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How to Book Your First Tattoo Appointment

Updated: Sep 27, 2023

Getting your first tattoo can be nerve-wracking, and we understand that. We want you to feel comfortable contacting us with your tattoo idea. Here are some helpful tips on how to book with an artist of your choice.

  1. Have a general idea in mind and be open to feedback. Not all ideas are tattooable. Your concept may need to be enlarged to account for needle size, tattoo aging, ink bleed, etc. Some colors may not be available, or may need to be altered. When you are open to artistic interpretation, it helps the artist and you collaborate on a unique and one-of-a-kind design specific to you.

  2. Know your budget. Many artists are flexible with budgets. However, what you want tattooed may cost more than what you originally saved for. If you find the perfect artist, but their pricing is higher than what you can afford, ask about breaking the piece into sessions over time to help budget for your tattoo.

  3. Find a tattoo artist that works in the style you're looking for. Some artists only work in particular styles, only take certain designs, and have a niche they do their best work in. It's essential for you to find an artist that has a portfolio that matches what you are looking for in a tattoo. For more details, read our blog article, "What to Look for in a Tattoo Artist."

  4. Contact the artist using their preferred contact method. Most artists have contact information listed on their shop's website, their personal website, or social media channels. If an artist has a consult form on their website, make sure to be thorough when writing out what you want. Include reference photos of tattoos you like as well as the area to be tattooed. It is important for tattoo artists to know if you have other tattoos to work around and how large the surface area is.

  5. Have a date in mind but be patient. Some artists are booked out for months to years at a time. You may not be able to get a tattoo the same day that you contact a tattoo shop. If you're thinking about a tattoo, the best route to take is to have your money saved first, know what you want, and be willing to wait a few weeks to months to have your first session.

  6. Be prepared to pay a deposit. Paying a deposit is a normal part of tattoo etiquette. Many tattoo artists require them to hold an appointment date, to pay for the artwork they are designing, and to ensure that you are serious about booking a tattoo with them. If you are not sure if you want a tattoo or not, maybe don't book until you are 100% sure, or you may lose your deposit.

  7. Ask the artist any questions you have about your appointment before your first session. Many artists communicate via email and can relieve any stresses you have prior to your appointment. If you are concerned about allergies, medications, amount of time it will take, or otherwise, check with the artist beforehand.

  8. If a preview is given ahead of time, alert the artist of changes before you come to the tattoo shop. Give your artist a heads up about minor details ahead of time. Many artists have several clients each day, and even a few changes can run your time period into someone else's appointment. Be courteous of your requests. If you are not feeling the design provided, give your artist more reference photos and instructions on what you want changed. Bear in mind, your appointment may need to be moved, or cancelled, if both you and the artist cannot come to an agreement on the design.

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