Tattoos started off as taboo in America but have now become one of the biggest industry's. Almost everyone you know has at least one tattoo or knows someone that does. They're great ways to put art and memories on your body forever, even if the memories are drunk ones.
Getting tattooed isn't easy though, there are a lot of steps involved before and after.
First, you have to pick a good design, emphasis on good. Don't get someone's name or large block lettering, also don't get anything that you will regret in a year. A lot of people think tattoos will fade out and within a few years no one will even notice, but they are like forever eva (I don't regret that Outkast reference.) To help you in the right direction, don't get something that's trending right now or the word daddy on your lip unless you're really into that or you're a father.
Second, actually research shops. Don't just pick the closest one that you found with four stars on google. Ask to see portfolio's make sure that is the person you want tattooing you. Some people shouldn't be trusted with a needle. When I got my first tattoo at 17 the artist hit on me. That is not a good place to be tattooed.
Next, they're going to draw up a stencil for you. If they're a mediocre artist or you picked the perfect design and perfect spot then drawing the stencil will be quick. A good artist will usually have something to say, they may want to add stuff or advise you on colors and spots. Now, if you come with some script in a different language they probably won't correct you but they may adjust other things. TAKE THEIR ADVICE. A good artist knows what they're talking about.
After the stencil is prep. They'll shave you and clean the area and finally begin tattooing. It feels anywhere from a cat scratch to a sore stabbing. Sometimes you may not even feel anything too bad. Certain areas feel better or worse. You also may not be able to tell where they're really tattooing. I've even had a certain spot cause my feet or hands to twitch!
The best way to handle being tattooed is to not be super obnoxious and make a lot of noise, but talking can help ease the pain. I like to play on my phone or talk to my artist. Don't bring to many friends it can be cluttered and may even irritate the artist.
After the tattoo is done follow the aftercare instructions. Don't listen to artists if they say scrub with steel wool. You want to treat it as an open wound, don't go into the direct sun or the beach or put irritating soaps on it. Just overall be careful.
Finally, tip well. Tipping makes the next one hurt less.
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