Author Topic: First Tattoo - Any Suggestions?  (Read 2776 times)

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CreteGirl

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First Tattoo - Any Suggestions?
« on: March 01, 2013, 03:24:50 PM »
I am very seriously considering getting my first tattoo.  I know what I want as far as artwork.  Any advice or warnings as far as the procedure?  If you have a tattoo, of course my question is how much did it hurt?  Did you ask your spouse or significant other's opinion on getting your tattoo before you did it?

MindsEye

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Re: First Tattoo - Any Suggestions?
« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2013, 03:59:28 PM »
I got my tattoo well before I even met my DH, and I wasn't dating anyone at the time, so I didn't consult anyone.  However, if I were to get another, I would certainly consult my DH.  He has to look at me, so he gets something of a say in my appearance. 

My tattoo didn't really hurt.  I got it on my shoulder blade, which is pretty well padded with muscle.  I have heard that the less muscle, the thinner the skin, and the "bonier" the site, the more it hurts.  So a shoulder tattoo would hurt less than an ankle tattoo.  Of course all of this is dependent on your own pain tolerance!

I also recommend not getting a tattoo anywhere where you can have lots of stretch and sag in the skin - breasts, flanks, belly, thighs, etc - because a tattoo is for life, after all.  You have to think not only of how it till look today and tomorrow, but 10 and 20 years from now as well.

Redwing

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Re: First Tattoo - Any Suggestions?
« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2013, 04:01:06 PM »
I got my first tattoo last May.  Much less painful than I thought it would be.  My tattoo is just one word and it's on my ankle.  My whole family has tattoos.  I was actually the last one to get one!  It was my experience that the closer the needle got to a bone, it pinched a little bit more.  But basically it just pinched a little. 

Ms_Cellany

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Re: First Tattoo - Any Suggestions?
« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2013, 04:04:41 PM »
For my first tattoo, I worked up a design, then literally put it in a drawer for six months before looking at it again. I still liked it after the passage of time, so I went ahead.

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Julian

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Re: First Tattoo - Any Suggestions?
« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2013, 05:27:36 PM »
Pain is fairly subjective, on your own pain tolerance, the area the tattoo is done, and the size of the tattoo.  The sensation is, in my experience, not acutely painful, but more of an annoyance that grows over time, so the longer the tattoo takes to do, the more you may find it painful. 

Healing time generally feels a bit like a bad sunburn, again IME.  Usually it takes a week or so.

During the healing process and depending on location, you may need to change your normal underwear, eg if you get a shoulder blade tattoo, you may need to rethink normal bras - the straps can rub and be rather annoying. 

Be prepared for the tattoo artist to make some suggestions or alterations to your design - work with him/her, they know their stuff!   The changes may be detail, shape due to body area, etc.

(I'm currently in the early planning stages of tattoo #6, which is going to be very big and colourful.  But it's one I've wanted for years, so I'm really looking forward to it!)

CrazyDaffodilLady

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Re: First Tattoo - Any Suggestions?
« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2013, 08:24:54 PM »
Even if you're just getting a small tattoo, have the artist draw out what he or she is going to put on you.  I have a flower on my ankle, and it's not quite what I wanted. 
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Mental Magpie

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Re: First Tattoo - Any Suggestions?
« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2013, 09:00:50 PM »
Even if the artist is getting pissy because you're insisting you don't like the drawing, don't get it!  Do not let them bully you into it!

Also, check out a lot of the artist's work before you choose that artist.  Some people really have fortes for certain types of designs and others really don't.
The problem with choosing the lesser of two evils is that you're still choosing evil.

MrsCrazyPete

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Re: First Tattoo - Any Suggestions?
« Reply #7 on: March 02, 2013, 06:13:04 AM »
Ask people's opinions about which artist they like and why. If you see a tattoo you like on someone, don't be afraid to ask where they had it done. Most people will happily share about their ink, and they want more business for their favorite artist!

Drink lots of water before. At least that helped for me. No alcohol. Be sure that you have comfortable clothes to wear for about 7-10 days afterward. When I got my first tattoo across my hip, I had to buy some lower than usual jeans so it didn't rub too much.

Bring a friend or your SO with you. When the artist lays the design on your skin, make sure that it looks good to both of you, especially if you can't see the design easily.
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spaceheatersusan

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Re: First Tattoo - Any Suggestions?
« Reply #8 on: March 02, 2013, 09:16:24 AM »
DON'T DO IT!!!!!!!!!

I say this as someone who is going for her final appointment today to finish the shading, lol!  If I had realized how painful it would be before it started, I would never have done it.
Mine (will end up) having taken about 4 hours, and I had to break it up into three sessions.  I've finished two, and the last one is today!

But if you are going to do it, I recommend something SMALL and something with little to no outline (IMO, that is what hurts the most, shading is much less painful).
Also, I would recommend getting it on a fattier/musclier area.  I have mine basically right over bone and that is apparently worse.
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Dazi

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Re: First Tattoo - Any Suggestions?
« Reply #9 on: March 02, 2013, 10:15:18 AM »
I am very seriously considering getting my first tattoo.  I know what I want as far as artwork.  Any advice or warnings as far as the procedure?  If you have a tattoo, of course my question is how much did it hurt?  Did you ask your spouse or significant other's opinion on getting your tattoo before you did it?

Research the artist, visit the shop, ask questions, especially about how they clean equipment.  A very nice customer allowed me to sit in on a really big piece he was having done. I'd never met him before either, but the artist told the guy I was looking to get a tattoo and would he mind if I watched his being done.  They talked me through each step and it alleviated a lot of my worries.

Also, make sure you find out how the piece is charged...by the hour, by the piece, by the session (and how many will there be).  I'd suggest getting a smaller piece done that can be done in one session.

Ask them to stencil it on and leave it for a few days to see if it's really what you want.

Listen to the artist if they tell you something won't work, don't let them bully you into getting something you don't want, but listen if they tell you that a design won't work where you want it or it would look better with different colors.  I had a custom design done off another tattoo I saw and the artist played around with it for a few days and worked up a few different ones with slightly different aspects and color palates.  He did completely shoot down the original color scheme I wanted, saying my lovely pale skin would look great with more color.  He was right and I'm 100% satisfied with the final product.

Talk to others who have tattoos you like and ask them who did it and would they go back...most are happy to share

Choose a place with some meat and a place where skin is not likely to stretch or sag. 

Pain is very subjective.  Mine is in a place that people typically complain being painful, but I did not find it so.  If anything, it seemed to itch and burn a bit when the outline was done, the shading was a breeze.

I informed my spouse of my intent.  I'll be honest, he humored me because he didn't think I'd really do it.  I did and he was a bit shocked, but he likes it just fine.  He's been telling me for years, he's getting this "super elaborate" tattoo, but he hasn't yet because he is a bit needle phobic.




Meditate. Live purely. Quiet the mind. Do your work with mastery. Like the moon, come out from behind the clouds! Shine. ---Gautama Buddah





Lynnv

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Re: First Tattoo - Any Suggestions?
« Reply #10 on: March 02, 2013, 10:28:54 AM »
I agree with everyone else.  Pain is very subjective.  My two didn't really hurt much at all.  More of a scratching situation-and they felt kind of like they were sunburned for about a week and a half (including the itching, which was annoying).

Also, as far as the design goes, make sure you get something that you will like just as well 10 and 20 years down the road as you do today.

I got my first tattoo when I was 18.
My first choice design was a skull with a snake and a rose.
My second choice was a black panther (a pretty common piece).

I went with the panther.  I knew that I would still love that one down the road.  The first choice piece was a little more "out there" in terms of my normal taste. 

When I hit 28, I still loved my first choice piece but was glad the one on my body was the second choice piece.
At 38, I still liked the first choice piece, but was really glad the one that I was wearing every day was the second choice piece.

Even today-I still think the first choice piece is cool and I don't hate it.  But I am really, really glad that I have the panther instead.

Lynn

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Mental Magpie

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Re: First Tattoo - Any Suggestions?
« Reply #11 on: March 02, 2013, 04:35:45 PM »
Pain is definitely subjective.  I have one on the upper center of my back that is full of color.  I nearly fell asleep because I kept going into a meditative state.  I didn't feel much of it.
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spaceheatersusan

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Re: First Tattoo - Any Suggestions?
« Reply #12 on: March 02, 2013, 08:20:37 PM »
Lol, it definitely IS subjective.  Mine was excruciating.

So basically what we're telling you is that you won't know if it's going to really hurt you or not until it's already too late ;-)
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AtraBecca

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Re: First Tattoo - Any Suggestions?
« Reply #13 on: March 02, 2013, 09:36:49 PM »
I have a tattoo, a very nice tiger lily on my inner arm. When I got it, it was definitely a scratching sensation, like being repeatedly clawed by my cat. Afterwards, when it was recovering, it felt like sunburn. Honestly, the recovery was a lot more annoying than getting the tattoo.

Ms_Cellany

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Re: First Tattoo - Any Suggestions?
« Reply #14 on: March 03, 2013, 09:44:11 AM »
To me, it was like someone drawing on you hard with a ballpoint pen, over and over, in the Same Dang Spot. It gets annoying, then painful, then really painful, then holy cow I can't take another second of this pain, then the endorphins kick in and it goes numb and you bliss out.
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