–How can I know if I got a good artist and a good price range to do my first tattoo?
First you can always go to a couple signature tattoo shops that are recommended then ask to look at the artists artwork there and choose which ones you like the most. Also the more experience he/she has and the more tattoos he/she has done shows how good that person is at the tattoo art as well as people that recommend them shows that other customers were happy with that persons work. For a good price range depends on the person that does your tattoo as well as how big and elaborate the tattoo is.
Usually the basic range is $100 an hour for tattoos and for well known artists it is $250 an hour. To know that you’re not being ripped off is to know that simple black and white line tats should only be $100 and the elaborate shading and realistic designs can be $250. Only if the artist is well known, very good at tattoo art, and has been doing it for years that is when you can get the best quality piece. I advise you not to get tattoos from people who are not licensed to do tattoos and who don’t work in a parlor because basically anyone can buy a kit online for a price of $80 to $300 anyways.
Also, if they tend to want to free hand the tattoos on the skin instead of drawing a design first. You should definitely avoid those kind of ‘scratchers’, because they’re most likely overconfident, when you really do need an outline on the skin first. You want some one who has a license to do tattoos, years of experience, and has your best interest to make sure you love your tattoo.
–What care goes into a large tattoo being done afterwards?
When a tattoo heals it is basically scarred tissue formed from the skin being pierced by a needle a million little times. When the person does the tattoo on you be sure that they are using a new needle out of the package, not a used one. To prevent infection, make sure that they clean the area of the skin before they start tattooing, during and afterwards.
After the tattoo is all finished they will clean it again to sterilize the tattoo and put a plastic wrap around it and tell you to keep it on for an hour to a few hours but not more because it can clog the pours and prevent healing if left on for too long. They will give you A & D ointment or you can also use Eucerin original healing lotion (soothing repair creme) for the tattoo as well. When you leave the shop they will give you a paper explaining how to take care of the tattoo and they will tell you themselves, for it’s required for them to do so.
It will start peeling 4 days to a week after you have gotten the tattoo. Apply the ointment or lotion to it a couple times a day, up to two weeks then it should have healed. Also don’t show your tattoo to direct sunlight, go swimming in chlorinated pools or shave/wax that area until a new skin layer has formed and healed as well three weeks after you have gotten the tattoo. Following what they tell you and the paper they give you, you and your tattoo will be fine.