I had dreamed of getting a tattoo when I became an adult for as long as I could remember. When I was of age to get a tattoo, I always asked my parents about it. But, their answer was the same every time: “Not while you’re under my roof!” The Christmas of my freshman year of college, it seemed that their minds had changed. There was an envelope under the tree, and inside of it was a business card that read Elite Tattoo Gallery; Jacksonville, NC.
So, by the end of the spring semester, I was off to get my first tattoo. I’m not going to lie: I still am in love with my tattoo. I admire it and show it off every time I get the chance. However, there wasn’t too much I knew before I got my tattoo, which is why tattoos and the process of getting them will be the focus of today’s article:
1. Wear comfortable and appropriate clothes
I know that the last thing that you need when getting a tattoo is wearing clothes that are too tight. There’s no need to make an impression on your tattoo artist with your choice in clothing! Depending on where you get your tattoo, an article of clothing may be coming off anyway. For example, I got my tattoo on the back of my shoulder, so I had to take off my shirt so my tattoo artist could… well, tattoo my back!
2. Go with a friend or two to make the experience better
I went with my mom and sister, as we all got our tattoos together. I tagged along to a tattoo appointment for one of my best friends to support her. While your friends may see a more vulnerable side of you, it will put you at ease and make for a great bonding experience! Just be sure not to bring the entire crew: most tattoo artists’ studios will only allow for a few people.
3. Don’t be turned off by a studio that looks “sketchy”
I am going to be honest about something that ticks me off: I know a lot of people who want tattoos. However, they turn up their noses at the thought of a not-so-beautiful looking tattoo parlor. This goes back to the principle of not judging a book by its cover! The studio is most likely nicer on the inside than it is on the outside.
3.5 Don’t be afraid to go inside and check it out yourself.
When viewing the inside of a tattoo studio, make sure to answer the following questions: Is the studio clean? Does it have friendly staff? Even ask to see the tattoo license of the artist you want.
4. Eat a well-balanced meal beforehand
You will need the energy to tolerate the process of getting your tattoo. If you need anything to eat or drink while you’re there, though, studios usually offer a variety of snacks and beverages.
5. Communicate efficiently when talking to your artist
Remember, tattoos are quite permanent. Make sure your artist is crystal-clear about what you want, but be open to any suggestions that they have about improving the design if they have any. They do have a license to do this, after all!
Believe me: do whatever you need to to make the tattoo process more comfortable, whether that is stretching a little before your tattoo or just imagining a peaceful place. I found that syncing my breathing while squeezing a stress ball with the music playing was super helpful!
Above all, don’t forget that this is supposed to be a great experience! It will feel like time will never pass while you’re on the bed or in the chair, but it’ll be over before you know it!