Gena’s First Tattoo

A Guide To Getting Your First Tattoo

Based On Personal Experiences

Getting your first tattoo, are you? I remember that day very vividly. You know how they say people worry about tattoos being painful? Not that they feel good of course, but they aren’t as painful as people make them out to be. Some locations on the body are certainly more painful than others, but hey, if you are worried about it, you get to pick the location after all.

I had always wanted a tattoo, and my friend in Reno, NV helped convince me to get one. I chose what I wanted from online images, printed it out, brought it to the Reno tattoo shop and had the artist draw me up an original with extra additions. Then I made an appointment to have him do the tattoo. It is about five or six inches tall and the same width, a cross with a shawl around it. While I can’t remember exactly how long the process took, I don’t remember it taking near as long as I thought it would.

Sometimes tattoos require more than one session, however, and some of the larger and more intricately detailed tattoos do indeed take quite a lot of work, hours. So it all does depend on what you choose to get. When choosing my tattoo, I did end up looking at some of the tattoo books available from the artist as well. I just chose to grab my own image and then let the artist make it an original.

For the next tattoo, yes I have two, only two, I had the artist grab the entire image for me and then size it and trace the art. The image was of the St. Louis Cardinals logo, and so I wanted it to look exactly like it was supposed to look. There was no room for an original there. The first tattoo went on my upper right back, and the second tattoo went on my upper right chest.

The colors you choose matter as well when it comes to how much time your tattoo is going to take to complete. The more colors you choose, the longer the job. Certain colors also sometimes have to be done again, depending on certain factors. Both color and size are also obviously two of the most important factors when it comes to price, artistry being the first most important factor.

Do you already know what tattoo you want to get? You have likely already been thinking about the design if you are reading about tattoos, am I right? What was odd to me is at the beginning, I knew what I wanted, but as it came down to the specifics, the decision became more involved. I suppose it was the finality of getting a tattoo inked on my body. I also was wanting to make sure I got the right tattoo the first time because it had to do with my faith, being a cross and prayer shawl.

I don’t remember how long it took me to get the second tattoo, but I would guess that it was about a couple of months later. The same artist did my second tattoo, and it took about the same amount of time. I also had another experience with another friend before that one involving a tattoo that showed me what not to do. You don’t want to have someone you know that does tattoos on the side give you one to save some money.

My friend chose to do that, and I had helped him get his tattoo. Now, to digress, everything worked out for him in the end, and he even went back and had the tattoo touched up. However, in order to do the tattoo, we had to get a hotel room, buy the artist friend some beer and then watch him do an amateur job on my friend’s chest. It turned out originally well enough to pass, but let’s be clear. You don’t want to do that for a number of reasons.

First, you don’t want to do that for safety reasons. You never know where someone’s needles have been. Think about those prison tattoos and how a lot of the prisoners walk around with Hepatitis C. Now, not only do you want to avoid getting an amateur tattoo for the obvious safety concerns, but you need a professional job done anyway. My friend sounded like it hurt more than it should have, and it probably did.

On top of that, what if his tattoo ended up being a botched job completely? That wouldn’t have been good, and as it was, he had to get it touched up as mentioned. So you want a professional doing the work on your tattoo. You know you are in good hands that way, and you can trust the artistry. Of course, you do want to vet tattoo shops and choose one of the best in your area. If you end up going wild and get a tattoo on vacation while out of town, make sure you do your due diligence.

My friend had to get his tattoo touched up as I said, and that can happen even when you have a professional do the job. His had to be reworked though. If a professional does your tattoo, any touchups should only need to be about color or the fact that your skin aged and shifted. Colors do need to be inked in again sometimes, but let me tell you, mine are holding up good so far after seven years.

Hopefully the tattoos you get hold up well, too. You again want to choose the best tattoo artist you can find to help guarantee that happens. You also have to take good care of your tattoo. Sun exposure is, of course, going to lighten the colors over time. Additionally, you have to be sure you take care of your tattoo the right way as it is healing originally. You want your tattoo to heal up right.

There is nothing like paying good money to have someone put art on your skin and then skimping on the products for the recovery process. Now, why would you go and do that? Make sure you get everything they recommend in order to help your tattoo properly. You might as well go with the name brand products, too. You chose a professional artist over an amateur artist so choose the name brand products over the generic products.

They say to make sure you put some thought into the tattoos that you get. I told you that I have two tattoos. I knew what I wanted and do not want to change them; however, even I see how that decision could have easily come about after all of these years had I been less prepared and not put much thought into what I wanted.

Getting my first tattoo was a great experience, and so was my second one. I told you my friend’s tattoo, done by an amateur artist, wasn’t the best experience. It was interesting for sure, and fun, but he would choose differently this time around. You need to make sure that you choose correctly the first time.

I don’t think I will get another tattoo, but you do know what they say, don’t you? They say that once you start you can’t stop. It is one of those things, but it depends on the individual. I was able to stop and wanted to after just two well-planned tattoos. One of my friends, however, the one who went with me to get both tattoos, has tons of her own. She loves tattoos, and it is hard to keep up with all the ones she gets. That is her though, and it is cool and fits her.

Plus, she doesn’t go overboard, she just likes tattoos. Some people do go overboard though. You are just looking to get your first tattoo though, so let’s see how that goes, and then you can go from there. Maybe you will stop at one. I don’t know what made me get another one, but it seems like I decided it from the get go. It was either that, or my friend decided to get a tattoo and I went with her to get mine at the same time.

In the city where I live now, the tattoo shops are all in one place on the same street in a line. That is kind of strange but also kind of cool at the same time. It sure would make it easy to find out which tattoo shop is the best. I’m not going to find out though because as I already said, no more tattoos for me. How much is your first one going to cost you? As a general rule of thumb, and not just concerning price, they say to start with a small tattoo. Of course, you have to ultimately make sure that you get what you want and are happy with the finished artwork.

Have questions? Contact me.