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The Rolling Stones named an album after tattos, Tattoo you, the one which includes Start me up. On the cover, Peter Corriston made the face of Mick Jagger almost unrecognizable, covering him with tribal tattoos.
Twenty years later, Christopher Nolan dedicated another pop masterpiece to tattoos, Memento, a film that, according to Internet Movie Database, deserves 8.5 out of 10.
Today, after another twenty years, tattoos have become extremely popular. According to a recent report by the European Commission, Canada and the United States lead the rankings and Europe comes right after.
Whether you're at your first or umpteenth, here are the 5 things you need to know before scrolling through your next tattoo artist's feed. Starting from a presupposition: there is a needle involved, so getting a tattoo is a surgical procedure.
Hygiene first of all. Word of mouth in these cases can help but, to identify your artist, you should visit him in his studio. Which, although it may appear un poetic, must smell of disinfectant. Just like when you go to the hospital.
Imagine your tattoo artist like a peculiar kind of surgeon: when you get ready to be tattooed, he will have to welcome you with latex gloves, transparent film up to the elbows and a protective mask. The pigments used must always be new, needles disposable or stored in sealed packages.
Drawing style, waiting lists and congeniality come later.
Yes, it hurts, but a lot depends on the place on your body you choose and, of course, on your pain threshold. It seems that the less painful places are the thigh, the outer biceps and the upper part of the wrist: you will feel like a slight prolonged sting as the tattoo artist proceeds with the drawing.
Choose your hands, feet and side only if you are very motivated and brave.
Obviously the price is not predetermined and varies according to the tattoo artist and the size of the drawing, but there’s some good news.
The first is that during conventions you can make an appointment and get yourself a subject at a fixed cost. If there is a competition involved, then it is possible that you won’t have to pay anything, because you will become a sort of living sponsor for the tattoo artist.
The second is that, according to the Yeay Global Tattoo Index, there are several cities in the UK where you can get an affordable tattoo.
Did you know that Tahiti is the most popular city for giving tattoos as a gift?
Once the artwork is finished, you will have to keep the part covered with transparent film for a few days. Wash it gently, do not rub, and use mild detergents. Immediately afterwards, you will have to spread it with a veil of antibiotic or cortisic cream.
You regret your tattoo? No worries, you have two options: cover-up or surgical removal. In the first case, much is left to the artist’s imagination.
In the second, you will have to arm yourself with patience. The most common technique used is the Q-switched laser, that is not painful but requires a variable number of sessions depending on how large the tattoo is and also which colors it includes: yellow and green are much more difficult to remove than black, blue, red and brown, and white is almost impossible to erase.
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