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The Process of Getting A Tattoo

Listen While Reading: You Can Have It All // Yo La Tengo.  

Have you always thought about getting a tattoo but don’t have the guts to actually get one?

That was me half a year ago. I have always been an avid tattoo lover. I had a special folder on my phone dedicated to tattoos I wanted to get in the future. However, the thought of how much it would hurt, and of course my age was what was stopping me. I gathered my courage and my best friend as support (there was no way I was going alone) and finally got the tattoo I have always wanted. I leave you with some tips I gathered from my first experience.

1. Be 100% sure of the tattoo you want.

I had my tattoo planned out for years. Please be sure to be completely positive of what you want! You will end up loving the end result, trust me :’)

2. Bring a friend for support.

If you’re brave enough to go by yourself go for it! However, it’s always a nice feeling to have someone to support you. I’ve accompanied my friend for various tattoos and I have some crazy stories accumulated over the years. From being invited to smoke weed in the back of a tattoo shop to going to an amusement park afterward, all I can tell you having someone to share these memories with is great.

3. Pick a tattoo shop // Look up reviews!

One of the most important things to consider is where to get your tattoo! Before you pick a shop, look up the reviews! If you want a delicate  or abstract tattoo, some tattoo artists specialize in that kind of tattoo art. Do your research :’)

4. Buy appropriate aftercare for your tattoo // Make sure your tattoo doesn’t get infected.

Usually, your tattoo artist will give a list of tips and advice on the aftercare needed for your tattoo. Make sure to do everything they recommend you to do!

5. Don’t worry, it doesn’t hurt too much! 

Ok, my story is pretty embarrassing and I’m sure none of you will go through this but my first time some actual tears came out. As a matter of fact, I wasn’t planning on a getting a tattoo that day at all. I planned to meet my friend for coffee and we casually started talking about how I was finally 18 and could get a tattoo any day now.

She brought the crazy idea that I should get it that day. “C’mon if you don’t get it now, you never will!” She was, in fact, right. I knew I wouldn’t gather the courage to get it with anyone but her. She dragged me to the tattoo shop, in spite of my pleas not to. The moment I gave the worker my credit card and signed the form, I knew there was no turning back.

Anyone that knows me knows my pain tolerance is an absolute joke. While the tattoo artist went to get everything ready, I started to overthink everything. I went to the restroom and the tears just started coming down. My hands started shaking and I told my friend that I didn’t want to do this anymore. Honestly, if my friend hadn’t been there I don’t think I would have gone through with it.She told me everything was going to be okay,  she had two tattoos already, so I knew to trust her. The tattoo artist made some joke about how I was a skin virgin, and that everyone was nervous their first time. I eventually started to calm down and felt more at ease. I put on some earphones to cancel out the noise of the needle. I held onto my friend’s hand and tried to think of the end product.

As the tattoo artist begun, I started to tense up and could feel the needle tearing through my skin. It hurt, but it wasn’t  the kind of pain that was overpowering. I calmed down and eventually started getting used to the feeling. My advice to you is to not worry too much! You will end up loving your tattoo, and will have your own personal tattoo story at the end (no matter how embarrassing it is!)

Words & Photography by Grecia Villa.


1 Comment

  1. I’d like to get a tattoo with my boyfriend, but we’ve both never gotten one before. I like how you mention that you should buy appropriate aftercare for your tattoo to make sure it doesn’t get infected. I bet if we spend time doing research to find the best tattoo parlor and artist, they would know the best ways to protect the tattoo from infection. Thanks for sharing these tips!

    Liked by 1 person

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