My Guide on How to Get Your First Tattoo

Jo and I recently decided to take the plunge into permanence and get tattooed. There was a lot of thought and time that went into choosing exactly what we both wanted and why. I had been thinking about my very small scripted tattoo for at least 6 months prior to getting it. Some people are quite blasé about tattoos and just get any old crap. Not me, nope. I wanted to be 100% sure of mine and did not enter into the decision lightly. It hasn’t even been two full days since I got the tattoo done and I have already gotten used to it. I register it as a welcome part of my body now and I couldn’t ask for anything more from a first time tattoo. Now, for those of you who are thinking of getting inked up for the first time, I have compiled a list of steps for you in the hope that they will help you through the process. These are all steps that I went through on my freshman tattoo journey. Enjoy!

1.)    Decide on tattoo and placement

2.)    Start searching for a good tattoo parlour

3.)    Get slightly turned off idea of tattoo by speaking to rude tattoo artists over the phone

4.)    Get over it, find reputable establishment

5.)    Go to reputable establishment to discuss tattoo

6.)    Look at laser tattoo removal brochure on counter

Tattoo removal picture
These are before and after pictures of a tattoo removal and cover up. Yeah, that’s much better…

7.)    Speak with tattoo artist and feel overwhelmed by all the questions they ask that you haven’t thought about

8.)    Get very nervous when artist misquotes tattoo phrasing multiple times

9.)    Second guess small details like fonts and capitals

10.)  Book appointment and put down $100 deposit

11.)  Convince yourself that you are okay with losing the deposit for being a no-show

12.)  Start to feel sick about the appointment which is 3 weeks away

13.)  Take out anxiety on partner by getting upset at them about tiny meaningless things… like the way they ride their bike

14.)  Decide not to tell mum

15.)  Tell mum

16.)  Look through hundreds of different fonts just in case you find something better

17.)  Decide that the original font is what you want to get anyway

18.)  Incessantly question people with tattoos

19.)  Let cat sleep in the room. Get flea bite exactly where you want the tattoo

20.)  Decide that, because of flea bite, tattoo is no longer possible

21.)  Flea bite heals, decide tattoo is now possible again

22.)  Take money out for tattoo as reputable establishment only accepts cash

23.)  Convince yourself that they are not reputable establishment as they only accept cash

24.)  Realize you are being stupid

25.)  Sit in waiting room, which is an uncomfortable 60˚C

26.)  Have name called, consider feigning a heart attack or actually having one as a method of escape

27.)  Second guess ability of tattooist in your head

28.)  Accidentally make it obvious you are second guessing his ability (Jo did this by openly exclaiming that she was scared of contracting Hepatitis. The tattooist simply shook his head and said “Wow,”)

29.)  Get nervous about pissing off the tattooist

30.)  Watch tattooist set up tattoo gun with a needle that looks like the size of a harpoon

31.)  Expect excruciating pain

32.)  Receive slight prickling sensation

33.)  Have tattoo finished in 10 minutes

34.)  Misread phrasing, have a small heart attack, realize that it is correct in both spelling and grammar

Unlike this persons tattoo. So much irony it hurts.
Unlike this persons tattoo. So much irony it hurts.

35.)  Spend 20 minutes admiring the tattoo in the mirror

36.)  Pay for tattoo and leave tattoo parlour

37.)  Immediately second guess everything about the tattoo including your original decision to get it

38.)  Wake up next morning and forget that you have it

39.)  Remember that you got the tattoo and have a mini meltdown

40.)  Get over it

41.)  Look at it every 2 minutes

42.)  Start to get used to it

43.)  Send pictures to friends and family

44.)  Love the tattoo and come to the conclusion that you are really happy that you got it

45.)  Immediately consider getting more tattoos.

Have you got any great first time tattoo stories? Did you have a similar experience with your tattoo? How do you feel about your tattoo now? Feel free to leave a comment or email us at


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