1. Make sure to eat something before coming for your appointment. Once the initial adrenaline expires, your body will be working overtime in response to the pain of getting tattooed. Eating beforehand can reduce your risk of lightheadedness or dizziness due to low blood sugar and will keep you more comfortable during a long sitting.
2. Stay hydrated. Drinking water is a no-brainer to stay comfortable. Sugary drinks can sometimes help keep you alert, but avoid consuming caffeine or sugar in quantities that could make you jittery. Make sure to use the restroom before getting started.
3. Shower before your visit and avoid using cologne or other perfumes on your skin. Being clean and refreshed will not only make the experience more pleasant for you, but for your tattooist who will be getting up close and personal with your body.
4. Dress comfortably. If you are going to be sitting for a long time, make sure the clothes you wear will not be restricting. Depending on where you are being tattooed you may want to wear clothes that you do not mind getting ink on.
5. Bring ibuprofen. The anti-inflamatory can help reduce the pain and swelling that will occur when getting tattooed. Needless to say, tattoos hurt and you should communicate your limits. If you need to take a break, ask your artist. Taking 5 is much better than squirming, crying and making the job a lot harder on your tattooer.
6. Be prepared to pay with cash. Cash is our preferred method of payment and we have an ATM in our lobby for your convenience. We understand if a cash payment is not possible for you, but it is easier for our tattooists.
7. Moral support is fine, but bringing all your best friends and extended family is overkill. While we are lucky to have an open studio space and large lobby, it makes it a lot harder to navigate between stations when there is a large crowd accompanying someone getting tattooed. Be considerate of the space in the shop and what may be distracting to the tattooer.
8. Know what you want! Whether you have been planning a tattoo for months or decided to get some impulse ink—tattooers are NOT mind readers! The better you can describe your idea, the better our artists can convey it. However, they cannot decide what to tattoo on you or where to put it. Please be considerate of their time and think your idea through.
9. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about aftercare. We sell care products at our shop and our artists are always happy to offer to instructions to first-time clients so that you can be informed of the healing process.
10. Tip your tattooer. While there is no standardized way to calculate a tip, our tattooers are always grateful for any contribution you can make to thank them for their service.
11. Be on time or call ahead if you are running late. Because our artists work on rotation for walk-ins, if you show up late for your appointment or do not show up at all, you could be costing your tattooer valuable time and money. We know that life happens so if you need to reschedule a visit please be courteous of your tattooist and let them know in a timely manner.
I got this tattoo today to remind myself to not lose my way, probably couldn’t have given myself a better early birthday present. I didn’t like Kill la Kill when I first started watching it, but the second time I gave it a try and I fell in love and the fever hasn’t stopped since. Done by Kim Wall at Black Rabbit Tattoo in Richmond, VA