Are you thinking about getting a walk-in tattoo?
If the answer’s yes – congrats! Getting a tattoo can be a lot of fun.
Before you head out to your local shop, there are some things you’ll want to know. Best practices, if you will.
In this post, we’ll cover 10 of the top things your tattoo artist wants you to know, so you walk into the shop, have a great experience, and leave with a tattoo you’re proud of.
1. Walk-in Tattoos Are Often Limited to Simpler Designs
Wondering why? The reason is simple. If you want a large piece, a full sleeve, or a very detailed, time-intensive piece – it’s likely going to take multiple sessions to complete.
You don’t want your walk-in tattoo artist rushing through your piece because you chose a complicated design they only have a limited amount of time, do you?
2. You Should Know Your Pain Tolerance Before You Go
After understanding that it’s going to take longer than 45 minutes to complete your sick medieval dragon inspired back piece, the next thing your tattoo artist will be hoping you know is your pain tolerance.
Every tattoo is going to be painful to some degree. But if you have zero ink and decide to get a walk-in tattoo on your rib cage, it’s a good idea to have some level of understanding of what kind of pain you can tolerate.
Otherwise, you may end up tapping out and leaving the shop with an unfinished tattoo.
3. You Need to Know What You Want
Your tattoo artist isn’t going to make the decision for you. They can make suggestions, sure, but you’re going to need to have an idea in mind of what you’d like to get when you go into the shop.
And if you don’t know? You can always pick a classic design off the wall or look through the artists’ line drawings if they have them.
4. Yes, You Can Get the Dreamcatcher Tattoo
Lastly, whatever tattoo you decide to go with is ultimately your decision and yours alone. If you’ve been dreaming of getting a dreamcatcher tattoo, your tattoo artist should be willing, no, happy to make your dream come true – regardless of whether it’s something they would personally choose or not.
5. Don’t Ask Your Tattoo Artist to Copy Someone Else’s Work
Just do yourself a favor and don’t do it. If you do work up the courage to ask, you’ll probably get a big fat NO from the artist – because they obviously want to create original work above anything else.
And stealing from other people is just plain rude. Don’t do it.
6. All Tattoos Cost Money
Some people don’t realize this, but they do.
And the price will vary depending on the amount of the time the piece takes, the level of detail, whether it’s black and grey, color, or blackwork, and the size of the piece itself.
Larger, more detailed pieces cost more. As does quality work.
If you want a stellar tattoo, you have to be willing to pay a high-caliber artist to do it.
7. Don’t Even Try to Negotiate
Would you try to negotiate a better deal from your plumber? I don’t think so. You’d receive the invoice and make a check out for whatever the amount was.
Trying to negotiate with a tattoo artist is a big no-no.
If you’re just getting a walk-in tattoo and want to choose a flash design, there may be a set price which will only vary if you want to get it in a different size. Large-scale work typically comes with an hourly rate, and an estimate can be given – but, just like your plumbers’, it’s only an estimate – so the actual cost may vary from the quote once the piece is complete.
8. Before You Go, Don’t Forget to Take a Shower or Eat Something
You’re going to be in close proximity to your tattoo artist for the duration of your tattoo. You don’t want to gross them out the entire time, do you? Probably not. Take a shower before your appointment, and you won’t have to worry about it.
You’ll also want to eat a full meal about an hour or so before you walk in for your tattoo so you don’t faint or become lightheaded.
9. Good Clients Leave Tips
A tattoo artist provides a service like any other. And if you want to be a good client and establish a good working relationship with your tattoo artist that they’ll have a record of, it’s important to leave a tip.
Leaving a tip is a way of showing your appreciation, saying thank you, and demonstrating to the artist that you’re the kind of client who “gets it.”
10. Don’t Ignore the Artist’s Aftercare Advice
If you want your tattoo to heal properly, what you need to do is really pretty simple. Just follow the instructions your artist gives you!
Every artist has a different style, so different artists are naturally likely to have different recommendations for aftercare.
To ensure that your new walk-in tattoo heals and settles in nicely, all you need to do is listen to the directions YOUR artist gave you. That’s it!
Not Google. Not your best friend. Your artist.
Have Fun Getting Your Walk-in Tattoo!
As we said in the intro, getting tattoos is often a lot of fun.
Whether they’re walk-in tattoos or larger scale work that requires multiple sessions, it’s always exciting to work with a talented artist and see both of your visions come to life.
If you’re new to the tattoo world though, it can seem overwhelming. After all, there’s a lot of different information out there! But, if you keep these 10 things your tattoo artist wants you to know in mind, you’ll be sure to have a great experience getting your walk-in tattoo.
And, hopefully, your artist will have a good experience giving it to you! Just be prepared, don’t be rude, and listen to your artist – and you’ll be all set.
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