“The talent is in the choices.”
Robert de Niro
A DIAMOND IS NOT FOREVER! A TATTOO IS!
Money, time and pain mean nothing if compared to an art piece that will stay with you forever! Don’t make the mistake to get one that’s not worth it… your skin deserves the best!!!
A TATTOO LASTS FOR LIFE . IT IS WORTH MUCH MORE THAN A JEWEL, BETTER IF UNIQUE… LIKE YOU!
I take it seriously and I invest in it all my experience and my passion to give you the best!
So I ask you to take some time to read this before to contacting me.
Clients who contact me to get one of my works on skin and even more clients who want to get their first tattoo always have a number of questions, sometimes dictated by indecision and/or insecurities, with which I have to confront myself every time. I personally started tattooing and getting inked at the early age of 14 and since then I think I went through many phases regarding tattoos. I made a lot of mistakes. Here below you will find some fundamental and quite exhaustive information which hopefully will help you avoid making the same mistakes I did. They will save us time and will make our encounter more productive. Probably, even those who are not new to tattoos will find some interesting info.
In order to get a tattoo, you must not: suffer from heart disease, epilepsy, have a Pacemaker, be under the influence of alcohol or drugs, have physical or mental impediments which may affect your health and the decision to get a tattoo. Moreover, tattoos are not carried out on pregnant women and those who show signs of transmissible diseases such as tuberculosis, scabies, syphilis, gonorrhea, smallpox, measles, rubella, etc.. If in doubt you must present a medical certificate,
If you are a donor you can not donate for 12 months from the date of the tattoo.
ADRENAL GLANDS: they will produce adrenaline, its production increases blood pressure, the ability of muscles to work, and the amplitude of breathing, allowing the body to react to external situations of anxiety or concern.
BRAIN: as a normal reaction to pain, it will produce endorphins, morphine-like substances which play a key role in reducing pain sensitivity. Therefore, when the tattoo is over it will be normal to feel a little tired, especially after a long session. Hence, in the 24 preceding the tattoo it’s important to avoid taking alcohol or drugs, limit smoking, avoid overeating or eating anything too elaborate, avoid excessive exertion, drink lots of water and try to get a good rest.
- Allergic Reactions: tattoos may cause individual allergic reactions.
- Granulomas: nodules that form around the injected material which the body perceives as foreign.
- Keloids and hypertrophic scars: the formation of excessive scar material in the healing process of a wound. The most prone anatomical areas are chest, shoulders and neck. These reactions are often caused by the non-observance of basic rules for the care of the tattoo and/or the irresponsible direct exposure to the sun during the healing process.
These can be treated, within 6 months from execution, with ointments, patches, and pressure therapy. Within 3 months they can be treated with homeopathic products. Consult your doctor or a dermatologist for further information.
- Complications from nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR): there have been cases of interference with the quality of the images.
• Needles, tubes, vaseline and colour containers are sterile and disposable.
• The studio is sterile and suitable for its purpose.
• Supplies are highly professional.
• Colours are tested and completely suitable to be used.
• Makkuro Sumi Pure Black
• Kuro Sumi – Kuro Sumi MSDS – Kuro Sumi Certification EU
Steel Blue – Baby Blue – Battleship Grey – Bright white – Canary Yellow – Deep Blue – Lime Green – Steel Blue
• Skin Candy
Caroline Blue – Chirt – Chit – Ice Teal – Purple Rain – Sonic Blue – SRV Teal – SRV Teal 2 – Tastywaves – Tastywaves 2
• Eternal Ink
Certificate 1 – Certificate 2 – MSDA Certificate
• Fusion Ink
Certificate 1 – MSDS Certificate
BEFORE YOU GET A TATTOO
- Try to have some idea of what you’re looking for before you arrive at the studio. Obviously, you can come to find some ideas, but you should have some kind of idea that drives your decision to get a tattoo. The better you describe what you want, the easier it will be creating the design for you.
- A tattoo shop is NOT a bar, it is not a library, let alone a place to go and spend some time… If you are serious about getting a tattoo, do not come to the studio to make us waste time!
- DO NOT go to a tattoo studio if you have been drinking or if you are under the influence of drugs. Show up sober, no one likes to work with crazy people! If you are “high” you will not get tattooed, at least not by someone with a reputation.
- DO NOT try to bargain with your tattoo artist as if you were at a flea market. At the restaurant or supermarket you wouldn’t start negotiating with the waiter or the cashier to get a discount!! Bargaining with those who are working for you is bad taste, it shows poor tact and you will annoy the artist. The last thing you want is that the artist is in a bad mood when he tattoos you. Some people act as if it were important to be able to get the tattoo at a lower price. This behaviour is offensive. If you go to buy something that you are going to wear forever would you rather have the “sale of the season” or the best?
- Keep one simple thing In mind, what you give the tattoo artist is money that will probably be used to pay the rent, the material or other things so it will be gone fast. What the tattoo artist gives you is something that will stay on your skin forever, a work of art that will make your body more beautiful. Who benefits most from this exchange?
- If you have a limited budget you can ask the artist to do the tattoo in more sittings. If you decide to get something cheaper and smaller than what you really want you will probably regret it. Remember: beautiful tattoos (and not just those) are not cheap and cheap tattoos are not beautiful. Those who go around studios looking for the cheapest are not “wearing” beautiful tattoos…
- DO NOT ask the artist to draw something just to get an idea or to see if he is able to draw something. The time spent drawing for you is not free and if you don’t know what you want or you’re not ready to pay the price of a professional service please avoid this attitude.
- Pay attention to hygiene and respect your body. Unfortunately, there are people to whom it must be said! There is nothing worse than having to do with someone who is not clean. You do not go to the doctor without taking a shower, then do the same for your tattoo artist.
- DO NOT bring a “support group”! No tattoo artist wants to deal with a bunch of friends who crowd the studio while he is trying to discuss or draw your tattoo.
- DO NOT bring children to the tattoo studio, it’s not a suitable place for them! Children get bored, they need to move and they are curious. The last thing you want is your child that stroll around the studio touching supplies that could be dangerous for him or her. Besides that, to work on your tattoo cancentration and calm is a must. A child would be a continuous distraction, for you and the artist.
All this should belong to common sense but the reality is different and the tattoo artist finds himself every day having to do with people who don’t respect these simple rules of conduct. Do yourself and your tattoo artist a favour, next time you go to a tattoo studio use the common sense of decency. A little courtesy and etiquette will be enough to make the experience much more rewarding and enjoyable for both.
Luckily, more and more people see tattoos for what they really are, art on skin! But there are still those who see tattoos as something different from art, something like “those black marks on the skin.” And they are wrong. Tattoo art uses a different media than traditional art media but the concept is the same, creating figurative work. Almost everything that can be done on a canvas or a sheet of paper can be done on skin.
In recent years tattoo art has reached a diffusion once unimaginable, consequently the range of choice has increased but, at the same time, the risk of choosing the wrong studio or artist have also increased. In this case the mistake, in choosing the tattoo artist as well as the subject, would definitely be unpleasant. Imagine having something that doesn’t convince you, which you feel ashamed of and that every day is there to remind you of the mistake you made and makes you feel uncomfortable. The more you are sure of what you want and that the artist you have chosen is the best available to achieve it, the more you will be certain to obtain a result that will satisfy you over time. Avoiding that your tattoo becomes the stupid thing at which everyone laughs except you. Therefore it’s better to avoid mistakes and start off immediately on the right foot because your tattoo has the power to make you feel better if chosen carefully and artfully executed by the right artist!
SIZE AND COLOUR
Nowadays tattoos can be removed with laser, but it’s not a pleasant procedure and generally one doesn’t decide to decorate one’s skin and then remove everything after some time. Of course you can also cover it in the future with a larger, more beautiful and elaborate tattoo, but wouldn’t it be better to overcome this limit and make the best choice right from the start?
Often, people who are planning their first tattoo choose of getting something very small and not too elaborate for fear that, over time, they will grow tired of it and they will regret it! This is not the right way to start, on the contrary, those who choose to do a small tattoo usually regret not having done it larger and more elaborate in the first place.
What makes you think that if you limit your choice to something unattractive and tiny you will be able to stand the idea of wearing it even if you don’t like it anymore?
It’s almost mathematical that if you limit your choices you will later regret it.
Treat your tattoo and the choice you make with respect, in an intelligent and informed way. Your tattoo will be there to remind you of the respect towards yourself and your skin, why, where and who did it forever!
Those who decide to get their first tattoo sometime they seem frightened by the idea of colour for the same reasons they are afraid of size. Sometimes this fear is linked to the memory of having seen coloured tattoos which were ugly so one is afraid of obtaining a bad result, as if a bad tattoo in black and white could be more tolerable than a coloured one.
Let’s start with the fact that the goal is to get a nice tattoo, not the least worst! Having said that, to clarify what is best for you, think about art. Do you prefer black and white or coloured art pieces? If you prefer a black and white painting then indeed you have an attraction for this style but if you prefer a coloured painting, then you should most likely get a coloured tattoo.
Your tattoo is a companion that you will carry on your skin forever.If you were looking for a companion for life would you look for someone slightly ugly and insignificant for fear that in time you may regret your choice or would you rather look for the best there is available?
Minors must have parental consent but I personally avoid tattooing minors. Minors too often want a tattoo because their idol is tattooed, because everybody has one and they want to feel part of the group, to feel grown-up, or because they want to assert some sort of independence, experience and other things like that. Of course, many adults get one for the same reason but a minor has to deal with the often negative opinion of parents, so he has to mediate his desire with that of his parents and sometimes with their prejudices on the subject and size, but the choice of getting a tattoo is a very personal choice, it cannot and should not be mediated by somebody else’s opinions or dictations!
These compromises bring the minor to limit his choice and to tattoo something that he almost certainly will regret!
When the family battle to get a tattoo seems won, it is not totally won. The parents and minor go to an artist and I must confront myself with two or three persons to discuss topics and issues that have nothing to do with tattoo art for way too long. In addition to this, who is very young often doesn’t have great knowledge about the tattoo world, about art, symbols and what it means to have something on their skin forever. They convince themselves that maybe something goddamn stupid, as well as to make everyone agree, is a great idea and they are unshakeable, even if you try to make them understand in every possible way that what they want to get tattooed is something stupid that they will surely regret.
I’m sorry but I’m not interested in going through this kind of stress!
So, unless you are mature enough and your parents are themselves aware of what it means to get a tattoo, wait until your eighteenth birthday before contacting me.
This said, there are other age-related factors to take into account. Skin becomes thin as years go by, in particular elderly people who decide to get tattooed, especially if they want something big, will have to consider undergoing a larger number of sittings of limited duration in order to avoid damaging the skin.
CHOOSING THE DESIGN
Avoid internet, entering a search in Google Images won’t help you find anything of good quality. Go to the newsstand instead and buy a tattoo magazine, or better still, to a well furnished library and look for books about tattoos to get an idea of what is possible to do on skin and of the various styles among which you can choose. Do not panic, it’s perfectly normal to be a little unsure regarding the choice of the design, but if you widen your range of options you will at the same time increase the chances that your choice will fall onto something of which you will be proud for years to come.
Avoid asking a friend who is going to art school or who’s not bad at drawing to draw your tattoo and in the same way avoid drawing it yourself unless you, or your friend, are really talented or are professional illustrators and even in this case you have to keep in mind that drawing on paper is very different from drawing on skin. Please ask the tattoo artist who has the necessary knowledge and experience to develop and create your design.
The fact that you passed hours or days drawing something that you feel proud (that probably a professional could do better in 10 minutes) it doesn’t mean that it’s good and also if you can see thousands of meanings in that design, it’s not said that they are really there, visible and/or well structured. A good design with some meanings is even better, but thousands of meanings can’t make good a bad design. So find an artist with the knowledge and the experience to project and make the design you have in mind.
If you already have a design it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s suitable for a tattoo. Almost anything can be tattooed, but a tattoo artist is not a printer. If you take a painting, which was probably drawn in a huge format, and you reduce the image with a printer to a ridiculously small size, it most definitely cannot be done. Again, a tattoo artist is not a printer!
Finally, the best thing for your skin is definitely a unique tattoo. Ask somebody who has tattoos and in particular somebody who has beautiful tattoos, and everyone will tell you that the best thing you can do is making someone do something unique for you.
As for inspiration, we’re talking about your body, so you already have plenty of themes to choose from, your hobbies, passions, art, your story, your philosopy of life etc. Tattooed and non-tattooed people, magazines and if you listen to it even your common sense, will tell you that writing the name of the love of the moment, band logos etc. is something to avoid and I fully agree. Remember that the only thing which is certain in life is change, and even if you don’t agree, in a couple of years you may have changed your mind on many things. Even if you have an ironic tattoo in mind, remember that what makes you laugh today may not be so much fun in a couple of months. Also avoid graphics or fashionable themes, some graphic styles lose their charm over time. Think of many cars, or design objects, they seemed beautiful when they first appeared on the market but just a few years later that design lost its charm until to become even obsolete and horrible.
Think of your body as a beautiful palace and imagine walking by one day and seeing a fresco on that palace, you would probably think that an artist came by to complete the work.
Imagine instead of seeing that palace with some symbols and scripts made with spray paint, you would probably think that they were made by some vandal, don’t you think?
So think carefully about the work you want and avoid vandalizing yourself.
CHOOSING THE ARTIST
There is nothing more stupid than choosing a tattoo artist because he is cheap, because he’s closer to home, because he has tattooed your friends, because he’s a friend of yours or because everybody speaks well of him. If everybody speaks well of a tattoo artist he will surely be a great artist and a good level professional but he may not necessarily be right for you. An artist who is great at doing Japanese style tattoos may not be as good at doing biomechanicals or portraits etc. etc.. Always remember, look at the portfolio of the artist by whom you want to get tattooed!
Remember, the portfolio is not a catalogue from which to choose your design, but a collection of the best work that the artist has accomplished over the years. A place to look into to understand the artistic skills of the tattoo artist and see if he’s the right one for you.
Make sure the portfolio is clean, well looked after and the pictures are of good quality. Some pictures may not be too good for many reasons, the client was in a hurry, there may be reflections in the picture, some areas of a freshly finished tattoo are irritated or bleeding a little or maybe the client didn’t come back to take a good picture. But as a rule they must be able to give a sufficient idea about the quality offered by the artist.
Besides that, you must like the design, maybe the work is state-of-the-art but taste and the emotions provoked by an image are totally subjective. What you like may not appeal to others. So make sure that the images you see fit your taste. Verify the symmetry and the positioning of tattoos. A badly positioned tattoo could mean that the tattoo was not carefully executed. Some customer may have insisted for an incorrect positioning, but if the badly positioned tattoos are many you need to think about it. A good tattoo artist, if necessary, prepares the stencil over and over again until it’s perfectly placed.
Make sure the lines are not wobbly or irregular. Obviously there are designs that require lines of different thickness but you should be able to recognize a well traced line.
The same applies to colours. New tattoos are often slightly red and irritated but the skin doesn’t have to appear “mangled”. The area of a colour without shading should be uniform and the grey shades soft and gradual.
When you have realized that the portfolio shows the ability to do good tattoos, you then have to decide if he’s the right artist for you.
For example, if you want a pin-up, make sure that he is able to draw human anatomy. Do not choose someone who doesn’t have a single drawing of a human figure.
If you don’t see the type/style of tattoo you want, chances are that he has never done that kind of subject or that he doesn’t want to do it.
This doesn’t mean that the artist wouldn’t take the job as a challenge doing a great job. But if there’s something that an artist would like to do and hasn’t done yet, he will probably show some sketches of subjects he would like to tattoo so that potential clients can see that kind of tattoo at least on paper.
Same thing for portraits. If he says that he is able to do them but doesn’t have a single picture in his portfolio then something is wrong! Make sure that the reference picture is shown next to the tattoo, if you want a portrait of your father you want it to look like him and not end up with a stranger’s face on your arm!
A tattoo artist puts his best work in his portfolio, so, if in the portfolio there are plenty of tattoos that don’t convince you imagine how those he didn’t include could be!
When you look at a tattoo artist’s portfolio, not only is it important to look for the right artist but also to understand its value. Many artists, myself included, say that price is the last thing to worry about when it comes to tattoos, but one cannot ignore this factor. Like anything else, when you buy something you want to get an idea of the value of what you’re buying. If you think an artist is expensive he probably offers a higher quality and care compared to a cheaper one and this must be visible from the work he shows in his portfolio. This doesn’t mean that an expensive artist is suitable for the type of work you want, but you most certainly wouldn’t go to the cheapest one just to save money… The psychological involvement in a tattoo is very high. Would you rather go to a cheap dentist or to one who is more expensive but much better? Quality has its price. No one sells you a Mercedes for the cost of a Fiat. If you don’t see it that way, you’re values are scatter-brained so go and get some junk elsewhere!
Finally, look at as many portfolios as you can before choosing a tattoo artist who is suitable for you! And remember to ask questions! As a Chinese saying says:
“He who asks a question is a fool for five minutes; he who doesn’t remains a fool forever”.
POSITIONING OF THE TATTOO
Sometimes you might think that the amount is too high for a tattoo but remember that tattoos, especially large ones, are executed in several sittings so you can distribute that amount of money over a long period of time. Moreover, the tattoo artist is not a lending institution where you have to pay a precise monthly installment. Of course it’s better that the distance between one sitting and another is not excessive, you definitely don’t want to be facing an artist who has completely forgotten about your design and the way he wanted to colour it, detail it, etc.. But several weeks, even a few months in case of large projects, can pass between one sitting and another. Some tattoos require even years before to be completed.
Do your sums. Throughout your life you buy, stereos, phones, clothes and, to exaggerate, cars, so you spend high amounts of money on objects that you will sooner or later replace or throw away. Tattoos cannot be replaced! So choose what you want regardless of cost. When you have a quotation get yourself organized, deciding the best time to start and how to distribute the sittings over a period of time that enables you to afford the expense.
If you think that the ideal tattoo artist for your tattoo is in England, Japan, USA, put some money aside and go there!
On your skin there must be what you want, not what you can afford at the moment! Not only will you have what you want but you’ll have a thrilling story to tell for life, a story drawn on your skin!
There’s no hurry, making the right choice is what’s important!
If you are under treatment with any kind of medication inform your tattoo artist before you make an appointment in order to choose a date on which the treatment has been completed. If you’re a girl try to make an appointment away from the menstrual cycle, during the cycle many women become hypersensitive and even the slightest pain becomes unbearable, so avoid getting a tattoo during that time.
Do not show up with an empty stomach, be sure to eat something at least a couple of hours before. In the event of a long sitting, bring something to keep your sugar levels up, a soft drink can be enough.
Wear something casual and for sure avoid your favourite dress. During the procedure some drops of colour or blood could dirty the clothes. Tattoo colours are difficult to wash away. I don’t think you would want to ruin your favourite clothes.
Some people are coming early, sometimes are eccessivly earlier. Onestly I prefer if you come 5/10 minutes later than 20 minutes early. Remember you’re not going to the doctor, I work only by appointment, so no one could take your booking.
Rule no. 2. Don’t Move!
Rule no. 3. If I say “stand still”. It means that you have broken the first two rules.
Remember, your skin is not a canvas, every little movement will move all your body too. So, for a fine tattoo, it’s extremely important that you don’t move. There are people who simply can’t stay still, this only extends the sitting’s duration and puts at serious risk the good result of the work.
Imagine if while you are trying to draw, someone were to continuously move the sheet of paper, or how it would be difficult to draw in the car while the driver is driving on a bumpy road. This is the condition in which your tattoo artist ends up finding himself if you are continuously moving. Not only is it difficult to concentrate but it’s even harder to trace the lines properly.
Rule no. 4 If you want to laugh, cough, or else, inform the tattoo artist and avoid to make unexpected movements. For sure the tattoo doesn’t come without some small pain but it’s just something annoying, but anytime you need a pause don’t hesitate to tell your tattoo artist.
Rule no. 5 Complaining is useless.
Another thing that may put the good result of your tattoo at risk is constant complaining. I perfectly know that a tattoo isn’t exactly a pleasant procedure, but constant complaints and potential continuous and repetitive breaks certainly don’t help concentration. I am not a torturer and a person who constantly complains puts me in a psychological position of discomfort making me worry more about finishing as fast as I can rather than taking care of the work I’m doing and, as you can image, being in a hurry leads to no good. So try to avoid. The best way to control pain is proper breathing and if you know of some relaxation technique use it, otherwise try concentrating on something else.
Eventually,there are creams and ointments available on the market that have an anesthetic/soothing effect and can ease the pain, of which I provide a list in Creams. I usually don’t recommend them since they don’t give your body time to get used to the pain, and when the effect wears off, the pain becomes unbearable. As far as ointments, I’ve found out that their overuse ruins the final result. According to Italian legislation I cannot administer anything to you. So, if you feel the need, it will be up to you to get what you think is most appropriate for your specific needs.
Here on the side you can see which are the most painful places where to get a tattoo.
If the position is really so uncomfortable feel free to ask your tattoo artist to take more breaks, his aim is to have your skin sufficiently stretched in a favourable position to do a great job, definitely not that of breaking your back.
THE FIRST TIME
CONVERSING WITH THE ARTIST
- Immediately after or within 2/3 hours, remove the covering. Gently wash the tattoo with an antibacterial or mild soap and fresh water removing any clots of blood and/or colour, gently dry it (patting the area) and apply a thin layer of cream (Bepanthen). As soon as blood or plasma come out again, repeat the procedure. Continue until the plasma or blood cease to come out, this will significantly reduce the amount of scabbing and will speed up the healing process and make aftercare easier.
- 2/3 times daily, gently wash the tattoo with fresh water and, if necessary, with antibacterial or mild soap, being careful not to rub it, pat it with a clean towel and apply a thin layer of cream. Preferably take a shower instead of a bath and in either case, avoid getting the tattoo wet for too long.
- Cover the tattoo only if your work involves being in contact with dust (of any kind). Do not cover it with gauzes that would stick to the scab, but only use saran wrap and remove it as soon as possible.
- Avoid direct sunlight, sauna, swimming pool, UV sun lamps.
- Do not scratch the tattoo, do not rub it with tight clothes, wear only cotton or linen clothing in direct contact with the tattoo, do not remove scabs, avoid bumping into it. If the itching becomes unbearable during the healing process, do not rub or scratch the tattoo for no reason at all, rinse it with fresh water instead and apply some cream.
- Once the tattoo has healed, continue the regular cleaning procedure and apply moisturizing cream 2/3 times daily for about 1/2 weeks.
The average healing time of a tattoo is approx. 2/3 weeks. But it’s more correct to say that this is the time needed to complete the scar healing process. It will take about 60/90 days for the skin to be completely healed and regenerated. But don’t worry, only the first 2/3 weeks are the ones during which you will feel a little discomfort and you will have to take care of your tattoo carefully.
The tattoo may bleed but it will stop doing so within 2/3 hours. Any scabbing must not dry out or get too wet otherwise they will tend to come off prolonging the healing process and risking of ruining the tattoo.
Bepanthen hasn’t given any problems so far, but if redness and/or itching do not stop within 36/48 hours, immediately discontinue application and use olive, seed or Jojoba oil instead. In case of any doubts do not hesitate to contact your tattoo artist.
On the market there are several specific creams and lotions for the treatment of tattoos during the healing process, these may even be better than Bepanthen but unless you have a dealer close to you, you will have to buy them online.
I never had the chance to try them all so I’ll just give you the link to their respective manufacturers.
It’s up to you to get the one you think is better for you. If you have any allergies make sure to check the ingredients before buying them.
• After Inked
• Easy Tattoo
• H2 Ocean
• Black Cat Tattoo Aftercare
• Tattoo Aftercare
• Tattoo Goo
• Dr. Numb
• Blue Gel
• Derma Numb
• Face and Body
• Hush Gel
• Ink Eeze
• Super Juice 3
• Super T
• Tattoo Soothe