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How to choose what’s right for you?

Whether you are choosing a tattoo because it’s ascetically pleasing or meaningful you really must be very picky as it’s on you for life, and do some research (mainly aimed for a first time tattoo). Decide what you like and what you don't like, scan the Internet and find different styles of tattoo i.e., traditional/religious/oriental its good to have a place to start. I tend to concentrate on a lot of custom design work for clients, so the best thing to do is find examples of work you like or have seen, basically anything that can give me a rough idea of what I can design for, the more the merrier. Easy part over, I will now go away and initially sketch what I interpret (with your help of course) what I think would look amazing for you, I will also guide you to what is good and what’s not, and what’s a fad or a trend or something that will last the test of time. Any professional input I can give I will, I see tattoos that could be so much better all the time, and its really frustrating for me as a tattooist as not only am I the one to fix them but its also not hard if you get this first bit right. Once you have a design either from myself or something you have found, think hard about whether you can live with it everyday, a lot of people with many tattoos do the opposite to this and usually look at the spaces to be filled. For a first tattoo maybe put the image next to your bed and every morning or before bed have a quick look, and if it still takes your fancy after however long is right for you, you have the design that is right for you. Don't be too hesitant if you are unsure, any design can be changed on paper, it can't in skin, get it right first time. Once the tattoo is on you it then becomes part of you and you soon become accustomed to it and almost I suppose forget its there, but when you do see it, you want to be proud of it.

How to tackle cover-ups?

Right a trickier subject, without sounding horrible a lot of cover ups I do (and I do a lot) are almost every time done by a tattooist (OR NOT) that has no clue on either the art of how to tattoo, use a tattoo MACHINE or most importantly health and hygiene (please read section on choosing a tattooist for more info). Firstly I need a photo of your less than perfect tattoo and your self to come in for a consultation as there are a number of elements to discuss, whether the previous tattoo has scarring (lumpy/keloid scarring), the colours used, the area covered and also what you would want as an end result.

How to choose a tattooist?

Easy, look at their work; photos of tattoos they have done and also look at the tattoo environment they are working in (preferably not a living room), this will say a lot about them as an artist. All artists should take pride in there work and should have nothing to hide and should be more than willing to show you work they have done on others, but also make sure of the fakers, some do use photos from elsewhere, if it looks dodgy don't do it. Last of all have they got certificates? If they do not it is illegal and more to the point unsafe. Stay clear of home tattooist unless certificated.

Do tattoos hurt?

Yes, every tattoo hurts, if someone says that they don't they are misinforming you, every ones pain tolerance is different and every one has more sensitive areas than others, although yes-the ribs the chest and foot hurt some places on other people hurt more than others, we are all wired up differently, some don't like it on fleshier areas where others don't like bonier areas. I can guaranty you the pain won't be half as bad as what your mind will tell it to be in the first place anyway, and is usually a much welcome surprise. Aside all of the above there are many solutions to easing the pain of a tattoo, numbing creams and sprays can now be used in order to help clients if they need it, but please contact before hand as instructions and guidance may be needed, 7 times out of 10 the client is usually fine to carry on without.

Is it safe?

Done Right it’s so safe!! The art form has been done for centuries. With the right tattooist and guidance and aftercare you cannot go wrong. If you are worried about pigments in the inks we use please contact us as we can give a full run down of the ingredients used, a very small percentage of people (and I am talking very small) have a slight reaction to certain ink colours.

Aftercare?

Many artists will tell you different ways in which they want you to care for the tattoo, I personally have two ways, people heal differently all the time, different skin types and different tattoos will all contribute to the finished healed product. Once the tattoo is finished I will dress the area in cling film, its best to leave the cling film on for roughly an hour after tattooing to let the skin pours to close and soreness and blood to subside (some people bleed a little after or during a tattoo, this is perfectly normal and is usually very little). Once you take the cling film off I suggest washing with warm water, and water only. Any scented or chemical products may sting and cause irritation to the skin on the site of the tattoo. Once you have done this re apply cling film to the tattoo in a similar way I have so that the whole tattoo is covered. After three hours max take the cling film off wash with warm water again and then recover. Repeat this process for the first day. On the second and third day repeat the process but use a mild soap product to clean the area, showers are better but if you do need to have a bath do not soak the tattoo for an extended period of time. After the third day it should be slightly flaky and dry, in this stage all you need to do is apply Bepanthem (nappy rash cream, which has become an industry standard in after care), you don't need a lot to cover the surface area, too much cream may clog the pours and smother and suffocate the tattoo and can lead to infection. Treat the tattoo like a sunburn, it shouldn't take too long to heal after the cling film is off, just keep at it and reapply the cream when ever it gets dry and make sure to wash upon re applying the cream also. Stay clear of direct contact with sunlight, a lot of clients get tattoos done in the summer, its usually not the best time to get them done, but direct sunlight may cause irritation, heavy scabbing dryness and will result in loss of colour, fading and shouldn't be subjected until at least 4-6 weeks after having it done, all I can suggest is after its healed if there simply is no options try to wear sensible clothing and simply use the highest factor sun cream you can. Do not go swimming, chlorine will simply shred the tattoo, it will b like pouring bleach on an open wound, sea water also isn't great, high doses of salt water isn't great for it, it will irritate and the sea isn't very clean (especially in Portsmouth). Don't use any other cream other than Bepanthem and everything will heal up just fine.