Planning A Tattoo You’ll Love

If you’re like most folks, you may have some reservations when it comes to planning a tattoo. Who can blame you? 

We get it. We’ve all seen the nightmares. 

The bad artwork, poor technique, improper hygiene, and failed aftercare are all reasons to raise some concerns. You can have a great experience, however, if you exercise due diligence and make sure your tattoo journey isn’t one big, bad dream. 

Don’t let me discourage you though, because planning a killer tattoo that stands up to time is much easier than you think. 

Making A Plan

If you’ve been thinking about getting a new tattoo, then you’re bound to have some concerns, even if you’re quite confident it’s tattoo time. 

That’s perfectly okay!

Stipple Shaded Tattoo
Stipple Shaded Tattoo

Regardless of whether it will be your first tattoo or your fifteenth, the planning and preparation stages are crucial to developing some ink you’ll be happy with forever.

Some concern is only natural.

A tattoo is forever. Not just forever in existence, but forever part of us.

Things can go wrong anywhere along the way leaving you with a nightmare on your body. 

Thankfully, when approached correctly and professionally, tattoos are perfectly safe and are a wonderful, underappreciated art form. 

Find a trusted shop

The first step of planning a tattoo is making sure that you find a legitimate, trusted shop. Luckily for us, we live in the internet era which enables consumers to have a quick look and make an assessment of a company. 

Reviews are the name of the game these days. Any shop you’re considering should not only have a high rating or average review, but also a solid amount of reviews. It’s easy to have a high rating when you only have a couple reviews. Look at dates, longevity, and consistent satisfaction over the long term. This can give you insight into how the shop is run.

You’ll also want to check out their social media accounts. Social media is one of the most widely used methods for customer feedback. Modern tattoo shops utilize social media to showcase their work. This advancement allows customers to share their point of view and experience. Users are also able to search for that shop or artists’ hashtags.

Why It Matters

Sourcing a shop is definitely one of the most important steps in the tattoo process. It provides a solid foundation for the entire experience and helps to ensure that the rest of the journey is carried out with the guidance of a highly-skilled professional. 

This isn’t a step you want to skimp on. Quality is always more important than quantity (size in this case) or cost. Make good choices and you’ll be proudly showing off that ink for years to come.  

Once you’re hooked up with the right people, there are 3 main factors to consider in the planning that will ultimately determine the time it takes to get the tattoo, the cost, and the time to heal. 

You’ll want to discuss these with your artist, of course. They will be able to give you the best advice for your situation. First, let’s dive in and see what all we need to sort out before jumping in the chair.


Size is a major player in the planning of your tattoo. No matter whether you’re getting a small semicolon on your wrist or if you’re diving into a full-color back piece, the size will determine how long the session takes and how much it will cost. 

Large Bird Chest Tattoo
Large pieces like this one can take several hours, sometimes multiple sessions!

If it is your first tattoo, then size is definitely a consideration you want to make. Since you haven’t experienced the sensation before, a large tattoo may be a bit overwhelming the first time around. A small word on a wrist will heal much smoother than something like a full sleeve or back piece. 

For large pieces or pieces that are more complex, multiple sessions may be recommended to complete the entire tattoo. The skin can only take so much at one time, so sometimes it’s best to take things one step at a time. That is unless you’re taking the plunge on a Tap-Out Session.

Thankfully, there are pain-free tattoo methods available today to help curb any unpleasant experiences, regardless of the size!


Just like the size, the location of your tattoo also factors into the time, cost, and pain involved. Certain locations such as the elbow, stomach and ribs can be more difficult to properly work with. Body parts that require a more delicate touch or more effort to get a positive result can often increase the cost.

Bondage Rib Tattoo
Tattoos on the ribs are quite sensitive!

Imagine getting the bottom of your feet, or perhaps your butt tattooed. It’s going to heal rougher than if you had it on a part of the body that goes undisturbed. It’s important to ensure you keep these covered areas clean and give them enough time to breathe.

Your job or lifestyle may also impact your decision. If you work in extreme environments or have certain uniform requirements, you may want to take the time to determine if having a fresh tattoo that needs to stay clean is going to be possible. People who are exposed to the sun will also want to take that into consideration and make accommodations to keep your new ink safe. 


Apart from the size, the design and level of detail involved will also play a huge role in the chair time and the cost of your tattoo. The level of detail is a huge factor in the overall time and cost. 

Tattoos with a lot of fine lines or a high level of precise shading, like a portrait, will take much longer and have a higher price tag. 

It’s important to remember that all of these factors, along with the artists’ skill level play a part in the overall cost and time to complete your new tattoo. Take some time to review all of these points with yourself, family, and friends. Learn as much as you can about prospective shops and artists.

Tattoos can be wonderfully unique vessels to express ourselves and show the world what’s important to us. If you have any questions about planning a tattoo, or if you’re ready to show the world what’s important to you, the Mad Tatter is happy to guide you on your journey. 

Book Your Appointment Today!

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