Tattoo Consultations Tips: How to Prepare and What to Expect

If you’re heading to get your first ever tattoo, you might have a lot of questions. What is a tattoo consultation? How do you prepare to get your tattoo? On top of this, if it is your very first tattoo then you may be worried about the stinging that it can cause.

In this guide, we look to arm you with the right questions to ask a tattoo artist and let you know the best tattoo consultation tips to make sure that you know what you are getting into.

What Happens During The Session?

Well, it’s a chance for you to share ideas with the tattoo artist and both learn about each other's expectations. Knowing how to schedule a tattoo consultation is also different depending on the tattoo artist themselves, but many will give you a form to fill in beforehand.

Among the things discussed, you will be likely to discuss the price of the tattoo, and the timeframes of getting your ink. Scheduling the time to get the tattoo can be a challenge if you have a busy working life, and good artists are often busy.

Of course, you’ll chat about the tattoo itself, and both the size and placement are key to the consultation, you may also chat about some stylistic features and design details such as the coloration. This is so that you both know you are on the same page.

What Do You Bring to a Tattoo Consultation?

Each tattoo studio will have its own policies, but you should bring plenty of information, and even designs if you have them.

You will need to bring a reference photo of the artwork that you are planning to get and a placement photo of where the tattoo will be on the body.

How to Prepare for a Consultation?

Have you made an appointment for the consultation? Let’s explore how to prepare for it. Here are the best tattoo consultation tips to ensure you know you’re ready for the meeting with the tattoo artist.

Know What Your Tattoo Artist Specializes in

Your tattoo artist will have a portfolio, and it makes sense to take a good look at this before you go to the tattoo consultation. Not only does this give you a good idea of what you can expect, it is also the right thing to do out of respect for your tattoo artist. You might even get some ideas from looking at their portfolio. Some tattoo artists will focus on different fonts and wording styles, or they might have a particular love of color work.

Do Your Own Research

It helps if you know some of the language behind tattoos, and can talk to a tattoo artist on their level rather than wait for them to tell you exactly what your choices are. One of the best tattoo consultation tips is to gather as much information and as many examples as you possibly can. Be careful, as you don’t want to ask your tattoo artist to copy other artists’ work, as they won’t appreciate this. That’s why you need to take your time exploring their portfolio.

Bring up Health Issues and Concerns

You may have some existing health issues. We recommend telling your tattoo artist everything relating to your physical health. Many issues may not be relevant to the tattoo, but while you are in a tattoo artist's care, they will probably want to have access to your medical history if you need it. Diabetes, postpartum issues, HIV status, and allergies, are just some of the things to chat about before a tattoo.

Have a Design in Mind

Some tattoo artists like having a blank canvas and don’t mind working from scratch. However, your chances of getting the best results and a tattoo that means something to you can be increased if you have a design in mind before you start. When you go to the consultation, you might have the chance to work on the design together with the artist.

It’s frustrating for a tattoo artist if you turn up with very little idea of what you are actually looking for. This isn’t a problem for most people as you will probably know what tattoo you want before you go to the consultation.

Can You Get a Tattoo Without a Consultation?

Consultation is a great way to make sure your tattooing process runs smoothly and the end result is successful, meaning you get the design you wanted. Besides meeting the client’s expectations, consultation beforehand helps the tattoo artist to be prepared for the session and focus on his work without worrying about anything else but tattooing. So we recommend getting consultation as it will make sure both the artist and the client feel content and fulfilled at the end of the process.

Do Tattoo Shops Charge for Consultations?

Manifest Tattoo Shop offers free consultation via text message (626)-507-5821. You fill in the consultation form and the booking manager contacts you to find out whether you have a specific artist you want to ink you or maybe you need recommendations to choose one of the skillful tattoo artists depending on what you are looking to get done. You will discuss photo references of the designs you want to use and the area you like to cover. And finally you will get price quotes based on the artists' rates, availability and you will book your appointment with the artist.


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