black shading picture tattoo

Tattoo Checklist -Client Version

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Whether you’re getting ready to sit through a marathon session or a single needle prick, here’s a checklist to make sure you’re prepared for the big tattoo day. We also attached a printable link at the bottom of the page to make sure you have a friendly reminder to post on your fridge.

Shower. Be a good client

oval mirror near toilet bowl

You dirty pig. Please go in bathed and smelling neutral. No heavy cologne/perfume. Also, don’t shave your tattoo area unless specified by the artist. If you sever your kneecap while trying to trim the Chewbacca growth you acquired during your trip abroad, you can’t get tattooed.

Loose fitting clothes that aren’t white or light in nature.

woman in white shirt

Please don’t wear white clothes.  You make look chaste and virginal, but you will get ink on them. Also, being comfortable is key when being stabbed so make sure you have things that are loose fitting for your tattoo. If you are a texture person, silk is amazing.

Good night’s sleep.

photo of person holding alarm clock
Photo by Acharaporn Kamornboonyarush on

Sleep is key to your body having the tools to fight off pain. If you are sleep deprived, you will not enjoy the tattoo process as it will feel like you are being tortured. Get around 8 hours of sleep before your tattoo appointment, or just like, every day.

Be a good client – No alcohol or drugs please.

photo of man smoking blunt

You can’t give consent while intoxicated, no matter how little you feel you have imbibed. Your coherence is key when you are making a decision, and we are pretty sure is illegal to be messed up in most states. So, leave that martini and bong rip until after your session. Even better, recharge your brain a bit by letting off for 72 hours. This will give your body time to stock up and store those rad endorphins that you burn getting high or drunk. Marijuana included.

Have a good breakfast.


Eating gives you strength and feeds that endorphin producing monster of a body so you can sit through any length of tattoo sitting. Don’t leave yourself dealing with hunger pains, eat something.

Hydrate yo’self

sunset cup water drink

Water. The element of life! Drink it. You will lose fluid during your tattoo. The magic of water also helps with the inflammation you get during a tattoo, which in turn decreases pain. Less inflammation, less pain. It’s a win win.

Tattoo Snacks

woman sitting on beige floor tile

Having a boost of fuel during your tattoo can help some people sit longer. Keep the snacks light, somewhat infrequent during the tattoo session. Also, check with your tattooist to see if they have any issues with what snacks you want to bring with you as well as if its onto even bring food. If it’s not okay to bring snack into the tattoo area, plan to take a short break if you need to fuel up.


white headphones

Sometimes, listening to music is the best. If you are someone who zones the hell out listening to music, bring something to focus on while getting tattooed. Keep it light, nothing heavy, and relax your session away.

Travel to and from Your Tattoo

automobile automotive blurred background car

If you are planning a larger session, or if you have had issues like:

  1. Fainting while giving blood
  2. Lightheartedness
  3. Low blood sugar

Get a ride to and from the tattoo appointment. Or, if you just like to ride in style, grab an Uber and help your local rideshare provider. Feeling frugal and eco-friendly, take the bus.

Taking Breaks – Be safe a client!

watch on a wrist

Taking breaks can be great but, if you take too many, or too often, your body goes into repair mode. This means you tattoo will hurt more than if you just sat through the mild discomfort. Take a break for 5 minutes every 1-2 hours to stretch your legs and get some blood pumping. If you make it 3-4 hours and the pain is getting to you, take a 30-minute break and grab a meal. When. You come back; you’ll be ready to sit until the end of your session.

Paying for you Tattoo

Handful of cash money

For most tattoo establishments, bring cash as it is preferred. Ask ahead if there are any other options, especially if you’re uncomfortable carrying rainmaker money on your person.

Tipping Your Artist – Should you as a client?

person who may be a client doing thumbs up

Tipping is complimentary.  What does complimentary mean? If you want to complement their service and work, give them money. 20% for small tattoos where the artist has gone above and beyond is standard. 10% good work but a bland experience. 0% for anything else. Its complimentary!

Thanks for reading, and here is the printable link. Tattoo Checklist- Client Version