I don’t know about you but I love tattoos- I would be covered in them if I could! I only have three myself though…although Liz got me a £20 voucher to put towards my next tattoo for my birthday, so it would be rude not to use it! Well I suppose I’ve technically had four tattoos, but I got my first one covered up which you can read about here if you’re interested in that whole sorry saga.
While I am by no means an expert on getting tattooed, I think I’ve been through it enough times now to know a thing or two about it. Plus I’ve watched a shit ton of Ink Master (other tattoo shows are available of course).
I have two tattoos on my wrist, three if you count the original one I had covered up and one on my upper back. The first two I had were small and only took about 15 minutes to do. The cover up took about a hour and a half all in, including drawing the design on custom and waiting about 10 minutes between doing the line work and colouring.
I would say that all of these tattoos have been about a 5/6 on the pain scale. They didn’t hurt as such, just a slight burning and pulling feeling for the most part. After a while I stopped even feeling that as I was too busy discussing mental health and my blog with my tattoo artist!
I’m not going to lie- the tattoo on my back was very painful. At least an 8 out of 10 and closer to a 9 at certain points! It was definitely worth it as I absolutely love my latest tattoo. However at the time I was internally screaming “Why the hell did I decide to have this done?!”
I guess it’s like giving birth: you know its going to hurt like hell but you also know you’ll get something amazing at the end of it. Not that I plan on going through that particular pain any time soon, thank you very much! Plus you don’t really remember the pain once it’s over with, which probably explains why so many of us go back for “just one more”.
Have a big meal before you go. There is nothing worse than getting part way through a sitting, then your belly starts to rumble! Also having food in your body means less chance of passing out (but more on that later).
Drink a lot of water before, during and after. Staying hydrated is really important and I would encourage you to drink as much water as you can in a day anyway. However this is especially important here, as it is easier to tattoo hydrated skin.
Take a sugary drink with you. When getting tattooed sugar levels can drop, quite dramatically too depending on how long your session lasts for. Always take a sugary drink with you and sip from it regularly to keep your levels normal. If you don’t you can start shaking, feeling dizzy and even pass out.
Pack some snacks. Again tying in with the above point: snacks are a great way to keep your sugar levels up. Plus it’s an excuse to eat as much chocolate as you can carry!
Don’t drink alcohol or do drugs before or after the tattoo. Do I even need to explain this one?!
Don’t take painkillers beforehand. Taking painkillers thins your blood, so you will bleed more when getting tattooed. The more you bleed, the harder it will be for your artist to see what they are doing which increases the chance of the artist making a mistake.
Wear comfortable clothes. Again, another no brainer. Depending on the size of your tattoo, you could be sat in the same position for hours. You might as well make yourself comfortable!
Distract yourself. As I’ve already said, tattoos hurt- some more, some less, but they all cause pain. So take something with you to distract yourself! Music, books and/or a friend to talk to are just a few suggestions.
What are your top tips for getting tattooed?
A twenty-four-year-old autistic writer and designer from Sheffield. Tattoo obsessed, animal lover, self confessed bookworm and eclectic witch.