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A tattoo isn’t something to get on a whim. Choosing a design, deciding on the placement, and finding the perfect tattoo artist—it all takes time. One way to make sure you’re going to be happy with your future art is to try a temporary tat first. You can buy inkjet tattoo paper to try out your design. Live with it for a few days and see how you feel. Your reaction might surprise you!
To find an artist that can pull off the design you want, you’ll need to ask around. One great way to get started is to strike up a conversation with someone whose tattoo you admire. Make an appointment—don’t just walk in. That’s especially important for artists who do custom work or who are in demand. Their books might even be closed to new clients, so call before you get your heart set on a tattoo from them.
There’s nothing wrong with choosing a flash tattoo from the shop’s selection of designs. You’ll often find more traditional, old-school designs as well as trendy minimalist tattoos. If you want to get a custom piece, it’s a good idea to make an appointment for a consultation first. Your artist can talk to you about what’s possible, where to place the tattoo, and how many sessions it might take.
Haggling over the price is not encouraged, as it is considered to be an insult to the artist. If you feel entitled to a less expensive tattoo, then I’ve got some bad news for you. Cheap tattoos are not a smart way to save money. You could end up with a permanent mistake on your skin—or worse, you could get sick from improperly sterilized equipment. It’s not worth the risk.
Some areas of the body are more sensitive than others. If you’re worried about the pain, consider getting a tattoo on your bicep, shoulder, forearm, or lower back instead. Calves, thighs, and shoulder blades aren’t too bad, either. The most painful places are the hands and feet, armpits, knees, head, and ribcage. Talk to your artist during the tattooing process if you feel uncomfortable or overwhelmed.
Many shops provide you with a printed sheet of aftercare instructions along with verbally going over what you need to do. Follow the instructions exactly to ensure that your tattoo heals correctly. ou’ll need a mild antibacterial soap to keep your skin clean and prevent infection. You should also use a healing ointment, such as Aquaphor, for a few days before switching to an unscented body lotion.
A skilled tattoo artist can create a coverup that makes it seem like the original ink never existed. If you’re really determined to get the tattoo removed, your best bet might be a dermatologist. Laser treatments can be done with a local anesthetic, meaning that it won’t hurt. However, they can be pricey and require multiple sessions, depending on the size and age of the piece, as well as the color composition.