NEW TATTOO | TIPS, ADVICE, AFTERCARE10:00 AM
Instead of writing a boring bloggy story-time post about my new tattoo, I thought I’d write something a little more useful and helpful. Given that I now have five tattoos (obviously making me a complete expert) I like to think I’ve got at least a little bit of knowledge. I do get a lot of questions about my tattoos, and my tattoo videos on Youtube are some of my most popular. So, I wanted to write a blog post to hopefully help some of you lot, and to bestow my never-ending knowledge unto you. (Obvious sarcasm, plz don’t hate me).
Here are my top Dos and Don’ts when getting a tattoo. Think of it like a checklist!
Research, research, research
Possibly the most important step you can take when finding a design and an artist! My favourite place to stalk potential artits is on Instagram. You’re bound to come across some amazing people in your area if you look in the right places. I usually find my artists through friends or online, and choosing someone based on their styles and skill is the most important thing. Like, ever. Depending on your design, you should go for artists who do that particular style really well. Don’t ask a traditional tattooist for a realism design, and vice versa. Literally though, stalking artists is the best thing you can do.
Pay a visit to the studio, speak to the artist in person
When you’ve narrowed some artists down, you should go and visit the studio. For my first tattoo, I found a guy online and visited the shop. I was absolutely horrified at the actual studio. It was unclean, untidy and just had books and books of pre-drawn designs strewn about for you to choose out of. That’s certainly NOT my thing, and I’m so glad I paid them a visit before booking anything, or just simply turning up on the day. Also, speaking to the artists in person is a great idea; you can get a feel for who they are, and often they can give you a price quote on the spot so you know what kind of money you’ll need to save up.
Get a good night’s sleep
The night before the big day, don’t do what I did last time! I went out on the large and ended up hungover the day of my most recent tattoo. Alcohol thins your blood and makes it harder for the artist to work. Plus, I felt like total crap! I’d definitely recommend getting a good night’s sleep and waking up refreshed and energised. It might not seem like it, but getting a tattoo is a very physical thing; it takes your energy out of you because adrenaline is shooting round your body for hours at a time.
Eat a whole load of food + get a sugary drink
Have a good, filling breakfast or lunch. Take a bottle of coke or a cheeky red bull with you into the studio. It’s really good to keep your blood sugar levels up so you can stay on top of your game throughout your tattoo. It can quite quite tiring, so it’s great to be able to drink lots and stay hydrated and sugared up. Don’t be afraid to ask the artist for breaks, too.
Don’t stress too much about the pain! Luckily for me, I don’t find tattoos painful, but obviously, pain is different for everyone. Don’t panic about the pain because more likely than not, it probably won’t be the most comfortable thing you’ve ever experienced. Take your iPod to listen to, chat to your artist or take a buddy (if you’re allowed to) to chat to. The time will go much quicker if you relax.
Look after your new tattoo + yourself properly
The aftercare of your tattoo is make or break, so don’t get lazy after getting it done. Every artist will probably recommend different aftercare, so ask them what their preferences would be. I usually keep my new tattoos wrapped up for about 3 hours, then rinse it off in the shower, then wrap it back up. The next day, I’ll start slathering good old Bepanthen on and only wrapping it up in cling film when I go to sleep. Another side note; don’t swim for a good few weeks, don’t go out on the bevvies after your tattoo (unless you think you can handle it!) and don’t expose your new tattoo to the sun too quickly. Minimise any risks of ink fading, running or just generally going strange. Your artists will usually advise you on all the basics if it is your first tattoo.
Apart from that, the only other advice I have is to ENJOY your new artwork! Tattoos are one of my favourite things. I was never 100% comfortable in my own skin as a teenager, but now I feel like I’m enhancing myself. There’s something beautiful about the permanence, and the stories you can tell through artwork that you always have with you. So show off your new tattoo and love the new piece of yourself!
Lots of love,