Are you thinking about getting a tattoo for the first time? We’ll tell you what to look out for when your first tattoo.
More and more people are getting tattoos – especially between the ages of 25 and 34. According to a study by the University of Leipzig, roughly every fourth German is tattooed in this age group – although the number of women tattooed has increased significantly in recent years so that the relationship between the sexes in terms of tattooing is almost balanced.
Tattoos have long become a taste of the masses. The times when a tattoo was wicked and unthinkable for certain professional groups are not that long ago. At that time, body drawings in the western world were the hallmark of everyone who was outside or on the margins of society. Also, tattoos, depending on the motif, were highly symbolic and were almost a kind of secret language in certain social groups. No wonder a bank director was skeptical of a job applicant with an impressive tattoo. Anyone who wears a tattoo today only has to count on being attacked in very few professions.
A tattoo is a purchase for life
Nevertheless, the decision to get a tattoo should be carefully considered. Today, social image is no longer the problem. Rather the agony of choice: the range of motifs is almost endless and at the same time always subject to new trends. Also, the question of the correct body location for the motif is central. The location, style, and motif of the tattoo must be chosen wisely: after all, you should wear your tattoo for a lifetime.
So that you make the right choice and your first tattoo will be a complete success, we asked a professional for his best tips: We spoke to Matthew Marcus. The tattoo artist is the owner of the tattoo studio ‘Three Kings Tattoo’ in London.
As an expert, he knows how important it is to find the right tattoo artist first, in other words: someone who combines a passion for tattoos with craftsmanship. “A tattoo artist must have spent an incredible amount of time perfecting his skills to be good,” he says. “Tattooing is not a job, it is a lifestyle. You have to love it.”
Sure, everyone would of course like to have a perfectly crafted tattoo with clean contours and exact proportions. However, as in any craft, excellence is not compatible with a low price. “Good tattoos are not cheap and cheap tattoos are not good,” says Matthew Marcus.
Once you have found him, the tattoo artist of his heart, there are still a few important steps to follow. Tattoo expert Matthew Marcus explains what is important.
First tattoo: the checklist for tattoo novices:
Tip 1: Get advice and ask questions
“The subject of tattoos is not yet a school subject, so it is normal to have a lot of questions,” assures Marcus. “In a good tattoo studio, you should be able to ask a lot of questions in peace. Whether it’s about the motif, the hygiene in the studio, or the healing process afterward – the tattoo artist should never give you the feeling that your questions are annoying or are stupid. ”
It’s best to ask your tattoo artist about his experience and photos of his motifs that have already been engraved. Even if you are not sure where to get the tattoo, he can advise you.
Tip 2: Pay attention to cleanliness
An important point for many tattoo novices – and rightly so: the cleanliness of the studio. Tattooing means that a needle is used to inject color into your skin. Perfect hygiene is therefore a must with this procedure. Marcus advises to ask the tattoo artist about his sterilization methods and to have all the needles shown in the packaged, sterile state. “Also listen to your feelings. If anything about the studio or tattoo artist feels strange, go somewhere else.”
Tip 3: Be open
Of course, you should think about the motif of your choice before entering the studio. But you should also have confidence in the experience and judgment of the tattoo artist. Ultimately, he is still an expert. “It is clear to me that most people already have a clear idea of what their tattoo should look like. But that doesn’t always work,” said Marcus. “What looks good on paper sometimes doesn’t work on the skin and not every motif is suitable for every part of the body.”
4. Tip: Prepare yourself and your body
Once you have chosen your motif and made an appointment with the tattoo artist, you should prepare your body for what is to come. Because tattooing is not only painful, it also puts the body in an alarm state without you being able to prevent it. Finally, a foreign substance, the tattoo ink, is introduced into the skin at innumerable places. Your immune system will react to this and may give you a few less pleasant hours. So make sure that you feel fit and good in advance.
Eat a light but nutritious meal before the tattoo studio appointment to make sure your blood sugar doesn’t slip into critical areas. And: bring a drink with you – a tattoo session can take several hours.
5. Tip: Look after your tattoo
Opinions about what best speeds up the healing process of a tattoo often diverge among tattoo artists, according to Marcus. This is also because each skin reacts differently to the needle and ink injury. He recommends covering the tattoo with a bandage for a few hours and then washing it with warm water. He then advises to provide the wound with the ‘Aquaphor’ agent two to three times a day until healing is complete. In the long term, high UV protection is mandatory for all tattoo fans, otherwise, the artificial color in the skin will fade or change.
6. Tip: No regrets!
Yes, they do exist – the tattoos that everyone just wanted once, and that are just embarrassing now. Just think of the so-called ‘ass antlers’. Diddl mice or dolphins as motifs have also had their best times for a long time.
A tattoo is also a trend today and is therefore subject to a certain fashionable half-life. But if you do not take exactly what you have seen in hundreds of versions in the last outdoor pool season, you are on the safe side.
Ultimately, a tattoo is always a symbol for a certain phase of life and not an accessory that will eventually go completely out of fashion. Stand by your decision. As long as you like the tattoo, everything is fine. And if that shouldn’t be the case anymore, there’s still a laser.