5 Things You Need to Know Before Getting a Tattoo

I got my first tattoo in January after considering it for almost two years. I swore that I wasn’t going to get any more, but now I have three and have another one booked for the end of September! Before I got my first one, I honestly had no clue what I was doing. I chose a place randomly and just walked in without doing a consultation. Although my experience ended up working out, I highly recommend doing more research! Here are some things you should know:


Where to go

Do some research before you wander into the first tattoo parlor you find! Yelp is a great website to find shops in your area. Read the reviews and visit the business’s website. If you have friends with tattoos that you like, ask them which shop they went to and who tattooed them. A consultation with an artist should be free! If you get a bad vibe from the artist or you two don’t see eye-to-eye, it’s okay to move on to another shop. Make sure you feel comfortable with the person who will be permanently inking your body.



What you want

Have at least an idea of what you want. Tattoo artists can draw something from scratch for you or base it off of a picture. During your consultation, you’ll be able to discuss this with them. If you want a text tattoo, you should have some idea of what style font you want it to be in or the specific font already picked out (I found mine on DaFont). Tell your artist where you want the tattoo placed and how large you want it to be.


It’s okay to speak up

If your tattoo artist shows you their drawing and you want some changes done to it, speak up! This will be on your body forever. You want to be happy with it! It might take them a little extra time, but they should be happy to oblige with your request.



Everyone has a different pain tolerance. Just because your cousin said her rib tattoo was the most painful thing she has ever experienced doesn’t mean that yours will be (FYI: mine didn’t hurt at all). My advice: prepare for the worst-case scenario. Then, if it hurts less, it will be a relief!

The cost

Tattoo shops tend to have a minimum cost (the average I’ve seen is $70-$80), and depending on what you want and how long it will take, the cost will go up. All of my tattoos have been around $125. You should also be prepared to leave a nice tip for your artist (between 15-20%). It is important to know the cost upfront so you have it in your budget.



Do you have any tattoos? Do you plan on getting any?




  • I’m thinking about getting my first tattoo in the fall on my wrist. I just came up with the idea over the summer and while I do love it, I might take more time to make sure it’s what I really want. Thanks for sharing some tips and your experience! Your tattoos are super cute.

    Lots of Love, Lola

    • Lauren Pepperman

      I thought about my first one (the rabbit) for 1.5 years after my rabbit, Bunny, died and then I finally decided to get it! With my other two, I only waited a couple of weeks from when I got the idea. I’ve clearly gotten more spontaneous haha. Thank you, Lola! Definitely send me pictures if/when you get yours!

  • Ash

    I have been thinking of getting a tattoo for almost three years!! I’m so glad I found this post because I know I want to be ready before I get this permanent thing on me. I love your back tattoo. I’m thinking of getting a small one on my ankle done…maybe on my 25th birthday I’ll do it.
    Ash | http://www.theashtreejournal.com