So, you're ready for your first tattoo, what should you know first?
IT’S YOUR FIRST TATTOO!
That’s exciting and maybe a little nerve wracking. Most importantly, we want to thank you! We appreciate your business with Studio Eight Tattoo Company and we want to help you to get the tattoo of your dreams. We offer our creativity, expertise and craftsmanship. In the information below you will find answers to all of your questions and we believe it will also help you to get your best tattoo possible.
RESEARCH YOUR ARTIST
First and foremost, research your artist. Ask the artist you’re interested in, how to view their portfolio of work. Take note of the style of artwork and tattoos that they are presenting.
Seldom does an artist excel at or even want to tattoo in all styles of art. Tattooing is not a “service industry” but instead it is a skilled craft. Artist’s work hard to perfect their skills and they are not photocopiers. Please don’t insist that your artist tattoo in a style they are uncomfortable doing. Don’t ask a black and grey realism artist to tattoo in colour. Often artists will specialize because they want you to have their best work possible. It is very difficult to be excellent at all things. Most artists will tell you if they are the right person for the tattoo that you are requesting.
You can find our artist’s portfolios on Instagram:
Please do not ask your artist to copy another artist’s design or tattoo. All tattoo artists can draw. They may be willing to do something similar, but artists and clients should not copy or steal someone else’s hard work.
KNOW WHAT YOU WANT
An artist can help guide you, but we cannot tell you which tattoo will best represent your second cousin Gerta . You know the person you want to pay tribute to, but we do not. It’s best to search ideas and images that you like via social media sights such as Instagram and Pinterest.
During your consultation please show your artist reference photos and tattoos that you like so they can get a feel for what you’re in search of. Again, they can design something similar but not exactly like your reference.
Price is determined by a few factors such as…
•size of tattoo
•how much detail is in the design •whether the tattoo is in color or black and grey, (color takes longer to saturate)
•how well your skin takes ink, (everyone’s skin is different)
•placement on your body, (some areas are harder to tattoo
•how well you can sit and how many breaks are needed.
•artist’s hourly rate or flat rate
*A note about artist’s rates*
A low hourly rate does not always mean your tattoo will be cheaper. Some artists are less experienced or slower than others and they will price their rates accordingly. An artist with more experience will sometimes get a tattoo done quickly but you pay for their skill and expertise. In some cases, your artist may instead charge a flat rate for the estimated value of the artwork and tattoo.
Please DO NOT pressure your artist to go faster. The old adage is that, “Good work ain’t cheap and cheap work ain’t good.” The time needed, is the time it takes to get the job done right. We can’t force ink into the skin any faster than it will accept it.
Also remember that your artist has spent hours researching subject matter, finding reference photos, drawing and designing your tattoo. This can be many hours of work that they don’t get paid for, so please consider it included in the final cost of your tattoo.
It is recommended that you start with a smaller tattoo to learn what the tattoo experience will be like for you personally. Everyone’s pain tolerance is different and this is a good way to test the waters. BUT… we caution you about going too small.
You can have a small delicate tattoo if desired but the smaller your tattoo the less detail it should have. Clean, crisp designs are best when getting micro tattoos. All tattoo ink migrates underneath our skin over time. If a tattoo is heavily detailed and is done too small, it will eventually turn into a black blob that is not recognizable. Please listen to your tattoo artist. They really do know best as this is their field of expertise. We want our work to look good and you to be happy for years to come.
*Please note that sometimes tattoo designs found on social media are often not tattoos at all but instead photo-shopped images.*
A common misconception is that a smaller tattoo will take less time and therefore cost less money. Small, heavily detailed tattoos can actually be more difficult for your artist when being confined to working in a tight, small area. It could take longer than giving them the freedom to tattoo the appropriate size needed for the design.
Size matters here too! Over time, all ink migrates under our skin. When script is too small, eventually all the openings in the letters fill in and the words can become difficult to understand or recognize. It is recommended that your font size should be no smaller than 26-28 point size. (Look it up, print it out).
Large paragraphs or long lengths of script are not recommended. Our bodies are not flat surfaces like paper. Our body shapes are curved and rounded, they twist and turn. This can make long lengths of script look distorted and crooked even when they are placed perfectly. Quite honestly, a picture is worth a thousand words. Most people won’t have the time it takes, or even want to read a whole paragraph of script on your body.
UPSIDE DOWN TATTOOS or IT’S FOR ME
All tattoos are very meaningful to the people that wear them and you may think that you want your first tattoo facing you, upside down on your arm so that you can have that constant reminder of love. This is personal preference but not one that is recommended. You may think you will only ever have one tattoo but chances are you’ll really like them and continue on with more. In that case, should all your tattoos now be facing upside down? Do you want your pet’s portrait upside down? Probably not.
Please keep placement in mind especially when getting a cross, rosary or symbol tattoo. An upside down cross or pentagram has a very different meaning than one placed in an upright position.
This too is personal preference but there are a few things you should keep in mind. All tattoos have some amount of pain but some areas definitely hurt more than others. Some areas are also more difficult for the artist to tattoo and therefore will take more time.
It is recommended that you start off with your first tattoo in an area that is less painful and easy to tattoo. These areas typically are…
•outside of arms (excluding elbow)
•inside-middle of forearm (away from inside elbow bend)
•side of calf/ankle
•upper-front or outside of thigh
•upper-back and shoulder (away from spine)
We do not recommend doing your first tattoo in one of these more painful areas which typically are…
•ribs (back, side and front)
•upper, inner arm
•elbows and inside elbow bend (ditch)
•knees and inside knee bend (knee ditch)
•back of calf, thigh or buttock
•neck and throat area
•feet, hands, fingers and
ABOUT HANDS, FEET, NECK & FACE TATTOOS
Unfortunately, tattoos are still stigmatized. People with visible tattoos on their hands, feet, neck and face are often profiled and are sometimes looked at as undesirables or “hoodlums.” As tattoo artists, we know this as fact. We HAVE these tattoos ourselves and we HAVE been in situations where we were shown great prejudice.
Please think long and hard before getting these areas tattooed. It can sometimes mean the difference between getting your dream job or not. Sad but true! We don’t ever want to be the ones to ruin your opportunities for the future.
It is often said that… hands, feet, neck and face tattoos are not where you start your tattoo journey. It is suggested that they be your final destination. These tattoos are icing on the cake and traditionally done at the very end of your tattoo journey or once you are already heavily tattooed and know what you’re getting into.
MORE ABOUT HANDS, FINGERS & FEET (also elbows and sometimes knees)
A lot of artists will not tattoo these areas and we here do not offer a guarantee for work done on hands, fingers or feet. The skin in these areas is different than skin elsewhere on our bodies. This skin sloughs off and is replenished more quickly. These areas also take more abuse. Things like socks and shoes constantly rubbing on a tattoo will make it age quickly and in most cases the ink wears and falls out. The same is true with hands and fingers. Ink will not hold because of the constant use of our hands and exposure to the elements like sun, water and cold weather.
All tattoos have some level of pain. After all, we are using needles to draw on you. Every person’s pain tolerance is different. Pain tolerance has nothing to to with how tough you are, it is only your body’s reaction. Most often, people find that their small tattoo hurts less than what they expected.
Large tattoos and colour tattoos will hurt more as colour and shading need to be layered to get optimal saturation.
You can take Tylenol before your tattoo but please do not take Ibuprofen as it will thin your blood causing you to bleed more thereby causing the ink to be pushed out of your skin.
Every artist has their own personal preference when it comes to using numbing creams. Please ask your artist their thoughts before doing so.
It is a common misconception that white ink hurts more. This is not true. When tattooing it is important that your artist works from dark to light so as not to muddy the look of the lighter colours. For this reason white ink is always done last. This makes it feel like it hurts more but it’s only because it is the last colour to be tattooed.
PREPARATION FOR THE DAY OF YOUR TATTOO
•Please do get a good nights sleep and be well rested.
•Please do not drink alcohol the night before or the day of your appointment. Alcohol thins the blood and will cause you to bleed more during your tattoo, thereby pushing the ink out of your skin.
•Please make sure to eat a good meal before your tattoo. Your body needs energy to power through a sometimes painful experience.
•Feel free to take Tylenol, do not take Ibuprofen as it will thin your blood.
•Please prepare for the aftercare of your tattoo by having unscented soap and unscented lotion on hand, (aftercare methods will be explained at time of your appointment).
THANK YOU for reading through our long list of information.
We hope you find it helpful. We appreciate your business!