Get Your Dream Tattoo in 7 Easy Steps

On August 21, 2012, in Tattoo Tips, by Tristan G

Dream TattoosYour Dream Tattoo in 7 Easy Steps

Yeah, it’s a big decision.  Few things in life are truly permanent, and although technically tattoos aren’t they might as well be.  Getting them taken off is really hard, really painful, and really expensive (it’s kind of like torture that you pay for).  So.  Let’s pretend that there’s no going back because for most people they can’t.

If you want the tattoo to be excellent and the experience to be one that you can look back on with fondness, then follow our 7 Steps to Your Dream Tattoo.  You’ll be glad you did.

Step One:  Your Design

There’s a reason why this step is the first one, because obviously the design is the most important decision you’ll make.  Spend a great deal of time thinking about what you want, and what you want it to mean (if anything).  There are millions of choices out there, so don’t just randomly “pick” something.  Look online, and pick up every tattoo magazine you can get your hands on.  There are some really creative designs out there so don’t limit yourself to the standard rose and dagger (unless that’s really what you want, of course!).

Also, those “I’m in Panama on Spring Break so I’m going to get a tribal tattoo” impulses should probably be avoided.  Why?  Well, sure it’s fun to get those spur-of-the-moment tattoos, but how good is the guy inking your skin?  Chances are, it might be a tattoo you look back on and wish you hadn’t been so drunk at the time.

Step Two:  Your Artist

The second biggest mistake to not spending time on your design is not spending time looking for the best artist.  So many people walk in and get inked wherever they see a sign up!  Just like in any business, there are great tattoo artists and plenty that are not so great.  Take the time to find a professional that will give you what you want.

How do you do this?  Visit shop after shop after shop.  Look at everyone’s portfolio closely, and you’ll start to learn the good designs from the bad ones.  Talk to various artists, see what their personality is like, and if you feel comfortable around them.  You want to be with someone you can easily ask questions to and who is just as excited as you are about your design.  Follow your gut instincts, and find someone you like being around.

You also want someone who, obviously, does high quality work.  Start asking around on who is good and who isn’t.  If your friends have tattoos or you some someone on the street sporting great work, then ask them where they got it!  If an artist is good, then people will be raving about them.

Step Three: Don’t Price Shop

Once you find your dream artist, don’t make the mistake of trying to bargain with them on the price.  Sure, you can do it with cars, you can do it with houses, but it’s very bad form to do it with your tattoo artist.  They’ll get offended and very ticked off, and the last thing you want is someone who’s angry at you poking you with needles.  Their anger might reflect in their work, and you certainly don’t want that either.  Trust us, it’s not worth it to try and drive them down on the price.  This is a piece of art that will be on you forever.  Don’t go with the cheapest quote you get, either.  Remember, you generally get what you pay for in this business.  Higher price often means higher quality.

If they quote you a price that’s out of your league then ask them if they could work with you on a payment plan or if they can do your tattoo in multiple sittings.  If not, then swallow your eagerness and start saving your pennies.

Step Four:  Stick To Your Guns

If your tattoo artist or your friends start trying to talk you into going a direction with your tattoo that you don’t want to go, then put your foot down.  This is going to be on you forever, so make sure it’s something that YOU want and not something that someone else thinks is great.

Now, this isn’t the same as not listening to your tattoo artist’s advice.  They can very often make your tattoo design better than what it is and will make suggestion is a very professional, tactful way.  But, follow your instinct.  Good advice is one thing, pressuring you is something else.

Step Five: Prepare For Your Sitting

Yes, getting a tattoo is going to hurt, which is why not everyone has one.  The more you sit still, the better your tattoo is going to look.  You can do a great deal to make yourself more comfortable if you prepare.  For example, get plenty of rest the night before, and don’t stay out late drinking!  Showing up to your session hung over will be a very bad idea.  Also make sure you eat something before your session.  Get tattooed on an empty stomach is a recipe for disaster.  Eating about an hour before your appointment is ideal.

When you go to your appointment bring plenty of water and perhaps a snack.  You’ll be really glad you did!

Last of all, try not to complain.  Yes, it hurts.  Complaining isn’t going to make it stop or be over any faster.  Your tattooist does this everyday, and think of how many whiney clients he or she must have!  Don’t be one of them.  Your tattooist will appreciate it, and you’ll be glad you toughed it through.  However, this DOESN’T mean that you should keep quiet if you’re feeling sick.  Tell your tattooist immediately if you feel faint or nauseated.  They’ll stop and give you a break.

Step Six: Tip Your Tattoist

Also, make sure you set aside enough in your budget to leave a tip for your tattoo artist.  Many people don’t realize that tipping your tattooist is good etiquette, but it most definitely is.  10-20% of the cost of the tattoo is standard.  Tip well and you’ll be remembered next time you walk in for more ink, which is a good thing.  If you’re a treasured client you’ll get good work. But don’t tip just for that.  Again, they’re marking you for life.  If you can tip the guy in valet, you can tip your tattoo artist.

Finding your dream tattooStep Seven: Take Care Of Your Tattoo

Follow your tattoo artist’s instructions to the letter.  You must keep your new tattoo clean in order for it to heal properly and look great later on, so don’t ignore this critical step!

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One Response to Get Your Dream Tattoo in 7 Easy Steps

  1. Andreziinho says:

    When I took in my idea for my foot tattoo, my aristt said that a lot of people had brought that same picture in. He suggested that he should just draw something up on my foot. I was a little apprehensive at first b/c i wasn’t sure if his design was going to be what I was looking for. I wanted cherry blossoms that looked real. I was afraid he would make them look cartoon-ish. When I went in for my appointment, I let him do what he wanted for the drawing. When I looked down when he was done, it was exactly what I wanted. I was completely happy with the results and he did an amazing job free-handing my cherry blossoms. I can’t imagine it being better.You are definitely going to get a one-of-a-kind tattoo by letting your aristt free-hand it. But if you don’t like what he draws up, tell him and he should work with you until he has drawn something that you like. I’d say definitely go for it!

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