So you want a tattoo…

We just opened our little corner of Elm Street and we want it to be something unique. We understand that there are plenty of Tattoo Shops in Manchester, NH. But our aim is to be much more than a cookie cutter tattoo shop. To do that, we’re combining 5 great artists and a killer gallery space that puts creativity at the heart of what we do every day. Interested in getting your first tattoo? Read on. We’ve put together a few tips on what to expect and how to approach your brand new ink.

If you’re thinking about getting a tattoo, it’s important that you do your homework first. That means not dropping into a tattoo shop on a whim and getting the first “cool” design you come across. The best way to get a tattoo that you’ll be proud of for years to come starts with a bit of preparation. If you’re not very artistic and prefer to have your chosen artist (more on that later) design your tattoo, first you’ll want to start with a concept.

Coming up with a design concept can be as simple as you want. All you really need to do is give your artist some ammo. Whether that means you sketch out your idea or find a handful of images similar to the style you’d like to end up with, every effort you make will be a great help to your tattoo artist and will help ensure you get the tattoo you want. But don’t get too hung up on coming up with a design! Skilled tattoo artists have a knack for asking the right questions to help you settle on a unique tattoo design that works for your style and your body. Keep in mind, when you’re coming up with a vision for your tattoo – it’s important to take into consideration where it will be placed. Which brings us to the next consideration you should make: location, location, location.

Once you’ve got a design concept in mind, you’ll want to hone in on where exactly you want your tattoo. Take into consideration the content, the size, and whether or not you want it to be easily concealed or not. You should also know that getting a tattoo doesn’t exactly feel good. Some people say it feels like you have a sunburn, and someone is writing on it with a pen. But remember: the pain is very temporary, the tattoo is permanent. If you really want a tattoo you’ll be able to handle a little bit of discomfort. Typically, the least painful location is the upper arm. Tattoos tend to hurt more in areas with larger veins or a lack of fat and/or muscle. On top of this, while areas that tend to move a lot like your neck or the inside of your arm tend to hurt more, they also typically take longer to heal simply based on how much movement they take part in. Keep this in mind when choosing your location as well.

Finally, you’ll want to pick a tattoo shop or artist. The first thing to keep in mind here is that you need to shop around. Pick a tattoo shop that you think you’ll be comfortable spending some time in, and also pay attention to the working environment for the artists. After all, the more inspired your tattoo artist – the more unique your tattoo.

When picking your tattoo artist, take your time. Find some artists you’re interested in and check out their work. You don’t need a degree in art to tell whether their work is good or bad. But don’t just look at the pictures, scrutinize them. Even if you’re not a fan of the subject matter of a particular tattoo, pay attention to the artist’s skill and style.   Check out their lines. Are they smooth, even, and precise? Or are they shaky, jittered, and jumpy? Are circles actually circles? Are colors chosen well and filled completely? Do you like the artist’s individual style? Take all of these things into consideration before choosing your artist.

Don’t forget, getting a tattoo is a big decision. But by taking your time and doing just a little bit of work, you can make sure that the tattoo you get is one that you’ll be excited about for years to come.