extra.. Otherwise in the end if your not happy with what the cheaper artist does you’ll end up having to pay more overall for the cover up too then what you would of done in the first place with the better artist that you said was ‘too expensive’!”
“Research research and more research! I’d also suggest once you’ve found the right artist to give them a bit of freedom with the design and you will be much happier at the end of it.”
So there you have it! I think there’s some solid advice here to be taken away, research research research!