Pick or scratch,
Apply ointment with dirty unwashed hands,
Allow pet hair to come into contact with your new tattoo!
If you are sick;
If you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs;
If you are on any medication that causes blood thinning;
When you are pregnant.
Moisturize area where you want the tattoo in advance (it is not comfortable to be tattooed on dry flaky skin);
Eat breakfast and ensure you get a good night’s rest before you are tattooed;
Dress appropriately and comfortably for the tattoo.
Taken directly from the book “High Voltage Tattoo” by Kat Von D. It is written so eloquently that it makes no sense to try and rephrase it.
DON’T COME WASTED TO YOUR SESSION
Making lifelong decisions shouldn’t be made while under the influence of anything. I would hate to give someone a tattoo they might regret the morning after. But aside from that, there’s nothing more annoying than tattooing someone who’s completely hammered. When you’re drunk, it’s hard for you to sit still, making my job harder, and adversely affecting the quality of the tattoo. Plus, drunk people are known to get loud and crazy, and just because you want to party doesn’t mean you should do it in my tattoo shop (or anyone else’s).
BE ON TIME
Most tattooers worth getting work from are going to be booked. With that in mind, if you show up to your appointment late, this affects your artist’s schedule for the rest of the day. I know that shit happens and that you can’t control the traffic, but punctuality is always appreciated. Worst case scenario, if you are running late, it’s always a good thing to call and let your artist know.
“Good tattoos aren’t cheap, and cheap tattoos aren’t good” – Sailor Jerry
When it comes to your tattoo, the old saying “You get what you pay for” says it all. Price should not be a deciding factor. Would you bargain with your doctor or your plastic surgeon? Sure you can go the cheaper route and risk getting a lopsided boob job – but if you ask me, that risk isn’t worth the gamble! It’s not like buying a stylish pair of shoes or a leather bag. Tattooing is a permanent body modification, and a tattoo shop is not a swap meet. It is offensive to an artist when people try and bargain the price of a given quote. Trying to talk down the price only translates to’ “I don’t think you are good enough to pay that much,” to your artist.
DON’T BRING CHILDREN WITH YOU
Although tattooers are skilled multi-taskers, you shouldn’t count on them being able to do your tattoo and babysit your kids at the same time. And you shouldn’t assume that you’ll be able to get a tattoo while you’re keeping a watchful eye on your children. Depending on county regulations , most shops don‘t allow minors into a shop, and for good reason. When you think about it, some kids are the same height as our trash cans. And those trash cans are filled with materials considered to be bio hazardous. I know that if it were my kids, the last place I’d want them playing hide –and –seek would be an environment with that kind of stuff around.
If tattoo shops were rated like the movies, I’d say most would be somewhere between R and NC-17! There is cussing involved, and discussion of adult oriented subject matter that may not be appropriate for young ones. This is a one size fits all rule and includes babies, toddlers, tweens and teens. (Yes, even your especially polite and quiet kid.)
DON’T ASK TO PLAY YOUR MUSIC
Being an obsessive music fan, I know how it feels to really be into your personal collection of music and portable playlists. You want to be comfortable when you‘re getting a tattoo, but you mostly want your artist to feel comfortable. Just as much as I love certain music with a passion, the same passion goes for music I dislike, and there’s no nice way of saying, “Sorry, buddy, I don’t trust your musical vibe.” Putting an artist in that awkward position is the last thing you want when somebody is about to tattoo you.
EAT SOMETHING BEFORE YOUR APPOINTMENT
Before you get tattooed make sure you’ve had a meal or a snack. Clients who arrive hungry may get dizzy or even faint. It’s more common that you think, so even if it’s a candy bar, eat something.
DRESS THE PART
Make sure to wear clothing that allows easy access to the area on your body you plan on getting tattooed. Focusing on your tattoo in order for it to be perfect is hard enough without a strap or some complicated shirt getting in the way.
TAKE A SHOWER
This one is self-explanatory - or at least I hope so. Don’t count on anyone around you being stoked about the way your armpits smell after working out for three hours. I remember having to tattoo this one guy on the inside of his bicep near the armpit, and boy, oh boy- it seemed like there was nothing on this planet that would make time go faster.
DON’T BE A TATTOO ADVISER
And don’t bring one with you either. I can honestly say that I hate when a client brings along a buddy who is more sure about the tattoo than the guy who is getting it. If you’re not 100 percent sure about what you should get, you should wait until you are.
If anybody ever asks you to be their tattoo adviser, remember this advice. It doesn’t matter if you like the placement or the design. It isn’t your body.
DON’T BRING AN ENTOURAGE
Bringing one friend for moral support (not to be a tattoo adviser) is totally cool. But I promise you, even though it may sound like a good idea to invite all of your first, second and third cousins, it isn’t. There may not be enough seating, so some of your homies will be forced to stand for hours and will most likely find themselves getting in the way a lot. Besides, it’s not that fun for them to stare at a wall for the hours the tattoo may take. And it can be distracting for your tattooer to have to play host. So leave your friends at home and surprise them later with your brand-new piece of portable art.
DON’T TALK ON YOUR CELL PHONE
No one wants to hear you tell your mother what you ate today, the fight you’re having with your cheating girlfriend, or the debate between you and your lawyer about whatever business deal you’re trying to close. Don’t be the “inconsiderate cell phone guy.” Please!
DON’T GET A TATTOO IF YOU’RE PREGNANT
Being tattooed raises stress levels and affects your immune system. If you’re pregnant, these are two things your doctor will tell you to avoid during those nine months. Any good tattooer will refuse to tattoo a pregnant woman.