Tattoo Tips

How To Book Your First Custom Tattoo

How To Book Your First Custom Tattoo

Planning to get your first tattoo? Customized designs are the way to go. These will ensure you’re getting exactly what you want, which increases your chances of being satisfied with the tattoo over the long-term. If you’re getting ready to book your first appointment, then the follow these tips to ensure you’re entering into a deal you won’t regret.

Choose Multiple Artists

You need to do some heavy research in the beginning to find an artist you really like. Picking the first tattoo shop you find on Google isn’t recommended. Take your time to select someone you feel will give you the design you’re looking for.

Pay a Visit to the Shop

Some artists will schedule a consultation before they actually perform the work. But even if they don’t, you should still pay a visit to the shop in advance to determine if it’s cleanly. You don’t want to go to a shop that will make you uncomfortable or risk your safety. If you’re having a consultation, make sure to ask any and all the questions you have.

Have Your Design Ready

Hopefully, you already have some idea of what you want tatted on your body. If so, you need to have this drawn up, so you can show it to the artist. Some artists will draw it out a month or a week in advance and others will do it the night before. Make sure to look it over to ensure it meets your standards.

Pick a Day You’re Schedule is Clear

You don’t want to feel rushed to get your tattoo, and neither should the tattoo artist. This will only increase your chances of getting a mediocre tattoo job. When you’re finally making the appointment, choose a day when you know you will have plenty of free time.

Clean and Moisturize Your Skin

Before your appointment, make sure to clean the area that’s getting tattooed and moisturize it. This will make it easier for it to be tattooed. It’s also good to stay hydrated so drink water before the appointment. It’s also recommended that you take a multi-vitamin to ensure your immune system is in good condition. Remember, a tattoo is a scar that needs to heal, so the better your immune system the quicker it’ll heal. Plus, it will help keep infections at bay.

Make Your Deposit

There is a deposit that you’ll likely have to pay to set your appointment. Just make sure to get there on time. If you back out or reschedule, then do it as soon as possible, so you don’t lose your deposit. Giving the tattoo artist a heads up will also help to build rapport between the two of you, which is always a good thing. After all, he or she will be the one holding a needle to your skin with permanent ink!

Image: Chronic Ink

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What It’s Like To Get A Tattoo At A Convention

There are about seven tattoo conventions being held on any given month, which gives tattoo lovers and artists plenty of opportunity to get in on the fun. Going to a convention for the first time can be exciting and fun. But what if you’re looking to get tatted up during your visit? Well, you can join the countless other folks who are attending for the very same reason. If you’re planning on going to a tattoo convention soon, and would like to leave there with fresh new ink, then keep the following in mind.

Try Finding an Artist in Advance

It’s good to know who will be there, so you can begin researching who you want to do your tattoo. As we all know, tattoos are permanent (unless you dish out the money to have a painful procedure done to remove it), so it’s something that should be contemplated, not rushed into. And a part of the contemplation should be considering which artist you should entrust to perform the task. Check out their artwork on social media and on their website portfolios to determine who has the best hands.

Try Booking an Appointment

While you’re at it, you should also try booking an appointment with your tattoo artist of choice before the tattoo convention. This way, you know for sure you will get placed into the schedule. Do note that some artists will book appointments, but then there are others who won’t. So cross your fingers and hope you get an email response confirming your date and time. Otherwise, try to get to the appointment early to get dibs on the tattoo seat.

Don’t Force It

If you can’t find the artist you want or can’t get the appointment you desire, then consider waiting for another convention. You don’t want to force your way into a situation where you end up with a tattoo you hate. This isn’t a good time to settle!

Grab a Bite to Eat Beforehand

Getting a tattoo can take some time, so it would be smart to get something to eat before you start. Most conventions are also outdoors, which means hot weather and lots of hot bodies. Make sure to bring along a couple of bottles of water to sip on as you’re getting tatted up.

Bring a Design with You

Explaining a design can be rather hard and sometimes frustrating. Have someone draw up the design you want, or find an image of it online, so that you can show it to the artist. This will hasten the experience and ensure you get exactly what you’re looking for.

Getting a tattoo at a convention isn’t unheard of and is actually quite popular. So make sure you’re well-prepared in advance, so you don’t miss out on a grand opportunity to get a tattoo from a top-notch artist!

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10 Simple Tattoos That Make A Big Statement

Whoever said you have to go all out with your tattoo design? You don’t have to walk out of the tattoo shop with all of your limbs covered in ink. Modest, but bold tattoos are sometimes enough to make whatever statement you’re trying to make. Finding the design for your tattoo can be tough, especially when you’re trying to keep it simple and small.


Thankfully, there’s a trend for introverts and others who dare to get a tattoo, but not dare cover their bodies in ink. The following ideas can be used to help you decide on a tattoo that’s simple and sweet.

One-Word Tattoos

Sometimes, one word is all you need to speak volumes. Powerful words like love, life and freedom can speak bounds about a person. Do you have a particular word you use to describe yourself or your hopes and aspirations? You can have this word tatted onto the back of your neck, chest, leg, forearm or even your hand.

Worded Tattoos

Sometimes, one word isn’t enough. You can find a variety of people writing a sentence or even a paragraph of text on their bodies. Text-only tats are still very simple, one-toned ink. Common places you’ll find these tats is on backs, legs and stomachs, where there is sufficient space.


Do you love a brand so much that you want to tat its logo on your body? Or maybe you have your own business logo that you want to represent. Either way, you can do it discreetly or boldly, depending on your own flavor.


Flowers are pretty. There are so many varieties and designs you can use, making yours unique from anyone else’s. Go for roses, tulips, vines or something else that piques your interest.


We’ve seen stars quite a lot in the tattoo world, and they seem to never get old. They can represent your love for this country or for the heaven’s above. Tat this on your tummy, back, ankle or anywhere else you deem fit.

Religious Icons

Christians, Muslims, Jews and all other religious individuals can represent their beliefs by tattooing a cross, crescent moon or Star of David on their body. You’ll normally find this on arms, backs and legs.

Ear Tattoos

Yes, we are seeing more people take their tattoos to unique places like on the earlobe. Here, you can get away with flowers, words and just about anything else that can be printed small enough.

Toe Tats

Here’s another discreet and unique place to put a tattoo. Since toes are tiny, you would have to pick something very simple, such as a word, flower, icon or something similar.

Cats and Kittens

Felines are seductive beings, so it makes sense that we’d want them tatted on our bodies. You can have a simple cat designed on the back of your neck, arm, leg and anywhere else you’d like to put it.


Yes, as in the bow you’d tie around your neck on in your hair. These are quite popular and are also very simple, but cute.

Hopefully, these ideas are enough to get your own creative juices flowing!

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How To Care For Watercolor Tattoos

Watercolor tattoos have grown in popularity because they offer a unique look that caters to those looking for softer colors and designs. As with any type of tattoo, you need ensure you take the proper measures to ensure your watercolor tattoo heals correctly. Obviously, you never want to touch the tattoo before washing your hands with warm water and antibacterial soap.

The following is a quick outline of what special care is needed immediately after you’ve received your watercolor tattoo.

The First Day

Make sure to leave your bandage on for one to three hours on the day you receive your tattoo. Once it’s time to remove it, make sure to do so in an environment that is clean. Gently wash the tattoo afterward using only our fingertips, warm water and a liquid antibacterial. Pat the tattoo dry using a paper towel. There’s no need to re-bandage your tattoo at this point.

The Second Day

Be very cautious when managing your tattoo for the next couple of weeks. You don’t want to get lint, hair or fur on your tattoo, because these can interrupt the healing process. You should wash your tattoo between two and four times daily using warm water and antibacterial hand soap. Pat dry with paper towels and then apply a super thin layer of crème or water based hand lotion. You can use this as needed to ensure the skin under the tattoo doesn’t dry out and peel. Try your best to leave the area alone – the less the skin is moved or irritated, the better.

What Not to Do

Make sure that you don’t completely submerge your new tattoo in water – so no swimming pools or baths. You can take showers – just try to avoid placing it directly on the stream of water. You should also keep your tattoo out of direct sunlight. And avoid scratching the tattoo, as this can cause flaking and scabs.

Fighting the Hands of Time

There’s controversy about watercolor tattoos, which revolves around the longevity of them. If you take good care of your watercolor tattoo, you will have a better chance of it looking great for many years. Keep your skin moisturized and wear sunscreen daily to help keep it from fading away over time. It’s also a good idea to choose a tattoo artist who is very experienced with watercolors. Make sure to check over their past work to see how good they really are. Ask for defined lines, since there’s virtually no black being used – black is what helps typical tattoos withstand the test of time. To combat this problem, you can have the artists create defined lines, which will darken the tattoo. High contrast and a black base should be used.

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10 Ways To Care For Your New Tattoo

You’ve got some fresh ink, and it looks amazing so, caring for it is a top priority. The slightest mistake could mean making another trip to your tattoo artist for touching up. Therefore, it’s essential to follow these 10 ways to care for your new tattoo.

1: Follow Directions

Your tattoo artist will provide explicit directions regarding the care of your tattoo, and you should follow them to the letter. Because we’re all forgetful from time-to-time, they’ll provide you with a care sheet to help you remember the best ways to care for your new tattoo.

2: Don’t Scratch That Itch

The healing process it interrupted each time you scratch a healing tattoo. Therefore, long-term damage to the tattoo is the result. When the peeling stage begins, this is when itching begins. It’s critical to leave this skin, as well as the scabs, alone. Otherwise, the color could damage.

3: Leave the Wrapping Alone

You may feel temptation to open the wrapping for your tattoo and take a look once leaving the tattoo parlor, but you must leave it alone. That way, the color remains intact.

4: Waiting is Critical

You can take the wrapping off two hours, at the minimum, after you’ve left the tattoo parlor. Afterward, wash it off gently with alcohol and fragrance-free soap, your hands, and warm water. Do not rub it dry—gently pat it with tissue paper.

5: Use High-Quality Ointment

While healing, use a thin layer of high-quality ointment to cover your tattoo. Gently rub it in and use the smallest amount possible. If you’re using too much, a rash or small pimples will form. Just clean the area carefully and use less next time.

6: Keep it Wrapped during Showers

When showering, use cling wrap to cover your tattoo. The direct stream of water could have adverse effects during the early stages of healing for your tattoo.

7: You May Need to Adjust

Depending on the location of the tattoo, you may need to make clothing or shoe adjustments for between one and four weeks. If you’re wearing clothing that’s too tight, it’ll rub against your tattoo and disrupt the healing process or cause permanent damage.

8: Avoid Direct Sunlight

While healing, direct sunlight can cause permanent damage to your tattoo. Once it concludes, be sure to apply sunblock in all tattooed areas.

9: Avoid Swimming and Athletics

For at least two weeks, it isn’t a good idea to go swimming when you have a new tattoo. It’s also a good idea to avoid going to the gym, too, depending on how it’s healing.

10: Dress the Bed

New tattoos are notorious for weeping bodily fluids so, for several days you’ll need to be careful when going to bed. You can dress your bed by placing towels down underneath your new tattoo to prevent dirtying your sheets, keep your tattoo clean before bed, and use ointment before retiring for the night.

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Did You Know Tattooing Helps Relieve the Common Cold?

We’re all actively seeking new ways to stay healthy and boost our immune systems before the cold and flu season hits. However, did you know tattooing helps relieve the common cold? The good news is, those who get tattoos have a lower risk of developing infections because the act strengthens their immunological responses. While there’s no cure for common colds, it’s exciting that this study found evidence concluding tattooing could help with the battle.

Temporarily Lowers Resistance

Because tattooing is physically draining, much like working out or other muscular activities, your body will begin building up a resistance. It’s a similar experience with tattooing. Your skin and muscles are sore and tender after your first tattoo experience and, with each subsequent visit, you’ll feel that tenderness and soreness begin fading. Your internet set points will readjust, like with working out, and move higher and allow you to achieve greater strength with each tattoo.

Voluntary Candidates

When volunteers from a tattoo shop participated in this study, researchers found analyzed saliva samples that were taken before and after their experience with tattooing. The purpose of doing so was to measure the levels of immunoglobulin A, which is an antibody lining portions of an individual’s respiratory and gastrointestinal system. Researchers also measured cortisol, which is a stress hormone which suppresses the immune response.

The Results?

Once the measurements in these samples were thoroughly analyzed, researchers could conclude that there was a significant drop in immunoglobulin A when individuals were tattooed for the first time. However, when there were people who were receiving subsequent tattoos, the drop was less. Researchers expected to see this result. When a person receives a tattoo, this antibody mobilizes and fights possible infections where the new tattoo is located.

The Controversy?

There’s another study in The American Journal of Human Biology stating that, when you get a new tattoo, your stress levels rise. The result is a drop in your immune system, and you’ll end up with the common cold. That’s when the controversy regarding if getting a tattoo will fight a cold or cause one comes in. Because these studies are both new, the jury is still out.

This study is the first of its kind, and it’s an exciting breakthrough regarding a trendy art form in conjunction with medical science. How this research will continue moving forward remains to be seen. However, it isn’t going to stop as researchers keep looking for answers to our pressing medical questions.

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Top 5 Spots Tattoos Artists Refuse to Ink

Looking at trending photos of tattoos on sites like Instagram or Pinterest is something we can all easily do, but not all of these artistic creations are readily approved by tattoo artists. While many of these tattoos appear innocent, the artists have their reasons for disapproving. Let’s look at the top 5 reasons artists refuse to ink.

1: Face

Tattoo artists don’t like inking on a client’s face and will often refuse to do this. The main reason is that, in addition to making a bold statement and becoming your identity, these tattoos will hinder your potential for future employment in a significant way. No one believes this is fair, and the judgments are wrong, but it’s reality nonetheless.

2: Feet

You’re going to have a hard time locating tattoo artists who will tattoo feet because this ink is difficult to heal and you’ll have to keep shoes, as well as socks, off your feet for days. If you can manage to find an artist who will tattoo your feet, you must take careful consideration and planning where the tattoo will go.

3: Hands

Your hands are in constant motion and, like feet, this area is difficult to heal. Therefore, tattoo artists tend to refuse to ink in this area. For several days, everyone will have to do everything for you if you want your tattoo to heal correctly–and the chances of that occurring are slim. Because tattoo artists don’t want to deal with the drama of clients returning because their tattoo didn’t survive the frequent hand motion, they often refuse to work on hands.

4: Neck

While the tattoo phenomenon has grown into an accepted pop culture trend, those who get them on their neck are still regarded as associated with criminal activity, gangs, or adverse lifestyles. The appearance of this tattoo will weigh on all future life decisions. Therefore, the refusal of this tattoo by an artist is more likely than not.

5: Watercolor Tattooing

While tattoo artists aren’t refusing this ink yet, they may begin. The biggest argument so far is that they won’t age well because there are no crisp lines and the ink will start spreading. The tattoos haven’t been around long enough for this argument to hold water–yet–but artists believe the new trend won’t last because, historically, similar tattoos haven’t looked good when aging.

Image: Howard Sandford

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Should You Get A Name Tattoo?

We’ve all seen name tattoos—on the forearms of sailors in old movies of yesteryear and moving forward to on the biceps of everyday people today. Some of the art is simple, while other works are ornate and beautiful. These pieces each beg the question if you should you get a name tattoo? Will you regret this decision later? Remember, this is a permanent decision you will have to live with forever unless you’re willing to undergo laser tattoo removal. Let’s look at what tattoo artists have to say.

Memorializing a Name

There is one exception to getting a name tattoo, and that’s to memorialize a name. If you’ve lost someone you’re close to, or in some cases, a beloved pet, tattooing that name is appropriate. These names are often surrounded by inspirational art, as well as other quotations.

Honouring Your Child

When you first become a parent or grandparent, you may wish to have your child’s name on your body somewhere. It’s also common for tattoo artists to receive requests for their client’s child’s date of birth or a picture of their child.

Avoid Your Beau’s Name

If you’re in a long-term relationship or even a marriage, it may not last forever. However, your tattoo will. Therefore, tattoo artists strongly recommend against having your significant other’s name permanently inked on your body. These tattoos are the most often regretted and covered up.

Avoid Getting Your Own Name

Tattoo artists reveal that, when people get their name tattooed on their forearm or anywhere else on their body for that matter, it’s a poor choice. The main reason tattoo artists are annoyed by this is that the person should remember their name and, if other people want to know it, the person can tell them.

Avoid Biblical Names

While it’s nice to show how much you love your religion, a particular quote, or a Biblical name, tattoo artists reveal how cliché this ink is and should be avoided. Not only will you feel regret about these tattoos later on, but there are plenty of other beautiful options available in the tattoo artist’s portfolio from which to choose.

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The Risks A Tattooist's Body Faces

The Risks A Tattooist’s Body Faces

You may be reading what the risks and precautions are for getting a tattoo, but have you given consideration to the risks to a tattoo artist’s body? These individuals make their living creating works of art adorning people’s bodies on a daily basis. When you think about the fact that their canvas is their client’s skin, their error for margin is zero. While a tattoo artist can make a healthy living, it does take a toll on their personal health over time. What are the risks to a tattoo artist’s body?

Eye Strain

Aside from the underlying strain on a tattoo artist’s body from handling the equipment all day, as well as the toll on their fingers from the use of their fine motor skills, the hours of focusing causes eye strain. Because some tattoo artists work in close proximity to their art for prolonged hours, it could create an issue with their eyesight over time.

Neck Pain, Backache, Numbness

Because tattoo artists are using their upper body the most, they experience backaches, neck pain, and numbness in the higher portion of their limbs most often. The pain varies depending on how they’re working on tattoos, as well as how they position themselves while inking. The most common pain complaint is an upper back pain because tattoo artists will work for up to two hours in the same position while tattooing.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

It isn’t uncommon to equate carpal tunnel syndrome to repetitive tasks like typing on a computer or scanning groceries across a conveyor belt. However, tattoo artists run this risk as well. They’re using their hands for painting, sketching, tattooing, and a myriad of other tasks. They are definitely at risk of experiencing this common problem.


Something those who are receiving their tattoo think about is staying fueled up with snacks and plenty of water. What about their tattoo artist, though? They’re sitting there while their clients are making every attempt to remain as comfortable as possible–yet, they’re neglecting their needs for the sake of quality art. Not only could they lose track of time, but their tattoo parlor could heat up quickly without them noticing the difference. The best solution is to keep water bottles close to prevent dehydration.

Sometimes just taking breaks or making adjustments to the workspace will help relieve risks to a tattoo artist’s body. That way, they can achieve their goals of creating quality art without risking their personal health.

Image: Flickr

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Can You Handle The Pain Of A Tattoo?

Can You Handle The Pain Of A Tattoo?

It’s no mystery the act of receiving, as well as the healing process following a tattoo, is painful. The reason is that there are a number of nerve endings underneath an individual’s skin. These same nerve endings also determine the level of pain a person will experience. Therefore, if there is an abundant supply, there is more pain. Such areas with more nerve endings include armpits, back of knees, face, feet, genital regions, hands, and neck.

Can Women Tolerate Pain Better?

According to a new study, women are less tolerant to pain overall. However, when tattoo artists have customers in their chair, they find that women and their ability to handle tattoo pain are much better in comparison to men. Pain levels are subjective and really depend on the individual.

Do You Have a Low Pain Tolerance?

Man or woman, if you have a low pain tolerance, there are some considerations you should make before getting a tattoo. For example, topical numbing agents exist to help stave off the pain and help you work through the pain of getting a tattoo if it’s your first time. You can also consider getting a smaller tattoo. That way, low pain tolerance is no longer an issue. Using headphones to help distract yourself from what’s happening helps too.

Annoyed by Repetitive Skin Pricks?

The thought of receiving repetitive skin pricks over the course of one or two hours (or longer) is enough to drive someone nuts. While women tend to have more patience with this process than men, it is still painful and requires a commitment to the art. The best comparison to this kind of pain is having your skin poked over and over by a tack or a piece of glass. Think of the experience that way so, if you feel less, it won’t seem as big of a deal.

Do You Want Many Colours?

There is a slight variation in pain levels when artists use different colours in tattooing. The main reason for this is because of the intensity of the color, as well as the techniques necessary for applying them. For example, the outline of the tattoo will feel different than the colouring in because it’s more of a brush-stroke sensation. Therefore, there is still pain—it’s just a different type of pain.

Do you think you can handle the pain?

Image: Flickr

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