1.  Do Tattoos Hurt?

    Yes, tattoos hurt. No pain, no gain. Certain areas are more sensitive than others. Below is a list of the top ten most painful spots for a tattoo.

    1. Ribcage

    2. Hip Region

    3. Feet

    4. Throat

    5. Head/Face

    6. Spine

    7. Lips

    8. Chest

    9. Back of the Calf

    10. Elbow

  2.  Are Tattoos Safe?

    Yes, tattoos are safe when going to a professional artist. Things to look for when dealing with your artist:

    Are they wearing gloves? What type of training did your artist have and are certificates in sight? What is the overall health score for the shop? Is there a sharps container on their station?

    Artists should always place used needles in a sharps container. New sterilized needles should be opened in front of you.

  3.  How To Choose Your Artist?

    Take your time and shop around. This is your body that will be permanetly marked forever. It is important to have at least a general idea of what you are thinking about getting and the style you’d like it to have. So often people make the impulse decision to get a tattoo on a whim and head for the nearest local shop. Some are lucky enough to walk away with a good tattoo, while others will find themselves researching for cover ups later. Do your research first. And while we are on the subject of cover ups, NEVER, under any circumstances let your friend who just bought a tattoo kit work on you! Not only will you find yourself seeking the aid of a professional artist to cover it up, but you are also putting yourself at risk! It is imperative that you find a licensed artist that is trained and certified or a licensed apprentice with their mentor (master) present.

    Other ways to choose your artist:

    There are many artists out there, all with different styles. If you are looking to get a black and grey piece, it would be wise to look for a black and grey artist. Check out portfolios and see what they are capable of and be picky. Scrutinize their work and look closely for perfections as well as imperfections.

    Visit several studios. If you have found or heard of a good artist, now you must check out the studio where they work. Make sure it is clean and take notice of their overall health score. Even if you found the best artist, it doesn’t matter if the shop is not up to par.

    Overall, make sure your artist is a licensed professional with experience, talent and can pull off the style and the ideas you are going for.

  4.  What Should I Expect When Getting A Tattoo?

    The first step is to schedule a consultation with your artist to go over the design and ideas you have in mind. Your artist will help you come up with a design that works best for you and the location you’re planning on getting it done. Once you have gone over your ideas and location for the tattoo, your artist will schedule you an appointment to get the tattoo done.

    Step 2: You’re appointment day. It’s important that you show up on time for your appointment. Artists stay busy and have alloted a certain time frame for your appointment. If you know you are going to be late or unable to make it, call your artist to reschedule your appointment as soon as possible. Once you arrive for your appointment you will be asked to fill out paperwork and present your ID to photocopy. (Your ID must be valid. If you do not have a State issued ID, you may use a passport or military ID). Please answer everything honestly, and DO NOT drink or use illegal drugs before or during your appointment.

    Step 3: Set Up. During preparation for your tattoo, your artist will set up their station and create your stencil. All equiptment, materials and tattoo areas are sanitized and sterile. Your artist will shave the area with a disposable razor and apply the stencil. This usually takes 10-20 minutes to dry. Once the stencil is dry and machines are set up, your artist will begin the tattoo.

    Step 4: The Tattoo Experience. Most, but not all, tattoos start off with the outline and then go on into color/shading. It is important to breathe slowly during this process and to make sure you eat before your appointment. If you need to take a break, tell your artist. And most importantly DO NOT move, squirm, or scream during your tattoo! If you are not able to be still during the process your artist will not be able to complete the tattoo.

    Step 5: Completion.  You have a brand new tattoo! Now what do you do? At the end of your tattoo, your artist will go over aftercare and will give you a take home sheet discribing how to treat your tattoo. Tattoos are an abrasion to the skin, it is important to follow through the aftercare to prevent any infections and for a better outcome. (See also aftercare)

    Step 6: Clean Up. Once your tattoo session is completed your artist will dispose all needles in a sharps container, discard all disposable products used on your tattoo, sterilize equiptment and sanatize the area.

    Step 7: Follow Up. Most tattoos take at least 2 weeks to heal. Once your tattoo is fully healed, let your artist know how it looks or stop by the shop to show him/her.

  5.  How Much Does It Cost?

    You get what you pay for! Good tattoos aren’t cheap and cheap tattoos aren’t good!

    In general, each artist will set their own rates based on the amount of detail in the design, location of the piece, its size and estimated length of time the tattoo will take. NEVER haggle the price of your tattoo with your artist. We are talking about a piece of art that you will wear for the rest of your life! If you cannot afford quality, don’t bother.