Listen to this Article::
We present to you the tattooing checklist for you tattooers, tattoo artists, tat bros, and kitchen magicians! As you may notice after reading this article, there is no Teen Vogue-esq writing. This is straight to the point, and not dressed up. There is also a printable version at the end of the document.
Today we will review a simple checklist for your upcoming tattoo appointments. Let us skip past the initial consultation stage and assume you already have your deposit, an agreed-upon art piece, and time booked for the appointment.
2 Days Before the Tattoo Appointment
- Check-in with your client. Has something come up where they cannot make the appointment? Are they sick? Are they nervous?
- Do they have any changes that they want to see in the design? Find out and get to work when you have a chance.
- Get all drawings done and send them off to the client for approval.
- Amend any pricing at this time and agree as to what the final price is if changed.
The Night Before the Tattoo Appointment
- Get your client information set up. I use manila folders to keep all of the artwork, client contact information, etc., on hand. If you utilize any cloud-based appointment applications, Google Calendar, OneDrive, or if you store everything on your tablet.
- Sterilize all equipment that you will need for the coming day.
- If you are industrious, prepare the stencil and set it aside in a safe, clean location for tomorrow’s work.
The Day of the Tattoo Appointment
- Get ready. Clean your space, and disinfect everything.
- Get all positioning of furniture done and do a simple mockup of what you will use for the tattoo.
- Throw down a dental bib, stack the pigments, machines, needles, tubes, wash bottles, as well as whatever else you need for the tattoo.
- Do not get set up yet.
The Client’s Arrival
- Greet your client and go over everything that you plan to do for this session.
- Ask if they have any questions about what will take place if they have any concerns about the design, placing, and pain.
- Keep them occupied as you clean and prep the area to be tattooed.
- Do a quick muscular mapping and get that stencil on their body.
- Set up all equipment in from of the client.
- Break open needles and tubes so they can see that you are using clean gear.
- Dispense pigments and break off some paper towels, so you aren’t pulling from the roll.
- Stay clean and wear gloves. Change them as needed to ensure sterility.
The Tattoo Procedure
- Do what you do when you tattoo.
- Treat the encounter like an Uber ride. Let your client dictate the pace of conversation, topics to be discussed, and when the breaks should be taken.
- If you must answer phones, keep it to the shop line only and ensure to deglove when picking up the handset.
- Keep your music to a level that doesn’t interfere with the ability to talk if needed. Better yet, let the client decide what you should listen to and how loud it should be.
- Put your phone on silent, and don’t check it while in the procedure. If you need to check your phone, do so during a break.
- Take only necessary breaks during the tattoo.
- 5 minutes or less every 1.5-2 hours, if needed.
- 1 longer break at 3-4 hours in (30-45 minutes for a meal)
- Stay off social media and your phone. You will lose track of time.
- Try to check in with your client during this time to see if everything is good with them. Ask questions and ensure they understand where you are in the process.
- Discuss your aftercare in detail with the client and answer any questions they may have regarding the care of their tattoo.
- Clean hand. Dirty Hand.
- Break down, and don’t get a needle stick.
- Clean and disinfect all surfaces.
- Sweep and mop your area.
- Take out the garbage if you utilize an open-top trash receptacle and replace the trash bag.
- File all relevant paperwork in the DONE pile.
- Ask them about the experience and anything they feel you could improve upon.
- Give any media links, business cards, and aftercare sheets.
- Get your Google, Yelp, or business reviews.
- Collect payment. If you are a soloist or contracted artist who handles payments or at a convention, give the client time to offer a tip without any leading.
- Set up any additional appointments as needed.
- Take a picture of your work.
After They Leave
- Start post work on any images collected if you do such things.
- Post to Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter at your normal intervals with what you accomplished, if necessary.
- Keep artwork and photos in the relevant client folder/cloud location.
- Send outreach email if needed to client 1-2 weeks after completion.
- If needed, schedule a touch-up.