Douglas Grady on What to Expect For Your First Tattoo

If you have been considering a tattoo and it is your first time, it is important that you understand just what to expect when you go in to get inked for the first time. To understand better, I spoke to Douglas Grady, owner of a tattoo parlor and an inked man himself, who spoke at length about what you can expect from your first tattoo experience. Whether you are having something small or a large piece done, here is more or less what you can expect from this experience.


Before you even set foot inside a tattoo parlor you are going to have some decisions to make. The first decision is what you will have tattooed, remember that this is something which is going to be on your body forever, so make sure that you make a smart choice, that you won’t regret in the future. The second decision which you need to make is where on your body you will have the tattoo and the final decision is which parlor you will use. Whilst the tattoo parlors with the best reputations may also be expensive, it is important to remember that you want a good job done, and there are some awful artists out there.


Prior to having your tattoo completed you will have a consultation with the artist so that they can plan the tattoo, they will also need to see if it is possible. During this time you can discuss exactly what you want, what colors you would like and also how big the tattoo will be. The tattoo artist will then make sketches of what you are looking for, and then you will have to tell them any tweaks or changes that you would like. As long as everyone is happy, you will then make an appointment for your tattoo.

The Process

During the time that you have your tattoo, the artist will first complete the outline of the piece, before coloring the piece in. Depending on how big the piece is, it may take several sittings to complete, smaller pieces can be done in one sitting. The pain is a strange one, and the outline definitely hurts a little more than the coloring, in terms of the pain you shod also bear in mind that it hurst more when you have a tattoo over a bony area like the ribs or collarbone. The pain is defiantly bearable and I would describe it as uncomfortable rather than painful.


In the days after you have had your tattoo completed, you may feel slightly sore but it will pass after just day or two. You must ensure that you protect the tattoo and that you apply cream to ensure that the skin heals well. If you fail to protect and care for your skin after a tattoo you will run the risk of discoloring or misshaping it.

The process is simple and the results will be great, time to go and get that first tat!