Tattoo Etiquette

The day has finally come. You’ve compared online portfolios, read reviews, met with an artist for consultation, and made an appointment. But now that it’s time to get tattooed, what do you need to know before you get to the shop?

Try and eat something beforehand. Something light and easy is fine, so if you’re planning on bringing something with you, keep that in mind. No burgers, tacos, brisket sandwiches or po’ boys. Tattoo shops have to keep a sterile environment and abide by strict health codes, so there’s no food in the tattoo studio area. A lot of first-timers bring friends, which is fine; just make sure they know that the tattoo studio is a place of business, just like any other and that they should act accordingly. It’s also a good idea to keep the number of friends to a minimum — there will be other people getting tattooed and providing a comfortable atmosphere for all our clients and artists is something a shop aims to deliver.

Don’t wear your best clothes to get tattooed. You’re going to bleed a little, there will be some ink that may get on your fancy duds and you’re going to have to make it home in a bandage, so things could get messy. Keep in mind these things hurt, so try your best to stay still while you’re getting tattooed. A tattoo shop is no place for children. There are visuals, music and language that are not suited for younger ears, so please try and make arrangements for your children before coming to get tattooed, or coming in for a consultation. Last but not least, tip your artist! Tips are never expected, but always appreciated. Tattooers don’t have corporate insurance packages or fancy retirement funds. They work hard to better their craft and stay ahead of competition in order to give you the best tattoo possible. Tattooing is a service, but it’s also a brief relationship between the tattooer and the customer. Adhering to these things will make the process go much more smoothly for both parties involved. See you at the shop!

Dustin Brown (Tattoo Collector)