Getting Tattooed - All You Need to Know Part I : Tattoos
From Consultation to Aftercare: Everything you need to know about the tattooing process
By now you have probably heard a 100 stories about the Experience you are about to undergo and although there will be an element of of truth in some of them, there will be even more “tall tales” and exaggeration. You have to keep in mind, that Everyone’s Experience is Different.
Tattooing as an art form is Evolving at a Awesome Rate. There have been several styles of artwork & techniques of hygiene developed in the last 50 years. There is a Safer way to make Art on Skin now than ever before.
The purpose of this series is to clarify the decisions, process and care needed when choosing and receiving a Tattoo. The end goal is to not only knowing what makes a hygienic studio, but also the recognition of genuine tattoos as an art form.
Part I : Tattoos
Does it hurt?
One of the most frequent questions asked when it comes tattoos. The answer is YES. But, PAIN is RELATIVE.
There are three factors when considering the pain of a tattoo.
1) Anticipated pain often seems to be greater in one’s mind than it actually turns out to be. You while be pleasantly suprised when the physical pain from the tattoo is less intense than the mental expectation. Consider your motivation and dedication behind receiving the artwork.A huge factor regarding pain levels is the way one views and chooses the tattoo.
2) Skill of your artist. If the artist doesn’t know the levels they should be pushing the needle to, is too rough or simply doesn’t care then they can cause excessive bleeding and scarring.
3) Body Part: Some parts of the body are easier to handle than others. The general thumb rule is , the fleshier the area you are getting tattooed, the less painful it is. Places that aren’t exposed to daily wear and tear : like the inner thigh, behind the knees & & inner bicep can up the pain stakes. Bony areas can be problematic as well. It’s more of an odd feeling than painful since it feels like the needles are hitting the bones. This is not the case since the needles are not long enough to do that. The same goes with tendons. Getting a tattoo on your wrist can make your fingers dance like a mad puppet, but the needles are not doing any damage.
Consider the painometer while deciding where to get inked next.
Are They Safe?
Yes: However you need to Choose the right artist and studio.
Tattooing holds no more risk than any comparable cosmetic treatment or surgery. Care should be taken the same way one would choose to receive a surgery from a reputable doctor. With tattooing, the evidence of the wrong choice is more or less permanent.
The Artist should know basic medical procedures to ensure there is no cross contamination in the equipment being used & follow it to give you the safest , least painful & great healing tattoo.
Can I use some kind of numbing cream?
Numbing creams are available but it makes the skin difficult to work with. Besides, the reason tattoos are so awesome is because, (much like a good physique) you have to earn it!!! I always suggest you get a tattoo not as a fashion statement, but because you believe in it. Anyone who promises a pain free tattoo is being dishonest however, there are a few techniques that can be used to make the tattoo process less painful.
What tattoo would look good on me? Where should I get it?
When you are creating your piece a good artist will sit down and discuss these options with you. However, you will need to bring a lot of information to the table. Ask yourself what you find beautiful, appealing, powerful or inspirational? What do you want to be reminded of or carry with you the rest of your life? Your artist can guide and advise you for the style and direction but in the end, you are the only person that can decide.
Where can I find tattoo designs?
Any where you look. You can find images online, in books, real life, etc. It is the concept & it’s illustration that matters.With the kind of work being done in Realism tattooing any image can be put on the skin.
WARNING : Use any images you find for reference only! I’m sure the last thing you want is some one else with the exact same tattoo as you. Images can be used by you and your artist to guide and direct your design. There a few exceptions to this case. This would be when a family crest, emblem or very meaningful design element is requested to be incorporated. Alterations to any such element are of course not necessary. The overarching principle is that tattoos need not be something chosen out of a book. They do not have to be repeated and they should definitely not be something chosen quickly.
How much does a tattoo cost?
Transfer this question to any other art form & you should get your answer. You pay for the quality and artwork of the tattoo. You pay for the artist’s experience & talents. You can either commission an artist or you can pay a much smaller fee to someone who knows how to trace a picture. You are deciding on something you will wear and display for the rest of your life.Don’t let money determine your choices.
When should I get a tattoo?
When you are truly ready – Physically & Pschologically. While there is no one time that is necessarily better than another factors to consider are lifestyle and skin conditions. A tattoo needs to be allowed to breath, it needs to be kept clean and lightly moisturized – particularly for the first 28 days (one skin cycle- time period the body takes to shed & regenerate the top layer of skin). If you work in an office you spend most of your time in a climate controlled environment there would be little season affect. If you work outside during the summer then certain precautions are necessary.
Before an appointment
You can’t be tanned: Do not book an appointment right after a vacation to the beach. Exposure to the sun, chlorine water etc. damages the skin & it should be given enough time to recuperate before being tattooed.
You can’t be sick: Do not go in for an appointment if you have a contagious disease or other medical conditions.
Inform the artist in case of any blood related health issues: (Diabetes, HIV etc) so that they can ensure your safety & other customers’.
Avoid excessive alchohol, coffee or drugs: It’s harder for the artist to do the best work possible with the presence of these external chemicals in the body. It will not only lead to a more uncomfortable experience while getting tattooed but also to a poor tattoo.
Be ready: You should be confident enough in the concept of your design to be able to appreciate the tattoo through the rest of your life. Please do not get a tattoo to be deemed “Cool”. Get it done to symbolise something to truly believe in.
Are there any things I can’t do once I have a tattoo?
No. Tattooed people face no physiological restrictions because of their tattoos. To keep your tattoo in optimum condition there are a range of aftercare procedures you should follow (a period of 15 days, usually). The purpose of the aftercare instructions are to ensure that the tattoo remains in good condition. There are myths like – “You can not donate blood” but that does not stand true if you get the tattoo in a safe environment under the right conditions. (There are countries where you will need to wait for a certain period before to go in for a
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