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"Inked for the First Time: A Beginner's Guide to Getting Your First Tattoo"

Deciding to get a tattoo is a big step, and it's natural to feel a little nervous or uncertain if it's your first time. Here are a few tips to help you navigate the process and make sure you end up with a tattoo that you love:

  • Do your research: It's important to spend some time thinking about what you want your tattoo to look like. This means doing some research to find design ideas and looking for a reputable tattoo artist. Take the time to look at different artists' portfolios and read reviews from past clients.

  • Consider the placement: The placement of your tattoo is just as important as the design itself. Think about where on your body you want the tattoo and whether it will be visible to others. Keep in mind that some places are more painful to get tattooed than others.

  • Don't rush it: It's tempting to want to rush into getting a tattoo, especially if you're excited about your design. However, it's important to take your time and make sure you're 100% confident in your decision. A tattoo is a permanent commitment, so it's better to wait and be sure rather than rushing into it and regretting it later.

  • Follow aftercare instructions: Once you have your tattoo, it's important to follow the aftercare instructions provided by your tattoo artist. This will help to ensure that your tattoo heals properly and looks its best.

Are tattoos legal in Australia?

In Australia, tattooing is regulated by state and territory governments. Each state and territory have its own legislation that sets out the requirements for the tattooing industry, including standards for hygiene and safety.

In general, tattoo artists in Australia are required to follow strict guidelines to ensure the safety of their clients. This includes using sterilised needles and equipment, wearing gloves, and maintaining a clean and hygienic workspace.

In addition to these general requirements, some states and territories have specific regulations in place for tattooing. For example, in New South Wales, tattoo artists are required to hold a Tattoo Parlour License and follow guidelines set out by the Public Health Act 2010. In Victoria, tattoo artists must be registered with the local council and follow guidelines set out by the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008.

Overall, the Australian tattooing industry is well regulated and takes the health and safety of its clients very seriously. If you are considering getting a tattoo in Australia, it is important to do your research and choose a reputable tattoo artist who follows all relevant guidelines and regulations.

I'm not sure what tattoo style I want!

Some examples of popular tattoo styles include:

  • Traditional tattoos, also known as "old school “, tattoos, which are characterised by bold lines and bright, primary colours. Traditional tattoos often depict nautical themes, such as anchors, ships, and swallows, as well as other iconic symbols like roses, skulls, and hearts.

  • Blackwork tattoos, which are tattoos that are entirely or mostly black, and are created using a single needle. Blackwork tattoos can range from simple geometric designs to more complex, ornate patterns.

  • Realism tattoos, which are tattoos that are designed to look as realistic as possible. These tattoos can be of people, animals, or objects, and are often highly detailed and lifelike.

  • Black and grey realism tattoos are tattoos that use varying shades of black ink to create the illusion of three-dimensionality and a realistic depiction of the subject matter. These tattoos can depict a wide range of subjects, including portraits, landscapes, and still life and are characterised by their highly detailed and photorealistic appearance. Black and grey realism tattoos are created using a technique known as "black and grey wash," in which the tattoo artist gradually builds up layers of black ink to create the desired level of depth and detail. This technique requires a high level of skill and attention to detail, as the tattoo artist must carefully control the amount and placement of ink to achieve the desired effect. Black and grey realism tattoos are often considered to be a more subtle and sophisticated alternative to traditional colourful tattoos and are popular with people who want a tattoo that looks more like a work of art than a flashy statement.

  • Watercolour tattoos, which are tattoos that are designed to look like watercolour paintings. These tattoos often have a softer, more ethereal quality, and can be used to create a wide range of subjects and styles.

  • Japanese tattoos, which are tattoos that are inspired by traditional Japanese art and culture. These tattoos often feature themes like koi fish, dragons, and cherry blossoms, and are known for their bold lines and bright colours.

  • Neo-traditional tattoos are a modern interpretation of traditional tattoo style, which itself is characterised by bold, black outlines and the use of simple, bright colours. Unlike traditional tattoos, which adhere strictly to this aesthetic, neo-traditional tattoos often incorporate elements of other tattoo styles, such as realism or watercolour, and may feature more muted or varied colour palettes. These tattoos are often larger in scale and feature more detailed shading and linework than traditional tattoos. They are often inspired by traditional tattoo subjects, such as animals, flowers, and mythical creatures, but can also depict more modern or abstract subjects.

At Unify Private Studio we work with you to create to design at tattoo you'll be proud to own.

What should I consider before getting a tattoo?

Choosing a tattoo design can be a big decision, as tattoos are permanent and can be difficult to remove. Here are a few things to consider when choosing a tattoo design:

  • Think about the meaning behind the tattoo. What do you want the tattoo to represent?

  • Consider the placement of the tattoo. Where on your body do you want the tattoo?

  • Think about the size of the tattoo. Do you want a small, subtle tattoo or a larger, more prominent one?

  • Take your time. Don't feel rushed to choose a design. It's important to choose a design that you'll be happy with for a long time.

  • Consider consulting with a tattoo artist. A tattoo artist can help you come up with a design that fits your vision and works well with your body. They can also advise you on placement and size.

  • Remember that a tattoo is a permanent commitment. Take the time to think about your design carefully before getting inked.

  • Research tattoo artists and studios. Look for artists who have a good reputation and a clean, sterile studio. It's also a good idea to ask to see the artist's portfolio and ask about their experience and training.

  • Prepare for the pain. Getting a tattoo can be painful, especially in certain areas of the body. It's a good idea to mentally prepare yourself and to ask the artist for advice on how to manage the pain.

  • Consider the cost. Tattoos can be expensive, especially if you are getting a large or complex design. Be sure to ask about the cost upfront and know what your commitment will be.

What should I do to prepare for my tattoo?

There are a few things you can do to prepare for your tattoo:

Eat a good meal and stay hydrated. This will help to keep your energy levels up during the tattooing process.

Wear loose, comfortable clothing. You want to avoid clothing that will rub against the tattoo or make it difficult for the artist to access the area being tattooed.

Avoid alcohol and drugs. These can thin your blood and make it harder for the tattoo to heal properly.

Get plenty of rest. Getting a tattoo can be tiring, so make sure you are well-rested before your appointment.

What should I expect during the tattooing process?

The tattooing process will vary depending on the size and complexity of the tattoo, but here is a general overview of what to expect:

  • Consultation: The artist will discuss the design and placement of the tattoo with you and may make some minor adjustments to the design to fit the contours of your body.

  • Preparation: The artist will clean the area to be tattooed and apply a transfer of the design to your skin.

  • Tattooing: The artist will use a tattoo machine to inject ink into the layers of your skin. This process can be painful, but the artist will do their best to make you as comfortable as possible and give you breaks when needed.

  • Aftercare: The artist will provide you with aftercare instructions to help your tattoo heal properly. These instructions will likely include information on how to clean the tattoo, how to apply ointment, and how to protect the tattoo from the sun.

What are the risks of getting a tattoo?

There are always going to be some risks associated with getting a tattoo, including:

Infection: If the tattoo artist does not follow proper hygiene procedures, you may be at risk of getting an infection.

Allergic reactions: Some people may have an allergic reaction to the ink, or the cleaning products used during the tattooing process.

Scarring: It is possible for a tattoo to leave a scar; an experienced tattooists will take every precaution to avoid scarring.

Getting a tattoo involves piercing the skin with a needle and injecting ink into the body. As with any procedure that breaks the skin, there is a risk of infection. To reduce the risk of infection, it is important to choose a reputable tattoo artist who follows proper sterilisation techniques. There are also risks associated with the ink used in tattoos. Some ink ingredients are not regulated by NICNAS, a statutory scheme administered by the Australian Government Department of Health that currently lists tattoo inks under the Australian Inventory of Chemical Substances and may be unsafe. In rare cases, tattoo ink can cause allergic reactions, which can be serious. It is important to follow the aftercare instructions provided by your tattoo artist to help prevent infection and minimise the risk of complications. Additionally, it is important to remember that tattoos are permanent and removing them can be difficult and costly.

What happens after I get my tattoo?

Tattoos are a form of body art that involves injecting ink into the skin to create a design. After getting a tattoo, it's important to follow proper aftercare instructions to ensure the tattoo heals correctly and the ink remains vibrant. Here are some general aftercare tips for tattoos: At Unify Private Studio we have a range of aftercare products to help you take care of your new tattoo and you should carefully follow the aftercare to avoid any unwanted side effects.

  • Your tattoo artist will wrap the tattoo in plastic wrap and apply a protective covering of their chosen cream or ointment on your tattoo to protect it from external contaminants and help with wound healing. Your tattooist will give you instructions on when and how to remove it.

  • Wash the tattoo gently with soap and lukewarm water. Avoid using hot water, as it can be drying to the skin.

  • Apply a thin layer of ointment. After washing the tattoo, apply a thin layer of a suitable fragrance -free, water-based ointment. This will help keep the tattoo moisturised and prevent it from drying out. You can purchase this at the studio before you leave.

  • Keep the tattoo clean and moisturised. Over the next few days, continue to wash the tattoo gently with soap and water and apply a thin layer of ointment. Avoid soaking the tattoo in water for long periods of time, such as in the bath or pool.

  • Avoid picking at the tattoo. It's normal for a tattoo to peel and scab as it heals, but it's important to avoid picking at the scabs or pulling off the peeling skin. This can cause the tattoo to fade or become distorted.

  • Wear loose, clean clothing. Tight clothing can rub against the tattoo and cause irritation. Wear loose, clean clothing to avoid rubbing the tattoo and potentially damaging it.

By following these aftercare instructions, you can help your tattoo heal correctly and keep it looking its best. If you have any concerns about the healing process, don't hesitate to reach out to your tattoo artist or for advice.

Author: Deborah Allen

9th January 2023

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