So you decided to move up from temporary to permanent.
Here's how to make the big leap.
- Think of a design you want to get.Make sure it is something you feel comfortable showing off, and that you want on your body until you die.
- Make a rough sketch of your design. It doesn't have to be perfect. Tattoo artists are just that: artists. If you can give a good idea of what you want, your artist can really fly with it.
- Find the location on your body that you want to put it. Make sure it fits. Not too big, and not too small.
- Touch up your design. Smooth out the lines, add a basic color scheme, and make it fit to your desired location.
- Find an artist. The recommendation of a friend who has a tattoo you like a lot can help. Consider a few locations that are near where you live. You don't want to travel too far.
- Pick a few and check them out. Make sure the place is clean, and the artists are friendly. You're going to develop a pseudo-relationship with your artist. So be nice back to them. Ask to see the sterilization records for the equipment, they will be happy to show you.
- Choose the artist whose work you like best and tell him or her you want a tattoo. Tell your artist everything you know. What it is, where it's going, how big, etc.
- Negotiate your price. Ask how much it will cost; that way you can get the money the day of the tattoo, or transfer it from account to account, however you want to do it. Once you discuss the tattoo you will usually be asked to leave a deposit ($50 or so) and make an appointment. The deposit goes to the total price of your tattoo, so don't worry. Leave the rough drawing with them so they can improve upon it, and make it unique, just for you.
- When the big day comes, shower well. You don't want to be smelly for your tattoo. Pay attention to the location you are getting it. The tattoo artist will shave the location where you are getting the tattoo. So you can shave before you go, if you'd like.
- When you get there, go over the new and improved picture, and make sure it's OK. Remember, this is forever inked into your skin. If there's anything - any little thing - about it that isn't what you want, stop right there, and let your artist know. You don't have to have a fit about it, or get panicked. Just say, "Hey, this part right here? I'm not crazy about it. I would like a little more/less...." whatever it is. The artist will probably not get upset or take it personally - after all, s/he is trying to read your mind a little bit, and if it's not exactly the thing, he or she is a pro who knows it can be easily tweaked. If the artist does get defensive, angry, or belligerent about the changes you want, thank him or her and go elsewhere. You are the one who will wear this image for life, and if the artist isn't willing to make it wonderful for you, s/he's not the one for you.
- Relax. You are going to be nervous, but calm down as much as you can. The tattoo artist will make sure it doesn't hurt a lot. When you get in the chair, sing something to yourself in your head, or talk to the artist. Make sure you do everything he/she says, move this, sit back, etc.
- Take a final look when it's finished. Make sure they didn't miss anything. They'll be happy to touch it up, if they need to.
- Listen to all the care instructions your artist gives you. Tattoo artists know how to take care of tattoos and your skin, so listen well.
- Take care of your tattoo as instructed. You'll have a piece of artwork that you can enjoy forever.
- Make sure the tattoo is something you want. You don't want a neon green and pink butterfly on your arm forever, if you hate butterflies.
- Make sure to check out the tattoo parlor and artist well. You don't want some dirtbag giving you a tattoo in some broken down shack.
- Save! You don't want to come up short on cash when you go for the tattoo. Bring more than they tell you.
- Tip! Nothing upsets artists more than people who don't tip. They don't make much from the parlor itself, they make their money from tips. Tip by size. A small tattoo should be like a $30 tip. If you get a large one, it should be around $60 or $70.
- Shower. Being clean is the best way to prepare for the big day, and care for your tattoo. They can get infected, and it's not pretty.
- Go temporary before going for the permanent. When you have selected a design and a place (on body) to do the tattoo, get a temporary tattoo for some time and see if you are comfortable with the tattoo. If you feel odd, select another design and a place. This will give maximum satisfaction (and zero worries) when you get it permanent.
- It's okay to be nervous!. It's perfectly normal and natural to feel a few butterflies before you get a tattoo, If your worried about how nervous your going to get then bring a good friend along.
- Remember this is permanent. You can't just wipe it off. It is there for good. Until you get a cover-up or get it removed (by laser surgery).
- Everybody handles pain differently. What was painless for your best friend may be the exact opposite for you. Don't get too deep into the fat/bone/nerve debate over which area is the most or least painful, because every person is different. A simple way to test your tolerance without needles, is to simply pinch yourself. Regardless, do not let pain decide where your tattoo should be placed - pain is temporary and the tattoo is not! If you choose an area known to be painful (like ribs) just be patient through the pain.
- Remember - don't drink alcohol, or take drugs before your appointment! Don't even take painkillers, as they are also blood thinners!
- Eat well before your appointment. It is a good idea to bring along some water, juice, or a non-messy snack to have handy in case your blood sugar starts to drop. Most tattoo parlors have hard candy around, but it's good to bring your own just in case, because tattoo artists don't like their clients passing out in the shop.
- Skipping out on your appointment will lose your deposit, and most likely the artist won't want to tattoo you. If you can't make it, call ahead and tell them so you can make a new appointment on a better day.
Things You'll Need
- A design (print one from www.MiamiInkTattooDesigns.com). You can make your own, take one from online, or use on from in-store. The tattoo parlor will usually have designs all over the walls. Remember though, it is considered very rude to copy other's custom tattoos.
- Money. You can't get a free tattoo, unless of course, it's free tattoo day at the parlor.
- Courage. You can't wimp out on your first tattoo. It will hurt, this is a feeling that you have never felt before. Some people love it, and some hate the feeling! But when the tattoo is done, you will be happy that you got it, and will be back for more!
Article provided by wikiHow