I guess I didn’t get the message when society told me that I was too old for tattoos. Or maybe I did get the message and I just chose to ignore them. Either way, I have six appointments coming up in the next few months and with that many appointments I need to make sure I’m ready for each and every appointment.
Now I’ve been getting tattooed for decades and over this time I have come up with a routine that I do to get ready for my appointments. To me, getting a tattoo is an experience and I do this routine to make sure that I have the best experience possible.
So here are my tips and tricks for each and every tattoo.
The first one is easy for me, I don’t drink or party the night before my appointment. I’ve been sober now for over 6 years so like I said, this one is easy for me. Trust me, before I got sober I had more than a few appointments feeling like shit. In all truthfulness, it’s important to not go out and get blasted the night before for a reason. If you are hungover you won’t sit as well for your artist. If you move your artist will have a harder time giving you a good tattoo and more importantly you just won’t enjoy the experience as much. Like I said, for me my tattoos are an experience and I want each and every experience to be a good one.
Next, and this goes along with what I just mentioned. I get a good night sleep. I do this because I’m going to be using a lot of energy. Now I know I’m not going to be moving during my appointment, but it’s going to hurt and when you are in pain your body works to protect itself from that pain. While we know we are getting a cool tattoo, our body doesn’t care and it does what I does best. It burns energy to lessen the paint. Getting a good night sleep helps your body deal with the pain and again helps you have a good tattoo experience.
Make sure you take a shower before your appointment. Remember, you are going to very close to your artist and your artist isn’t going to be pleased if you are stinky. Trust me the last person we want uncomfortable is the person with the tattoo machine. Also, make sure you don’t wear heavy cologne or perfume. You will be in close contact with your artist and while you might like the smell, they may not and you don’t want them uncomfortable.
Please also remember to dress comfortably. You never know what position your artist will put you in and it will make it unpleasant if you are wearing tight uncomfortable clothes. Again, and I know I sound like a broken record, but you just want this to be a good experience and you want to make sure you are doing what you can for your artist also. If you can’t move the way they ask you to, it’s just going to make if harder for everyone.
Be sure to eat a healthy breakfast. Don’t eat too much or too heavy but something healthy. I always suggest oatmeal or scrambled eggs. This goes back to your body burning energy and you will need the fuel to make sure you don’t get dizzy or light headed.
I suggest bringing water. I always bring a big jug of water and sip on it during my appointment. I just feel better having water and I like to keep myself hydrated. Now that I’m writing this down, I really do go into each appointment in full “Mom Mode”!
Speaking of Mom Mode – I always bring snacks. Now get this, I don’t bring snacks just for myself, I bring them for my artist and the whole shop. You just never know who is going to need a snack and there I am ready with my bag of goodies to give someone a protein bar. I always bring the same thing that is typically some protein bars, maybe a tangerine or two, pretzels with peanut butter and some licorice. You just never know if your appointment is going longer than you expected and you never know if you need extra fuel. I always want to keep my artist fed and if someone else in shop needs an emergency snack I’m there to give them a snack.
A couple of more items to bring if you want is music. If you have an artist that doesn’t talk much, or if music helps your relax, then bring your beats and just listen to music. Bring a pillow to help out with those uncomfortable positions and bring a blanket. I haven’t brought a blanket to any of my appointments yet but I’m planning on bringing one to my next appointment at the end of this month. I have a long session coming up with Austin Maples and while I love him dearly, he’s doing an American Traditional tattoo that is packed full of black. What I trying to say is “It’s going to hurt”. I know I’m going to be cold and I’m bring my blanket. I will let you know if it helps.
Last but not least, I always tip my artist. I do this because I love them dearly, but also because I appreciate the hard work that they just put in to give me a beautiful tattoo. I get asked a lot about tipping and how much should you give. I usually tip anywhere between 20% to 25%. Both of my artists have agreed this is a standard amount and they both also said that if someone tips less they appreciate anything. If you can’t afford the 20% I say at least give them what you can.
So those are my tips and tricks for my tattoo appointments. If you are new to getting tattooed, remember, to breathe and to enjoy the experience. You only get your first tattoo once and trust you will have more appointments after this one. If you already have tattoo experience, I hope I was able to give you some new ideas for things to try for your next appointment. My next appointment is at the end of this month and I’ll be bring you along with me. I’ll be getting my right hand tattooed for Liberty in July and that one is the appointment that I’m really looking forward to.
Until Next Time…..