What to Think of When Getting Your First Tattoo — Part I

So you are thinking of getting some gorgeous body art. First of all… Welcome to the community! For the most part, it is a very welcoming and warm space filled with creative, passionate and caring individuals. So, please, enter with a general sense of trust and excited anticipation. But, also, do be skillfully prepared and educated by doing your homework!  

Tiger and roses tattoo

Black and grey tiger and roses by Luke from our Lichfield studio

Planning for your tattoo

First of all, make sure what you want. And that it is really what you want to get. Then consider it some more. Decide on the style, the theme, the size and the placement. Some people say that you should start out small. However, in our experience, people tend to stay too small with the first one as they want something inconspicuous, and then regret and wish that they would have gotten a larger piece. So don’t be afraid to amp it up a bit. Or to discuss what size will be better on the surface you choose with your artist! 

Finding your artist

Speaking of artist… once you have chosen the style of tattoo you like, it is time to find the right artist for you. For better or for worse, the internet has become the number one market place for tattooers. Your best friend is Google, studio websites — and Instagram! (Our studios all have their own Instagram accounts, as well as a mutual one, go explore!) Search for hashtags with the style that you like, whether that is black and grey, neorealism, dotwork, portrait, minimal, watercolour, tribal, etc. 

Dotwork realism merge tattoo

Dotwork realism merge tattoo by Sean from our Sutton studio

But! Do also make sure to visit the studio of the artists that you fall for. Its good to go with a relatively local artist for your first one, so that you can check out their art and place of work in person before committing.

When you have gotten more of an understanding for how tattoos will translate from social media to real life, and what a respectable, well looked after studio looks like, you can go ahead and book in somewhere you need to travel to. It is no fun being all set for an amazing life experience (which it is!) and walk into somewhere that you end up not feeling comfortable. And then have to travel back home for hours, or even days, no ink the richer. 

Also, don’t be afraid to ask people who have tattoos you admire where they have gotten theirs! Yes, it may be a collectors item from a little old Philippina super grandma, or a Buddhist monk in Thailand, but chances are, its from a local Vivid Ink studio right in your town. 

It is true, you get what you pay for

Here it should also be mentioned that with tattoos, you get what you pay for. (Although, you can get amazing work done by one of our incredibly talented apprentices for not much money at all) But seriously, this is not a place to be stingy. This is a work of art that will stay with you forever, and your artist has put in a ridiculous amount of hours to get as good as they are. It is worth saving up and paying for!

Vintage flower tattoo

Vintage flower tattoo by Charley from our Birmingham branch

In the next post we will explore what you should think of right before, and during, your session. (You can get an in-depth exploration on how to physically prepare here) Now go research and have fun!