How To: get a tattoo. (The Olive Fox archive)

I love every single one of my tattoos. I currently have 13 and am nowhere near done, because oh my gosh I have so many ideas and that thing they say when you get your first tatt is true - it opens the floodgates and suddenly you want MORE, MORE, MORE! 

Now, in my experience, I've found that there are certain things that need to happen when you are prepping for and then getting a tattoo. I would like to take this opportunity to educate y'all and hopefully help you avoid any discomfort* if you ever wish to get inked! 

(Photo: Erin Veness)

*cannot promise to avoid all discomfort. Tattoos hurt. I can't help with that, lol. 

Eat a full meal first. Then snack.

It is so draining, getting a tattoo. Having the needle relentlessly stabbing away at you, drawing blood and introducing ink? It knackers you out and leaves you rather light-headed! So you must have a pretty hefty meal beforehand. I have had massive veggie burgers and tons of fries before getting my bigger tatts! Also lots of water. Lots and lots. Don't get dehydrated! Being inked does that to you, too. 

And yes, snack during. If the piece you're getting takes longer than 20 mins, it may be a good plan to stock up on fruit and nut bars, chocolate, even fizzy sweets to give you that sugar high. Basically, you cannot eat too much in this situation. Which is pretty great, tbh. 

Find a spot.

Somewhere to stare throughout. Think of it like an injection, or a dizzying spin during a need a place to look. I'm generally okay with blood and what not, but I struggle watching tattoos being done – sometimes it's better to not look, that's all. It stops you focusing on the pain, too. 


Obvs. Wash the area that's getting inked. And maybe if the area is on your arm or leg, shave it first. An artist will usually do that themselves; get a little razor out before sticking the transfer pattern on you, but it's nice to help them out. 


Okay, I know the thought process of booking then getting a tattoo. It can get pretty scary. No matter if you've had the idea for the tatt for weeks, months, years – it is a whole new level of real when you book it in. You can get smothered by doubt. You might change the idea ever so slightly. You could panic that your chosen artist may go in the wrong direction with your idea. So, think. Really think. Do you want this? In that space? By that person? You must be sure! But don't scare yourself out of it, either. Y'know? 

(Photo: mine, but design by Ella Bell)

Trust your artist.

They understand the importance of what they're doing. A lot of artists I've met are actually thrilled beyond belief that I trust them to doodle (artistically and beautifully, obvs) on my body. They're honoured it will be there, on you, forever. A piece of their work – of them. So be 100% sure when you book with the artist, and then leave them to it. They know what's what.

Stock up on nappy rash cream.

Any moisturiser is generally alright to use afterwards, but maybe invest in some of the best natural brands. My preference is Palmers Coconut Oil lotion, or Lush's Dream Cream (checked with my artists, and both are great for healing). 
Also, quick myth debunking: experts used to advise you to use the leading brand nappy rash cream on new ink, but actually it's now common knowledge that the brand beginning with B uses some form of animal wool in its mixture...? Best to avoid that, methinks! 

(Photo: Erin Veness)

Love your bod.

This is my advice for life, not just for tatts. Love your body, love yourself; be true to yourself and be kind to your body. Simple as. 

I personally get tattoos as a way of decorating my body – of reclaiming it, too. Making it mine. Whatever your reason is, it's valid. Unless of course it's to commemorate an evil ex or it's a dare when drunk in Magaluf...

This post was originally written for The Olive Fox, in 2017.
I am devastated to say goodbye to that wonderful website, where I made some gorgeous blogger friends, read some fantastic posts and was always able to send my own pieces for publication.
Thank you, Beth + Suzy.


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