Tattoo 101: Everything You Need to Know About Getting Inked

Do you want to get a tattoo?Are you thinking about a tattoo? If so, take a look at some helpful information about ink -- from selecting a tattoo artist to dealing with a regrettable tat.

All information courtesy of our friends at Sacred Tattoo in New York City.

Are You a Tattoo Virgin?

If this is your first time getting a tattoo, Sacred Tattoo artist Jon recommends thoroughly doing your research.

"If you ask one tattoo artist to draw a rose for you, depending on the artist's style, every rose will come out completely different. Do your research on the artist and on the shops. You have to make sure you are going to the right person because if not, it will be a mistake you will have forever."

Tattoo artist Jon Mesa

Are You Afraid You're Too Old for a Tattoo?

Anderson previously mentioned on the show that he wanted to get a tattoo, but wasn't sure what kind of a design, and joked that he's too old for a tattoo anyway.

Here's what Jon had to say about that…

"The oldest person I tattooed was this lady, and she was about 82 years old when she got her first tattoo. It was on her bucket list. If she did it, you can probably do it too."

What to Get?

If you are unsure what to get, Jon recommends "getting something that looks really cool, or is meaningful."

Rather Than Your Boyfriend's Name...

Jon recommends staying away from getting inked with your boyfriend or girlfriend's name. "It can be pretty hard to cover later on, and it's not easy to get it laser removed. If you want to get a tattoo that is about someone, you can get something that reminds you of them, rather than getting their name on your body."

Finding the Right Artist

Jon explains that finding the right artist is key. "Look at your artist's portfolio before you get a tattoo because you're not going to be surprised at what you get."

Jon also says there are some artists who specialize in certain kind of designs, such as portraits, so it's important to find the right artist for what you want.

Are You Sure You Want It There?

Sacred Tattoo's manager Kevin, warns about getting inked on your hands, face and neck.

"We let people know there are stigmas attached to doing certain things that might not be the smartest decision. If you have something on your hand, it puts you on public display. If you go for a job interview, those little things can cost you a job because people do judge you… it's just the way it goes. Making sure you are prepared for what'll happen in the long run is key."

What Body Part is Most Popular for Tats?

Kevin says the most common places for men who come into Sacred Tattoo are the arms and back.

For women, it's the bra-line, back, ankles and feet.

Do You Want a Large Tattoo?

If you want a large tattoo, Kevin says, "We usually tell people it's a commitment. Make sure you have a commitment with yourself and the artist. It's also a financial commitment."

How Long Does It Take for a Large Tattoo?

If you are in the market for a large tattoo, make sure you plan your schedule accordingly.

Depending on how quickly you want to get the tattoo done, Kevin says it can take anywhere from 50 to 200 hours to complete a piece. "We usually try to book someone two to three weeks in the chair."

Be ready to see your tattoo guy every other week.

Are You Concerned About Skin Complications?

When it comes to ink and skin complications, Kevin says, "It's very rare nowadays that people would have any type of allergies to the ink. The tattoo might take a little bit longer to heal, but you see a lot of companies using more natural pigments, so everything on the tattoo end of it will be as sterile as possible. Anything that ever comes into contact with a person's body will never get reused."

For Those with Sensitive Skin

Kevin recommends going to your dermatologist if you know you have sensitive skin and are concerned about skin complications.

Things You Could Be Turned Away For

Kevin recalls turning people away for "bad decisions. Someone coming in wanting someone's name. Things like hate speech, derogatory terms, or things on their hands, face and neck - especially if this is their first time getting a tattoo."

Sacred Tattoo has also turned people away for being intoxicated or under the age of 18.

The Cover Up

If you have a tattoo that you want to cover, Kevin suggests "being open to suggestion from the tattoo artist. Certain things can and cannot work in covering up the tattoo. We also tell people about the option of laser removal."

Kevin said he was in the process of removing a tattoo from his arm and had received a few laser sessions. He said the process is painful, but numbing cream helps.

Meet Seasoned Tattoo Artist Picasso...

Picasso Dular

Seasoned artist Picasso explains how the tattoo process works.

1. Do you research.

2. Know all the elements you want incorporated in the tattoo. If you're unsure, have the artist sketch something for you.

3. Go online, bring all the items that might serve as an inspiration for the tattoo along with you to the consultation.

4. I guide them through my ideas of what they want, and how long it's going to take me to draw. I measure out the area on the body, and then set up an appointment to start.

5. Sometimes I'll draw it on the person if I know exactly what they want.

6. General prices for an experienced artist can start anywhere from $100 - $200 an hour.

About Sacred Tattoo
Sacred Tattoo in New York City

Founded in 1990, Sacred Tattoo has been the innovative shop that has hosted New York's most gifted artists for nearly 20 years.

Sacred is located at 424 Broadway between NYC's Chinatown and SoHo. Our Spacious 3000+ square foot location is more than just your traditional "run of the mill" tattoo studio. Sacred has a wide variety of tattoo artists specializing in all styles of tattoo.

Visit for more information.


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