T Nation

First Tattoo

I’ve been wanting to get this tattoo I thought of for a year now. Said a year ago if I still wanted it I would get it on my birthday. Well birthdays in a month and I still want it. However I have a few questions?

  1. what is pain like? I have a decent pain tolerance, strongly dislike getting shots/ivs though
  2. anything to think over before to make sure I don’t regret it? Obviously this is personal but still
  3. would stretch marks be an issue? I went from 140 to 225 in about a year so I have a ton. Tat would be about 2 inches from where some are. Idk if more would wreck it or not.
  4. how do I find a really good artist in my area?

Any other input would be appreciated

  1. Hurts really bad - depending on the artist. Shoot for short sessions for your first time. Maybe an hour.
  2. Make sure it’s not something douchey or cliche. Something in line with your deepest values, or something artistic and aesthetically pleasing always works.
  3. Stretchmarks will change how it looks, whether you tat over em or they happen after.
  4. Word of mouth from people who actually have really nice tattoos.

[quote]theBeth wrote:

  1. Hurts really bad - depending on the artist. Shoot for short sessions for your first time. Maybe an hour.
  2. Make sure it’s not something douchey or cliche. Something in line with your deepest values, or something artistic and aesthetically pleasing always works.
  3. Stretchmarks will change how it looks, whether you tat over em or they happen after.
  4. Word of mouth from people who actually have really nice tattoos.[/quote]

Thanks a ton. Haha i think it’s not douchey… It does have a lot of meaning to me. And yeah I have to look around a bit cause my friends have tats but some aren’t so great…

Go to a place with a good reputation and don’t be afraid to spend a little extra. My bet would be find a place that you have to make an appointment at not a place you can just walk in and sit down in. IMO I only have a few tattoos but my best ones are all from the same place and I had to get appointments every time.

Yeah I’m not too worried about price. I mean obviously money is money but I’m not gonna skimp on something that is permanent. I’ve seen people do that so many times and it’s a pretty dumb idea IMO

Hold off until they come out with video tattoos. Thats what I’m doing.

When you see people with really good ink in your area, ask them where they got it. If they were happy with the work they paid for, most people will have no trouble shilling for the artist that did it. Go to several studios and look through their scrapbooks (I don’t remember what they actually call them). Each artist will usually have a photo book of stuff they have done, look through those and look for an artist who is good with the style you are wanting. There are some really good artists out there, but even the top guys usually specialize in a certain style.

Along with what was said above, you say you’ve been wanting the same piece for a year - think about how you will feel about it years down the road. What seems cool and personal now might be a regret later. Or it might still mean something, just saying.

  1. what is pain like? I have a decent pain tolerance, strongly dislike getting shots/ivs though

Depends on where you get it. For me it was more of an annoying pain. The longer the tattoo, the more raw the skin will get and will hurt more. With that being said you just have to find your happy place and buckle in for it. Some of this is also dependent on the artist. Some artists are a little more gentle than others.

  1. anything to think over before to make sure I don’t regret it? Obviously this is personal but still

I made sure that I can cover it with clothing for interviews and the sort. If it really means something to you then go for it. If it is just a flavor of the week then don’t.

  1. would stretch marks be an issue? I went from 140 to 225 in about a year so I have a ton. Tat would be about 2 inches from where some are. Idk if more would wreck it or not.

I think it will be fine. I got my half sleeve when I was out of shape with smaller (relatively arms). Started lifting and added 2 inches on my arms and it still looks fine.

  1. how do I find a really good artist in my area?
    Like others have said ask around. Go into shops and ask to see artist’s work. All of them have pictures of what they have done. All of my tattoos have been from artists that have tattooed people I know. That way you know their prices, work, strengths, weaknesses, and how gentle/rough they are.

[quote]bulkNcut wrote:

  1. what is pain like? I have a decent pain tolerance, strongly dislike getting shots/ivs though
    [/quote]

The amount of pain is going to depend on where you get it and how well you handle pain. I have a sleeve on my left arm and most of it was not really bad at all until the artist got close to my wrist. My wife has told me that her most painful one was on her foot. It is going to depend on several factors.

As long as it is not something like a butterfly tramp stamp then you should be good. Just make sure that you can cover it up if necessary. I have to wear long sleeve shirts year round because of my tattoos but I consider it worth it.

[quote]
3) would stretch marks be an issue? I went from 140 to 225 in about a year so I have a ton. Tat would be about 2 inches from where some are. Idk if more would wreck it or not. [/quote]

Yes, as you gain/lose weight your skin will deform and along with it your tattoos. Sometimes it will be noticeable, but for the most part unless you are planning on gaining/losing a lot of weight in a short time it will not be a problem. I have had to get a couple of mine touched up due to this, but the stretching wasn’t too bad.

[quote]
4) how do I find a really good artist in my area?

Any other input would be appreciated [/quote]

It is not recommended by most people to keep a new tattoo covered for long periods of time, but if you are like me and have a job where keeping it uncovered is not practical remember this: new tattoos bleed. If you have to work the same/next day cover it with gauze and wrap it with plastic or you may wind up with bleeding through a very expensive shirt in front of a room full of undergraduate students which is pretty embarrassing (although their reaction was pretty funny). That was 4 years ago for me and my wife still laughs when it is brought up.

I think tatts can look really good, but the one thing that bothers me is the amount of fading that happens over time.

Maybe this is just old ink that was used, and the newer inks hold up better.

[quote]Dr.Matt581 wrote:
The amount of pain is going to depend on where you get it and how well you handle pain. I have a sleeve on my left arm and most of it was not really bad at all until the artist got close to my wrist. My wife has told me that her most painful one was on her foot. It is going to depend on several factors.
[/quote]

T-Nation’s preeminent physicist not only has a tattoo, but a sleeve? That’s too badass. Of what if you don’t mind my asking?

[quote]Bismark wrote:

[quote]Dr.Matt581 wrote:
The amount of pain is going to depend on where you get it and how well you handle pain. I have a sleeve on my left arm and most of it was not really bad at all until the artist got close to my wrist. My wife has told me that her most painful one was on her foot. It is going to depend on several factors.
[/quote]

T-Nation’s preeminent physicist not only has a tattoo, but a sleeve? That’s too badass. Of what if you don’t mind my asking?
[/quote]
But I thought only uneducated people get tattoos?

Actually you can do a lot of research online on tattoo artists nowadays. Most artists or studios will have a website or facebook page and will have most of their portfolio on them. At least that is what my guy does. You know the artist is good when they book way ahead of time.

How many shops are in your area? Asking people with good tattoos is your best bet. Go to a few shops and ask to see samples of work, most shops have online galleries so you can get an idea of what artist you may like to go with. I feel that you have to be comfortable with the artist too, if I get a bad vibe, I go somewhere else. I’m starting with a new shop in a few weeks and they came highly recommended. I’m having an arm sleeve finished up.

Pain acceptance can vary from person to person, some artists have a heavier hand than others. If the tattoo is relatively small, sitting for an hour or less is easy. I’ve done some 3 and 4 hour sittings lately and anything past 2.5 hours starts to get uncomfortable.

Shops that have a wait indicate that they are in demand, so there may be a wait anywhere from weeks to months… or years with some upscale shops. Never haggle with the artist, but do have an idea what your tattoo will cost up front. Most will give you an upfront price or quote an hourly rate. I always pay by the hour which can be as much as $150 in my area. Again, quality is what you strive for over price.

Rob

[quote]beachguy498 wrote:
How many shops are in your area? Asking people with good tattoos is your best bet. Go to a few shops and ask to see samples of work, most shops have online galleries so you can get an idea of what artist you may like to go with. I feel that you have to be comfortable with the artist too, if I get a bad vibe, I go somewhere else. I’m starting with a new shop in a few weeks and they came highly recommended. I’m having an arm sleeve finished up.

Pain acceptance can vary from person to person, some artists have a heavier hand than others. If the tattoo is relatively small, sitting for an hour or less is easy. I’ve done some 3 and 4 hour sittings lately and anything past 2.5 hours starts to get uncomfortable.

Shops that have a wait indicate that they are in demand, so there may be a wait anywhere from weeks to months… or years with some upscale shops. Never haggle with the artist, but do have an idea what your tattoo will cost up front. Most will give you an upfront price or quote an hourly rate. I always pay by the hour which can be as much as $150 in my area. Again, quality is what you strive for over price.

Rob[/quote]

Thanks a ton, to others who have posted as well. Theres 1 shop 10 minutes from my house and a few others about an hour. I’ve heard mixed reviews about all places. Some say they’re amazing, others say they’re shit. My friend got one at one of the shops and it looks pretty good. Hard to tell though cause its a really simple design. I have friends out in the boston area and will be going to school near there, so if anyone has any recommendations for places out there let me know. Still not sure if I’m def getting it, I’ve been going back and forth for a year.

[quote]bulkNcut wrote:

[quote]beachguy498 wrote:
How many shops are in your area? Asking people with good tattoos is your best bet. Go to a few shops and ask to see samples of work, most shops have online galleries so you can get an idea of what artist you may like to go with. I feel that you have to be comfortable with the artist too, if I get a bad vibe, I go somewhere else. I’m starting with a new shop in a few weeks and they came highly recommended. I’m having an arm sleeve finished up.

Pain acceptance can vary from person to person, some artists have a heavier hand than others. If the tattoo is relatively small, sitting for an hour or less is easy. I’ve done some 3 and 4 hour sittings lately and anything past 2.5 hours starts to get uncomfortable.

Shops that have a wait indicate that they are in demand, so there may be a wait anywhere from weeks to months… or years with some upscale shops. Never haggle with the artist, but do have an idea what your tattoo will cost up front. Most will give you an upfront price or quote an hourly rate. I always pay by the hour which can be as much as $150 in my area. Again, quality is what you strive for over price.

Rob[/quote]

Thanks a ton, to others who have posted as well. Theres 1 shop 10 minutes from my house and a few others about an hour. I’ve heard mixed reviews about all places. Some say they’re amazing, others say they’re shit. My friend got one at one of the shops and it looks pretty good. Hard to tell though cause its a really simple design. I have friends out in the boston area and will be going to school near there, so if anyone has any recommendations for places out there let me know. Still not sure if I’m def getting it, I’ve been going back and forth for a year. [/quote]
How does your friends line work on his tattoo look? The line work is the basis for all the tattoos. You got to have someone who does clean lines. Also, if you are looking into the person he went to, did the artist draw the design themselves? What type of design or work do you want done? Is it something small and simple, or is it something larger and more complex? Certain artists also have different specialties.

As far as price and time goes, color takes more time which means it costs more money. I myself am a color man because I have really light skin and the colors hold really well on me.

[quote]bulkNcut wrote:
I’ve been wanting to get this tattoo I thought of for a year now. Said a year ago if I still wanted it I would get it on my birthday. Well birthdays in a month and I still want it. However I have a few questions?

  1. what is pain like? I have a decent pain tolerance, strongly dislike getting shots/ivs though
  2. anything to think over before to make sure I don’t regret it? Obviously this is personal but still
  3. would stretch marks be an issue? I went from 140 to 225 in about a year so I have a ton. Tat would be about 2 inches from where some are. Idk if more would wreck it or not.
  4. how do I find a really good artist in my area?

Any other input would be appreciated [/quote]

I have 80ish tattoos

Full sleeves, hands, knuckles, arm pit down to waist on one rib cage, entire chest, under one pec, top of knee down to ankle completely done on one leg, 5-6 on the other leg scattered out, thigh piece and 5-6 on my back. As you get older the pain level increases. Out of all of them the lower ribs sucked, and thigh probably the most of all them. Your legs period suck cause in the morning afterwards the blood rushes down and sets them on fire. I did a full sock within 2 wks and both sleeves took like month each. I get asked all the time about tattoos and I tell ppl if they aren’t tattooed heavily by 21 don’t get tattooed. I say there is a difference from tattooed and having tattoos too. My old lady only have 5ish none over the size of a 2"x2" square. Even if she begged me with a blow job everyday I won’t let her get “tattooed heavily”. Even tho tattoos are more acceptable like mentioned be sure they can be covered in casual dress attire.

As far as finding an artist mentioned above also pick apart people’s portfolios and study them. Learn the difference in a quality long lasting tattoo vs a tattoo that’ll look like shirt in 5 yrs. I haven’t been seriously tattooed in over 5-6yrs. Basically just filler pieces ever since. My work is split up into States and countries I travelled while a marine. I hung out in shops got to know artist and finally went with what I thought was an artist to suit my needs. Most of my work besides two portraits(Johnny cash & heath ledger joker) are all old school or new school traditional. I choose this type of work cause I like the old school work and it last longer without distorting.

What city and state are you in maybe I can point you in the direction of a great artist.

I had a lot of work done after I was 50. All of my older work was faded out so I had some covered up and some freshened up and expanded upon. There is really no original work on me prior to 2005. The problem with having work done too young is that it fades in time unless you have fair skin and never expose it to the sun. But all tattoos lose their crispness in time and the ink spreads out, you can see it in the lines. So if you think you’re done at age 25 expect some touch up work to be required by the time you’re 45, if you’re still into it.

Today the inks are better and overall, so is the art and artists. I have no regrets about the way I went about it, all of my OG work were big pieces to start with. I advise anyone who plans to get filled up to think it over and have some sort of plan in place.

Rob

[quote]Crazy Blu wrote:

[quote]bulkNcut wrote:
I’ve been wanting to get this tattoo I thought of for a year now. Said a year ago if I still wanted it I would get it on my birthday. Well birthdays in a month and I still want it. However I have a few questions?

  1. what is pain like? I have a decent pain tolerance, strongly dislike getting shots/ivs though
  2. anything to think over before to make sure I don’t regret it? Obviously this is personal but still
  3. would stretch marks be an issue? I went from 140 to 225 in about a year so I have a ton. Tat would be about 2 inches from where some are. Idk if more would wreck it or not.
  4. how do I find a really good artist in my area?

Any other input would be appreciated [/quote]

What city and state are you in maybe I can point you in the direction of a great artist. [/quote]
Im jumping in here. Since you offered.

Who do you know in Houston?

I am looking to finish a half sleeve bio-mech type on my right arm and chest.

[quote]strungoutboy21 wrote:

[quote]bulkNcut wrote:

[quote]beachguy498 wrote:
How many shops are in your area? Asking people with good tattoos is your best bet. Go to a few shops and ask to see samples of work, most shops have online galleries so you can get an idea of what artist you may like to go with. I feel that you have to be comfortable with the artist too, if I get a bad vibe, I go somewhere else. I’m starting with a new shop in a few weeks and they came highly recommended. I’m having an arm sleeve finished up.

Pain acceptance can vary from person to person, some artists have a heavier hand than others. If the tattoo is relatively small, sitting for an hour or less is easy. I’ve done some 3 and 4 hour sittings lately and anything past 2.5 hours starts to get uncomfortable.

Shops that have a wait indicate that they are in demand, so there may be a wait anywhere from weeks to months… or years with some upscale shops. Never haggle with the artist, but do have an idea what your tattoo will cost up front. Most will give you an upfront price or quote an hourly rate. I always pay by the hour which can be as much as $150 in my area. Again, quality is what you strive for over price.

Rob[/quote]

Thanks a ton, to others who have posted as well. Theres 1 shop 10 minutes from my house and a few others about an hour. I’ve heard mixed reviews about all places. Some say they’re amazing, others say they’re shit. My friend got one at one of the shops and it looks pretty good. Hard to tell though cause its a really simple design. I have friends out in the boston area and will be going to school near there, so if anyone has any recommendations for places out there let me know. Still not sure if I’m def getting it, I’ve been going back and forth for a year. [/quote]
How does your friends line work on his tattoo look? The line work is the basis for all the tattoos. You got to have someone who does clean lines. Also, if you are looking into the person he went to, did the artist draw the design themselves? What type of design or work do you want done? Is it something small and simple, or is it something larger and more complex? Certain artists also have different specialties.

As far as price and time goes, color takes more time which means it costs more money. I myself am a color man because I have really light skin and the colors hold really well on me.[/quote]

Really apologize that I kinda left this thread die without answering peoples questions. I’ve just been busy with finals and what not. By line work do you mean like borders as opposed to shading? I want a somewhat small but complex tattoo on the back of my arm. Ideally I wanted it to be dead center on the back of my tricep, but the inside of my arm has stretch marks and it would be cutting it close.

It would be mostly back of the arm but some side. The design wouldn’t be too huge. I could toss up a pic if you guys were interested. Its something I came up with myself but I would give it to artist ahead of time and have him give his input.