How Much Is It Going to Cost?
When it comes to tattoos, you get what you pay for. Yes, there are plenty of people tattooing out there that will charge very little. But, look for quality, and be willing to pay for it. Never haggle over the price of a tattoo. It is disrespectful to the artist. Think of it this way: This is a piece of art you'll wear for life. Respect the artist, and how much time and work they put into your tattoo.
Should I Tip My Tattoo Artist?
Tipping is a really nice gesture, and is always appreciated. But, there are no real solid ground rules for tipping.
Will it be OK to get a tattoo while being sick?
Getting a tattoo when your immune system isn't at 100% isn't a good idea. You're going to need your strength and your white blood cells to heal your tattoo, something your body won't be able to do if it's already doing battle against virus and bacteria. Not to mention the fact that it's very inconsiderate to bring your illness into the tattoo studio and risk passing the germs onto others, particularly your artist. If you have an appointment, call and reschedule for when you're feeling well again.
Do tattoos hurt?
Pain is really relative. Everyone has a different tolerance for pain, it also depends on placement of the body. Some have compared it to a "cat scratch or scratching a sun burn". Most of us are not into pain, but the beauty of the tattoo and the pride associated with wearing it far outweighs a little pin-stick here and there.
Do you recommend numbing creams/ointments?
I personally never used numbing cream's, so I couldn't tell you exactly how it feels. I don't recommend another additive to the process of your tattoo. Also most topical creams don't work well until you break the skin, and once applied , covered, you have to give it time to work. The longer the you leave the cream/ointment on the skin the best reaction to the skin. Me personally, it's best to earn your tattoo, it's an experience you get to tell a story about.
My buddy just got a tattoo kit, should I let them practice on me?
Do not let them do it. Your friend could be putting both of your lives in danger, a lot of risk play apart. Tell them they need to get a proper apprenticeship, and they can start practicing on you when their mentor (master) feels they are ready. Better safe then sorry. Also, many regrets and possibly more $$$ to fix your tattoo. Trust me, I have fixed plenty of "scratcher" tattoos.
Should I have some drinks before the tattoo?
No. This is not advisable for several very real reasons, other than the obvious difficulties of tattooing a drunk person, and the fact that any good tattooist will refuse to tattoo you if you have. The main reason is that alcohol thins your blood considerably. In turn this causes excessive bleeding while you are having the tattoo, which not only makes it difficult for the tattoo artist, but will have the effect of ‘washing out’ ink as it is being put in. This makes the process much longer, and can produce poor results.
Alcohol can have an effect for several days, so it is also not a good idea to have a tattoo after a night drinking, even if you have not consumed anything on the day. Also imagine getting some added pain to your hangover.
Can I catch anything from getting a tattoo?
Yes you can, but it is very unlikely. If you have followed the advice above and chosen your tattoo studio wisely. Everything will be either sterilized to medical standards or be disposable single use. Again, a reputable tattooist will be certified in infection control and have no issues discussing their procedures with you.
If correct infection control procedures are not followed, there is the potential of transmitting blood-borne pathogens from one customer to the next, or from the tattooist to the customer. This could potentially include HIV or Hepatitis. However, before you become unduly worried, the vast majority of tattooists work safely, and the chances of you contracting anything like this from having your tattoo are extremely slight. Again, if you choose your studio wisely, this won’t even be a consideration.
The other thing you might hear people say is;
“I got my tattoo from John Smith at this studio and it got infected, I must have got the infection from there!” Stop and think before placing blame. This is absolute crap! Apart from blood-borne infection (viral), as mentioned above, you won’t catch an infection like they are discussing from a studio, as what they are talking about is an infection caused by bacteria. You don’t catch bacteria, it builds up over time. That only means one thing, POOR AFTERCARE. I have personally seen fresh tattoos at a gym rubbing a bench or arm curl bench, or sitting on top of Walmart counters, or pictures of pets laying on top of a fresh tattoo. Once leaving the shop, its your job to take care of your tattoo, tattoo artist are not licensed physicians, we artist are not responsible for the aftercare of your tattoo after you walk out with a fresh tattoo.