Author Topic: First Tattoo - Any Suggestions?  (Read 2714 times)

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GreenEyedHawk

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Re: First Tattoo - Any Suggestions?
« Reply #15 on: March 03, 2013, 12:06:21 PM »
I have six tattoos, one of which was two and a half hours of outlining alone.  The final piece totaled about five hours in the tattoo chair.  Shading is far easier to take than outlining, as it's done with a needle that has three prongs and much finer points.   It does hurt, sort of, but I guarantee you've experienced worse pain. 

Go to a lot of shops and talk to a lot of artists.  Ask for portfolios and references.  Ask about how they clean their equipment.  Needles should be single-use.  Does the shop look and smell clean and sterile?  It should.  Do they have sheets they give out detailing after care?  Do they do custom artwork, or only flash?  (The stuff you see posted all over the walls in tattoo places).  I would be cautious of a place that does only flash; I would question the skill of the artists.  Also, flash art is mass-produced and frequently it's repeatedly sold, so there could be dozens of people out there with the exact same artwork on them as you. 

Someone above mentioned that if you see a tattoo you like on someone, to ask them where they got it.  Most people like to talk about their ink.  Also, I might add if you see a tattoo that looks awful on someone, ask them, too, so you know where to NOT go.

No alcohol or aspirin 24 hours before getting inked; it thins your blood and you will bleed out more ink, draw out the process and get an inferior result after the healing.

I have tattoos on my shoulder blade, calf, three on one forearm and one around my wrist.  I didn't find any of them more painful than the others, but the one on my calf comes up along the side of my knee and that place was a little more irritating, I guess.  I certainly wouldn't describe the pain as agonizing or excruciating or terrible or potentially fatal.  I think I might use the words annoying or irritating, but I am good at tolerating pain.  It's itchy and pinchy and to me I'd describe it more as discomfort than pain.  Halfway through both the first and second ones on my forearm, I nodded off.
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SamiHami

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Re: First Tattoo - Any Suggestions?
« Reply #16 on: March 03, 2013, 09:28:22 PM »
I have one tattoo and intend to get another one sometime later this year, so it's not too terribly painful! My first one is on my calf and while it was mildly painful it was certainly not anything I couldn't handle.

When I chose the design, I kept it tacked up on my desk at work for over year, just to make sure I still liked it. I've had it 3 years now and I still love it! As others have said, when I showed the design to my artist he made a couple of suggestions that I agreed to and as a result, it looks nicer than I had anticipated.

My DH wasn't wild about the idea, but he came around and now it doesn't bother him at all, and he doesn't seem to mind the idea of me getting a second one.

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CakeBeret

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Re: First Tattoo - Any Suggestions?
« Reply #17 on: March 03, 2013, 11:10:21 PM »
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.

This. I spent about a year thinking about my first tattoo. I consulted friends and my DH. I drew it on myself in Sharpie. I had the artist make a temporary tattoo and put it on my skin. Don't be afraid to spend months or years making this decision. (In my experience, the first one is the most deliberative, and after that it's easier and quicker to make a decision.)

I have a small tattoo on my wrist (about 1" x 2") and a long tattoo down my spine (11 characters/about 10" long). When I first got the wrist tattoo, it was mildly painful but not bad. I went back a year later for the spine tattoo and it wasn't bad as all. Then I had the wrist touched up immediately after and it hurt like heck! So the pain is definitely subjective. For the most part, the sensation is like MsCellany described, though I never felt much of an endorphin rush. I did enjoy listening to music on my headphones during it.

Oh--and be prepared, you might get addicted. ;)
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CreteGirl

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Re: First Tattoo - Any Suggestions?
« Reply #18 on: March 04, 2013, 12:01:26 PM »
Well, I have a consultation with a tattoo artist on Wednesday evening.  I'm not sure which I am more apprehensive of, getting the tattoo, or telling my husband I want one.  I have never mentioned that I want one, so it will be a shock to him.

Tea Drinker

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Re: First Tattoo - Any Suggestions?
« Reply #19 on: March 05, 2013, 05:25:55 PM »
Eat something beforehand, preferably something that's relatively easy on your system (not mostly sugar, nor foods that you know might upset your stomach or give you heartburn).
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GSNW

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Re: First Tattoo - Any Suggestions?
« Reply #20 on: March 06, 2013, 01:18:15 AM »
I have four tattoos, the first I got when I was 17 (I still love it) and the most recent I got at 30.  Both of my recent tats are on my inner wrists, and they both hurt quite a bit (though they are both small).  The MOST painful was the tattoo I have on the back of my neck, because it's a LOT of outline for a small tattoo and the skin is quite thin there.  I also suggest getting the tattoo in September/October if you like to swim during the summer, because the ink will blur if you spend a lot of time in the water in the first six months.

TAKE CARE OF THE TATTOO AND DON'T PICK AT IT.  The last thing you want is a ruined tattoo after spending time, money, pain.  Also, I strongly suggest getting the tattoo in places that are easily covered up.  I can wear long sleeves or wrist cuffs, my hair covers my neck tattoo, so no one knows I have them unless I WANT them to. 

I would also suggest thinking about what the tattoo means to you, and if you feel comfortable explaining, because people WILL ask -- and you're not obligated to tell, of course, but by expressing yourself through body art people will mostly assume you are okay discussing it.  One of my tattoos is in honor of my late brother and while I might get misty-eyed explaining it, I'm also proud when I talk about him. 

I need to lose about 25lbs more and then I'm going for a bigger tat between my shoulder blades, design still in progress.  I'm so excited!

shadowfox79

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Re: First Tattoo - Any Suggestions?
« Reply #21 on: March 06, 2013, 06:20:05 AM »
I have five tattoos, all in easily-covered places. The pain varied - my ankle one was little more than an irritation, while my back piece was four and a half hours of agony.

Make sure you know exactly what you want and agree it with the tattooist before it goes on. Some are very keen to add extra flourishes that you don't like. One of mine is a lipstick kiss mark and I had to convince the guy that no, I did not want a black outline around it.

Don't scratch it. Apply E45 cream to keep it supple.

CreteGirl

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Re: First Tattoo - Any Suggestions?
« Reply #22 on: March 10, 2013, 05:01:13 PM »
I made an appointment to get my tattoo on April 3.  Excited, but my husband is not all that happy about it, which gives me pause.  Hoping he will get used to the idea. 

I have three weeks to change my mind.

Would you still go through with it if your husband was not happy with it?  He is not dead set against it, but by no means happy about it.

SiotehCat

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Re: First Tattoo - Any Suggestions?
« Reply #23 on: March 10, 2013, 08:25:22 PM »
I made an appointment to get my tattoo on April 3.  Excited, but my husband is not all that happy about it, which gives me pause.  Hoping he will get used to the idea. 

I have three weeks to change my mind.

Would you still go through with it if your husband was not happy with it?  He is not dead set against it, but by no means happy about it.

I would not get a tattoo if my husband was not happy about it. I wouldn't make any big changes to myself if my husband weren't happy about them. However, I would try to talk to him to figure out exactly what it was that he was unhappy with.

Is it the design? The area getting tattooed? The price? Maybe its something that can be talked about and compromised.

Tea Drinker

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Re: First Tattoo - Any Suggestions?
« Reply #24 on: March 10, 2013, 09:36:05 PM »
I think it would depend on why he was unhappy about it.

When I got my first tattoo, it was important to me to do it; I don't know what I would have done if he'd asked me not to get one.

At this point, I have told both him and my girlfriend that I won't get another tattoo without clearing the design with them: I wouldn't deliberately get an image that I expected would be offensive, but I wouldn't want to pick something and find out too late that one of them was phobic about it, or that it brought up bad memories.
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TaurusGirl

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Re: First Tattoo - Any Suggestions?
« Reply #25 on: March 10, 2013, 10:54:36 PM »
Hooray for ink!!!!

To echo what many previous posters have said, the pain is subjective; I have one on a squishy area, one on my shoulder blade (bony), one on my right bicep (muscle), and one on my abdomen (squish). Each one had a part that hurt and a part that wasn't bad. I almost fainted a few times during my most recent one (shoulder blade), but the pain is 100% worth it!

If you can, practice some deep breathing and/or meditation exercises. Being able to zone-out is a good way to deal with the pain. Once you're in the zone, it goes by like a breeze! My 3 big pieces took between 2.5 and 4 hours each, and I managed to do them in one session each with breathing and meditation.

I may go against the crowd on your last question, but here it is: my ink is for me. I would never let another person's opinion, not even The Hawk's (long term boyfriend) determine whether I was getting a certain tattoo. It is MY body, and I get to decide what goes on it. I realize how this sounds, but each piece that I have on me, I have had planned for years and each has deep meaning for me. If someone else doesn't like it, that is their issue, not mine.


Mental Magpie

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Re: First Tattoo - Any Suggestions?
« Reply #26 on: March 10, 2013, 11:32:10 PM »
The Eagle a) doesn't like color tattoos and b)doesn't like sleeves.  I plan on getting colorful sleeves.  He is fully aware of this.  I asked him if it was a deal breaker and he said, "No."  He understands that my sleeves are for me and a way for me to express myself; that doesn't mean he has to like it.

Another example: I wear Chacos (a brand of sandals) probably 360 days a year regardless of the weather.  The Eagle hates the way sandals and pants look.  I continue to wear them.  He accepts that this is my style.  Just because he doesn't like it doesn't mean I can't have it.  The difference is, though, he and I have discussed this.

You need to talk to your DH more about this.  Even if he doesn't like that you're doing it, as long as he accepts it you should be OK.  Talk to him about it in a sensible manner.

For another example: I think recycling is a big deal while the Eagle is blase about it.  Regardless, he helps me to recycle because he knows it is important to me.  Does that mean he goes out of his way at school to recycle things?  No, probably not, but when at home, he does it for me.
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CreteGirl

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Re: First Tattoo - Any Suggestions?
« Reply #27 on: March 11, 2013, 01:03:31 AM »
I think he is against the idea of a wife with tattoos period, not the location (which would be on my back) or the price (I make enough money).

At this point I am leaning strongly towards postponing or even cancelling it.  I'm not happy or excited about it like I was before we talked about it.  The excitement is pretty much ruined, and that was what was giving me the courage to sit through the pain.

I'm disappointed, though.

Lynnv

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Re: First Tattoo - Any Suggestions?
« Reply #28 on: March 11, 2013, 09:20:22 AM »
I may go against the crowd on your last question, but here it is: my ink is for me. I would never let another person's opinion, not even The Hawk's (long term boyfriend) determine whether I was getting a certain tattoo. It is MY body, and I get to decide what goes on it. I realize how this sounds, but each piece that I have on me, I have had planned for years and each has deep meaning for me. If someone else doesn't like it, that is their issue, not mine.

I agree.  I had my first tattoo long before I met DH and if he had objected way back then in any substantive way, I would have been very annoyed and probably would not have gone out with him.  Not liking my tattoo would not have been a deal=breaker for me, but being vocal and annoying about it would have.

I consulted DH about the design of my next one, but not about whether or not I would get it.  And he has done the same with each of his.  If he hated the design, I would have been willing to look for something he liked better.  But if he hated the idea of tattoos, I would not have let him talk me out of getting one altogether.  But that is our relationship and it has never been an issue with either of us. 

I do think his folks would be horrified if they knew I had tattoos (and probably will say something if they ever see his or mine).  But their reaction (and his) were not my main concerns when I got them.
Lynn

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CakeBeret

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Re: First Tattoo - Any Suggestions?
« Reply #29 on: March 11, 2013, 11:00:20 AM »
My DH liked the design of my first tattoo, but not the placement. I got it anyway, he's gotten used to it, and we're both happy.

It's hard to give you advice other than "go with what makes you happy". If you're feeling let down and a bit deflated, maybe it would be best to wait awhile. Maybe as time goes on you'll back off the tattoo idea, or maybe you'll become more determined to get it. IMO time is an excellent deciding factor.
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