Hey lovely people! Today I want to discuss a well-known topic: the very first tattoo. I got mine a few months ago and I don’t regret anything about this whole process. Also, I really did my research and got as many information and tips as possible! So, I decided to do a blog post, covering every little detail, about getting your very first tattoo. This will be a long ass blog post, but at least you’ll find everything you need to know here!
First, we have to talk about your design.
#1 Are you sure about your design and decision?
Oh trust me, I have had tons of ideas for tattoo designs, but I’m so grateful that I’ve waited a little longer, just to see if I would still tattoo something like that times later on my body. And indeed: 4 out of 5 tattoo ideas, were immediately banished out of my head after a year of waiting, and I’m soooo glad I was smart enough to wait a little. Waiting is key! Long time ago I wanted a cross tattoo, to show off my love for my religion and beliefs. Today, I would have regret the tattoo, because my beliefs changed. It’s not just about giving yourself time for a certain motive, but also rethinking the idea or background of your design.
- If you want a tattoo and you already know which motive, wait at least 6 months, before getting under the needles. You may regret your tattoo if you didn’t give yourself a little time to think about this whole idea of getting it. I got my first tattoo after 4 years of giving myself time. It’s a lot, I know.
- Be sure of what design should stay on your skin forever. And be 100% sure what it means to you and what it means in general. Do as much research about your motive as possible. We don’t want to see any chinese symbol, which should mean ‘love’, but instead it really means ‘poop’. It doesn’t matter what motive it is, do your research!
- Personally, I would avoid: Names of any person (Pets are okay I guess haha), motives which include very tiny details or are small in general, Lyrics/Texts/Fonts, religious motives, and of course all other motives which are stupid to tattoo obviously (I still don’t know why people get penis tattoos). You don’t have to avoid these as well, but please think about your motive again and again before getting it, especially these I mentioned. You may think, why should I avoid getting a tattoo of my son’s name on my body, but then getting the name of your pet is okay? Easy question. It doesn’t matter who it is, and what relationship you have with them. Your special someone could be someone you’ll have a bad experience/relationship with. Times can always change. Lyrics and texts could be annoying after 5 years, no matter how much you loved it back then. Religious beliefs can change, and tiny tattoos can smudge over time and end up unrecognizable. Get my point?
- Choose your desired spot wisely. Maybe you’ll regret your chosen spot later when thinking about your future career. Critical spots are forearm, hand and fingers, neck and face. Sometimes it’s better to choose a spot, you can hide easily.
#2 Search for a good Tattoo artist.
This is the most important part of the whole process, because you’ll get something on your skin from an another person. It’s all about the research and trust. If you know people who have beautiful tattoos, ask them where they got them. Most tattoo artists also have an instagram page now days, so you can easily look up their work. Please don’t look too much at the costs of your tattoo, instead look for an artist whose work is excellent and clean. It’s better to pay a little extra money, for a beautiful tattoo, instead to get a cheap crappy one. Avoid getting tattooed at home (even if it is by a friend) and go to a professional studio. A professional studio sets high standards when it comes to good hygiene, so you’re in a place which does its work very precise and clean!
#3 Make an appointment, but at the right time.
Sure you can get a tattoo whenever you have the time and money for one, but even there’s a few things you should keep in mind while choosing the perfect date for getting under the needles. These are some things you’ll have to think about while making an appointment.
- Have your design ready, or if you need your tattoo artist to sketch something for you, have at least your ideas ready, so he can work on it. Listen to your tattoo artist, that is very important! If he thinks something about your design is too small or too detailed, look for a good solution to avoid these tiny details, because they can fade easily over time and end up unrecognizable.
- Choose a good date. Be aware that your fresh tat should not be soaked in water for up to 3 months. Colder months, where you’re not going to the beach or pool is the best time for getting a tattoo, not only because of that, but also because you’re better at protecting your tattoo from direct sunlight, which also should be avoided.
- Have some money ready, because you have to pay a part of your costs already, and pay the rest after getting tattooed.
#4 Prepare yourself for the big day
Do some preparation! Many don’t think of it before they’re getting tattooed, because yes, it’s your special day, but at least prepare for your aftercare.
- Get a good healing cream. This is something I forgot to do, when I got my tattoo. I simply didn’t think about it. Many tattoo shops have special creams which you can use for your aftercare, but if they don’t, ask your tattoo artist, which cream works best, and get a tube at your local drugstore.
- DON’T DRINK the night before. Also, don’t do drugs in particular, haha. That’s never a good idea. If you take any blood thinning medication or calming medication, talk to your tattoo artist about it and get some advice.
- Come in a relaxed state of mind. Yes, you’re nervous as f, but you really should calm down, because most of the time when people get fresh tattoos, they’re afraid of all the pain, but it’s really not that painful, I promise.
- If you are afraid of something about the whole process, talk to your tattoo artist. You should trust him/her, and if you’re in a good tattoo shop, you can be sure you’ll be in safe hands. They really take care of you!
- Wear proper clothes. If you’re gonna get a tattoo on your upper arm, it’s a bad idea to come with a big hoodie. At least wear something underneath, so you can take off the hoodie and get your tattoo in a comfy shirt. If you get your tattoo on your leg, but you’re wearing jeans because it’s cold outside, just take a pair of boxers or shorts with you. Your artist will thank you!
- Come with a clean body. No, seriously, at least use deodorant. Your artist will work on your tattoo for a little bit. Mine took 1 hour and I was sweating during the entire process, haha.
#5 1, 2, 3.. go!
Keep calm, stay relaxed, and try not to move. You’re gonna be fine! Maybe it helps to take deep breaths before getting tattooed, if you’re too nervous. Your artist can give you tips as well, on how to stay calm, because I’m sure they have to face these kinds of situations every day. I’ll answer some of my most asked questions about my tattoo, and I will also answer the famous ‘did it hurt?’-question as well! So check it out later! 😉
This is also one of the most important parts, because you can get some beautiful and clean made artwork on your skin, but if your aftercare game is not that strong, it could also end up pretty crappy. Don’t invest money in something you will not take care of in the future. Here’s (again) a list of important steps you should follow.
- Your new tattoo will be wrapped by the tattoo artist with some foil, after he/she’s done with his work. Make sure to keep the foil on for at least 4 hours before removing it.
- Your tattoo is basically a wound, so don’t let anyone touch it. Yes, no touchies. Inform your friends to not touch it before you’ll show your new piece on your skin, because almost everyone wants to touch it when they see a tattoo.
- Wash your tattoo 3 times a day. Wash it with a mild soap or jus with luke warm water to keep your wound clean. After washing, apply your after care cream. You should apply cream at least 3 times a day aswell, to keep your skin soft and moisturized.
- Do not (please) DO NOT ITCH OR SCRATCH. I know your tattoo will itch over time but please stay calm! If you really can’t help yourself, give your tattoo a light slap with the palm of your hand – that will do!
- Don’t take baths or go swimming. Yes, you can shower, but don’t soak your tattoo in water. Avoid this for 3 months.
- You should avoid doing sport or going to the tanning salon for the first weeks.
- Ask your tattoo artist what you should do after getting tattooed, he/she knows best! If you have any questions, don’t be shy to ask, they’re just doing their job.
#7 Show off your beautiful artwork!
After taking care of your new tattoo, be ready to show it to the world! No, really, be happy about your new piece, if you followed all steps that I listed here, because you’ve done everything right! Don’t forget to smear a little sunscreen in it as soon as you’re out in the sun. As long as you’re taking care of it, the quality of the tattoo will remain in the future!
Most asked questions about my first tattoo + my answers.
For the final part of my blog post, I’m gonna answer some questions about my first tattoo and my experience.
- ‘Did it hurt?’
A little. Many people think that it will hurt very bad, but it’s actually not that painful. Sure, you will make some silly faces while getting tattooed, but it’s really not that bad!
- ‘What does your tattoo stand for?’
I tattooed a butterfly on my left inner arm. I came up with this idea while i was in a clinic, getting help for my depression by the age of 16. I truly believe (still) that every person has to go trough dark times once in their lifetime. You start off as a little caterpillar, which is ready to explore the world, and out of nowhere, the dark times hit you. You become a creature in your own cocoon, and you can’t escape. It’s dark and frustrating in there, and it’s preventing you to see the good and beautiful things in your life. It’s a long process, that everyone has to go trough, especially those with mental disorders like me. But with enough patience and strength, you finally break out of your cocoon, spread your beautiful wings and fly. And you’ve become more beautiful than before. Butterflies are inspiring and beautiful creatures of mother nature, which shows us, that we can become more and better with time. I chose this spot on my arm because it’s the spot I harmed most during my depression when I was 16 years old. Self harm was a part of my life, and I’ve learned that I can do better. But still, after 4 years, I decided to make this spot the most beautiful part of my arm. It should remind me that better times will come!
- ‘Where did you get your tattoo?’
I got it at Inkviktus, in bern by a cool dude named Daniel 🙂 If you’re interested in his work, check out his Instagram @marquestattoo
I hope I could help you with my blog post! If you’re getting a new tattoo and you’ve read this blog post/my tips for getting one, then would love to see your new artwork! Feel free to send me a picture of it via direct message on my instagram page or via mail!
Have a nice day! See you next time!