We have all been there, the first-timer anxiety. Every one of us started off with virgin skin, no holes or color added. The very first time that you go to a studio (for some of us it was a kitchen table) for a tattoo or body piercing, there is always at least a small degree of nervous anticipation. For some people it becomes far more than that, making it very difficult to think, and sometimes impossible to get through the process.
Here are some simple tips for first-time clients to help you get through your tattoo or body piercing with the least difficulty, and most enjoyment.
- SAFETY FIRST! Check out the shop, and look for a clean, well-organized work-space. Ask questions about what procedures they use in order to assure your safety. Vermont law requires tattoo studios to provide this information as part of full disclosure for clients.
- Look for quality artwork. Check out the portfolios of the artists or piercers before you schedule an appointment or sit down in the chair.
- Talk to your artist/piercer. If an someone is unwilling or unavailable to answer your questions (no matter how dumb you think they sound), then you are probably not in the right place. If you cannot get a satisfactory answer to a question, then look elsewhere.
- Good work is not cheap. Try to get a price before you start. Most shops – including ours – will give at least a close estimate before beginning. Many large pieces will be priced at an hourly rate – industry standard practice – $100/hour is about average. $150/hour is common for high-end tattoo artwork in this area.
- EAT FIRST! Anxiety and stress can cause some people to feel light-headed, and more rarely, fainting. You would be wise to eat within two hours before you come in to our shop for a procedure.
- Wear appropriate clothing. Clothing that is constrictive will interfere with the tattoo or piercing process – comfortable trumps fashionable. And speaking of fashionable, we work with ink; permanent, messy, staining ink. We suggest that you do not wear your Sunday whites here to get work done.
- Do not bring your entourage. While it is completely understandable that you might want moral support while getting tattooed or pierced, keep it small. Having an audience of ten makes for a good show, but not a good tattoo. Less distraction is good for all of us.