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Tattoos- What To Expect.

First time tattoo

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#1 OFFLINE   satehen

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Posted 27 May 2014 - 10:02 AM

I'd just like to say, I'm no expert on tattoos, but I've had two small ones and then went through the process of getting them covered over with a large tattoo that will, when complete have taken 4/5 hours.  This is just my experience to help those who are new to tattoos.

Choose carefully.  Not just your tattoo, but your tattoo artists.  Although, really partner's names is always a very bad idea. Choose something that you won't feel ashamed of when you are eighty, because tattoos will be with you for the rest of your life, unless you undergo painful and expensive lazer surgery.  Check out your artist.  NEVER let price enter into your decision making,  If it's worth having it's worth paying for.  Ask to see your tattooist's previous work.  If you don't like their style, walk away. Check that your artist is experienced and has qualifications, mine even had an award! Check that they have the hygiene certificates, but more than that use your eyes.  My artist had pre-packed sterile needles that he used on me.  You can't be too safe when dealing with neededles!

Book your consultation. A decent artist won't accept you until they've spoken to you in person and got an idea of what you want.  By all means take a picture, though some, like mine will create their own art, not imitate others.

Book your appointment.  If they give you something a few months later you know they are in demand.  This is good! If they see you straight away wonder why.  Once you've booked ask to be put on a cancellation list.  I was due in July and August, but was offered my first appointment in May!

Before you go.  Take painkillers half an hour before.  Anyone who tells you tattoos don't hurt are lying.  It's not the worst pain you will ever experience, but it doesn't feel like unicorns licking your skin that's for sure! How much it hurts really depends on several things.  If it's in a boney area it will hurt more than a fatty area.  If it is large it will hurt more than a smaller one.  If it has a lot of shading it will hurt more than one without.  If you are getting a large tattoo lasting over 3 hours, ask for two appointments.  Trust me, you will thank me for this.  Your skin will need time to heal, so give it 4-6 weeks between appointments.

While you are there. Ask questions, do whatever you need to do to put your mind at rest.  The first thing the artist will do is place a stencil in the area to be tattooed.  This will leave an inky design that will guide them in their work.  Don't touch it! If you don't like the position tell them now!

Get yourself comfortable in a position your artist directs.  You may need to adjust your clothes, depending on where you plan on getting inked.  I had to pull down my jeans and tuck my t-shirt into my bra!  If they offer you a drink don't do what I did and politely refuse, ask for a sugary hot drink.  You'll need it! I refused and my blood sugar levels dropped.  Not good.

While you are in the chair/table, if your artist is willing to talk, talk.  But not too much, they need to concentrate! The best ones will keep silent or say little.  Lie/sit still.  Accept that it will hurt and remember to breathe! Concentrate on something else, count your breathes or listen to some music.  Or if you really can, try meditating like me!

Once it's over your artist should answer any questions you have and after you've had a look will patch you up.  Some use cling film and tape, mine used medical patches and medical tape. Leave this on for no longer than 2 hours. They should then give you advice on keeping it clean and healthy.  Follow this to the letter!  You do not want an infection.

Aftercare- wash carefully, three to four times a day using a mild soap.  Pat dry with kitchen towel, not toilet paper! Apply a thin layer of cream.  Mine recommends either bepanthem nappy cream or the more expensive, but better, AfterInked.  The artist should supply this at a charge.  Your tattoo will bleed for a few hours and 'leak' ink for a few days. Simply keep it clean and wipe away any ink that leaks away.  At night you may want to cover it up to prevent your clothes from getting covered.  Cellophane works well, with a thin layer of cream.

Last piece of advice- Don't touch your tattoo unless your hands are clean. Never ever scratch or pick at the tattoo!  No matter how tempting.

Happy tattooing!
Good luck!

Edited by satehen, 27 May 2014 - 10:13 AM.

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#2 OFFLINE   true*romantic

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Posted 27 May 2014 - 10:16 AM

Thank you for sharing Satehen, definitely very good and resourceful advice!  I am sure this will help the newbies to the tattoo world greatly, wish I had this advice the first time I had got a tattoo!

#3 OFFLINE   Confusedin2013

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Posted 27 May 2014 - 11:05 AM

I always wonder how people choose bad artists. My artist actually hand draws everything freehand and he is a cover up artist! His work is amazing! No shaky hand and his portrait work is awesome. You go to him and he will hand draw on your body so you can see what you want. He's awesome!

#4 OFFLINE   Confusedin2013

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Posted 27 May 2014 - 11:05 AM

Also I bought this vegan lotion called hustle butter this time and my tattoo was perfectly healed I. Less then two weeks.

#5 OFFLINE   satehen

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Posted 27 May 2014 - 04:38 PM

That sounds great Confused.  I'm not sure if I can get it over here though

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#6 OFFLINE   Kblake

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Posted 27 May 2014 - 04:51 PM

Love the advice! Thanks for sharing.

#7 OFFLINE   satehen

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Posted 27 May 2014 - 04:59 PM

I was talking to my best mate today about the pain the day after.  She has more tattoos than bare skin lol.  She compared it to coming off a bike and getting a nasty graze.  It stings and hurts for a few days, but soon heals up.  I'm inclined to agree.

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#8 OFFLINE   Ms.G

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Posted 27 May 2014 - 06:51 PM

likey likey. i wish there was a thread like this a year ago before i got my first tattoo. lol. but i was very cautious, it took me about the same time -  one year and something before i learned what to expect, what to do, etc. when i got it.
this will be very helpful with someone who was struggling with the idea of having a tattoo and all. thank you for sharing :]

Edited by Ms.G, 27 May 2014 - 06:51 PM.

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#9 OFFLINE   satehen

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Posted 27 May 2014 - 08:58 PM

This is great advice that I found on the After Inked website. I'm pleased to say my tattoo artist followed all of these.

Tattoo Safety Advice

Courtesy of the Alliance of Professional Tattooists
It has become necessary to institute certain isolation and sterilization procedures in the tattoo process to assure the public of a safe, risk-free tattoo. The following advice has been prepared by professional tattooists working with local, state and national health authorities.
 
1. Make sure your artist puts on a new pair of disposable gloves before setting up tubes, needles and ink supplies.

2. Always insist that you see your tattooist remove a new needle and tube set-up from a sealed envelope immediately prior to your tattoo.
 
3. Be certain you see your tattooist pour a new ink supply into a new disposable container.
 
4. Satisfy yourself that the shop furnishings and tattooist are clean and orderly in appearance; much like a medical facility.
 
5. Feel free to question the tattoo artist as to any of his/her sterile procedures and isolation techniques. Take time to observe them at work and do not hesitate to inquire about their experience and qualifications in the tattoo field.

6. If the tattooist is a qualified professional, he/she will have no problem complying with standards above and beyond these simple guidelines.



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#10 OFFLINE   Confusedin2013

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Posted 28 May 2014 - 12:36 PM

I actually had almost no pain from my tattoos. Getting my belly button pierced was much more painful after then my tattoos.

#11 OFFLINE   Sassy21

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Posted 28 May 2014 - 01:41 PM

Good advice! I've got two, a small one on the side of my ankle and a larger one on my back shoulder/back.  And I'm ready for more!  Love tattoos and inked ladies!

#12 OFFLINE   satehen

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Posted 28 May 2014 - 03:53 PM

View PostConfusedin2013, on 28 May 2014 - 12:36 PM, said:

I actually had almost no pain from my tattoos. Getting my belly button pierced was much more painful after then my tattoos.

My piercer wasn't very professional and left the clamp on for too long, making it the second most painful piercing I've ever had.  Whereas others say it barely hurt. When I had my small tattoos they felt a little like a cat scratch.  But with the larger one it hurt a lot more because it took 3 times as long, had a lot of shading and hit boney areas. Everyone's different though.

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#13 OFFLINE   AmberDanielle

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Posted 28 May 2014 - 05:57 PM

My first tattoo was painful, but was because my skin fights the ink so my first tattoo artist scarred me trying to get the ink in.  The second guy who did my second and third tattoos did a much better job.  I barely noticed him doing it and they were directly on my shoulder blades.

#14 OFFLINE   Enzi

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Posted 28 May 2014 - 06:01 PM

I made sure I asked about her hygiene practices.  She had no problem going over all the things she was doing before she laid a hand on me.   I simply told her I had a major phobia about being infected with gosh knows what.  She was cool though, she had no problem with that.

#15 OFFLINE   Enzi

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Posted 28 May 2014 - 06:05 PM

For my first tat I went with a friend who got her nipple pierced (she was also no virgin to tats).  Anyway, my friend was finished before I was, so decided to go out shopping and come back to get me.  When I had finished, we played a prank on her.  They got me to lie down out the back with a flannel on my face.  They told her I had fainted.

The look on her face was priceless!  

My friend felt guilty because she felt like she had talked me into getting the tat in the first place.

Edited by Enzi, 28 May 2014 - 06:05 PM.


#16 OFFLINE   Confusedin2013

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Posted 29 May 2014 - 03:05 AM

View Postsatehen, on 28 May 2014 - 03:53 PM, said:



My piercer wasn't very professional and left the clamp on for too long, making it the second most painful piercing I've ever had.  Whereas others say it barely hurt. When I had my small tattoos they felt a little like a cat scratch.  But with the larger one it hurt a lot more because it took 3 times as long, had a lot of shading and hit boney areas. Everyone's different though.

That sucks. Mine was amazing! I have had my belly button for two months now and it's still not healed. I am praying that swimming this summer will dry it out.

#17 OFFLINE   MadBookworm

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Posted 29 May 2014 - 03:34 AM

This is wonderful advice! I wish I'd known this going in, although, I'm not sure it would have helped. I have loved every tattoo I've gotten except for the last one. The same artist did that one and the one before it. The one before is beautiful. It was as if two different people did the tattoos.

#18 OFFLINE   satehen

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Posted 29 May 2014 - 09:48 AM

View PostMadBookworm, on 29 May 2014 - 03:34 AM, said:

This is wonderful advice! I wish I'd known this going in, although, I'm not sure it would have helped. I have loved every tattoo I've gotten except for the last one. The same artist did that one and the one before it. The one before is beautiful. It was as if two different people did the tattoos.

How odd.

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#19 OFFLINE   MadBookworm

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Posted 29 May 2014 - 12:24 PM

I agree! He's a family member so I just don't have the heart to tell him. I plan to have it fixed and tell him that I decided it wasn't finished.

#20 OFFLINE   Xoxo1983

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Posted 29 May 2014 - 03:31 PM

Thank you for posting such useful info, I want one and have been quite anxious about it but your information has helped ease my wariness.

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