If you've been mulling over getting a tattoo for the longest time and have finally decided to get one, congratulations, you're past the hardest part! The next step? The actual process of getting one.
People have varying experiences when it comes to body art, but it's not like in the movies or TV shows where a drunken night will easily result in a butterfly tattoo like that of Ted Mosby's in How I Met Your Mother. For most first-timers, walking into a tattoo parlor can be quite intimidating. So to calm your nerves, we asked tattoo artist Gigie Santiago, who's been in the business for six years, to share her tips for tattoo rookies. Check them out:
1. Get some visual inspiration.
Showing a peg to the artist might help more than just verbally describing what you want. It would be great to bring some visual references. "Get a lot of references of the kind of look you want for your tattoo," advises Gigie.
2. Placement is key.
If you think it's all about the design, you're wrong. You also have to decide where you want it. Gigie explains, "Think about the placement, not the pain. Because the tattoo will stay there forever and the pain will only last while getting it."
3. Get the right person for the job.
"Now that you've chosen your design and where you wanna put it, it's time to look for an artist who specializes in that style." And once you've found the right person for the job, put your full trust in them. "If you’ve researched enough, you don’t need to worry! I'm sure your artist knows what works best for you and your tattoo."
4. Schedule in advance.
You might get cold feet all of a sudden since it's your first ink, so it's best to book it in advance so you'll have ample time to think about it if it's really for you. Gigi says, "When you book in advance, you can prepare yourself and give enough time to research. Because this is a commitment. Just book a day in advance and don’t be late for your appointment."
5. No Alcohol.
On the actual day itself, eat a full meal, bring water, and don't drink alcohol even if you're nervous! You'll actually feel the pain more if you drink liquor because it thins out your blood and will make you bleed more.