Been watching Ink Masters on Netflix and it got me thinking about some tattoo do’s and dont’s.
1. Think about what you are getting!!! Seriously think about it. Like spend a good chunk of time planning it, deciding if this is something you want FOREVER. Is the spot where you want it where you want it forever.
It took me 12 years to finally get my half sleeve. And I’m not saying it should take you that long but still, think about it.
I knew the day I got the drawing that it had to be on my body. I was going to do a large back piece with it but ended up with a disease that requires spinal taps, so having a tattoo on my back would not be good. Finally decided to get it as a half sleeve.
2. Pick a good artist! Get referrals. Look at their portfolio. The internet is an amazing place. If the artist you are looking at totally jacked someone’s tattoo, you can bet they posted about it online or will warn you if you ask.
I probably got several dozen referrals before going to Taylor and even then, the first ink I got from him was tiny. Why? Because I don’t want to spend 36 hours with someone I don’t like.
Thankfully, I did like him and he got to do my arm. And he did well. And we really did spend 36 hours (roughly) working on it.
You want to find an artist who is attentive to their client as much as they are their art.
He can read me like a book. He knows when I’m done and won’t push me much past that point.
3. Listen to the artist but don’t let them totally ignore you either.
This is their job. Their artwork. They don’t want to send you home with a crap tattoo anymore than you want to leave with one.
Now because you have THOUGHT about your tattoo, you should have a pretty solid idea of what you want. But if they tell you it will be too busy or too small to do the detail in, listen!!
You can’t complain about them doing a bad job if you refuse to take their advice. At the end of the day, they have three options. Design a better tattoo while you work with them, refuse all together, or do your idea and possibly end up with a bad tattoo. Most of the time is they tell you it won’t work, it won’t. Be a little lenient without being railroaded.
That being said, don’t let them tattoo you with something you don’t want just to get it done. You have to live with it forever, they don’t.
Cover ups are always going to be bigger and darker than the tattoo you want gone, so it is better to do it right the first time.
4. If they don’t card you and have you fill out consent paperwork, run.
DO NOT GET TATTOOED THERE!
I can not stress this enough. I made that mistake ONCE. Never again.
If they can’t follow the law regarding something as simple as paperwork it is certain that they are taking shortcuts in other places. Not something you want when someone is injecting ink into your skin.
(They got shut down just weeks after my wrists were done.)
4. Watch them open the needles. If I don’t see them open the sealed package in front of me, they don’t get to tattoo me. Simple as that. No tattoo is worth the risk of a disease.
5. Take care of it!! Listen to and follow their aftercare instructions regardless of how tedious it sounds.
I carried the ointment my artist recommended with me everywhere this last time and it healed fast and looks great. The tattoos that I didn’t do that with need a lot of retouching.
All this being said, I have no desire to get into a theological debate about whether God thinks tattoos are bad. I don’t care. If he does, I’ll have to deal with it when I die, so please don’t bother with comments like that.
I’ve seen so many discussions about that and no one wins.
Mine all tell about my life story and my faith and I’m proud to wear them. If you are going to get one, just be smart about it so you can be proud of them too. (And make sure to check what your employer’s policies are first. Tattoos also aren’t worth losing jobs over.)