Maybe you’re a guy looking to add more ink, or maybe you’re planning your first tattoo. Either way, there are some things you should know before making the commitment.
Tip 1: Select your artist carefully.
Before getting your tattoo, research your local tattoo artists. Often, artists will have examples of their work on the tattoo parlor’s website. While that’s a good place to start your research, it shouldn’t stop there. Look for the artist’s Instagram or Facebook page for other examples of their work. This will help you get an idea of the artist’s style and preferences. Following a few tattoo artists on Instagram is a great way to keep up with their work.
Tip 2: Familiarize yourself with different tattoo styles.
Your local tattoo artist may work in only certain styles, so it’s a good idea to know your options before making the appointment.
Popular Tattoo Styles:
- Classic or Americana
- Irezumi or Japanese
Classic or Americana
Tattoos were originally associated with sailors and the military. The classic tattoo is a nautical image, such as an anchor or a compass. Other popular designs incorporate roses, hearts, or sexy, scantily-clad women. The predominant colors in these tattoos are red, black, and gray.
Irezumi is Japanese for tattoo, and this style incorporates many traditional Japanese images. Although Irezumi refers to a specific process of tattooing, many American artists still use the imagery. Popular Japanese style tattoos include mythical creatures like dragons or real life animals, including koi, birds, and tigers. Cherry blossoms and bamboo frequently appear in this style. Of course, the rich traditional history of Japan also appears in these tattoos through images of geishas and samurai.
This style incorporates traditional designs from aboriginal communities. Known for thick black, geometric designs, this is one of the most popular leg tattoo designs for men. Don’t be fooled by the monochromatic color scheme. These tattoos are often very intricate and beautiful.
This style incorporates many different styles including realism, abstract, line work, and calligraphy. This style may include traditional images like skulls but with an abstract or surreal twist. Experienced artists develop their own style and aesthetic that would fall under the category of illustrative.
This is a newer style that incorporates splashes of color that resemble a watercolor painting. Flowers and animals are popular motifs for this style. If you are interested in getting a tattoo in this style, it is a good idea to have lines and other elements in black because the watercolor effect fades quicker than most tattoos.
Tip 3: Create a skincare routine
The most important part of having a tattoo is taking care of it. Talk to your artist about their recommended routine. Some artists prefer petroleum jelly while others will recommend a moisturizer specifically for tattoos. Don’t forget sunscreen! One of the most damaging elements to a tattoo is the sun, so make sure you apply a high SPF sunscreen before venturing outside.
The right skincare regimen will help your tattoo stay bright and colorful longer. Other things that can cause your tattoo to fade are tanning beds, sweat, and smoking.
Tip 4: Trust your tattoo artist.
If you are a first-timer, select the location of your tattoo carefully. If you walk into your local tattoo parlor and ask for a half-sleeve or a tattoo across your knuckles, the artist may decline. If your artist refuses to give you a tattoo in a particular location, trust their expertise. They want you to love your new ink.
Tip 5: Select the location for the tattoo carefully.
Be aware of which areas of the body are unadvisable for new tattoo enthusiasts. The rib cage, wrists, and feet have less body fat and more nerve endings, so the process will be more painful. If you are sensitive to pain, pick an area of the body with more body fat. The shoulder blade, upper arm, and thigh are areas that are popular spots for the first few tattoos.
During the tattooing process, make sure you communicate with the tattoo artist. If you need to take breaks or book multiple sessions, let your artist know. Although tattooing is uncomfortable, it should not be torture. It is okay to stop and start again later.