- Famous Tattooed People
- What is a GOOD tattoo?
- Deciding on a design
- My kid wants a tattoo
- Finding an artist
- Finding a shop
- In Preparation
- Surrender to the moment
- The process of tattooing
- Permanent Cosmetics
- The school of tattoo
- Glossary of terms
Surrender to the moment
How much do tattoos hurt? There’s a good question without an answer. Pain is different for everyone experiencing it. Some people hate every second of getting a tattoo. Some people are just aggravated; some are not bothered by it at all. If tattoos hurt too much nobody would have them. It is an issue of relaxing. Some people describe it as feeling like a cat scratch, a mild burning sensation. Let’s just say that they are bearable. In my experience they hurt much less than childbirth.
Will it help if I ice the area? No. Topicals do not work to lessen pain because of the amount of time it takes to do a tattoo and the amount of wiping that goes into the tattooing process. If the area to be tattooed is exposed to the sun and weathering, it will be less sensitive to the tattoo processes than it would were it not weathered. Depending how weathered it is, it may be harder for your artist to tattoo. I’ve worked on Samoans in Hawaii. Tattooing an arm as big around as my thigh and a tough as shoe leather was no fun. Pale sheltered skin will be a little more sensitive to tattooing, but will look awesome. Tattoo artists dream of this kind of skin.
If you are PMSing your tattoo can hurt more. Your menstrual cycle affects the sensitivity of your skin. so you will of course, be more sensitive to the tattooing process.
If you are upset, angry, stressed out or otherwise aggravated by life, you can bet you will be more sensitive to getting tattooed.
Sit still. You can’t do straight lines on a person who is jumping around. This is a good time to be still. You can talk but don’t talk with your hands or move your head around a lot. If you must move during the actual tattooing, do it slowly and deliberately. You could ask the artist to stop for a moment so you can scratch your nose or whatever. Moving your head or arms moves the entire body, if only a little, but this can mean the difference between straight and wavy lines. It is hard to draw on moving paper.
Relax; It makes it easier for you and your artist. Don’t build it up in your head to unrealistic proportions. You might make yourself sick and some people pass out not because it is too painful but because they were thinking too much about the process, and imagining things were worse than what was happening.
No hysterics! Ok? You’ve decided that you want a tattoo. Nobody forced you into this. Your artist is not your enemy. He is not doing this to you against your will. You signed the release form. If there are others being tattooed or pierced you are making an uncomfortable environment for their experience. lt is not fair to everyone else in the shop to have to sit through you acting like a moron. Other customers should have to think about keeping themselves calm, and it’s a lot harder to do that when you have some ninny acting a fool. Be an adult; this is an adult activity.
It is ok to have a hand holder. Talking to someone is a great way to distract you from the aggravation of a tattoo. Just don’t make out while you are getting tattooed. I have had customers that were kissing and rubbing up against one another and I’m just not interested in participating in their little voyeuristic activity. Rarely do they sit still and l will wind up telling them to ‘get a room’.
If you are in a position to watch the process, it can be very fascinating. I like to watch when l get tattooed because l find that l can better anticipate the sensation plus I like to watch the artist work. Some people are too squeamish for this. I myself am pretty squeamish and l do tattoos. They aren’t gross at all to me, so I’m not bothered in the same way. Some people build it up in their minds to be a lot more than it is and gross themselves out.
This is where ‘mind over matter‘ comes in. Don‘t have preconceived notions about what is going to go on. Wait and experience it. Most folks tell me that it’s not as painful as they thought it would be. Sooner or later your artist will tell you that he is done. You will have the opportunity to look at the finished result. If you have any concerns about your finished tattoo, now is a good time to voice those, as your artist is still set up and can add or correct anything.