Being part of the music scene, we can all agree that tattoos and all forms of body modification play a huge role in our community. It’s safe to say that if you are a part of the music scene, you either have a bunch of tats yourself or you’ve at least thought of getting one or how it feels to get one. We’ve recently reached out to our followers and asked for their top guidelines to keep in mind when it comes to getting a new tattoo and this is what they had to say.
Do your research
Always research the artist you’re approaching properly and keep up to date with their latest work. You always want the best quality tattoo like Malo Civelli said: “If you do so, even if you don’t like the design that much anymore, you’ll still have a masterpiece on your skin forever.” Very wise words. Most tattoo artists specialize in a style of tattooing for a reason and that’s because they are good at creating those pieces. If you’re looking to get a black & grey piece it’s probably not the best idea to approach an artist whose field of specialty is to create super vibrant pieces. Not to say that artists that mostly work in colour can’t do black and grey pieces, but the artist that mainly focuses on these will probably do a better job. It’s always the best idea to approach an artist that specializes in the style of tattoo that you’d like to get.
This is one that came up a few times! The placement of your tattoo plays such a vital role in the end result of your tattoo. You can have an amazing high-quality piece, BUT if the placement of the piece is off it will directly affect how the tattoo looks at the end. You need to keep in consideration if you’d like any more work done around the piece in the future if you’d like to turn it into a full piece and add more elements to the artwork. Placement is key!
Have something to eat and drink
Always, and we can’t stress this enough, but always have a hearty meal and plenty of water before your session. I remember when I got my first tattoo at the tender age of 19, I skipped breakfast before my session. I got extremely lightheaded while the artist was tattooing on me. It was so bad that I had to stop the artist mid-way in and go and grab a bite to eat followed by a soft drink to get my sugar levels up. It caused a super bad first tattoo experience, but for all my other sessions, I’ve always had a great experience because I started off the day with a big and hearty breakfast.
Listen to your artist
The artist always knows best. If you have a design in mind with the placement of your new tattoo and your artist says it won’t work. It probably won’t. I do understand that you’ll have to live with the tattoo for the rest of your life and you want it exactly how you pictured it in your mind, but it’s always a better idea to have your tattoo artist express his/her creativity in designing your piece for where you’d like to have it on your body. Give your artist some freedom and breathing room when it comes to your design and you’ll end up with a tattoo that you’ll be enjoying a lot more in the end.
One of the most important aspects of tattoos is how you take care of your piece after your session. Now just a quick disclaimer, always follow your artists’ guidelines to taking care of your tattoo! This is subjective and everyone approaches this differently.
How I approached it is to rinse your new piece twice a day with cold water and a quick wash with odorless soap. Then have it cling wrapped at least the first 24 – 48 hours of getting the piece and replacing the cling wrap after each wash. After the first two days keep it moisturized with a water-based cream, stay away from heavy and fragranced creams as you do want your skin to breathe.
If your skin develops scabs, do not pick at them. If it bothers you it is best to just rinse the tattoo with cold water to cure the itchy sensation. Last but not least stay out of the sun with your new ink till it is completely healed. Always add a nice and thick layer of sunscreen when you go to the beach or if you’re spending the day in the pool. Photograph: Etienne Grobler from The Southern Rebellion Tattoo Company in South Africa.