What to Think of When Getting Your First Tattoo – Part II

This post continues from last week where we talked about how to plan for your first tattoo and how to find your artist. Here’s all about how to get booked in, what to do once you are, and what to think of when you arrive.

Getting a spot   

Lighthouse tattoo first tattoo what to think of

Stunning lighthouse by Seb from our Walsall studio.

Great, so you have done your research and found your dream artist, congratulations! Now you need to secure a spot with them. Often artists open up their diaries for appointments at a specific time, and will then take bookings for a few months ahead. Of course, some artists operate on a more open schedule, so always get in touch to enquire about appointments.

Your best bet is to e-mail the artist’s studio and ask to be notified when their books will be open, and to follow the studio/artists on Instagram. Or on Twitter. This is where most official announcement of diary openings are made. And, if you are lucky and you have a piece that does not require too much planning or too big a chunk of time, this is also where last minute cancellations aka free spots are reported. Don’t forget to turn on push notifications for posts, these ad-hoc availabilities tend to go like hotcakes!  

Booked in — more time to prep! 

Then, when you have gotten a spot and you’re all booked in, there may be some time before actually

Pegasus back tattoo by Jake

Pegasus tattoo by Jake form our Sutton studio

getting inked, as popular artist are booked up months in advance. Don’t let the wait deter you! You will have the rest of your life to admire it, so no need to hurry. It will also allow you the time to think everything over a couple of times and make sure you get it just right from your first. Especially about placement.

For example, a larger tattoo with more intricate details will require more space than a wrist or ankle can offer. And a smaller, minimalistic one may look out of place if it is just kind of hanging in the air underboob or mid-back. When the day finally arrives, first of all go through the checklist of what you can do to give yourself as easy and as comfortable a time as possible.

At the studio 

Do bring reference photos of tattoos resembling the one you would like, in terms of placements, style and motive. But do absolutely not ask for replicas of other people’s tattoos! Inspiration is a wonderful thing. Plagiarism not so much.

Cherry blossom tattoo George

Beautiful cherry blossoms by George from Hagley Road

When you are presented with the design, do not be afraid to speak up if it doesn’t match your expectations or what you had in mind. However, please also listen to and trust your artist if they are advising you on how a specific motive/style will fare over time on a specific place on the body. 

The same goes for when the stencil is on your body. When the tattoo is right, usually there is a feeling of ‘yes’ when you see the stencil in the mirror on the spot it is going to be. If you look at it and feel doubt, have your artist wipe it off and try slightly larger, to the left, more centre, whatever it takes for that ‘yes’ to pop up. Don’t worry about being ‘difficult,’ (within reason, obviously). The artist understands that this is your first tattoo, and they want you to be happy with it. 

In the next post in this series, we will explore how to create mutual relaxation in the studio, and how to look after your new piece of unique art and love on it forever.