If you’re walking into a tattoo shop for the first time, the buzzing of equipment and under-the-breath curses from rookies can be intimidating. However, if you find yourself amid individuals inked from head to toe, there’s likely a reason you’re around. Whether it’s to commemorate a life-changing event or are taking advantage of a one-day flash sale, there are a few tattoo etiquette tips you can’t ignore.

Tip 1 – Plan and Plan Some More

If you’ve heard it before, we’ll repeat it—a tattoo is forever. Unless you plan on having your piece lasered off in the future, a tattoo will likely stay on your skin for the rest of eternity. Thus, you want to plan every step of the process deliberately.

Research the best tattoo artists around and book a consultation before your actual session. During this time, you can discuss your reservations and prepare for what to expect. An experienced artist will let you in on every trade secret—from places that sting to how much your piece will cost.

Tip 2 – Leave the Entourage at the Door

If you and your friends are on an “Eat Pray Love” journey out of town, don’t drop in with your entire entourage. Even as a spur of the moment decision, you’ll want to give a tattoo shop some notice. Not every establishment will tolerate a walk-in, much less a spontaneous group.

If only a select number of your group is getting tattoos, don’t crowd the shop. Let your friends wander and come back later. Your artist will need the space—and so will you, at least to breathe in between pinpricks.

Tip 3 – Be Respectful

If you have any preconceptions about a “typical” tattoo artist, leave them at the door. Not every ink enthusiast owns a Harley and is covered from head-to-toe. Never stare and avoid chatting your artist’s ear off. Sure, a little bit of small talk doesn’t hurt, but your artist needs to concentrate on your body art just as much as you need to focus on tolerating the pain.

A tattoo shop isn’t a living room, nor is it a bar. If you’ve heard horror stories about a friend of a friend drunkenly tattooing their backside, a reputable establishment will disallow it. Remember, a tattoo shop is a place of creative work. Respect it.

Tip 4 – Understand Custom vs. Flash Tattoos

All tattoo artists can draw—but it doesn’t mean they can draw on the fly. If you’re looking to get a custom tattoo, ask your artist to draw up a design ahead of time. Unlike a flash tattoo, this type of art isn’t something they can conjure in an instant.

If you’re not too picky about design, your artist can pluck a flash stencil off their book and get to working straight away. Pretty swift!


When you’re itching for ink, don’t let your excitement get the best of you. You don’t want to end up with a regrettable design that you’ll be lasering off the week after! If you have your heart set on a design, commission one of our experts at Lucky Deville Tattoo C, the best tattoo shop in Buffalo! Our artists are proudly award-winning and take special care to provide clients with the best possible satisfaction.

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