Party In The Paddock. Ricky Ponting. Cascade beers. The humble Apple Isle has gifted us …
As long as you didn’t bitch out, you should be rocking a brand new tatt for the first time in your young life! Feeling good yet?
And while the most obviously intimidating part, the actually getting the tattoo part, is over there’s still a few things you need to remember to make sure all that time sat sitting in pain is worth it.
1. The Healing Process
I prefer getting tattooed than the annoying healing process that follows. Essentially you have to prepare yourself for 10-14 days of stiff skin, flaking ink, scabby bits, and incessant itching. Not to mention the amount of shirts and bed sheets I’ve ruined after waking up with ink stains on either side of me. So yeah it’s not pleasant but as long as you remember not to itch it and follow your tattoo artists aftercare instructions, it’ll pass by in no time. Which leads me to…
2. The Aftercare
Yes I know, aftercare isn’t very punk rock. But if you’ve spent as much money on tattoos as I have, you don’t want those babies fading anytime in the near future. While each person’s individual skin reacts differently, I’ve found a pretty standard routine for taking care of my new ink. Washing the tat with warm soapy water twice a day (morning and night, duh) and then applying a soothing antiseptic cream three times a day keeps the skin clean, hydrated and prevents infection. I use Bepanthen which can be bought from pretty much any chemist, but I know some people that use tattoo-specific cream or even pawpaw ointment for their aftercare.
3. The Sun
Big fan of those summer beach trips and soaking up all the vitamin D you can? Then you might want to mentally prepare yourself for the post-tattoo even more than getting tattooed. The two weeks that immediately follow being tattooed, you have to be conscious of getting sunburn or swimming in the ocean. While it seems harmless, it’s a very easy way for your skin to become irritated, slow down the healing process and in some cases, it can cause an adverse reaction. Also that first day, sticking your fresh tattoo in the sun will give you a pretty solid idea of what it’s like to be a vampire… it bloody hurts!
4. The Questions
I love getting a new tattoo and being able to show it off to my friends and family. But getting a new tattoo is kind of like being pregnant (marginally) because anyone that sees it wants to comment on it, touch it, learn more about it…. If you’re a friendly person this might not be an issue for you, but if chatting to random strangers about your personal life is not your jam, then an easy-to-hide tattoo is the way to go. If you decide to get it in an obvious place anyway, then don’t get antsy at us when you get asked “what does that tattoo mean?” for the fifteenth time.
5. The Chill
As much as you probably want to drive around to all your friends places as soon as you leave the parlour, your body is going to need some chill time. You’ve just had someone jab you with tiny needles full of ink for an unspecified amount of time. Take some time to relax and recover. Remember, tattoos are permanent so it’s not going anywhere. Relax now, go show everyone tomorrow!
6. The Credit
Social media is so prevalent in everyone’s lives these days. But it’s not just used to show people how great your life is (or complain about your Mondays). For artists like tattooists, their profiles are used as a portfolio, a showcase of their work and achievements. So if you’re planning on posting a pic of your new tat, make sure to credit your artist and/or tattoo shop in the caption! It’s just a small sign of appreciation and could grab them a few more clients!
7. The Future
Never. Ever. Regret. Obviously this is easier said than done. It’s highly unlikely you’ll go through life without getting at least ONE tattoo that you think “hmm probably could have done without that one….” Remember, that every tattoo you get will have a story to it. Even if the story is the time you got a random tattoo for no reason other than you wanted it. Embrace the impulsive inked ideas, as well as the carefully planned ones.
So that’s it! If I’ve been able to help anyone with these tips then my job is done. Now go forth and ink yourself my dudes!
Stay tuned for our wrap of the Australian Tattoo Expo! Thanks to Allegra at The Inker for the image!