Tattoo etiquette is a real thing. Just like there are certain social things you shouldn’t do in church, there’s stuff you should avoid doing when getting a tattoo. As in any situation, politeness and courtesy go along way. But there might be a few tattoo etiquette basics you didn’t know about.
We’re here to let you in on the best kept secrets by tattoo artists themselves. What makes tattoo artists cringe? Find out in our guide on the basics of what not to do when getting a tattoo.
Don’t Expect to Know Everything
Even if you’ve already been tattooed before, going into a tattoo shop making demands because you’ve “been there, done that” will not get you very far. Tattoo artists are trained professionals, so undermining their work is not a good way to start out. When artists recommend certain designs or recommend against a placement you’ve been dying to have, make sure to listen before you speak.
Don’t Not Know What You Want
A pet peeve of all tattoo artists is when customers come in and say, “I want a tattoo, but not sure what I should get.” The artist can only ask you follow up questions, but really? Deciding what you want on your body isn’t part of the tattoo artist’s work duties. That’s up to you to decide. In sum, don’t walk into a tattoo shop with no idea of what you want.
Don’t Bring Your Family & Friends
Definitely don’t bring a handful of people to accompany you at the tattoo parlor. Maybe your best mate or your other half is acceptable, but more than that is just stressful and annoying. If you’re courageous enough to get a tattoo, be courageous enough to get a tattoo without everyone holding your hand. It’ll be okay!
Don’t Bring Your Children!
Tattoo artists are tattoo artists, not a daycare center. It’s surprising, but many people come in with a toddler or small child and then expect to be tattooed. Make the effort to get a babysitter, because children in the tattoo shop is an accident waiting to happen.
Don’t Skip Your Meal Beforehand
Some people might not eat when they get stressed or anxious. But it’s extremely important to eat before getting a tattoo because the risk of passing out significantly decreases. Don’t skip out on breakfast or lunch; your body needs all the energy it can get! Once the adrenaline and endorphins kick in, your body will need some fuel to feed off of.
Don’t Haggle Prices or Negotiate
Tattoo artists price their work based on experience, the hours it will take, the ink, the time, the placement, the design, the complexity, the equipment, and the labor. When they set a price, don’t try to awkwardly haggle and say it was cheaper in another shop. Coercing an artist to lower the price will just bring bad energy and you definitely don’t want that when the artist gets ready to poke you with the needle.
Can you think of other essentials of what not to do when getting a tattoo? We think these pretty much sum up the bulk of the major no-nos, but there are certainly other aspects of tattoo etiquette that aren’t mentioned. Make sure to educate yourself about what you want before stepping into a tattoo shop!