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  • Writer's pictureA Wild Lass

7 Things Your Tattoo Artists Wish You Knew

Any time you do something as big as getting a tattoo, there may be a few things you don’t know about the industry. No matter what you think you’ve learned from reality TV or your friends, there are some insider details your tattoo artist desperately wishes you were clued in about.

Before you go in for a new piece of art, check out these top 7 things your tattoo artists wish you knew so you can be fully prepared!

*Disclaimer: Some of the links you see may be affiliate links. All that means is if you click through and end up making a purchase, I’ll earn a commission.

Tattoo Artists Aren’t Mind Readers

Your tattoo artist wants you to get the design you love. That is most important, because tattoos are permanent. At the same time, most of the design work is done on their own time. If you’re going to insist on more than three rounds of edits, you need to have a conversation because your artist can’t be expected to do that for free.

It’s possible you aren’t quite sure about what you want or even that another artist would be a better fit for your design. Every tattoo artist has their own style and you need to work with someone you are most comfortable with.

Fads Come and Go

Yes, that “Stay Wild” tattoo looks cute now. However, do you know how many other people have the same one? If you found it on Pinterest, chances are it’s not as unique as you think.

That doesn’t mean your tattoo can’t be meaningful. But if you’re looking for something that represents you and no one else, steer clear of the latest trends. If you’re not sure, ask! Your tattoo artist will be happy to share what’s popular and what they recommend.

You Can’t Cover a Fresh Tattoo

Only about 5% of Americans have a tattoo covered by another one, and more of those cover ups belong to men than women. Whatever your gender, if you want to get a tattoo covered, you need to let it heal first.

So many customers come in looking for a cover up on a fresh tattoo, and your tattoo artist wishes they could help! Unfortunately, before you can get a cover up done, you need to let your tattoo heal all the way, which means the ink isn’t shiny anymore. This can take up to 6-8 weeks, depending on your body and personal healing time.

Tattoos Aren’t Cheap

Even small tattoos aren’t as affordable as you think they are. For each tattoo, the artist likely has set up fees that cover supplies and other costs associated with their services. These are part of the cost of doing business, so even if your tattoo only takes 10 minutes, they still have to charge for set up.

The other thing you should know is that haggling isn’t okay. Artist fees vary; many charge by hour or for half-day and full-day time blocks. Be prepared and ask ahead of time if you’re not sure if you can afford it, and check to see what forms of payment are accepted.

Lastly, when it comes to money: tips are appreciated! Lots of people don’t realize that tattooing counts as a service like a haircut, so please remember to tip your artist.

Large Pieces Take Time

Lots of time, in fact. You likely won’t get a full sleeve or a big back piece in less than two or three sessions. Part of the reason is that your artists takes breaks in between. Their hand gets cramped, they have to switch ink colors, and everyone has to eat (including you!). While you have lunch, you can chat with your artist and get to know their story. Share why you’re in their chair that day!

The other part of the delay is your skin’s tolerance. Most skin can only take so much ink, especially in sensitive areas. No matter how much pain you think you can handle, your skin may throw in the towel before you do and make it necessary to schedule another session to finish the tattoo. Be sure you’re well hydrated before you come in; sometimes that can extend your session and help your skin endure a bit longer.

You Have To Be Prepared

A tattoo artist can’t do a tattoo on someone who isn’t ready. Does your clothing allow access to the area where you want the tattoo? Are you clean, showered, and generally practicing good health and hygiene?

Tattoo artists can’t tattoo someone who is drunk or under the influence of drugs or most medications.

If you’re unsure, check ahead of time before making the trip over. Many of these substances are blood thinners, which makes it dangerous to open a wound on your body (yes, a tattoo counts as an open wound). Even if you have a headache and take an NSAID for pain relief, you probably can’t get a tattoo.

Top of the List of Things Your Tattoo Artists Wish You Knew

No matter how much you love your spouse or how much optimism you have about your next girlfriend, never get someone’s name tattooed on your body. Even family members aren’t safe. Your artist knows plenty of people who have had a falling out and then wanted a cover up or laser removal of an old tattoo.

It’s okay to get tattoos with a friend or relative, even coordinated or matching ones. Get tattoos in memory of loved ones, or meaningful tattoos for someone else. Just don’t get their name. You’ll probably regret it.

Time for Your Appointment

Now that you know all the things your tattoo artists wish you knew, you’re ready for your appointment. Be sure you follow the tips above to help you prepare! Make the most of your experience by filling out any online forms they have ahead of time. Some shops even let you pay ahead.

Let us know how it goes getting your next tattoo!

Be sure to follow us on socials and check out these other posts about tattoos and adventurous moms:

Top 5 Ways to Cover Up Tattoos At Work

Ways to Take Tattoos for a Test Drive

5 Tips to Add an Edge to Your Professional Wardrobe

Best Cars for Cool Moms

How to Enjoy a Port Stop Without Booking an Excursion

*Disclaimer: Some of the links you see may be affiliate links. All that means is if you click through and end up making a purchase, I’ll earn a commission.

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