Welcome To

Saved Tattoo

Saved Tattoo is a go-to resource for tattoo inspiration, meanings, and advice. We cover popular tattoos like minimalist, Samurai, and Viking designs. We also provide guidance on tattoo placement, sizing, costs, aftercare, and cover-ups. Looking for unique tattoo ideas? Our blogs on chakras, evil eyes, and birth flowers are creative options. Saved Tattoo has insider tips for finding top artists and tattoos that age well. Most of all, we explain how tattoos can express your personality.

girl draw tattoo
butterfly tattoo

Thinking of getting a new tattoo but not sure where to start? This comprehensive guide has everything you need to know before getting inked. We’ll cover how to choose a design, popular styles and meanings, ideal placement, finding a reputable artist, costs, aftercare, and more.

If you’re short on time, here’s the key takeaway: do your research to find a design that expresses your personality, consult with artists to determine optimal placement and size, ensure the studio follows safety procedures, budget extra funds for quality work, and closely follow aftercare instructions for proper healing.

Picking a Tattoo Design

Choosing a Style

The style of your tattoo is key to finding a design that fits your personality. Whether you prefer bold traditional motifs, vibrant watercolors, delicate florals, minimalist symbols, or any other aesthetic, ensure the style matches your vision. Focus on styles you’re naturally drawn to.

Incorporating Meaningful Symbols

Look for symbols or elements with deeper personal meaning to make your tattoo more significant. Incorporate favorite animals, mottoes, inspirational quotes, representations of loved ones, spiritual images, or other meaningful images. Here is a guide to symbolic tattoo ideas.

Finding Cultural Inspiration

Research tattoo styles from cultures that intrigue you. For example, Japanese tattoos feature intricate patterns while Polynesian tattoos use tribal symbols. Chinese tattoos also have a rich symbolic history to draw from.

Customizing Your Design

Work closely with your chosen tattoo artist to customize a design that’s uniquely you. Quality artists can take your inspiration images and ideas to create custom drawings or put a fresh spin on classic motifs. This collaboration will make the piece more personal.

Popular Tattoo Styles and Meanings

Minimalist Tattoos

Minimalist tattoos use simple, sparse designs with thin lines and little shading. They are subtler and understated. Common examples include small outlines of animals, plants, geometric shapes, letters, and numbers. These compact designs work well for first-timers.

Traditional Tattoos

Bold black outlines, bright colors, and iconic designs define traditional tattoo style. Common motifs include anchors, pinup girls, hearts, roses, sparrows, sharks, and ships. These classic flashes are an origin of Western tattooing.

Japanese Tattoos

Japanese tattoos feature intricate detail, symbolic images like koi fish, dragons, samurai, and tigers, as well as background elements like waves, clouds, and flowers. Full Japanese bodysuits are an extensive endeavor. Smaller isolated designs also carry impact.

Blackwork Tattoos

Blackwork or blackout tattoos use large sections of solid black ink rather than outlining. The negative space around the black forms the design. Often created in graphic realism or geometric styles. Allows for dramatic shading contrast.

Realistic Tattoos

Realistic tattoos aim to recreate life-like portraits, landscapes, animals, objects, and more. Advanced technique creates depth and dimensions to make pieces hyper-realistic. Choose an experienced artist for these designs.

Watercolor Tattoos

Watercolor tattoos recreate the soft edges and blurred look of wet paint. Vibrant, saturated colors flow seamlessly into each other. Often depicted in nature scenes or abstract patterns. Requires smooth application by a skilled colorist.

Choosing Tattoo Placement

Visible Tattoo Placements

Areas like arms, legs, and hands suit bold tattoos you want visible. These prime spots allow you to show off detailed or meaningful designs. Sleeves, chest pieces, and back pieces also prominently display artwork.

Private Tattoo Placements

For tattoos with personal meaning, choose easily hidden spots like the thighs, ribs, back, shoulders, stomach, or ankles. You control when and with whom you share the designs. Good for discreet sacred tattoos.

Small and Delicate Placements

Thin, delicate areas like wrists, fingers, ears, neck, and behind the ear better suit smaller, simpler tattoos. Intricate details won’t translate well on these sensitive spots. Tiny symbols or scripts work best.

Picking a Tattoo Artist

Researching Artist Portfolios

Spend time looking at portfolios of artists near you. Pay attention to their line work, shading, color vibrancy, and consistency across pieces. Ensure it matches the style you want. Artist Instagram accounts are great for researching.

Assessing Technical Skill

Look closely at their application. Clean, smooth line work and transitions between colors are marks of aptitude. Pay attention to proportions and anatomical accuracy in realism pieces. Quality shading creates depth.

Confirming Proper Procedures

Reputable studios adhere to health regulations and proper sterilization procedures. Ensure tools are sanitized between clients and new gloves/needles are used. Disposable equipment should be trashed promptly. A clean workspace lowers infection risk.

Consulting on Design Ideas

Schedule a consultation to discuss the style, size, placement, and specific design elements with your artist. They can advise you on what will work best. Come open to their ideas to improve or transform your inspiration into something cohesive.

Avoiding Low Quality Artists

Don’t risk your safety and the permanency of your tattoo. Stay away from scratcher shops with poor health codes. Also beware of bargain pricing – skilled artists charge hourly rates reflective of their talent and experience.

Determining Tattoo Size

Planning Current and Future Tattoos

Think about plans for more tattoos and have your artist create accordingly. They can develop themes and place tattoos strategically so future pieces enhance rather than detract from the overall collection.

Size Based on Body Placement

Areas like the back, chest, and thighs suit large, detailed designs. Smaller areas like wrists and fingers only accommodate tiny designs. Scale appropriately.

Scaling the Design for Your Body

The artist will position and size the stencil for your proportions. An experienced artist knows how to fit the tattoo on your anatomy. Trust their judgment so the final piece flatters you.

Accounting for Ink Spreading

As you age and skin loses elasticity, tattoos spread slightly. Avoid intricate details packed densely if you want the design to hold up over decades. Leave negative space for some diffusion.

Starting with Small Tattoos

If getting your first tattoo, start relatively small. Give yourself time to adapt to the feeling and healing process before jumping into large designs. You can always expand later.

What to Expect at Your Appointment

Preparing Your Body

Arrive well rested, hydrated, and clean. Avoid alcohol beforehand. Wear easy access clothing. Follow any artist prep guidelines. This gives you the best tattoo experience.

Finalizing the Design

Review placement and make final tweaks to the stencil. This is your last chance for adjustments. Provide any input to the artist to make it perfect.

Artist Will Clean and Shave Area

They’ll shave and sterilize the skin. Shaving removes bacteria trapped in hair follicles. Proper tattoo prep and safety prevents infection.

Relax During the Tattoo

Try to relax muscles during the session. Tensing causes more pain. Take deep breaths and request a break if needed. Avoid passing out.

Taking Breaks as Needed

Speak up if dizzy or overwhelmed. Good artists accommodate short breaks, especially for large sessions. Pacing yourself is fine.

Aftercare Instructions

The artist will wrap the tattoo and provide verbal and written aftercare instructions. Follow them exactly for proper healing and vibrant color.

Caring for Your Tattoo

Cleaning the Tattoo

Gently wash new tattoos 2-3 times daily with mild soap and water. Avoid scrubbing. Rinse and pat dry with clean paper towels. Proper tattoo aftercare prevents infection.

Applying Lotion and Cream

Apply a thin layer of fragrance-free lotion 1-2 times daily after cleaning. This prevents scabbing. Avoid thick ointments that clog pores. Keep the tattoo moisturized.

Avoiding Water Submersion

Don’t soak in baths, pools, etc for 2 weeks. Submerging introduces bacteria. Quick showers are okay. Tattoo water exposure must be limited during healing.

Watching for Infection Signs

See a doctor promptly if you notice severe swelling, expanding redness, pus, odor, or fever. Don’t attempt to treat a tattoo infection yourself.

Letting Tattoo Fully Heal

It takes 2-6 weeks for tattoos to fully heal. Avoid irritants and sun during this time. Letting it heal properly ensures vibrant colors and clear lines for years.

Determining Your Tattoo Budget

Design Size Impacts Cost

Larger, more detailed designs require more time and supplies, increasing the cost. Simpler, smaller tattoos are generally more affordable for first timers.

Placement Difficulty Impacts Cost

Hard to reach or highly sensitive body areas take more of the artist’s time and skill. These complicated placements cost more than easy areas like arms.

Artist Hourly Rates

Legitimate professional tattoo artists charge at minimum $50-100 per hour. Top artists can charge up to $200-500 per hour. This covers their time and expenses.

Minimum Service Costs

Most reputable shops enforce minimum service charges, usually $80-100 or higher, even for quick 15 minute tattoos. This covers basic setup costs.

Budgeting for Tips

It’s standard practice to tip your tattoo artist around 20% or more for good service. Factor the tip into your tattoo cost budget.

Getting What You Pay For

Quality tattoos aren’t cheap, but are worth paying for. Poor quality tattoos require expensive cover ups later. Be wary of bargain artists who cut corners.

Common Tattoo FAQs

Waiting Between Sessions

Wait 2-4 weeks between tattoo sessions to allow your skin to recover. This tattoo healing timeline ensures the best results.

Color vs Black Ink

Vibrant color holds up better long term than black and grey wash. Over time black ink can blur or bleed together without outlines. Opt for color if you want the sharpest decades-long results.

Fixing Tattoo Peeling

If your tattoo peels excessively, stop using lotion and see your artist or doctor. Peeling is normal during healing but large chunks can remove color. Get professional advice.

Scratching During Healing

Never scratch peeling tattoos as it can pull out ink. Let any itchy scabs naturally flake away. Touch ups may be required if scratching removes color.

Hiding New Tattoos

Use clothing, ace bandages, or makeup to hide new tattoos until ready to reveal them. Direct sun exposure can fade colors, so keep covered while healing.

Treating Infected Tattoos

Don’t attempt home remedies on infected tattoos. See a doctor to get proper antibiotics and medical treatment. Infections can become serious quickly.

Tattoo Aging and Distortion

As skin ages and loses elasticity, tattoos spread slightly. Bold outlines and strategic negative space help designs retain definition. Touch ups can refresh faded sections.

Tattoo Safety While Pregnant

It’s recommended to wait until after giving birth to get new tattoos. Temporary skin changes during pregnancy can alter how ink settles. Consult your doctor before any tattoo procedures.

Sue a Tattoo Artist

Can You Sue a Tattoo Artist For Bad Work? – Everything You Need To Know Before You File a Lawsuit

Regardless of whether you’re the tattoo artist or the client, we can all agree that both parties want the tattoo to turn out great. But, when it doesn’t, determining the responsible party is essential in finding the solution; or so we think. There are cases or instances where it is simply inevitable to get legally…
Read More Can You Sue a Tattoo Artist For Bad Work? – Everything You Need To Know Before You File a Lawsuit
Tattoo and Body Piercing Insurance

Tattoo and Body Piercing Insurance: What Kind of Insurance Do Tattoo Artists Need?

Truth be told, the tattoo business is booming lately, and with it rises the number of demanding or unhappy clients. There is, unfortunately, no shortage of claims in regard to tattoo infections or allergic reactions. Sexual abuse claims also seem to be more frequent, which is definitely an issue on so many levels. Therefore, if…
Read More Tattoo and Body Piercing Insurance: What Kind of Insurance Do Tattoo Artists Need?