10 Tattoo Tips Before Your Next Appointment

Check out these tips from local female tattoo artists on how to prepare for a tattoo.
A woman holds a cup of coffee and sports a sleeve tat on her arm.

Going in for a new tattoo is an exciting (and maybe even a little nerve-racking) time. But are you fully prepared? Whether it’s your first time getting some ink or you’re working on a sleeve, these local tattoo artists have some tips to keep in mind before getting your next work of art.

Kiersten Lockwood


Abysm Art Collective

961 N. Highland Ave., Indianapolis

“Trust the process. Tattoos are a form of therapy for the client and the artist. Bringing a client’s vision to life is just as healing for the artist as it can potentially be for the person getting the art.”

April Nicole Stead


Great Day Tattoo

204 S. Audubon Rd., Indianapolis

“Always eat a good meal before your appointment, as well as bring in some snacks and drinks with you. I tattoo long sessions, and it’s incredibly important to stay hydrated. Never get tattooed on an empty stomach, no matter how nervous you are!”

Nevada Buckley


Ritual Residue

5335 N. Tacoma Ave., Indianapolis

“One tip about getting a tattoo – there are so many artists that offer inclusive, safe spaces. I would always check to be sure you’re going somewhere that will make you feel comfortable, safe and heard.”

Mara Luedeman


Carmel Tattoo

21 S. Rangeline Rd. #100, Carmel

“It’s important to research artists before getting a tattoo. While searching for your artist, look at portfolios to see if their work resembles the style and quality you are looking for. Most artists specialize in one or two specific styles. By choosing an artist whose work aligns with the tattoo you are hoping for, you will be much more satisfied with the final result!”

Lenny Wood Floyd


Salty Siren Tattoo

480 E. Main St., Greenwood

“After you do your homework and find the perfect tattooer for your new piece, don’t be too rigid / micromanage when guiding them in the designing process! Consult with them, show them your reference photos, placement on the body, express general likes and dislikes – but keep it open-ended for them. Let your artist work their magic and make you the custom work of your dreams! Just trust the process and remember you chose them for the job for a reason.”

Saya Johnson


Garden of Eden Tattoos

235 W. Main St., Greenfield

“One of the best tips I can and do give clients is to be SURE you’re hydrated. Hydration can immediately affect not only your skin, but your pain tolerance. Hydration helps BOTH you and me! Making sure you keep liquids in you is not only vital to your everyday life but is a huge part of good tattoo etiquette and the healing process. Bring drinks, snacks, whatever you need. Get comfy and enjoy your time!”

Megan Zoeller


White Moth

880 Massachusetts Ave., Indianapolis

“Trust your tattooer if you like the work in their profiles. Release a little bit of control on the design and be open to input. Speak up or leave if you are made to feel uncomfortable or don’t love the vibes.”

Sierra Mullican


Fountain Square Tattoo

1104 Prospect St., Indianapolis

“Wear comfy clothing that can be adjusted depending on the spot. Arriving early is cool, but too early can be stressful on the artist, so I suggest 10 minutes or less. Most artists handle all their own emails, so replies can take a little while. If you haven’t heard from your artist yet, just give it some time!”

Haley Dillon


Artistic Skin Design and Body Piercing

5349 N. Keystone Ave., Indianapolis

“Make sure you plan your day around your tattoo! Show up hydrated, fed and sober (with extra snacks and drinks if you’re in for a long session).”

Lexie Hall


The Mandala Effect

5306 N. Keystone Ave., Indianapolis

“One tip would be to research your artists before booking an appointment. Making sure their style fits well with what you’re looking for/picturing. Also to make sure it’s something the artist feels comfortable doing, as well. It’s important to be able to communicate and be comfortable with your artist so they can create exactly what you want and more!”

Rachel Hickey is the marketing manager and a regular contributor for Indy Maven. 

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