Tips might be a bit of a clickbait title because I am no way an expert in tattooing, but since I now have a fair few I thought it might be useful if I shared some of the things I have learned with each inking.
Choose a style as a starting point
There are so many talented artists out there that selecting the style you want is a great way to narrow down your search to get the artist who is right for your type of tattoo.
Check out Instagram
I have found Instagram increasingly helpful for tattoo inspiration. Many artists are now using Instagram as a place to share their portfolio of work so it is a great way to see their range and style before committing. Even if you don’t find your perfect artist I could get lost for hours looking at other people’s tattoos – getting an idea for positioning and styles.
One of my favourite places to read up on tattooing is Things and Ink, a beautiful artistically driven printed magazine and blog which shares a variety of interesting artwork and stories. I was privileged enough to tell my story on their blog this year if you want to check it out and find out even more about my tattoos. Another great read is Needles and Sin, a tattoo blog focussing on tattooing as a fine art as well as its surrounding culture.
Be willing to pay
Good art does not come cheap and this piece is hopefully going to be on your body for the rest of your life, so get saving to get a high quality piece of art rather than compromising on a bargain.
I find that one of the best places to find inspiration and artists are at conventions. With the increased popularity of tattoos there are more springing up all over the UK and Europe. Getting to see a tattooist work first hand is so worth the ticket price alone. Also, artists travel from around the world to attend some of the most prestigious events so this is a great opportunity to get inked by the artist you want without the price of a flight.
Be willing to travel
There are a vast amount of hugely talented artists but if the one you really want is not on your doorstep I think it is worth saving extra hard to get the exact piece that you want.
Be open to the artist’s ideas
You have hopefully selected this artist because they are professional and you already love their work, so trust them to make the right decisions when it comes to design and positioning. It’s a collaborative experience so work together to get the best end result.
Don’t feel pressured into getting something you don’t want
Taking into account the point above: always remember it is your body, so if you are unsure or feel pressured into something that you might later regret, don’t do it!
Don’t skip on aftercare
So many people worry about the pain of the actual inking whereas for me it is the healing that is the worst part of getting a tattoo, so take care of it to prevent infection and fading.
Be ready for people’s reactions
If you get a visible tattoo your body will suddenly become open for conversation, questioning, scrutiny and may even be touched by strangers. I don’t mind people being inquisitive but those that give unsolicited advice or their negative opinion quickly get shut down because it’s my body to decorate how I want.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions
If you have ANY concerns about your tattoo before, during, or after, ask your artist – they are the expert.
Think Before You Ink
This is the most important tip I can give because though tattoos are much more easily erased these days, do you really want to go through all that money, time and pain?
I really don’t mind having a chat about my tattoos, or answering questions, so leave them below if you have any, just please steer away from negativity or the standard ‘]”What about when you get old?”.
I always love learning more about tattooing so if you have any tips leave them below.