Questions to Consider Before Getting Tattooed for the First Time

Any decent, respectable tattoo artist wants to educate their clientele rather than treat everyone like money. That also means from time-to-time turning away people who haven't really thought about the effects their tattoo may have on their future (imagine a 22 year old woman wanting a face tattoo and wants a career in medicine). I am happy knowing that person won't regret their decision even though I may have lost business at the moment. And I am happy to educate every client who walks through my door on any question they may have, especially if it's their first time getting tattooed. I would rather my client be HAPPY!

So here are a collection of some questions you should ask yourself to see if you really want to go through in getting a tattoo.

1. You turned up in a tattoo shop by impulse, have you researched the artists? Do they have their current permits up? Are they clean, sober? Try researching an artist ahead of time, which you may have done by visiting this site (thank you!) but if you want more information on how to find an artist, read my article on it here. Letting the wrong artist touch your skin may lead to a horrible tattoo, a horrible experience, a horrible infection, or a horrible, permanent disease.

2. Even under the most ideal circumstances, can you accept that there may be health risks involved? It is possible to spread disease, get the tattoo infected or that you may even pass out. The chances are lower with better and more experienced artists, but they will exist and you will take this chance if you get a tattoo. If you have special health considerations like diabeters, hemophilia, epilepsy or immunity deficiency problems, you should speak to your health care provider about getting tattooed. Please notify the artist of any special health problems prior to discussing your tattoo. Do not even consider getting tattooed if you are pregnant.

3. Can you take the pain? While every tattoo, tattoo artist, day, etc, is different and everyone feels pain differently, there is still a level of discomfort involved. What happens during tattooing is that the machine is pushing the ink into layers of your skin thousands of times a minute with sharp needles. And even if you are okay with pain, you will be sitting/laying down in an uncomfortable position anywhere from 30 minutes to 4 hours, depending on the tattoo. And yes it is very important you keep still during the process.

4. Are you comfortable knowing the tattoo is permanent? Seems like an odd question but ask yourself again, it's hard to take in once it's done with.

5. Can you handle criticism about your tattoo? It's a fact that some people will not like your tattoo, whether out of tradition, religious reasons or simply out of difference in taste. You will have to deal with this from time to time. If you're curious on things people may say to you, ask your friends who have tattoos, everyone has a story to tell. But most tattooed people can laugh at it, can you?

6. Are you okay knowing my tattoo will change in appearance over time? The biggest change being fading, which occurs with sunlight and naturally within the body, by expelling the ink through the liver and out of the body. You will have to get it touched up through time if you want it to maintain its appearance.

7. Are you willing to take responsibility for your tattoo experience? You are selecting the tattoo artist, directing them to create your design you want, selecting the placement of the tattoo and you are taking care of your tattoo afterward. That's why it's so important to educate yourself on finding a good artist.

8. Do you have the money right now to afford one? A cheap tattoo is not good and a good tattoo is not cheap. Most shop minimums start at $50-$100. Don't put your body at risk, save up until you can afford a good tattoo.