(don't expect anything like the usual "eat/drink before you come and check the place for hygiene requierements" etc...)
Starting with "hi, for how much would you make this image" that someone has already have and it's downloaded from Google or Pinterest is not the best idea.
Think about it! You wanna have a unique, personalised image that was made only for you and you were searching, designing, paying for it and proud of it but...
would you want anyone to copy your unique tattoo? Believe me, others wouldn't either! So, I suggest you forget this. Of course, you can send and show images, tattoos but use them as a starting point or idea. A good tattoo artist will personalise it for you, not to mention that we are not photo copiers. If you find a parlor, check their pics and the style that they use and ifit fits you, go to them.
What are the common mistakes?
Think beforehand! That is the most important!
The most common mistake is that people ask for tattoos in sizes that are way too small. For example: texts or pictures with great details. The ink starts to move after the skin heals, it takes more surface independent of the professionalism of the artist or the quality of the material used. Letters and numbers gets slurred fast and became impossible to read just as the tattoos with great details. They can be corrected b covering and adding to them is not the same either than the ones which were originally prepared in right size.
Texts for what..... Don't get me wrong, there'sno problem with text tattoos if they are put at the right place in the right size. In case you wanna have a text think about it if it will take the way for another tattoo in the future. Is he/she really the one? Last, is doesn't one picture tells more than a thousand words?
There's something you really-really want but the tattoo artist tries to dissuade you... First of all, it's not his style and he doesn't think he good do a good job on that. But generally, he tells you based on his experience that you might face some problems later at your workplace or in relationships or social life, etc. We are not slot machine to take your money and draw up anything on you.
Should you have someone accompanying you when you go for tattooing? If possible, please no! If your parent comes along, he/she often hampers work, with ongoing questions and with explanations. (Of course, we only take the job, if you are over 18!). Your friends awould be only bored to death and give advice based on their and not your taste or maybe based onteasing you. Do not put something on your own body what other people want. It also means that you should have a definite decision about the image, the placement and the tattooing person. The tattoo artist would help you with these anyway.
Tattos over 40: Of course, you can have! However, it is essential to really consider the image or pattern as the gets harder for the ink to stay as the skin gets older.
What should you do to keep your tattoo neat? Save it from the sun, we can not emphasize that enough. Tattoo is like a colour photo, if ou put it out to the sun, it will fades away.
What can you do if your tattoo fades?
Well, if you have chosen a tattoo with many light colors and faint shades, then you have to learn to live with it. I am often asked to refresh tattoosof 5-6 years. That is not the best idea! At least not as often as every 5 years. Why not? Because the skin gets damaged at every tattooin session and will be less and less able to hold the ink. From multiple redrawing and refreshing, the skin will appear to be a big scar. To avoid this, use sunscreens with high SPF. Even so, with age your tattoo gets older as well. After a while, fine, thin lines begin to thicken and fade (mostly if made with older inks). The modern inks stay better are in place and are more resistant to the sun, but it also depends on your skin type.
Pregnancy and work-out. Well, that is a good question that may be a simply answered: your tattoo might not fall apart but also might. Skin is flexible in many directions if it only stretches butif it breaks then the tattoo will break as well.
Injuries. Just like getting pregnant and working-out, you can hope for the better. Unfortunately, a deeper bruise or cut may completely ruin the tattoo, but it may be almost imperceptibly healed.
Trendy tattoos. When there are those articles or "lists" found on the net like "the 10 most fashionable ... patterns" I wonder if they still be next year and every year following. Do you really want to wear cliches or do you plan to cover it if you do not like it? Do you think the production of the designs that are currently trendy is unique?
Cover. It is sad and costly and compromising when a tattoo is covered. Either you did not think enough about the pattern you want to cover, or another one is in the way or there's another problem. It is also worth considering this very thoroughly because it will never be like not taking the existing sample into consideration. It's not like painting a wall: I'm covering and I'm done. It resembles it somewhere, but, as I have already mentioned, lighter colors begin to fade first. It looks like it would be translucent. And if the cover begins to fade and grow old, it can not be repaired indefinitely.
What you always have to keep in mind: your tattoo stays! That is a process that need time. You need time to have the final idea, to find the right artist just like you need time to have the tattoo and healing.
Take your time, go and have your tattoo when you have time for it. You will ware it till you die.
Zoltán Drahos , tattoo artist
Founder of Analog Tattoo Studio. He's been poking tattoo loversfor more than 20 years. Hes usedto work with machine, nowadays he uses more the tebori and hand poke. He likes to design unique images.
Friend of dragons and other mythical creatures, a true punk.