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Getting Your First Tattoo: What's the Process?

So, you want a tattoo. You've thought about it for a while. Let's do this thing.

What now?

Getting your first tattoo may seem intimidating if you don't know what to expect. So let's remove the mystery for you.

Here's the process of getting a tattoo.

  1. Book a consultation. If you know what you want or have a pretty good idea, book a consultation online, call to book a consultation (720-209-6238), or just come in: 1119 W. Elizabeth St., Fort Collins. We welcome walk-ins and should always have someone to help you at the front desk. If you're not sure what tattoo you want, here's an article to help you decide: "How to Pick a Tattoo."

  2. Talk to an artist at the consultation. At your consultation, you will chat with a tattoo artist about your design ideas, where you want it, and other details. You can request a specific artist, if you vibe with someone's style, or you can talk with whoever is available. Note: All of our artists are trained and certified in safe and proper blood-borne pathogen handling (this is above and beyond the enforced requirements), as well as experienced and passionate artists, so you can't go wrong. At your consultation, you will also get a price quote. The price of the tattoo has a ton of variables. Our shop minimum is $80. Here's more about how much a tattoo costs. You will also book your appointment at the consultation. You may be able to get your tattoo that day, depending on the complexity of your tattoo design and the artists' schedule.

  3. The artist will design you a custom tattoo. If you want a custom tattoo and it requires a little time to prepare, the artist will work on your design and send you a draft for your approval. This specific process depends on the artist, but it is generally good etiquette to tell your artist all specific details you want up front before they spend hours drawing your piece. The artist does not get paid for the drawing time, although there may be a charge for excessive redraw requests and extra complex designs that demand a lot of back and forth and drafts.

  4. The day of your appointment. At your appointment, the artist will make a stencil (sort of like a temporary tattoo) of your design and put it on your body, so you will get an idea of what it will look like before you actually get tattooed. You may want to make it bigger, smaller, or move it a little. You generally do not make design changes/choices at the point; this is more about the placement of the completed design. For more information on how to prepare for your tattoo appointment, check out this story.

  5. Sit back and relax. Or try to relax. That's it! The rest is the artist's job. All you gotta do is hold still and relax. The more relaxed you are, the less it hurts, swear. Bring a good binge-worthy Netflix show to watch with headphones or bring a friend to keep your mind busy. You did it. Easy as 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.

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