Looking to get inked? Here’s what to expect for your first tattoo
By Mikaela Delos Santos, Web Editor
Once seen as vulgar, scandalous, and associated with criminals, gangsters, and hooligans, tattoos have now become a form of expression of sentimental meaning and appreciation. The commitment of having something permanent on your body can be daunting for many people — but if you’ve been thinking about getting inked, here are things you should do and expect for your first appointment.
Look for an artist you resonate with
Tattoo artists are a diverse community of creative individuals with different styles, themes, and designs that are prominent in their art. Calgary is filled with many respectable artists with numerous different art styles. An artist’s portfolio is easily accessible through their Instagram accounts — not sure where to start? @yyc.tattoo.flash is a good place to look through. This account features a variety of available flashes from Calgary artists and surrounding areas which can help you gauge what you are looking for. Another option is to search up studios and follow their accounts which showcases their resident artists’ works. Each artist has their own different booking systems, procedures, and schedules as well. Make sure to respect your chosen artist regarding these matters.
Flash or custom?
It is important to learn what a flash and a custom piece is. In tattoo lingo, a flash is a design readily available to be tattooed on you. If you have a vision or specific image in mind, it would be better to book a consultation and talk to the artist about a custom tattoo. Depending on the artist, flashes are usually cheaper compared to a custom piece.
Placement is important!
As you may already know, tattoos are permanent. So, where you end up placing it is an important factor to take into consideration. The size, orientation, and design of the tattoo are elements that you should take into account. Knowing which body parts will hurt less and more are good to look into — body parts that are more ‘boney’ are generally more painful such as the sternum and ribs. ‘Fatty’ body parts will be less sensitive such as your arms or calves.
On the day of your tattoo appointment, know the dos and don’ts. Caffeine and alcohol are highly discouraged before and during your session. Make sure to eat a decent meal beforehand and remember to stay hydrated. Take a shower to keep your skin clean but avoid moisturizing before coming to your appointment.
How tattoos are seen in society today is vastly different from how it used to be. They used to symbolize imprisonment and a lack of opportunities in society, but now it is a form of liberation and freedom. While tattoos may not be for everyone, it is important to remember that your body will always be your body, and you have a right to choose whatever you want to do with it.