Your First Tattoo

Your First Tattoo

Recently, tattoos have become increasingly popular and more accepted as a commonplace. However, that hasn’t always been the case. In fact, until recently tattoos were associated with people, who in some minds, had a less than desirable attitude and were generally considered to be a “bad seed.” Today, that’s not the case and tattoos are being used as a form of self expression or remembrance. The Decision

Congratulations! You’ve decided to get your first piece of ink. Think this through, because your tattoo will be a permanent part of your body forever. Think carefully of what kind of tattoo you’re going to get, and where you’re going to get it. Remember that many employers are still un accepting of tattoos and may not appreciate your body art as much as you do. It’s very typical for people to place their tattoos in an area on their body that can be well concealed during the work day. Fortunately, employers and people everywhere are becoming more acceptable of tattoos and if you’re lucky, your boss might be among the more accepting.

You should never get a tattoo as a spur of the moment decision. In fact, most tattoo artists would recommend you consider your decision for at least one month or as many as three months. The tattoo is permanent, period. Even if you get the tattoo removed at a later period, you will still have a permanent scar from the removal process.

Currently, I have two tattoos. They’re small, fairly inconspicuous but in an open area on my body. I intend on getting more, but they’re expensive! My first tattoo is a small music note on my right hand. It’s completely inoffensive and I’ve never had any complaints from any employers. However, my second tattoo is a set of two stars on my wrist just above the music note. These, for some reason, tend to offend a lot of the older generation.

When you first go into a tattoo parlor, your impression should be a clean, friendly environment. If it’s anything less than practically sterile, leave! You should have a copy of your tattoo so you can ask the artist how much it will cost. Keep a list of costs so that way you can compare them later. It’s important that you pick a place that is affordable to you, but it’s even more important to pick a place that you immediately feel comfortable in. If at any time you feel uncomfortable during your initial visit to the parlor, then go with your gut instinct and go somewhere else. If you’ve found the right place, make an appointment!

Getting A Tattoo: The Process

So the day has finally come and you’re on your way to your tattoo appointment. You’ll more than likely be nervous, but that’s completely normal! Don’t constantly keep thinking of the needle, it’s not nearly as bad as anyone tells you. Based on the size and area of your tattoo, your appointment may be broken up into several appointments over the course of a few days.

When you first arrive, your tattoo artist will have a sketch of your design ready. If you feel there is anything that needs to be changed, point it out! Remember, this is permanent. Your tattoo artist should also have a clean workspace. A good tattoo artist will sterilize everything while you’re right there, watching.

When you’re finally sitting in the chair, your tattooist will clean the area of your skin with an alcohol or anti bacterial solution. After they’re ready, they will ask you about the exact placement of the tattoo. Again, if you’re not satisfied with the placement make sure to fix it. Your tattoo artist won’t be offended! Again, remember it’s permanent!

When the ink has been poured and the needle is ready, your tattoo artist will begin. Remember, this will hurt but not bad. Keep as still as humanly possible, otherwise any jerks can result in a messed up tattoo.

Depending on the size of your tattoo, it can take as little as 5 minutes or as long as several hours, over the course of several days. Most tattoo artists will only do one hour sessions over the course of several days for larger tattoos.

After Care for Your Tattoo

When the tattooist finishes your tattoo, he or she will place a gooey substance across the tattoo and wrap it in plastic. This will feel strange, but it will help keep moisture in your skin. They’ll generally tell you that you can take the plastic off after an hour, and to keep your tattoo covered in the goo for the first few weeks. This will help prevent peeling of the tattoo which could result in fading or discoloration.

The “goo” can usually be bought at the tattoo parlor, or they might recommend a brand of diaper rash called A Don’t be surprised by this, it’s commonly used all across the country. Remember, keep it clean and follow the instructions you are given!

Your tattoo will heal over the course of several weeks. Many times you will need to go back to your tattoo artist and get it touched up after it’s become apparent which areas need more ink. Don’t be alarmed, again this is very normal and most tattoo parlors will offer the first touch up for free.

Congratulations on your first tattoo and good luck!

Published by Jenne Joy

Jenne Joy launched her writing career through Associated Content in August of 2008. Since then, her articles have been picked up by several reputable online publications including USA Today and the New York. View profile

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