The Beginner’s Guide To Your First Tattoo

The Beginner's Guide To Your First Tattoo

Beginner’s Guide to Your First Tattoo

Today I’m sharing my Beginner’s Guide to Your First Tattoo. So you’re ready to get your first tattoo and you want to make it the best experience possible, this beginner’s guide will help you do that! Not sure of placement? I’ve got suggestions. Do you have sensitive skin? I can help with that!


You’re going to have to do your research. Part of making sure your first tattoo experience is positive is all the research you do beforehand. Research the tattoo shop and artist to make sure that they are up to date on health certifications and standards. Read reviews on the shop and artists. Look at the artist portfolios. Make sure the artist can create the tattoo in the style you want.

Word of mouth is often the best way to find a tattoo artist. You can also try searching tattoo artists on Instagram in your area.

If you’re in the Tampa area, I highly recommend Stefanee Shofield and Steve Cornicelli at Forbidden Images. Stefanee has done all of my tattoos so far. Steve has done an amazing cover-up tattoo on my partner’s arm.

Steve Oker at Electric Gold Tattoo is another highly recommended tattoo artist in the Tampa area. I have several friends from all over the state who have driven to have work done by him. I’m thinking of seeing him for my raven tattoo that I have planned.

Russel Van Schaik is a highly respected tattoo artist in the Orlando area. Many of my friends have been tattooed by him. He has a lot of gorgeous work available.


Tattoos are permanent. Yes, you can get laser tattoo removal, which I’ve heard hurts worse than getting a tattoo. Spend the time to design and fall in love with your tattoo.

Don’t rush on your design, especially for your first tattoo. It took me twenty years to work up the courage to get my first tattoo and a month to come up with inspiration for the first design. I then worked with my tattoo artist to finalize the design and make it unique. I have done this every single time I’ve gotten a tattoo.

I’ve had tattoo designs in mind for years, but once I decide to get a piece done, I usually gather up all the reference images and send them to my tattoo artist. I explain to the artist what I want to change about the designs, what aspects of the designs I like or don’t like, etc. I think of it as collaborative design. It’s a piece of art I’ll be wearing for the rest of my life.

Need some tattoo inspiration? Check out this Pinterest Tattoo Inspiration board.


Decide where you want to get your first tattoo! In my opinion, the best place to get your first tattoo is on the upper arm and shoulder. In my experience, you can barely feel the needle in that area. Places where your bones are close to the surface of the skin such as your wrist, the top of your foot, or your sternum, are all going to be more painful.

My first tattoo was actually on my inner wrist, which is usually pretty painful for people. My second piece is a very large upper thigh piece and it was pretty painful. My third tattoo was my hand, which wasn’t great but wasn’t terrible. My fourth was on my wrist and forearm. The wrist was very uncomfortable but the upper forearm didn’t bother me at all. My fifth tattoo was on my upper arm and shoulder. Click here to see my Inked Girls Bat Tattoo, as well as my other tattoos.

I have recommended the upper arm and shoulder to several friends for their first tattoos. They were surprised by how easy it was to sit through. I think most people feel less pain there.

The other big reason I recommend the upper arm and shoulder for your first tattoo is that it is a very easy area to hide with a short sleeve shirt. If you work in a conservative environment, you can still hide your cool side with this tattoo placement. Most people recommend choosing spots on the body that are easy to hide with clothes for tattoos.

Prep the Skin

If you have sensitive skin like I do, or you are worried about being able to sit still while you’re being jabbed repeatedly with a needle as you get your first tattoo, prep the skin like me! I use the best numbing cream I’ve found by Zensa. Zensa has 5% lidocaine in it. Zensa numbing cream makes your skin feel numb for 2 to 4 hours and you can extend that by applying it during the tattoo session. Zensa is a cruelty-free product, too.

The way I like to prep the skin with Zensa numbing cream is by liberally applying it to the area that I am getting tattooed a half hour before the session and cover it with saran wrap to keep it moist. Then during the tattoo session I give my tube of Zensa to the tattoo artist, who applies it during the tattoo process once the skin has been broken.

Dress for Comfort

In this beginner’s guide to your first tattoo, I’m going to tell you to dress for comfort. Whether you’re going to be at the tattoo parlor for an hour or six, you want to be comfortable. Think about where you are going to get your tattoo, and make sure that you have loose fitting clothing on.

I typically wear a TomboyX bralette, my favorite pair of leggings with pockets, and a loose fitting shirt or tank. I bring a hoodie or blanket with me.

For guys, my partner likes a loose fitting tank shirt like this and the TomboyX joggers.

What to Bring

I like to bring protein cookie snacks and Bubly sparkling drinks with me when I get a tattoo, because I’m normally planning to be at the tattoo shop for at least a few hours.

I usually also bring my iPad so that if I want to read a book, watch a movie, or listen to my own music while I’m getting tattooed I can. While I bring all this stuff with me, I normally end up talking to my tattoo artist or listening to music and zoning out during the process.

I bring the aforementioned Zensa numbing cream with me. I have ultra sensitive skin and it really helps me to be more comfortable during the tattoo process.

I also bring Saniderm with me. Saniderm tattoo bandages are medical grade bandages that allow you to wet heal your tattoo. They’re latex free, vegan, water resistant and breathable. Saniderm is going to be the best way to heal most tattoos. Your tattoo artist puts the Saniderm tattoo bandage on after completing your tattoo. You leave it on for 5 days, then remove it. You can shower with the Saniderm tattoo bandage on. I strongly suggest only wearing loose fitting clothing over your tattoo.

If you are prone to anxiety like I am, you may want to bring a friend with you to your first tattoo, too. While my tattoo artist enjoys talking during the process, some don’t, so you might want a friend to help distract you from the pain or to hold your hand. My partner has come with me to every tattoo session I’ve had, though he hasn’t stayed through the entire tattoo process. The first time it was especially important to me to have him there, but after that I’ve been fine doing it on my own.


Tipping is not mandatory in the USA. However, tipping your tattoo artist lets them know you really appreciate their time, effort and work. If you feel your tattoo artist for your first tattoo has gone above and beyond to meet your expectations, they deserve a tip.

I believe it’s industry standard to tip a minimum of 20% for a tattoo. Some people tip up to 30%. Tattoo artists tend to charge by the hour, so that can be quite expensive on larger pieces. Other people just tip a flat $100, no matter the size of the piece. If you’re only getting a small piece done that’s $300 or under, I would tip 25-30%. 30% of $300 is $90. For larger pieces that are $1000 to $2000, I would tip 15-20%.

Another suggestion, bring cash to tip your tattoo artist. 99% of the time I don’t carry cash, but when I get a tattoo done, I try to take cash out for tip. I’ve been told cash is king when it comes to tips.


Talk to your tattoo artist about aftercare for your first tattoo. It’s so important! As I mentioned above, I usually heal my tattoos with Saniderm tattoo bandages for the first five days.

After that I switch to Dial Gold Antibacterial soap to wash it twice a day. After washing it I put Aquaphor Healing Ointment or HustleButter Soothing Tattoo Cream on it to hydrate it and leave it alone. You want a thin layer of ointment after cleansing so that it can heal properly. I’ve found by wet healing the first 5 days, it’s far less itchy for me. After those first 5 days, if it gets itchy, I’ll tap or slap the skin, but never scratch it.

Make sure to use SPF! After you get a gorgeous tattoo and it’s healed, be sure to put SPF on to prevent fading. I wear sunscreen 365 days a year. I recommend Coola Sport SPF 50 Spray for the body. It has broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection, 80-minute water resistance, sweat resistance, non-aerosol, and is reef-friendly. My partner has very sensitive skin, so he uses the Coola Sun Silk Drops SPF 30 for the face. I prefer Supergoop Unseen SPF 40 for the face.

How To Find The Perfect Tattoo Studio

NYC Tattoo Shop

Getting a tattoo can be an intense process, especially if it’s your first one.

It’s important to make sure that everything goes right on the day and that you’re as comfortable as possible. Working with the wrong artist or going to an unprofessional studio can make the experience uncomfortable and frightening.

Therefore, it’s important to make sure that you find the perfect tattoo studio to work with. This is easier said than done, though. It’s a very crowded market nowadays, and there are plenty of studios in almost every town and city.

How on earth can you sort through them and find the perfect studio to work with?

Today, we are going to be taking a look at our top tips for how to locate the perfect tattoo studio for you. We’ll be looking at how to find the best studio near you, what indicates a professional studio and the best steps to take before the big day.

Decide what style of tattoo you want

Before you look for your studio, make sure that you have a decent understanding of what style tattoo you want. This will help you narrow down your options and make finding a studio much simpler. Most studios will offer a wide variety of styles, but some may have artists who specialize in the style that you’re interested in.

Are you looking for color or black and grey work? Do you want heavy linework or something dainty? Spend some time researching different types of tattoos and find the right style for you. Take a look at some reference photos to take with you to your consultation, too.

See what local options you have

Are there any studios in the local area, or are you going to need to travel to get a tattoo? Have a look on Google maps, and see whether there are any studios nearby. It’s worth having a few options to hand, just in case someone can’t help you or a studio isn’t open on the day you want a tattoo, so keep a list of your favorites.

Check out the studio’s website and portfolios

When you find studios that you’re interested in, make a note of them and take a look at their website. Check them out online, and see what they hav to offer. How many artists are there? Where is it located? Do they offer exactly what you’re looking for? Spend some time reading up on the studio and getting to know their brand.

Portfolios are another important thing to take a look at before you book in with a studio. Take a look on their website to see if their artist portfolios are uploaded, or have a look on social media. Facebook and Instagram are both very popular choices for digital portfolios.

Find your chosen artist on social media

Following on from the last point, social media can be very handy for getting to know your chosen artist’s personality and work style. Take a look at their profiles on as many social media platforms as possible, to get a feel for their work.

Additionally, social media can showcase how an artist interacts with their clients. If you see them being overly harsh or dismissive about their clients on their Instagram story, for example, they may not be the nicest to work with on the day.

Read past client reviews

Client reviews are also an important part of getting to know a studio and deciding on where you’re going to go. Sure, their art and interior design might be nice, but what is the experience like? Is the room freezing cold, or the equipment unsterile? Reading client reviews or even reaching out to past clients is very important.

Reviews could be present on the website, on social media platforms like Facebook or even on external websites. If there’s a lot of negative reviews that don’t seem unfounded, it’s probably best to check out another studio.

Don’t settle for a studio you’re uncomfortable with

The most important thing to do when it comes to pricing a studio is to make sure that you’re comfortable. Like we said earlier, getting a tattoo can be a very personal and even spiritual thing. So, don’t settle for second best or end up going to a tattoo studio that you’re uncomfortable with.

Tattoos aren’t something that you should go for the cheapest option with, or even the most convenient, sometimes. It’s much better to pay a little extra and travel a little further to make sure that you end up in a safe, high quality studio.

Book a consultation

The final suggestion is to make sure that you grab a consultation with your chosen artist. Any good studio will offer free consultations before a tattoo to make sure the artist and client can talk about the design before the appointment. This helps to make sure that the artist can fully grasp the client’s dreams and make them into a tangible piece of art.

This is especially good if it’s your first tattoo, or if you’re nervous. Speaking to your client in a consultation is a great way to calm any anxieties that you might have, and to answer any questions about the process too.


Overall, with some careful thought before your tattoo, you’ll be able to find the best tattoo shop in nyc and artist to work with. Make sure to check them out beforehand on social media, and to read past customer reviews. Have an idea of what you want to get tattooed before you go, but remember to stay open minded in your consultation.

Don’t be afraid to message multiple shops, either. Each studio will have a different benefit and style of work, and will be suited to different types of customers. Getting a tattoo is a very personal experience, and it’s important to make sure that you’re as comfortable as possible.

Snake Tattoo Designs: Crooked As A Serpent

Realistic Snake Tattoos

Snakes have the unfortunate privilege of being one of the most vilified animals in all of history. As a result, snake symbolism is inextricably linked to poison.

Snakes have the unfortunate privilege of being one of the most vilified animals in all of history. Especially in the West, snakes are associated with a whole library of terrible values, from treachery to murder. Thanks to the role of the serpent in the Garden of Eden, Christians associate the snake with temptation and the devil. But the Christian symbol of the snake is not the only one. Snakes are generally unassuming creatures who tend to leave humans alone. Relatively few snakes are poisonous, and few of the poisonous snakes are lethal to humans. But some exceptions exist, especially in Africa, Australia and the American West, and there are poisonous snakes nearly everywhere there are humans. As a result, snake symbolism is inextricably linked to poison.

Older meythological systems tend to associate the snake with wisdom, fertility and knowledge.

Snakes are associated with fertility mostly due to their phallic nature, with wisdom due to their careful movements, and knowledge through their association with various version of the Egyptian god Thoth, whose portfolio included writing, math and technology. Egyptian views of the snake were echoed throughout the Mediterranean cultures that predated Judeo-Christianity. Perhaps the single most enduring symbol featuring the snake is not the serpent in the Garden, but the snake eating its own tail. The Egyptians named the self-eating snake Ouroboros, and to them it signified the cyclical nature of the universe.

Seasons turned, life cycled to death and back, and all things seemed to come from themselves.

While Ouroboros tattoo was an Egyptian symbol that spread into Western culture through the Greeks (especially the various Gnostic traditions and mystery cults) other cultures have featured different versions of the same symbol. The Norse believed there was a World Serpent, whose length circled the Earth. The World Serpent’s tail was stuck in its mouth, and when it finally freed its tail from its jaws, it would unravel the earth itself and lead to the end of times. Other cultures have had even more positive views of the snake. Several schools of Yoga revere the snake for its flexibility, most notably Kundalini yoga, which believes that there is a coil of spiritual energy in the body that resembles a snake. Freeing this inner snake leads to enlightenment. Kundalini yoga is also closely associated with Tantric sexual yoga, continuing the theme of fertility and virility that the snake is associated with. In Greek traditions, the snake was connected with the Moon and the goddess who ruled it. Knowledge, power and protection came from the moon and from her chose animals, the snakes. The Greek symbol for medicine is a staff with a pair of snakes curled around it (Caduceus).

Is Bepanthen cream natural or not?

Tattoo Healing

Bepanthen for your tattoo is extremely popular as a aftercare product in Australia and worldwide including the USA and Europe. Being primarily a nappy rash ointment it has been transferred into aftercare product even thought it hasn’t been designed or formulated for this purpose. Most people want to know is Bepanthen for your tattoo a good thing? If you look closely at the ingredients it has fifty percent good ingredients and fifty percent bad because people are not aware that the bad part located in the ingredients includes petroleum jelly (which is unnatural).

Bepanthen as a tattoo aftercare product is not a prefered choice and if you are able to find a natural solution it is much better. Mr Bees Manuka is a australian family business that produce organic and natural skincare & lifestyle products made from Manuka honey. One of their most popular products is tattoo healer as it has been known to heal up a new tattoo in 2-5 days, and is also a great every day moisturiser with a natural spf.