Is This Your First Tattoo?

In this section we will provide you with step by step information to help you avoid some common mistakes. Remember, tattoos are a lifelong commitment. There is no simple tattoo eraser. Although laser removal is available, it is painful and expensive. Because no one cares more about your tattoo than you, the responsibility is yours to get the results you desire. Being educated on all phases of the tattoo process will put you in control. You will know the right questions to ask and be clear on exactly what you want. Do your homework and join the thousands that have taken the right steps towards THE PERFECT TATTOO!

Step 1: Frame of Mind. (Never get tattooed under pressure)
Modern techniques have brought tattooing to incredible levels. There is no good reason for anyone to get a bad tattoo. However, unsatisfied customers occur everyday. One reason for this is customers getting tattooed under pressure. Sometimes It's great to be impulsive, but tattoos are permanent. Avoid the "spur-of-the-moment tattoo." Quick decisions often lead to a lifetime of regret. Step one is simple. Make sure you are emotionally ready to get tattooed.

Step 2: Selecting Your Design.
The first decision you will make is selecting a design. Make sure this is your choice and not that of a friend, spouse or tattooist. Never compromise on your tattoo design. It should be something you absolutely love. Some customers feel they must select a design from the tattoo studio. This is not true. Professional tattooists will appreciate you being prepared with a quality design. Selecting a tattoo from Tattoo Johnny, in the privacy of your own home, will free you from any outside pressure. Once you have selected the color reference and stencil for your design, you can download them to your computer. You will need to print both of these images to take to your tattooist.

Tip: The Tattoo wish-list lets you easily sort through thousands of search results and store your favorite designs. Your WISH LIST account can be saved so that you may return another day and continue your search. Saving your wish-list is easy and FREE. New designs are being added to the Tattoo Johnny website every day from the best artists in the world. Tattoo Johnny is always searching for your perfect tattoo.

Step 3: High Quality Tattoo Stencils. (The most important step!)
Working with a high quality stencil is the most important step in getting THE PERFECT TATTOO! Most people don't realize that every tattoo design has a matching stencil. When you get tattooed, the stencil is applied directly to your skin. The tattooist will use a machine called a "liner" to set your stencil permanently into the skin. Do not be tempted to get tattooed solely from your color reference or from an inferior hand-traced stencil. Trying to trace or copy a stencil is the number one cause of bad tattoos. With Tattoo Johnny ORIGINAL ARTIST STENCILS, every curve and detail of your design will be accurate. (See sample below)

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Tip: Bringing your tattooist a "ready to go" stencil can save you money on the price of your tattoo.

Tip: Always us the original artist stencil

Step 4: Finding The Right Artist.
Most of today’s tattoo professionals are far more skilled and highly trained then ever. It is your responsibility to make sure you are working with one of these quality professionals. Getting tattooed is intimate and personal. So how do you know who is right for you? There are three basic elements to consider when choosing: Experience, portfolio and attitude. It's always good to find an artist who has a few years of experience and is seasoned with the style of artwork you have chosen. Ask to see their portfolio of finished tattoos. Reputable tattoo artists will have a portfolio. If portfolios are not available, this is a bad sign. Look carefully at the pictures. Check for the quality of the black outlines. Are these lines clean and crisp, or are they shaky and irregular? Also, look at the color or shading. Are the colors bright and solid or are they dull, with missing patches? Do the colors blend smoothly? Is the image easy to understand? Do the tattoos contour properly to the body? If the portfolio meets your requirements, you will want to get to know the artist. Because tattoos are personal and somewhat painful, it is good to work with someone who's chair-side manner gives you great confidence. The artists should be open to answering your questions. They should share in your ideas and enthusiasm for your tattoo. If the artist does not like your ideas or tries to steer you into something you are not looking for, then you might be in the wrong place. Find an artist whom will to give you what you want. Stay true to your instincts. Not all tattoo artists are the same and it might take several trips to different tattoo studios before you find the right one. No tattoo artist is perfect, but there is a tattoo artist PERFECT for you!

Step 5: Appointment Day. (The better you sit, the better your tattoo.)
The big day has arrived. it's important to show up rested and well nourished. Don't go out late the night before your tattoo. You want to be well rested so you can relax and sit still. It's also helpful to have eaten a good breakfast or lunch. Getting tattooed on an empty stomach can be difficult and lead to problems. When you sit quietly and relaxed, your tattoo artist can concentrate on doing a good job. It has been said that there are two kinds of tattoos, one for people who sit still and one for people who don't. An edgy or restless tattoo customer takes valuable time and energy away from their own tattoo. Make sure you help your tattooist by being still and relaxed. Tensing up and complaining does not make the tattoo hurt any less, and is likely to have a negative effect on your tattoo. If you sit still and cooperate with your tattooist, you will be proud to know you did your part to make your tattoo come out PERFECT!

Tip: Never get tattooed while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Step 6: Caring For Your New Tattoo.
No tattoo is finished until the healing is complete. After the tattooist has done his or her job, it's time for you to do yours. Your tattoo will take close to a month before it is completely healed. During the first stage of healing (approximately 4 to 5 days), you might experience soreness, discomfort, swelling, irritation and redness. During this time, it's important to keep your tattoo clean. Most tattoo artists will agree that you should wash your new tattoo at least 4 or 5 times a day with a mild or antibacterial soap. Gently pat your tattoo dry with a clean cloth or paper towel. It is often recommended that you apply a very thin layer of antibiotic ointment after each wash. (Ask your tattooist to demonstrate). The second and final stage (3 - 4 weeks) will have a large effect on the rest of your tattoo's life. A healing tattoo tends to dry out. At this point it's important to keep your tattoo moist. A good after care product will help prevent excess scabbing and infection, which can leave your tattoo blemished or scarred. Although some tattooists will recommend different approaches to healing, most will agree on three basic things: keep your tattoo clean, moist and protected from direct sunlight.

Tip: Avoid creams and lotions that contain fragrances, artificial colors and other unnecessary ingredients that can irritate a healing tattoo.

Tip: If you love the sun, make sure you give your tattoo plenty of time to heal before exposing your tattoo to direct sunlight. If you want to get a tattoo while away on a sunny vacation, make sure you do it towards the very end of your trip.

DISCLAIMER - Tattoo Johnny assumes no responsibility for your choice to get a tattoo, your choice of design or your choice of tattooist. Even if you follow all seven steps of THE PERFECT TATTOO there is no guarantee you will be satisfied. The ideas presented in the perfect tattoo are opinion and are not published, certified, or approved by any governing body as fact.