What to Bring to Your First Tattoo Appointment

What to Bring to Your First Tattoo Appointment

Are you getting your first tattoo? Preparing for your first tattoo appointment can be daunting, but there are a few simple things that you can bring that will make the process go smoother. From basic supplies to items that will make you more comfortable, here is a list of what to bring to your first tattoo appointment.

Getting a tattoo is a huge commitment, especially if it’s your first tattoo. But, once you get through this experience, you will have a life-long piece of art on your body that will be a reminder of a very significant rite of passage. When preparing for your first tattoo, there are a few things you’ll want to gather up for your trip to the shop to make sure you’re prepared.

Medical Release forms: If you have any known conditions that may make getting a tattoo more difficult, it is important to bring a medical doctor’s release to the tattoo artist. You should also call the tattoo studio beforehand to discuss the possibility of being tattooed. One of the major medical concerns is blood thinners. Most artists will not tattoo someone who’s had their blood thinned.

Identification: Make sure you have your state-issued photo I.D with you. Most shops will take a state-issued ID or driver's license. If you do not have these, some shops may also allow you to use a legal passport as identification. Artists will not tattoo you without proof of age. You must be 18 years of age or older to get tattooed without parental consent. 

Artist: Kory Angarita[/caption]

Money: Make sure you have brought an adequate amount of money with you to get tattooed. Most artists will give you a solid quote before the work is done. They typically will have you pay for your tattoo work after the work is complete. If you don’t pay, you may have the authorities called or may even be left with a half-completed piece.

Even though you’re quoted a specific amount, it’s also best to have some extra on hand for a tip. The standard tip is about $20 for every three to four hours' worth of work. However, many clients will choose to give the artist more. This helps to solidify the bond between client and artist and helps the artist make ends meet. They have a lot of expenses to cover as a tattoo artist; some may live off of their tips.

Reference Material: Bring pictures of your references. Have accurate and clear photographs for any portrait work. Blurry photographs should be avoided. Bring any words you may want to be tattooed. Remember to spell-check them, especially if they’re in a different language.

Artist: Kory Angarita[/caption]

Other things to bring:

  • Keeping hydrated while getting tattooed is extremely important. Some people may choose to bring electrolyte drinks such as Gatorade or Powerade to their appointments instead. Keep a drink on hand, especially during a long tattoo session.

  • A snack. Don’t eat while getting tattooed, but keeping a small snack such as crackers or a power bar is a good idea. As we’re tattooed, our body is depleted of nourishment. To keep up your stamina and energy, having a snack during the break will recharge your body.

  • Loose-fitting clothing. If you arrive in tighter clothes, you’ll want to make sure you have a change of clothing to slip on after your appointment. It’s important to keep your tattoo clear of any abrasive material.

  • A friend. While tattoos are a very personal experience, if this is your first tattoo, bringing a friend along to be your driver after it’s completed is a great idea. While you’ll typically be fine after a tattoo session, some people may feel light-headed after prolonged tattoo sessions, so having someone available to give you a ride is a great thing.

  • Music is usually used as a method of focus for many people who get tattooed. Many people have found that music helps them disconnect from the pain of the tattooing experience.

Some things to remember before getting tattooed are:

  • Don’t drink before your tattoo session.

  • Do not use any drugs, recreational or OTC, before your tattoo session. If you have any prescriptions, make sure you go over this with your artist.

  • Get plenty of rest the day before your tattoo session.

  • If you’re getting sick, call your tattoo artist to re-schedule. They’ll understand.


About the Author

Riley Davis

Writing allows me to express my creative thought process through words. I hope you enjoy my style! Go Rebels!