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Thread: Want tattoo, got money, what do I need to know?

  1. #1
    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    Exclamation Want tattoo, got money, what do I need to know?

    Ok.. I've been wanting a tattoo ever since i was a teen, but haven't really given it much thought till now. I have an extra grand to play with (a saved up per diem from my curacao trip), and i sort of know what I want.. upper shoulder, with the trailing edges reaching around the front of my chest under the collarbone, and around the back of the shoulder, right under the trap muscles.

    It's probably going to be a mishmash of tribal, medieval and other design elements.. not too heavy on either of them, i'd rather a fusion. I'll be designing it mostly myself.

    I assume i'll have to find an appropriate artist to flesh out the idea once I've designed what i want (i hear the artist will want input considering they have to put it on you), but beyond that i dunno how to go about it.

    Which place do you pick to do it? Which artist? Is there some sort of system set up, or is it word of mouth?

    What should I look for?

    Anybody want to give me a rundown as to the process involved? Do they do it in installments (i assume they do) and is the payment in installments, or do you just work that out with the artist in question?

    I'm an ink newbie, help a virgin out with anything else i need to know
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

  2. #2
    Hit By Ban Bus! pacific breeze's Avatar
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    I would say don't do it, but if you are going to do it, I'd google some tattoo artists in TO and phone around. I could direct you to a couple of good ones here in Van, but that won't help you much. One of my former students is/was a tattoo artist but I think she's gone back to England to work. Apart from the obvious hygiene issues, she told me that it's really important to find an artist who is open to your ideas because a lot of them just want to do their own designs.

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    i don't have any tattoos but allmy friends have them and this is what i've learned vicariously:

    *find a place that is reputable and health-certified, i think you can check this online and by phone calls. they should be using and sterilizing their instruments properly and all this sort of thing.

    *find a really talented artist..there are many tattoo parlors where the artists aren't so good, and they won't make your tattoo awesome/gorgeous. of course you will be wanting it to be awesome and gorgeous LOL

    a friend of mine waited on a waiting list for the artist she wanted at a specific place for a particular design on her lower back..since you are having the tattoo for life, waiting a month for spectacular artist is reasonable.

    *make sure you follow after-care instructions down to the tee, or whatever that phrase it..i think there's lots of swelling and stuff and you must clean the skin under and around the tattooo very carefully and consistently so you don't have any kind of infection.

    that's all i remember for now. maybe you can post a pic of your tattoo after you get it..will love to see your design and whatnot grimmlok.

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    Elite Member twitchy's Avatar
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    Some ideas of what not to do:
    Really Bad Tattoos http://www.typebrighter.com - type brighter Warning: a couple are NSFW

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    Elite Member darksithbunny's Avatar
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    Everything everyone said so far but I just want to add this:

    DO NOT get drunk before you get it done. For many, many reasons.

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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    LOL...

    I need to find out who the good artists are, i dont mind waiting..that's just it. how DO i find out who's good or not? just ask around?

    I can wait, it'll give me time to perfect my design. I dont mind working with an artist either on the design, but im not interested in them trying to run roughshod over it.

    I'd like to find the right talent and get it done as i want it, than some douchebag doing something asstastic.
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

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    ^^right, totally..i think check the websites of the artists themselves..really good and experienced tattoo artists usually have onine portfolios of their work..also if you meet someone in the area who was a really good, intricate tattoo, you might ask them where they got it done. (it does feel kind of weird asking a total stranger but i've gotten good references this way, for variious things--hair stylists, nose-piercings, make-up artists etcc...)

    also, a really good artist who works with you as oppose to barging in with his own ideas is key...that is something you find out just from talking to them..most tattoo parloers (good ones) let you have free consultations where you can meet and tell what you are looking for...

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    Silver Member tofucheesecake's Avatar
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    bmezine[dot]com has lots of great information about tattoos & piercings - lots of experience stories & recommendations about where to go, what to look for, etc. Some of the site is members only, and parts are VERY NSFW, but the people there really know there stuff.

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    When you get home keep a lookout for people with tatts you like the look of and ask there they had them done. People generally like to talk about their body art and so won't mind you asking them at all. Get personal recommendations and make sure the tattoo parlour has the correct certification, safe health practices, etc too.

    If you want a big, complex design then a good artist will suggest you have it done in stages. It takes a long time and although the pain isn't totally intolerable, you'll have had enough after about an hour.

    And remember you are going to have to live with this for the rest of your life so only do it if you are absolute sure you want a big mofo tatt on your shoulder forever. Not trying to talk you out of it at all, just be certain it's what you want. I saw a woman in the supermarket yesterday with a left arm covered in snakes, skulls, daggers, etc. It looked terrible to be honest, especiall as she was well into her 30s with a couple of kids in tow.
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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    pfft no, it wont be anything so tacky and bikerchick

    it's going to be, like i said a nice fusion of tribal, medieval, probably some celtic references (nothing so obvious as knotwork) thrown in for flavor. No skulls, snakes, roses, dragons or cheesy barbed wire armband stuff lol

    I'd ideally like it to be detailed, intricate, but bold and original
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

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    Elite Member pinklilycat's Avatar
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    Want tattoo, got money, what do I need to know?


    It hurts.
    Allot.
    Take painkillers beforehand (and a few cheeky tipples wouldn't be such a bad idea either!). They take allot of aftercare so make sure you keep applying antiseptic creme and change your dressing regulary. I almost passed out whilst having mine (but I'm a major wuss!), so I'd recommend having lots of sugary foods before you go and perhaps scoff a Mars bar while the pain's being inflicted!
    Curiouser and curiouser...

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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    ROFl!

    Everybody says it either hurts or it doesnt.. some say its hideously painful, others say its just irritating. Some compare it to a constant bee sting, but ive never been stung.. The pain thing doesn't bother me, the endorphins will kick in soon enough.. but i'll try the painkiller thing (cept the stuff that thins the blood, i hear thats a bad idea).

    Im more worried i'll flinch involuntarily or something, and screw the artist up
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

  13. #13
    Elite Member darksithbunny's Avatar
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    I didn't think it hurt that bad but it depends on where you get it.

    I got 3 small ones on my upper outside thigh. It hurt when he started to do the portion over my main muscle. It also bleed quite a bit. Oh. Speaking of painkillers. Don't take Motrin. Advil. Damn. I can't remember the name of the generic! Anyways, don't take that. Blood thinner. You want it to clot.

    Oops. WE were thinking about the painkillers at the same time!

  14. #14
    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    Yeah, i figured tylenol or aspirin would be enough.. just between you and me, I had a peircing before (wont go into details, but think dirty) and that wasn't too terrible.. a searing flash of pain for 1 second, but it was a big fat needle.. not a tiny one they use in the ink gun.

    Oh on another note, once the work is done, wat happens when you go to bed? can you sleep on it or are you advised not to?
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

  15. #15
    Elite Member darksithbunny's Avatar
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    Scabbing, my friend. It will scab and if you lay on it, it will pull them off. Scabbing is good. I would make sure you put that nice topical they will give you on it and keep that little pad on it as well. I would try to be very careful of it until most of the scabs are healed.

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