Everything you need to know about tattoos...
... and maybe some overkill.
(A PAGE IN PROGRESS)
Whether you are debating your first tattoo or curious about a specific style, approach or a new area on your body to get tattooed that may be a bit more complicated; as with all things! It is wise to educate your self as best you can.
Under normal shop circumstances, one can usually drop in and ask a few questions or arrange a consultation to work out the details of your specific tattoo dreams. However, never assume every shop or artist works the same.
For example; While I am happy to arrange consultations with clients, I work out of a private studio space where clients are welcomed by appointment only. What I find works most effectively for my work is to get the nitty gritty sorted out via email correspondence. Saves time for the both of us and very rarely do I find that clients and I aren't able to get their design ideas and questions formed and answered via email.
While I am happy to answer questions directly, I also believe that it is healthy for individuals debating a first or unique tattoo, to educate themselves on their own and from as many angles as possible to make sure they have a complete understanding of what they are getting into. if after researching, clients are still missing information, we are always happy to fill in the gaps, but as you can imagine there can be a substantial amount of repetition on our end.
That being said, it is often hard to sift through all of the information out there to find the answers that you need or to uncover exactly what questions you have to ask. So I've decided to do my best to collect useful links and answer personally as many tattoo related questions as possible here. I will often refer new clients to this page right away to make sure they understand the nature of their own tattoo to be.
THE REALITY OF
FINGER, HAND & FOOT TATTOOS
What to consider, healing, social/societal considerations, why some shops and artists won't tattoo your finger, .etc.
An increasingly popular choice is the finger tattoo. Along side most hand tattoos and foot tattoos, however attractive in concept and dope in execution these tattoos may be, there is a lot to be considered before deciding at finger tattoo is for you!
Hand and foot tattoos are among the most difficult to maintain and to find artists who are willing. Read up on why this is before you get miffed at any shops or artists that turn your idea down for now.
For a solid read on the everything you should consider before getting a finger tattoo prepared beautifully and simply for you by another Vancouver local; Margot Meanie...
For a More About Foot Tattoos... CLICK HERE:
UNDERSTANDING THE HEALING PROCESS
You may be most concerned about the planning and execution of your tattoo initially, but what everyone should be aware of is how your tattoo looks 3+ weeks after your session and therefore for the rest of your life, is vastly dependent upon how you take care of it during the healing process.
Your tattoo artist can work with you on your design, prep you for your actual session and execute your tattoo to perfection, but if you don't seal the deal by taking proper care of your tattoo after, there isn't much your artist can do.
Once you leave the shop it is entirely up to you to keep it clean, moisturized, protected, etc. If you have questions, of course you can check in with your shop or artist, but that too is up to you. Infections often form from exposure once you leave the shop. Unless you have chosen a less than reputable or safe shop/studio, it is more than likely for infections to form from exposure once you are back to your day to day.
Aftercare is an enormous part of the tattoo process and often the most nerve racking for the newly tattooed. If you've never had a tattoo before, you can find your self second guessing everything you see or feel during the healing process.The best advice is to relax and educate your self.
Your artist will give you aftercare instructions and either they or their shop will be available for questions.
Ultimately I find the most reassuring explanation of the healing process is that quite simply; your tattoo is an open wound. Like cutting yourself or scraping your knee. If you were someone who wanted to ensure that your scratch healed perfectly and without scarring, you would aim to keep the scab on as long as your body needs in order for the skin to repair beneath it. The tattoo is the same. leave it in ideal conditions (not too wet, not too dry, away from chemicals as well as bacteria that can cause infections, don't pick or scratch or expose it to things you know might irritate your skin. etc.)
All that being said,
TO UNDERSTAND THE NATURAL STAGES OF IDEAL HEALING and AFTERCARE... CLICK HERE:
THE ELUSIVE WHITE INK TATTOOS
A unique and beautiful style of tattooing. Kind of the unicorns of tattoos really. Getting one that is well executed and planned in addition to aging well is a feat in and of it's self! If you have fallen in love with the elusive white ink tattoos, here is all you need to know to capture this tricky beast!
FINDING THE RIGHT SCRIPT FOR YOUR TATTOO
Many of you have your favorite sayings, quotes and stories that give you some sort of nostalgia or strength that you want to have written on you forever. Finding the right script to present those words in the the way you feel then is an art of it's own.
Some people go all out and peruse the internet and social media for calligraphers and typographers. If you go this route, make sure you aren't stealing their hard work and creativity. Ask these artists for permission to tattoo their work on you. Most are flattered but would just like a shout-out or recognition for their contribution. If they haven't written out the exact word or phrase you are seeking, you can always see about commissioning them to write it out for you as long as they are alright with you then taking the design to a tattoo artist to replicate. Make sure your artist has experience in script or in mimicking the particular ink/paint stile your script has been done in.
If you don't have the funds to commission a piece, there are fantastic internet generators and other alternatives to help you find an example to take to your artist as reference.
One in particular is the TATTOO FONT BIBLE by Zensa Skin Care:
This guide will give you examples of some of the most popular tattoo fonts and designs being used today to help inspire whatever you have in mind – from cursive and serif to calligraphy and Celtic knots. Continue reading for an in-depth look at the lettering options for your next text tattoo.
Some folks like the rite of passage involved in fully experiencing and gritting through your first few tattoos but for some folks who are coming for their first tattoos ever and want to cut out the nerves involved in the fear of how much it may hurt, numbing creams are a great option.
Numbing creams are also helpful in highly sensitive areas of the body, for people with sensitive skin and for people who want to get the most out of a long session.
Not all numbing creams are safe for tattooing though! Make sure that if you go this route, that you pick up a numbing cream designed specifically for tattooing so it does not effect how your tattoo turns out.
We generally refer our clients to Zensa Numbing Cream for the following reasons:
- All natural ingredients.
- No animal testing
- 100% cruelty free.
- No effect on ink - doesn't include vasoconstrictors like prilocaine.
- Safe to use around sensitive areas (pH neutral).
- Lasts 2-3 hours
- Safe to reapply after skin has broken to extend numbing sensation.
* If you decide to use Zensa for your tattoo session; be sure to clean the area, apply the cream and wrap it before you head over to the studio so it will be activated by the time you need to get started either tattooing or placing stencils.
Available at Shoppers Drug Mart and most large chain grocery stores in the pharmacy section,
Online thru Zensa's Website ( https://www.zensaskincare.com/shop/zensa-numbing-cream-30g )
or on Amazon.