Let’s face it, no one’s goal when they walk into a tattoo studio is to wind up on the front page of Google when people search 'Tattoo Nightmares', but the fact is, it happens. And a lot of the time, these tattoo disasterpieces could have been avoided.
If you want to make sure you end up with ink you love for life, take a look at our Top 5 Things to do Before You Tattoo:
Plan your design
If you’re not sure exactly what you want, get online and start looking at ink. Once you find something you like - or if you already have a great idea that you need to bring to life - find an artistic friend to draw it for you first. That way you can refine your idea without wasting your tattooist’s time before you head to the studio to work with them on the final sketch. When you’re working with them on the design, listen to what your artist has to say. If they’re telling you that what you want won’t work, there will be a good reason for it - so pay attention now or risk paying with the pain of a tattoo you hate later.
Find your Michelangelo
Different artists specialise in different styles, so it’s important to do your homework to find the one that’s right for what you want. Take a look at the galleries of their work online (a lot of artists will have Instagram or Pinterest, so be a good internet stalker and check them out as much as you can). Write down any questions that come up for you while you’re poking around so you don’t forget them when it comes time to meet them in person.
Most tattoo artists should be happy to have an initial consultation with you before you commit to getting inked. Use this time to refine your idea, find out how the two of you get on and generally see how you feel about this person being up close and personal with wherever it is you want your tattoo - if you don't feel comfortable with them, chances are you're not going to be thrilled with the result. While you’re there, take a good look around - first and foremost, is the studio clean and hygienic? Does everything look up to date? How do you feel about getting your gear off and sitting there for as many hours as it takes? Take some time hang around, and if there are any alarm bells ringing for you, walk away and find another artist. Your skin and your health are at stake here - you need to feel confident that they’re going to get the best possible care.
Be prepared to pay for it
This really is something where the rule ‘You get what you pay for’ applies. Amazing tattoos are not cheap and a cheap tattoo is unlikely to be amazing. Think about it: you’re paying an artist to spend hours permanently inking a design into your skin. Do you really want to get that done by someone who doesn’t believe they’re good enough at it to charge a premium price? Just asking. And as well as being prepared to pay, you should also be prepared to wait - great artists usually have a waiting list, so if you have to cool your heels for a while before you can get inked up, that’s probably a good thing.
So, you’ve decided on a design, you’ve picked your artist and it’s almost D-Day. Our last tip for getting a great tattoo is to make it easy for your artist to ink you. Clear your day and give them plenty of time for them to get their creative on - the last thing you want them to do is rush. Be clean, get a good night’s sleep and don’t go on an empty stomach (all those endorphins and adrenalin that get released need something to feast on to stop you getting light-headed) or if you’re sick - being under the weather not only makes it harder for your tattoo to heal properly, it’s really hard to ink a straight line on someone who keeps coughing or sneezing. Above all, do whatever they tell you to do beforehand to get your skin ready to give them the best possible canvas to work with.
Awesome tattoos are the result of planning, collaborating with a great artist and being patient, but sometimes things don’t go as planned. If you think your ink is under par, of it you’re just not as attached to it as you used to be, tattoo removal might be for you - click here to get in touch with us so we can take care of your Unwanted Ink.
Oh, one final thing ... if you’re getting a tattoo with words in it, make sure you AND your tattooist can spell and have someone you trust check it over before it’s etched in ink forever, that way you’ll be able to walk away with no regerts :)