Is the uncertainty of how getting a tattoo works holding you back from getting inked? Whether it's your first tattoo or it's been a while since you added to your collection, knowing what to expect is the best way to ensure a stress-free experience. Here's what you should know about the tattooing process, from beginning to end.
It’s time to let your creativity run wild! The first step in the tattooing process is gathering inspiration for your design. Ideas for your next tattoo can come from anywhere: the landscaping around your home, a symbol at work, or your kids' drawings. During this phase, you'll want to consider which tattooing techniques speak to you the most. Do you like the bold, heavy outlines and cartoonish styles of the American Traditional method? Or, would you prefer a dainty, delicate design made of dot work? If you want a realistic, photo-like image, then hyper-realism is for you.
Not sure how to get the creative juices flowing? Here are a few questions to get you started:
What was a defining moment in your life? Where were you? Are there any symbols that represent this time?
What events have had a deep impact on your life? How did they shape who you are today?
What memory would you like to always carry with you? Are there any symbols associated with it?
Do you want to memorialize a loved one? What are their favorite things (color, flower, location, quote, etc.)?
What sayings define your life?
For more tattoo inspo, check out our Instagram pages!
Find Your Studio
The next step in the tattooing process is to find a high-quality studio you can trust with your new piece of body art. The quality of your tattoo comes down to the professionalism and talent of the tattoo artist you choose. At Fine Ink Studios, our certified tattooists are true artists who constantly work to improve their craft. With locations throughout Central Florida, you're never too far away from getting Fine Inked! When you book a consultation with us, we'll match you with the perfect body artist for your intended design. During this text consultation, you can share pictures of designs you like so we'll know what you're looking for. The more you share, the better we'll be able to match you.
Once you've booked your appointment, it's time to start prepping. Follow our Tattoo Precare Checklist to ensure you're ready for your new ink.
Once you arrive at our studio, you’ll meet your body artist and discuss your intended design. You’ll go over things like placement, color choices, and sizing. If you've already shared a vision for your design during the consultation phase, your artist may have a mockup ready for you to see. Your artist will discuss the best techniques to achieve your desired look. Our artists love working with you to develop a truly customized piece of art that lets your personality shine for the world to see.
The next step is to create a thermal stencil and do an image transfer onto your skin (think temporary tattoo). This is your opportunity to make final adjustments before the tattooing process begins. This outline will be the basis of your final piece. Once the stencil is on your skin, you’ll work together to add details or adjust the size and placement. We're happy to work with you to achieve your desired look before moving forward with ink.
Your body artist will clean the area. Depending on the location, you may need to shave the area, too. Your artist will also do a final inspection to make sure all tools and equipment are sanitized before beginning to ink. If you have any allergies to things like latex or colored dyes, this would be the time to mention it.
Now the fun begins. Sit back and relax in our comfy lounge chairs during your experience. Try to remain as still as possible and find a comfortable position—you'll be sitting that way for a long time. We also recommend wearing old clothing you don't mind getting dirty.
Your artist will start by inking the stencil's outline. Then, they’ll move on to detail work like shading and coloring. Your artist will walk you through the entire process from beginning to end.
It's normal to feel some discomfort while getting a tattoo, especially in the first few minutes. After all, a small needle is penetrating your skin thousands of times. Tattoos placed near bones or in places with lots of nerve endings (like your collarbone, elbow, or wrist) tend to feel more painful than places like your thigh or bicep. We'll check in to see how you're doing. If the pain becomes unbearable, let your body artist know.
How long it takes to get a tattoo varies greatly. As you might expect, large tattoos with many color combinations will take longer than small, monochrome designs. Some tattoos may require several sessions to finish completely.
After your tattoo is done, you'll probably notice irritation, swelling, extra ink, plasma, or blood. Your artist will gently clean the area and apply an ointment to lock in moisture. Then, you'll see your brand new ink for the first time (this is the best part, in our opinion!). Inspect it closely to make sure it’s what you want. If isn’t, please let your artist know right away. We'll work with you to make adjustments, so the tattoo is just the way you envisioned.
Wrap Up (Literally)
We know you probably want to show off your tattoo to everyone you meet immediately. However, new tattoos are open wounds and shouldn't be exposed to elements like dust, dirt, or direct sunlight. We'll place a sterile bandage over the area that you'll need to keep on for several hours. Your body artist will go over how to care for your tattoo so it heals properly. If you want to make sure you have everything you need to help your tattoo heal, check out our aftercare kit. It contains tattoo-friendly, fragrance-free lotion and antibacterial soap with a recipe developed over our decades in the industry.
Learn everything you need to know with our day-by-day tattoo aftercare instructions.
Ready. Set. Get Fine Inked!
Our friendly tattoo artists are here to ensure you have a comfortable experience and leave with new ink you can't wait to display. Fine Ink Studios is Central Florida's premiere tattoo and piercing shop, with locations throughout Orlando and Tampa. Book a consultation to get started.