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The above information was provided by:
Alliance of Professional Tattooists
7477 Baltimore-Annapolis Blvd, #205
Glen Burnie, MD 21061
Do not drink alcohol or take drugs for pain relief purposes prior to your tattoo sessions. Both aspirin and alcohol thin your blood and promote excessive bleeding. Aspirin also decreases the clotting of blood, which will slow down your healing as well. In addition, artists do not appreciate tattooing people who are under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
I personally view the pain part of tattooing as a challenge to be overcome. When I get tattooed and it hurts, and
I can still make myself sit there and allow the experience and not have it get the better of me; then I can leave with a bit more than a
tattoo. I can leave with the sense that I am stronger than a lot of things I once thought were stronger than me. My tattoos have then
become talisman if you will, to remind me of this lesson every day.
Flash designs are the tattoo designs typically seen covering the walls of tattoo studios. They are pre drawn designs that you choose and have tattooed on the spot. The tattoo artist can usually change the design slightly to make it more unique for you.
Custom designs are designs that are original one of a kind designs made in collaboration with your chosen artist. Usually a client will bring in some inspiration such as- a record cover, T-shirt, card, panting reproduction, etc. and explain to the artist what they would like to do with it such as- I want it on my shoulder, smaller than the original, and the colors to be different. The artist will then work on developing the drawing to the specifics of the client.
I do not tattoo names.
The artist makes a stencil of the design. Then she will clean and might shave your skin where the work will be done and, will swipe your skin with an "adhesive," which is usually deodorant stick . The artist will then put the stencil design directly on your skin and, when the paper is lifted a stencil line drawing of the design will appear on your skin. She will let you look in a mirror to make sure you are happy with the design and the placement. Once this is agreed upon, the artist will then begin setting up the tattooing work station. The artist will be doing things like dispensing various colors of ink into disposable ink caps, and putting a sterile needle tube set into the tattoo machine.
At this time, you will want to try to relax and take a bathroom break. You will probably be somewhat nervous, but excited at the same time. Your body is going through quite an adrenaline rush. Your excited condition and your anxiety about the anticipated pain may trigger a fainting spell. It will help if you are not there on an empty stomach. Eat about an hour or two BEFORE you go in for your tattoo session.
The artist will let you know that she is ready to start tattooing. The artist will start up the machine, dip the needle into the ink and let you know that she will start to work on the stenciled outline by starting on a small line that is not noticeable to let you know how it will feel. Don't forget to breathe and relax. The outline is usually the most painful part for most people. Remember that any move you make may cause the artist to make a mistake, so BEFORE you try to move, ask the artist first.
Most people can sit through over an hour of work, but if you get uncomfortable, just ask your artist if you can take a break. If you feel light headed or dizzy, tell your artist IMMEDIATELY so they can give you a break and get you some water. Once the tattoo is finished you will get to look at it, then it will be bandaged up and after-care will be discussed.
You will be sent home with written after- care instructions. Follow the
after-care instruction as closely as possible. Good after-care will make
the difference in how your tattoo heals and ultimately how it will look.
Leave the bandage on for two (2) hours. Wash your hands before touching the tattoo. Remove the bandage and wash your tattoo. The best place to wash your tattoo is in the shower. Using your fingertips wash your tattoo thoroughly removing all surface debris such as ink, plasma and blood. (Do NOT use a wash cloth on a healing tattoo; it is too rough for the tender healing skin) Use a mild fragrance free soap such as glycerin soap. When the tattooed skin feels like normal wet skin, pat dry with a fresh, clean paper towel. Do not soak the tattoo while washing it. Apply a small amount of mild fragrance free lotion to your tattoo whenever the tattoo feels dry. I recommend Curel Daily Moisture Therapy Lotion, Fragrance Free. Remember to wash your hands before applying lotion. Rub the lotion COMPLETELY into the tattoo; do NOT leave globs on the surface. Remember less is more. Reapply lotion to your tattoo 3-4 times a day or when it feels dry. During the healing process your tattoo will flake and peel. The lotion helps prevents drying and cracking that can result in loss of ink. Continue to wash your tattoo daily and apply lotion as needed until healed. Peeling skin is normal just do NOT pick or scratch it! If your tattoo itches slap the skin around the tattoo to relieve itching. Healing time varies, usually 1-3 weeks. If an infection occurs, contact your tattoo friendly physician. While infections are unlikely, they do occur. It begins in a small area looking puffy and grayish.
Life time tattoo care:
Always use a sun screen or sun block on your tattoo. Direct sun will eventually fade your tattoo. Consistent care and protection of your tattoo will keep the lines sharp and colors bright!
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