You’ve thought it through and come to a decision: you’re getting a tattoo.

… now what?

Do you just walk into your nearest tattoo parlour and ask “one tattoo, please?” Do you need to sign a waiver or something? Do you need to come up with a draft sketch first, or is a rough idea enough to work off of?

The process can be a little daunting for people who are just getting inked for the first time.

But you’ve really got nothing to worry about: our talented team of tattoo artists in Melbourne will not only create a piece of artwork that you’ll love, but we’ll also treat you with utmost care and answer any questions or concerns you might have before, during, or after you’ve been inked.

We’ve put together this quick article explaining what you can expect from our Essendon tattoo artists during the tattooing process.

1) Choose a tattoo design


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Sin City Tattoos (@sincitytattoos_melb) on

While our talented tattoo artists are very much capable of working from scratch with only a rough idea of what you want, the whole process moves considerably faster when you come in with a design already in mind. And chances are, you already have an idea of what you’d like.

Simply put, having a design in mind speeds up the process significantly.

In particular, you’ll need to think about what tattoo style you want: from minimalist and fine line tattoos to colourful Traditional American style, tattoo artwork certainly varies.

You may have seen some awesome designs on Instagram, in magazines, or even on people around you.

For your first tattoo, you might be a little apprehensive, and consider something smaller, like a minimalist tattoo.

A smaller tattoo lets you “test the waters” so to speak – it’s hard to tell how you’ll react to the process of getting inked.

For starters, different people have different levels of pain tolerance. If you commit to something that covers a fair amount of surface area for your first tattoo like an illustrative tattoo, you might be in for a rough time.

Additionally, large tattoos require a lot of post-appointment care – first-timers may not know about the required cleaning and changes to your routine needed to avoid skin infection.

Need help? Our Essendon tattoo artists are more than willing to help – we’ll work with you to create a design that’s appropriate for a first-timer, yet which perfectly fits your personality.

2) Consider tattoo placement 

So you and your tattoo artist have come up with a design. Now for the next step: deciding where you want to get inked up.

Tattoo placement is an important factor to think about, as it will determine how visible your tattoo is.

However, that isn’t the only way in which tattoo placement matters!

Tattoo placement will also be the deciding factor of how big and small your design will be – obviously, large tattoo designs need larger, flatter parts of your body.

Additionally, the spot you choose can also influence:

  • Exposure to sunlight (and therefore, your risk of fading)
  • Pain and sensitivity
  • Reaction from your skin (forearm skin reacts differently to hand skin)

Our experienced tattoo artists are more than happy to go through your options with you. 

This isn’t the first time we’ve talked about this – click here to learn more about the importance of tattoo placement.

3) Look for a tattoo artist

This is arguably the most important part of the tattooing process.

You can have the greatest idea for a tattoo. But if you go to a cheap or dodgy tattoo artist, it could all fall apart in the execution!

You should maintain strict standards when it comes to choosing a tattoo artist. You’ll want to carefully check out their portfolio, read reviews and see what previous clients have to say about them.

All of this is just another reason to book a session in advance. Not only will your tattoo artist go over your design and placement, but you’ll also get to suss out their skills and customer service, as well as whether you feel comfortable with them.

This also gives you an opportunity to visit their shop, and check out how clean and safe the place is.

In particular, tattoo cover up requires an especially talented artist!

4) Book an appointment

At Sin City, we welcome walk-ins… but there are a few considerations to be aware of.

Things can get busy at our Essendon tattoo studio. Many larger tattoos in particular can easily take hours of work to complete, often split into multiple sessions.

If you want to minimise waiting, we strongly suggest booking in advance.

And if you’ve noticed that there’s one person at your local tattoo shop that you simply feel more comfortable with, booking is the only way to guarantee that you’ll be worked on by them.

This is even more important if you’ve decided you’re going to be brave and get a larger, more elaborate tattoo as your first piece.

In many cases, these types of artwork take multiple appointments. We suggest booking in advance to ensure your tattoo artist books out a considerable chunk of time solely dedicated to your new ink!

5) Tattoo aftercare


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Sin City Tattoos (@sincitytattoos_melb) on

The big day is here. Your Essendon tattoo artist worked quickly and professionally, completed your brand new tatt in record time. It looks absolutely fantastic.

Of course, it doesn’t end there!

Unlike a haircut, tattoos require a considerable amount of aftercare. This helps you avoid complications such as skin infections once you get home… not to mention, it also ensures that your tattoo looks good for a long time!

This goes for all tattoos, big and small (though naturally larger tattoos require more care).

Generally speaking, tattoos take anywhere between two and four weeks to heal, and for your skin to accept your tattoo.

The aftercare process usually looks a little bit like this…

  1. Your tattoo artist will wrap your tattooed area up in a protective bandage, with a layer of tattoo jelly underneath for 24 hours
  2. Once the bandage comes off, you’ll have to wash with antibacterial soap at least twice a day
  3. Apply antibacterial ointment and moisturiser to keep it moist and prevent infection

For first-timers like yourself, our artists will guide you through the aftercare routine – for example, we might suggest avoiding tight clothing, direct sunlight and hot showers to avoid pain and fading the ink before it’s settled.

We’ll also sell an aftercare product known as Hustle Butter. This 100% Vegan lubricant offers a great alternative to petroleum-based aftercare products, and should be applied thrice a day for the first 2-3 days, and twice a day afterwards until your tattoo settles.

Book an Essendon tattoo artist or visit us for your first time!

So now you know what getting inked for the first time involves. Hopefully, this gives you an idea of what you can expect before you book in.

Now all you have to do is find a tattoo artist to turn your first tattoo into reality.

Sin City Tattoos accepts everyone into its studio, whether you’re getting your very first tattoo or adding to an impressive collection.

Our artists do it all, from simple minimalist designs, to full-colour sleeves.

Book a tattoo appointment with one of Sin City’s talented tattoo artists on (03) 9379 1181 or visit our Essendon tattoo studio today – walk-ins are more than welcome!

Got a question? Ask away!