Book Ink
for artists

The First Tattoo Appointment: What To Do?

The First Tattoo Appointment: What To Do?
21 Dec, 2021

The First Tattoo Appointment: What To Do?

The process of getting your first tattoo can be a little discomforting and perturbing. We understand that sometimes you don’t even know where to start. So, here’s an A-to-Z guide that will help you kick the stress and go get inked!

In order to get your tattoo, you should book an appointment first. In this guide, we will cover everything you ought to know about your first tattoo appointment and how to make it a pleasurable experience.


Idea, Date, and Budget

How can I find the right design?

Finding a tattoo design and inking it on your skin forever isn’t easy. We advise you to trust your instincts and think about what you love most. If you’re struggling, you can always search for designs on our Book-ink platform to get inspired and you can also at any time get back to your relatives and friends and share with them some suggestions.

Can I just copy any tattoo I want?

In most cases, reputable artists will not agree to copy a design. What they can do instead is create a similar design inspired by what you bring in so you can ask them to create a new design based on what you’ve provided. Think of it this way: you’re unique. Your tattoo should be too.

Do tattoo artists need to design my tattoo?

You will need to have the tattoo artist draw your customized tattoo before you ink it unless you choose one from his catalog. This means that they’ll take your concept and idea and turn it into a drawing you love before your next tattoo appointment!

Can I bring my own design?

You can definitely bring your own design, but keep in mind that the tattoo artist may need to make changes here and there to ensure that your piece turns out unique. Your best bet is to find a tattoo artist you trust and work with him on drafting the perfect tattoo.

When should I book my appointment?

When you’re ready. Do not rush your first tattoo appointment as it is important that you take all the time you need to brainstorm your choice of design as well as your commitment to it. This is the first step. Thinking long and hard about what you want will make it easier for you and your tattoo artist.  So, get a really strong concise idea in your mind, and then figure out where you want it inked and under what budget. These first steps are going to make the process so much smoother and more enjoyable for you.


Find Your Ideal Tattoo Shop

How can I find the right artist or studio?

You can find a tattoo artist by narrowing down what style you want. First, choose the tattoo style you want and then look for the best-known artists for your style. To get started you can explore the Book-ink website where you will be able to search for any artist you want by typing a specific location or choosing the style you want. You can also search for the best artists based on your tattoo style.

How can you tell if the artist is good?

If you want to know if your artist is good, you need to look at their portfolio and previous artwork. Checking out an artist's reviews can also help you determine if the artist is good.

How can I make sure that the studio is good?

Review the profile of the studio to find out if it is a good studio. See what other people have to say about their experience! You want to make sure a tattoo studio is clean and respected for the artists who work there.

So now that you’ve found your ideal artist and tattoo shop, the next thing to do is to book your first appointment. Remember, by scheduling an appointment, you are now taking an artist’s time, so you should go about it properly and respectfully!


Scheduling an Appointment: Things to Consider

How can I book an appointment?

Now that you found the right tattoo artist, it is time to schedule an appointment. Book-ink offers you different options. Book-ink artists have a large red “Book now” button on the profile so it makes it way easier for you to request your appointment by filling in all the necessary details. This includes your available dates, size, style, and placement of your tattoo, and your budget. Once the form is submitted, you can then chat with your artist through our Direct Messages in case you need anything else. We want this to be smooth and easy for you! That’s why we have all of these things on our platform. In the end, really, all you need to do is a bit of searching through images, artists, and studios, and we guarantee you’ll have tons of great options.

What does a closed-book tattoo mean?

A closed book means that the tattoo artist is not currently taking bookings. Some artists who are in demand will close their books once their calendar is full for a few months to a few years and then open it again.

How far in advance should I book my tattoo?

You should book your tattoo far enough in advance that you and the artist both have time to prepare. Your preparation includes knowing your budget and the design you want, while the artist has to prepare your unique tattoo for the day of your appointment.

How long do tattoo appointments take?

The duration of a tattoo appointment depends on the size and type of your tattoo design. Small flash tattoos can take less than an hour, while large and complex tattoos, or difficult body placements, such as hands or neck, can take anywhere from 3 to 5 hours. For tattoos of that nature, it’s best to set aside a whole day just for your tattoo appointment.

What if it is not clear how to book?

How to first contact a tattoo artist for an appointment will often be the first thing tattoo artists mention on their profile. If you have trouble finding the “Book now” button or if it’s not clear how to book, don’t be afraid to visit the artist’s social accounts. This includes the website, Instagram or Facebook accounts. Some parlors will prefer it if you pass by to make an appointment. This will help you check the place out beforehand and is a great opportunity for a small chat with your artist about what you have in mind. However, make sure that the studio of your choice takes walk-ins. Private studios only do custom work for tattoo appointments so you should respect how the artist prefers to work.

Is it bad to cancel a tattoo appointment?

It is not bad to cancel a tattoo appointment as long as you are not ready yet or something just came up. However, make sure you do it well ahead of time and politely. Not showing up for your appointment means that that artist has lost his time waiting for you so make sure that you give them at least a few days’ notice so they can fill your spot with someone else. The more time you give them, the better it is.

Pre-consultation conversation

Sometimes before getting to your tattoo consultation, you may have a quick chat with your potential tattoo artist just to ensure you’re both happy to move forward with each other. This is usually very brief, and you’ll probably end the conversation by getting a consultation scheduled.

What is a consultation appointment?

A consultation appointment is a chance to discuss with the tattoo artist to plan your next tattoo. This is usually done specifically for customized designs. You’ll talk about design details, placement, colors, budget, and more, then figure out a day and time for the actual tattoo appointment that suits both of your schedules. It’s also a chance for your tattoo artist to give you their opinions and recommendations.

Do I need a consultation before a tattoo?

A consultation is required prior to getting a custom tattoo so you will need to arrange a consultation with the artist. Depending on when you or the artist will be available, sometimes you will be able to come into the shop, and sometimes you will be able to contact the artist via messaging or email if you or the artist is traveling.

Are tattoo consultations free?

Yes, most tattoo consultations are free. However, keep in mind that many artists will ask for a deposit to be put down before scheduling a tattoo appointment or after you both agree on the design and appointment day/time. This is a very common part of how to book a tattoo and it shows the artist you are serious about your commitment.


Why A Deposit?

It is common practice to request a deposit when scheduling an appointment, and most shops won't even accept your application without one so it assists them in making sure you show up. Tattoo deposits are for holding your place within a tattoo artist’s calendar. When you carve out a block of time in an artist’s schedule, especially if they’re drawing a custom piece for you, it’s costing them time, and time is money! A deposit is paid for the time an artist spends creating your tattoo. There are people who don’t show up for their appointments, so this is a way to make sure an artist’s time isn’t completely wasted.

Can I ask for a price estimate?

You can definitely ask for a price estimate on your tattoo! What may be better, however, is to simply give your budget to the artist so that they can work with what you have. 

Are tattoo prices negotiable?

Tattoos are a form of art, and no art is cheap. You can’t compromise with tattoos, and you should save money before having them to get the best quality. When you agree on a tattoo consultation, they’ll advise you of the cost. Don’t then ask for a lower price because you’ll be underestimating the skill, time, and years of training they’ve had to go through.


Be Prepared!

Make sure you’re hydrated, sleep well and eat well before your appointment. Since you don’t know how your body will react to the stress so it is important to be as physically prepared as possible. Think of hydrating not only inside but also outside. Shower, moisturize and come fresh and clean.

Should I shave the area of my tattoo?

You can if you want but it is the tattoo artist’s job to take care of that. If you shave the area beforehand, the artist typically still shaves it to ensure it is completely free of hair before the procedure.

Schedule picking up supplies

Aftercare will require some specific supplies you may not already have, so schedule in picking them up ahead of time.  Some lotions, non-fragrance, hypoallergenic soap on hand, preferably in a squirt bottle since bars of soap can carry bacteria, will be great for keeping your new tattoo clean.

It will hurt!

“Does it hurt?” is one of the most common questions tattoo artists get from their clients. The answer is always “yes,” it usually hurts. That's why getting prepared is an important portion of this pie and a great way to ease your tattoo anxiety.


After Booking an Appointment, What Happens Next?

There are no specific rules on what to do when you reach the tattoo shop. However, when you're finally in the studio, be respectful, kind, and patient; the rest will take care of itself.

We advise you to stay calm as much as you can to reduce the stress and listen carefully to your artist's recommendations. You will be fine!

Location for : Listing Title