For some people who have never been tattooed before it can be quite intimidating to begin the process. So here is a little guide to help those who aren’t quite sure of what they’re supposed to do exactly. Every shop is a bit different but I’m sure if you stick to something like this, it will be relatively smooth sailing wherever you decide to get a tattoo.
Firstly, be sure you know what you want and where abouts on your body you’d like to put it.
Gather some reference photos of imagery you like, it doesn’t have to be photos of other peoples tattoos either. Your tattooist just needs to know what it is you’d actually like to have contained in the design, remember the less elements the better your tattoo will be. Too many elements will make it a cluttered mess and make it harder for your tattooist to come up with an appealing composition.
Trust your tattooist! Hopefully by this stage you have already conducted your own research on who you would like to tattoo you based off the work of their’s you have seen. If you’re a fan of their work, have faith that they’re going to do the best possible job for you because the end result is just as important to them as it is to you (Their reputation depends on it).
Prepare to pay a deposit to secure your appointment. If you plan on actually turning up to your appointment, you shouldn’t have any dramas parting with some money to secure a spot. This will come off the total cost of the tattoo, so relax.
If for some reason you won’t be able to make it to your appointment, GET IN CONTACT. If you can’t get onto your tattooist via email or social media, call, email or drop into the shop well in advance. Sometimes things crop up last minute, and that is totally understandable. All you have to do is get in contact and work something out. Usually, if you get in contact more than 48 hours before your appointment, your tattooist will be more than happy to refund your deposit. However if it’s within the 48 hour window before your appointment they have the right to keep the deposit if they choose to. Sometimes there can be exceptions, but that is up to the tattooist. It can be difficult to fill in vacant spots at super short notice, hence why most tattooers will get a deposit to slightly cover the time that will be lost due to a no-show or cancellation.
On the day of your appointment, make sure you’ve had something to eat and are well hydrated. Any horror story your friends have told you about gnarly pass outs or whatever are generally a result of people who hadn’t looked after themselves prior to the appointment. Also, being high or hungover makes everything so much worse for everyone involved… but mainly you. So try and avoid that. Ultimately if your tattooist doesn’t think that you’re in the right state to get tattooed, they can turn you away. Which brings me to my next point – hygiene. Please for the love of God have a shower before your appointment and use deodorant. Bad hygiene can and will ruin everyones day who has to share the space with you. You will sweat during an appointment and tattooers are used to that, but if you show up smelling like a bum then you might be asked to reschedule.
Don’t listen to your friends or some dude at the pub regarding tattoo after care. Listen to your tattooist who will provide you with this info at the end of your appointment.