(Original post by Delta_Aitch)
Ahh wow, thank you for that, I will defo give them a look up.
As for the design, I have a vague idea that I want a pair of small football boots under my ankle (tied together) with a name and the years of birth underneath it. I don't want an overly large or intricate tattoo, I just want something simple that means a lot.
I do have a place in mind, actually. It's the same place a friend of mine got her tragus (sp?) pierced, got scaffolding in her ear and got her tattoo. They seemed really good and kept us both well informed during the whole process of her piercings (I never went for the tattoo as she got hers a while back).
Make sure you have a look at the artist's portfolio and that you're happy with the quality of their work. Maybe look at some others in the area or online so you have something to compare it to. As Kate said, you've waited a long time, so now you really should take the little bit of extra time to find somewhere good that is going to give you a tattoo you can be proud of. Don't just walk into the nearest studio.
Once you've decided on the artist/studio, take your design in and talk to them about it. They'll tell you what they think will work with the position you want and discuss the design with you and so forth, and then draw something up over the next few days/weeks depending on how busy they are. Then, if you're happy with their design, you're ready to go.
Pain is not something to worry about. Yes, it will hurt, but it won't be unbearable. And it will
be worth it. And it'll be over quickly enough anyway! To put it bluntly, if you really want the tattoo, the pain won't matter. It's just something you have to deal with.
As Kate said, you can't give blood for 6 months afterwards.
For aftercare, the tattoo artist should tell you what they think is best. I've tried quite a few things over the years but this is what I've found works best and I've stuck to since I started doing it:
Rinse with luke warm
couple of hours after it's done.
Air-dry for 15 mins then cover with cling film.
Before bed rinse again and cover with fresh clingfilm.
Next morning, wash with fragrance-free soap.
Reapply bepanthen every few hours to keep it moist.
(run the bepanthen tube under a hot tap for a few minutes first, makes it easier to rub in)
If the tattoo artist recommends using savlon or vaseline, you've picked the wrong place. DO NOT use either of these products.