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Sunday 21 April 2019

Things you need to know before getting your first tattoo

It's been over 6 months since I visited the lovely Gee for my first tattoo, and I've been meaning to write this blog post ever since. It was the best thing I did in 2018, and my tattoo has massively improved my body confidence and honestly I can't see myself ever regretting it. There are some things however that I think are important to think about and to know before you get your first tattoo, so here goes!

Finding An Artist
Make sure you have found an artist whose work you really love and who you feel that you can trust. I found Gee's work on Instagram after she tattooed Suzie, and as soon as her books opened I knew immediately that I wanted her to tattoo me. Her work was dainty and exactly what I was after. 

In this age of social media it is so much easier to find artists who you feel a connection to and who you feel will be able to create something that is exactly how you want it to be. I would definitely take to Instagram to find artists, and don't be afraid to travel to get your tattoo - I went to Brighton even though London is much closer to me, but I knew that I had found the right artist. 

Consider When
Something you might not think about when booking in your tattoo is when. Most people just go for "as soon as possible", which is a good idea if your artist has a long waitlist and you're certain on what you want, but if you're due on a holiday in the 2 weeks after your tattooing date, maybe hold off. Your tattoo shouldn't really be submerged in water for a long period of time for the first two weeks of the healing process, and salt water in particular can cause your tattoo to lose its colour - just some things to consider when choosing your date.

Be Patient
I had to wait almost half a year from booking to the appointment, and honestly it was a good thing. I am the most impatient person, but it gave me the chance to finalize all the little details of my tattoo; the exact flowers I wanted, the size and the placement too. I'd paid a deposit when my tattoo was initially booked and I knew I wasn't going to back out, but if you have any doubts through your wait-period, honestly your £50 deposit is nothing compared to the regret you will feel if you have changed your mind and you still get inked.

Ignore People's Opinions
The first thing people will ask you when they find out you're getting a tattoo is "what are you getting?", closely followed by "why are you getting that?". There seems to be this stigma around tattoos that they have to have a meaning, which I totally disagree with! If something is pretty and you want it, get it, you don't need your tattoo to have a meaning. Oh, and ignore those people who are like "think about what it will look like on your wedding day", "you'll hate it when you're old and wrinkly" - goodness, the most annoying things anyone could ever say. Why will a tattoo ruin my look on my wedding day, and on what planet am I not going to have bigger issues when I'm old and wrinkly than a tattoo seeping into my wrinkles?! This goes for everything in life really, but just don't let other people's opinions sway your decisions.

I don't know why you would think it's a good idea not to eat before a tattoo, but honestly I think that the fact I had eaten a big sugary breakfast before mine really helped and stopped me from feeling faint. If you are booked in for a longer session it's also advised that you take sugary snacks in with you.

Be Honest
Any decent tattoo artist will allow time for small changes in our appointment time, especially since most artists won't share designs with you until the day to prevent you stealing the design. If there are parts of the tattoo that you don't like, or you want the sizing changed, voice it. This is something that you are going to have on your body for the rest of your life, so you have the right to make those small changes before you get inked, don't be scared to say what you think.

The Pain
I can't really give much advice on the pain of tattoos because I've only had the one, and it was on the side of my ribs. Any questions about rib tattoos I can definitely answer, but anywhere else on the body and I definitely am not the best person to ask. The pain of the tattoo was very bearable, and comparable to someone scratching you. I was so nervous before getting my tattoo as people had said how painful it was, but I have a relatively low pain threshold and was completely fine for my hour sitting even with no painkillers (if you've got through a bikini wax, you''ll be find with a tattoo)! I would recommend you take some ibuprofen an hour before your appointment though just to reduce the pain if you do have a low pain threshold. Having an artist that you are comfortable with will make you forget about the pain anyway, I spent so much of my appointment chatting away to Gee about all sorts from Jeremy Kyle to ice cream.

Now back to planning my next one....

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