Arts Entertainment Body Art

The Process To Get A Tattoo

Getting A Tattoo

You’ve decided to get a tattoo. But what happens now? This article will take you through the entire process that happens when you enter the shop to get that new body art done.

First and foremost to getting your tat done is age verification. Take photo ID with you. Contact information could be asked in case the artist needs to contact you. Payment is usually done at this point. Methods are always up to the business, so be sure to know the shop you are using beforehand. Always remember your receipt.

Now it’s time to get into that chair! Open places are usual, though private rooms are generally available for those works that must be done on certain parts of your body. Make your preference known as the artist should always give you a choice. If you don’t want others watching for any location of your tattoo then say so! The style of chair will vary. Artist will try to make you as comfortable as possible for that tat to go on.

Next is the preparation. The area for your tattoo will be cleaned. This includes rubbing alcohol just as when you get immunization shots. Also there could be a little shaving of the area. This is just so the artist has a smooth area to work on for the best tattoo you can get. Another rub down with alcohol just to make sure the area is totally clean.

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Here’s the part where you actually start to see your tattoo on your body: Transferring the art onto your body. Whatever artwork you’ve chosen for your tattoo will require a stencil. These are usually made in a Thermal Fax machine, which just puts it onto a special paper. To make the design transfer go a bit better, some tattoo artists will use soap, water or deodorant sticks. This mainly just darkens your skin and the outline better. And there you go…that purplish area is the first part of your tattoo!

Don’t panic! Here’s where you get serious about your tattoo. The artist will open his needles and get the inks ready. Clean water will be used for cleaning the needles in between colors. Vaseline or other oils will be laid out to use to make the needles glide more smoothly over your skin. Just breathe nice and slow. The first few minutes of the needles biting into your skin will be a little uncomfortable, but soon the tat area will start to adjust to the sting. The linework will be done first; after comes the playing with the colors and shadings of the tat you chose. More needles and machines could be brought in depending on the process needed for your artwork. Relax and have fun with it. You’ll be done with the needles in no time.

The artist may want a photo for their portfolio. You can agree or not as you like. Take your own photo now if you want before the protective ointment goes on it. The fresh tat is treated like an open wound, so the ointment and some bandages will be placed on it for you to walk out of the shop. You will be given aftercare instructions now, both verbally and on paper for you to take out of the shop. Only you can keep infection from happening now.

Keeping That Tattoo Looking Great For Years

So you followed the artist’s instructions for the first few weeks. That tattoo is lookin’ good! But what happens now? How do you keep that tattooed artwork so bright and vibrant? Lifetime care is just as important as the first care of your tattoo.

Take care of the tattoo as instructed in the first place.

  • Won’t be a great tattoo if it gets infected!
  • Picking at the scab will leave the artwork with a blotchy colored look.

Use sun block

  • You can have fun in the sun with minimal exposure for your tattoo.
  • Highest SPF you can find – Reapply often!
  • Do not put any lotions on brand new inks! – Follow artists instructions

Diet Habits

  • Eat right to take care of your skin!

Think before you get an artificial tan…

  • Tanning beds – Protect your ink!
  • Sunless Tanning Lotions – As long at the artwork is completely healed first!
  • Shade and Color of Lotion – Can do odd things to the tat work

Think you aren’t in the sun often enough to use any sun block for your tat? Think again. Ever get out of the car and find an arm bronze after just a quick drive? Any amount of sun can hurt your skin, and your tat, without the right protections. Use sun block to help ensure a great tattoo for the rest of your life!

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How To Recognize And Treat An Infected Tattoo

The tattoo process does involve intruding with your skin, the main protective barrier to infections. Each time a needle pierces your skin you stand a risk of infection. Know what to look for and what requires a trip to the doctor.

Allergic Reactions

  • Dyes from the tat2 process.
  • Red dye is the most common allergen.
  • Itchy rash at the tat2 region.
  • Can occur even years after.

Bacterial Infection

  • Redness or streaks extending from the area.
  • Warmth, increased pain or tenderness.
  • Swelling.
  • Discharge that contains pus
  • Fever of 100 degrees Fahrenheit or higher.
  • Yellowish/Green tint to the scab.

Blood Borne Disease

  • Why sanitation is important?
  • Needles should always be autoclaved if being reused.
  • Hepatitis C.
  • HIV.
  • Hepatitis B.
  • Tetanus.
  • Tuberculosis.

Skin Disorders

  • Granulomas.
  • Bumps around the tat2 ink.
  • More commonly red inks.
  • Keloids.
  • Raised, excessive scarring.
  • Most common in darker skin types.

Tattoo infections are very UNCOMMON. You would have to not follow your artist’s aftercare instructions at all for an infection to even try to form. Know your body, inside and out, before you get a tat. Allergic to red dyes? Choose colors that don’t contain a red ink. Ask yourself these types of questions before you walk in the tattoo studio to be knowledgeable of yourself, your allergies and what could happen if you are not willing to take care of your new tattoo work. If you are ever unsure of the healing process, go back to talk to the artist, also you can never be too careful by making a doctor’s appointment if any of the above signs start showing up.

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Choosing Your Tattoo And Picking The Artist

Every artist will differ and the best will be pricey. Even if you have no idea WHAT you want for your tattoo, shopping around and being alert to what’s around you will help you get the best tattoo and artist. Visit all the nearby tat shops, get the down low from your tattooed friends and acquaintances and chat with the area artists.

When you get into a shop look around to see how clean the place looks.

  • It will not matter on cleaning to how busy the shop is the shop should always be clean.
  • You want to be in a clean well lit area

Look at the artist(s) portfolio(s).

  • Their Portfolio is usually sitting out.
  • If not, just ask to see it.
  • Check out artwork on the wall – this will tell you a lot about the studio and how long they have been in business.

Talk to the artist(s) located in the tattooing studio.

  • Is there a connection?
  • Is the artist clean and well kept?
  • If you think something is wrong follow that feeling through.
  • Ask questions until you are content with the answers.
  • Leave if you are worried about anything at all!
  • Your comfort is the primary concern.
  • Talk about what you do and don’t want done for your body art.
  • If need be… talk to other customers waiting in the lobby. Or, maybe ask for references?

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Custom Designs

  • Most artists love to do custom tattoos because the best tattoo artists are true artists. If they are reluctant to help you create something unique and custom made for you, you may want to find another artist.
  • Prices are usually on the same par as anything else on the wall

The Wall

  • Generic pieces that the shop usually keeps.
  • Prices range from cheap to expensive.
  • Artwork goes from basic to very intense.
  • It should give you some idea of what you want… then you can customize the exact design that you want.


  • Ask to see other tattoo work the artist has done.
  • Do they like doing custom jobs or do they steer you to the common ones?
  • Do you get the feel that the artist is proud of his work?
  • There is normally a story to every piece… just talk to them about the tattoos and you can get a good idea about the artist.

Things To Consider

  • Why get a tattoo just like everyone else? Be unique!
  • Don’t be afraid to tweak an existing popular tattoo
  • Make sure that the tatoo is a reflection of your personality.
  • Years down the road it should still be you as well!

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