Tattoo Etiquette 101: 8 Tips For A Great Ink Experience

When you get a tattoo, it is a very personal process. Your artist is going to put art on your body that will be there for the rest of your life. You want that experience t o be as positive as possible for both of you, so you get your perfect tattoo and an artist who wants to work with you again. Here are some tips to help make the best of your tattoo experience.

  • Have realistic expectations – Your artist is the tattoo expert, so no matter hard you wish and want a bunch pale pink roses to cover up your Nickelback 4 Lyf in Olde English, it’s just not physically possible. It’s fine to ask what your artist can do, but when you hear what they have to say, accept that they know what they’re talking about. Don’t expect a detailed, large piece to be complete in 2 hours. Ask plenty of questions. Feel free to ask questions about placement, styles, time, price, etc. But please, for the love of all that is holy, don’t ask “How much to sleeve me out?”
  • Don’t ask for a carbon copy – Instagram and Pinterest are great places to gather reference images for your tattoo, but please don’t ask to 100% copy someone else’s tattoo. Tattoo artists love being creative and customizing a piece just for you. They are, after all, artists. Let them do their thing and if you’re in love with someone else’s tat, let them use it for inspiration.
  • Accept the price. There’s a time and a place for wheeling and dealing, and that’s usually at a yard sale or when buying a car. Tattoo shops aren’t made for haggling. Do you really want to save money on something that will be with you for the rest of your days? Don’t try to make your tattoo artist a starving artist. When you hear the quote, accept it for what it is. If it’s out of your price range consider breaking your tattoo up into multiple sessions.
  • Show up for your appointment. This should be a no-brainer, but your artist books a time slot just for you and has your art prepped and ready to go. Mark it on your calendar, set an alert on your phone. Do whatever it takes to be there on time (or give sufficient notice that you have to change appointment times).
  • Leave your crew at home. If you bring a friend to watch (or hold your hand) that is one thing, but please don’t bring half your Instagram followers. There usually isn’t space for a large crowd of friends to hang out while you get tattooed, and you don’t want to distract the artist. So if you have people who want to check in, put it on Snapchat for all to see.
  • Stay sober. Drinking or taking pain meds can thin your blood and make you bleed more during a tattoo, and nobody wants that. If you feel like you need to be hammered to get inked, a tattoo may not be for you right now.
  • If you have to smoke, do it before or after your session. Take a little break here and there if you need to use the restroom or get something to drink. But if you’re a smoker, please smoke before and after your appointment. You really want to limit the amount of trips away from the chair (and into the land of germs) without any protective covering on your fresh tattoo.
  • Artists appreciate tips. Just like any other service you receive, a tip is customary and appreciated. You want to show your appreciation for your artist’s hard work. If you’re saving for a larger piece, be sure to budget for a tip too. The industry standard is about 18 to 20 percent.

We provide great customer service because we want you to have the best possible tattoo experience. Please follow these tips so that we can all have a great experience! If you’re looking for a tattoo artist in Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania, Stafford, VA area, hit up the shop at