The tattooing process is no mystery. At its simplest, it's just the insertion of small amounts of ink into the skin, using a sharp tool like a needle. Skill is involved in what tools are used, how the ink is placed, and how the design is drawn.
Step 1 : Check Out the Shop
Before you allow anyone to touch your skin with a needle, make sure you're in a safe, clean place. The shop should be equipped with sterilization equipment, including an autoclave. The artist should use new needles and fresh inks for each customer and should wear gloves, again using a new pair for each new person.
Step 2 : Choose a Design
The second step in the tattooing process is the selection of a design. Most tattoo shops will have pre-drawn pictures, that you can choose from, if you don't mind having a design that you'll also see on other people. These typically line the walls of the shops and books and there are a multitude of styles, including skulls, flowers, tribal, arm/ankle bands, lettering, kanji and more.
If you want something original, talk to the tattoo artist about creating a unique image. This can be based on something you or a friend has drawn or on a favorite poster or painting. In many instances, if you talk to the artist beforehand and bring in images of the style and type of tattoo you are looking for, he or she can create something based on your examples. You may need to shop around a little since not all tattoo artists will be interested in or able to do an original design. Of the many who can, not all will share your vision or have a style you like.
Step 3 : Prepare the body and the area that will be tattooed
Another thing you have to realize when you learn how to tattoo is to prepare your body or the body of your client, depending on who you are tattooing. The idea is to make sure that the person who gets the tattoo doesn’t drink any alcohol for at least a few hours before the process. Also, they also need to stay away from any painkillers or medicines that end up thinning their blood. If you start inking, you need to be sure that all of these things stay away.
As we mentioned above, you also need to properly prepare that particular area. A good idea here is to shave the entire area. We recommend you to use a fresh blade, as this will make the entire process a lot easier to do and the value on its own will be a lot better. Plus, a higher quality razor will come in handy here. You don’t need to have even a strand of hair when you start tattooing. This is one of the most important tattoo techniques to focus on, to remove all hair before the entire process.
Step 4 : Put your design on the skin
Once you've chosen your design and talked with the artist, he or she will typically make a ditto or an outline for your skin, unless the person is free handing the design. The artist will then prepare the inks and equipment for your design. When everything is ready, he or she will lead you to a chair or the artist's station, put on fresh gloves, and prepare your skin. The area will need to be cleaned and sterilized. If the area is hairy, it may need to be shaved. When the skin is ready, the tattooist will place an outline of the picture on your skin.
Push the needle into the skin. The needle doesn’t have to be pushed way too hard, so if you see blood, do try to go less deep than before. In case your skin doesn’t resist at all, then you need to pull the needle out.
Step 5 : Outline the design
Once the needle is in place, you have to outline the design. Move the needle down the stencil line that you created via using the liquid earlier. We recommend you to focus on moving slowly, because you can injure the person in question. As long as you keep it moving along the line, you will find that the overall results will end up being more than ok.
You should continue filling in the tattoo and keep the stylus clean all the time. In case you set the needle anywhere other than the skin or the ink dish, you want to sterilize it as fast as you can. If there’s a lot of extra ink, you have to wipe it as often as you possibly can. Also, it’s recommended to use a fresh towel if necessary!
Step 6 : Prepare for Pain
There's no getting around it: the tattooing process involves needles which prick the skin hundreds of times as the ink is placed. Some people find tattooing just a little uncomfortable, while others have to grit their teeth against the pain. It depends on your own personal pain threshold, on the location of the tattoo, and on the style. Some people say the outline hurts the most; others find that the pain builds over time, so that the coloring is the hardest part. It's okay to ask for a break any time during the tattooing process.
Step 7 : Clean the tattoo
After you complete the entire process, you will see a lot of extra ink here. What you can do at this point is to clean it as fast as you can. However, you should not put petroleum jelly or lotion on the tattoo as this will end up clogging skin pores. As a result, it will do a lot more harm than good, and certainly, this is something that you need to avoid at all costs.
Also, you don’t want to wash the tattoo very fast. Leave it a little bit so the inflammation can calm down naturally. It’s important not to slather ointment on the tattoo either; just a little bit will be more than ok. Cover the tattoo to keep it safe while the healing process is in full effect. Make sure that you clean up and remove/replace the bandages if necessary. You should try to do that in order to keep everything hygienic and safe for you.
Step 8 : Aftercare
It's normal for the area around the tattoo to look a little red when the tattooing process is done. It's also okay to see a little blood, although bleeding should stop fairly quickly. Your tattooist should clean the area gently and then place a bandage over your new tattoo. He or she will give you information on appropriate aftercare. The artist will probably instruct you to use ointment on the area for a few days and then switch to lotion, to stay out of the sun, and to be alert for signs of infection. Some artists prefer certain products or have personalized regimens for aftercare.