Whether you’re getting your first tattoo or your hundredth, we want your experience with Perfect Image to be as comfortable and as positive as possible. That’s why we’ve gathered up some important information regarding the expectations and preparations involved in getting your next piece with us. This article will cover the design process from consultation to the final product, and will outline the mental and financial preparations needed to make your tattoo the best that it can be.
So, you have a great tattoo idea in mind that you’re excited about and want to get done. What’s next? If you’re looking for something simple like a small flower or symbol you can usually get it done the day you call or walk in, assuming one of our artists has enough time. Availability really depends on the day so giving the shop a call before you drop by is always a good idea.
If you’re in the market for a larger, more complex piece or if you’d like some direction for an idea, booking a consultation is the place to start. These appointments are always free and give you the opportunity to chat with an artist about the design of your tattoo, how long it will take, how much it will cost, etc. They’ll also go over any questions or concerns you might have. Consults take roughly twenty minutes and if you’re satisfied you can book the tattoo afterwards. As always, there’s no obligation to book when you’re done.
When discussing the design with the artist there are a few things to take into consideration. If your reference is an already existing tattoo, the artist is not going to create an exact replica. This is out of respect for the initial tattooer and also because each artist has their own unique style. Think about it, you wouldn’t want someone else with the exact same tattoo as you!
Depending on the design, your tattoo might need to be resized. This is especially true for script. If done too small, the lines will blur together over the years and may make the words difficult or impossible to read. During your consult the artist will show you what size it needs to be so that blurring won’t occur. Font choice is a determining factor in the size as well; if you want elegant, flowing cursive it will need to be larger than a thin, sans-serif typeface. The amount of detail affects how large a tattoo has to be, too. A hyper-realistic lion is a great idea but we just won’t be able to fit it into a 3” x 3” space.
Another important decision to make is where the tattoo is going to go on your body. Do you want it to be clearly visible or are you going to need to cover it from time to time? Sometimes a particular design will fit better in a different spot than what you had intended - for example, getting a portrait or larger piece is going to look better on a thigh or upper arm, whereas a semicolon in the same area is going to look out of place. Script on the outside of the foot is a popular spot, but friction from wearing shoes that constantly rub against the area can cause fading and make healing difficult. Ask your artist which location is best for your tattoo and they can suggest different areas that would work.
The finances associated with getting a tattoo are important to consider as well. Our minimum shop charge is $80 plus tax and $150 an hour. In the consultation the artist will give you a quote for your tattoo, and if you have a budget you want to work under they can usually accommodate it within reason with some variations to the design. If you’re ready to book after your consult, we require a deposit to hold your spot. This is non-refundable but it comes off the price of your tattoo when you’re all done, so it’s not an additional fee. If you need to reschedule your appointment we require at least 48 hours notice and not showing for your appointment will forfeit your deposit.
Alright, you’ve completed your consultation and booked your tattoo. Great! However, further preparation is needed before going under the needle, er, needles.
Getting a good sleep the night before is a great start. Being well rested will assist with pain management and will keep your head in the game. Make sure you eat a good meal too - being full will also make it less painful and helps prevent lightheadedness.
This may sound obvious but we will not tattoo you if you are intoxicated. Alcohol thins the blood, causing wounds to bleed more and clot less which makes tattooing a nightmare. Save the drinking for afterwards!
Every time you get a tattoo with Perfect Image, a release waiver needs to be completed. Give this form a good read as it covers important health and liability information. It’s also a great chance to ask your artist any further questions before getting into the tattoo chair.
Your artist will already have a stencil of your design ready when you come in, and if you come as a walk-in they will spend a few minutes to draw it up for you. It will be placed where you want the tattoo to go and can be adjusted until you’re satisfied with the position.
“How much will it hurt?” is a question we hear all the time and the answer is different for everyone. Females tend to have a higher pain tolerance but don’t let that stop you guys! Many say that getting tattooed is akin to cat scratches or having a sunburn. For the most part the pain is very manageable and you’ll find that after a while your body will get used to the sensation. Some people even enjoy it!
For large pieces, you may be worked on for hours at a time. This means preparing to sit still and be calm even while uncomfortable. Know that the artist will appreciate your diligence; it’s much easier to tattoo a non-moving canvas! Understand that the pain will be worth it in the end and you’ll walk away with an amazing new piece of body art.
Feel free to chat with your tattooer while in session. Casual conversation will help you relax and take your mind off the pain. If you’re not much of a talker, bring your headphones and listen to music if you like. Some people bring books or even watch a movie on their phone while getting tattooed. Anything you need to be comfortable.
After you’re done, the artist will wrap the tattoo in a bandage and go over the aftercare process with you. Each artist might have a slightly different method but it’s very important that you follow their advice when it comes to taking care of your new art. Keep it out of direct sunlight, avoid touching it unless to clean, and stay out of hot tubs, pools, and oceans/lakes for at least three weeks. This will keep it looking healthy and vivid for years to come, and we have a variety of aftercare products to ensure it stays that way.
If you’re thinking of booking your next tattoo with Perfect Image, contact us whenever is convenient for you. Our Facebook and Instagram pages are full of previously done work and projects in progress, giving you endless inspiration. We’d love to set you up with one of our talented artists!