Are They Safe?
Yes: provided that you choose the right artist and studio. As a practice tattooing inherently holds no more risk than any comparable cosmetic treatment or surgery. But in the same way that one would choose to receive a surgery from a reputable doctor – choosing a bad tattoo studio can cause serious damage. And with tattooing, the evidence of the wrong choice is more or less permanent.
Does it hurt?
This is perhaps the most common question for people first interested in getting a tattoo. The answer is yes. But, pain is relative. I have had weightlifters getting tattoos on their feet that start to cry after an hour & have had women one third their size fall asleep when getting a tattoo on the exact same place.
There are three factors when considering the pain of a tattoo.
1) The first is that most anticipated pain often seems to be greater in one’s mind than it actually turns out to be. Quite commonly the case has been that the mental expectation is more intense than the physical pain from the tattoo. This usually leaves the client pleasantly surprised!
2) Secondly, you need to consider your motivation and dedication behind receiving the artwork. If you are nervous, have chosen the wrong artist or otherwise unsure – the pain for some can be close to intolerable. However, if you are confident in your artist, excited for the design and can’t wait to have the piece – then you will be relaxed and the pain will be comparatively less. Most often a hugely influential factor regarding pain levels is basically the way one views and chooses the tattoo.
3) Thirdly, and this is the most fundamental, pain levels felt when getting a tattoo can be down to the skill of your artist. If the artist doesn’t know the levels they should be pushing the needle to, is too rough or simply doesn’t care then they can cause bleeding and scarring.
Can I use some kind of numbing cream?
No. At Tattoo Temple we occasionally are asked this question but the fact is that these kinds of products do not work for tattoos. Tattoos are permanent because they rest on the middle layer of skin. Very simply, the top layer of human skin is constantly shedding, the middle layer is stable, and the base layer connects the blood vessels and nerves. Numbing creams are applied and work on the top layer of skin only. The tattoo sits on the second layer of skin. Lidocaine, the most common active ingredient in numbing creams, only works on a tiny portion of skin and does not cut off all sensation to the said area. Additionally, lidocaine has the potential to cause unwanted side effects and health complications. Anyone who promises a pain free tattoo is being dishonest.
How much does a tattoo cost?
Transfer this question to any other art form. Think of the difference between asking your friend to draw a picture – or commissioning Picasso. Single tattoo pieces of course are not comparable, on a purely financial scale, to the current price of a Picasso but the contrast of recognizable quality and artwork holds. You can either commission an artist or you can pay a much smaller fee to someone who knows how to trace a picture. If you do not want to pay for quality do not get a tattoo. You are deciding on something you will wear and display for the rest of your life. This is the last place you want to haggle for a cheaper price. What tattoo would look good on me? Where should I get it? When you are creating your piece a good artist will sit down and discuss these options with you. However, you will need to bring a lot of information to the table. Ask yourself what you find beautiful, appealing, powerful or inspirational? What do you want to be reminded of or carry with you the rest of your life? Your artist can guide and advise you for the style and direction but in the end, you are the only person that can decide.
Where can I find tattoo designs?
Every time this question is asked at Tattoo Temple the answer comes with a warning – please use any images you find for reference only! I’m sure the last thing you want is some one else with the exact same tattoo as you. There are millions of images that can found online, however none of these images should be transferred directly into a tattoo. Images can be used by you and your artist to guide and direct your design. At times we have found there to be a few exceptions to this case. This would be when a family crest, emblem or very meaningful design element is requested to be incorporated. Alterations to any such element are of course not necessary. The overarching principle is that tattoos need not be something chosen out of a book. They do not have to be repeated and they should not be something chosen quickly.
Are there any things I can’t do once I have a tattoo?
No. To keep your tattoo in optimum condition there are a range of aftercare procedures you should follow (a period of 15 days, usually). The purpose of the aftercare instructions are to ensure that the tattoo remains in good condition. At Tattoo Temple I have faced numerous ‘urban legends’ about various restrictions placed on people with tattoos. These include the myth that you can’t give blood (it is only sometimes recommended that for plasma donation you wait up to 12 months after that tattoo application appointment). Tattooed people face no physiological restrictions because of their tattoos.
When should I get a tattoo?
There is no one time that is necessarily better than another. Factors to consider here are lifestyle and skin conditions. A tattoo needs to be allowed to breath, it needs to be kept clean and lightly moisturized – particularly for the first 28 days. If you work in an office you spend most of your time in a climate controlled environment so there would be little season affect. If you work outside during the summer then certain precautions are necessary.
Do not book an appointment right after a vacation to the beach. Exposure to the sun, chlorine water etc. damages the skin & it should be given enough time to recuperate before being tattooed. It is also important that you do have a high alchohol , drug content in your body when you come in for your appointment. It’s harder for the artist to the best work possible.