When you have your tattoo appointment, you need to have a few things in mind.
The night before you get the tattoo, you should not drink much alcohol, as it thins your blood and you’ll be bleeding more while being tattooed. This affects how well the tattoo artist can see what they’re doing, and the stencil might be rubbed off while wiping up the blood. You also might have a harder time healing your new tattoo. Plus, it’s unnecessary. Aspirin also thins your blood, so don’t take any of that beforehand.
Certain drugs will affect you in different ways. Ask your doctor before taking any type of pain medication before getting a tattoo. If you have any health risks, please discuss these with your doctor also. If you are pregnant, you cannot be tattooed. Illegal drugs such as pot are discouraged.
It is wise to purchase the bacitracin (or whatever ointment you and your artist decide to use) ahead of time, or if you have some from your last tattoo, and you kept it to yourself and clean, you can use that. Never share topical ointments like these with anyone, as it is possible to transmit germs and (although rare) diseases.
You should eat normally before you go and not be dehydrated. Most tattoo artists go by the hour, so you are being charged for every bathroom or cigarette break you take. You should have something like orange juice to drink after you get tattooed, just as they give you when you give blood.
If you are sick, and your immune system is fighting something, you need to be extra careful on keeping infection away from your tattoo. It might be wise to postpone the tattoo if you’re in bad shape.
Plan on being uncomfortable for a few days. Be realistic. Do not get a foot tattoo if you work as a waitress that night in high heels. Plan for a few days of healing before you do anything that might jeopardize the tattoo. You cannot go swimming or soak the tattoo for two weeks afterwards. No sunbathing or tanning.
Wear clothes that won’t matter if they get ink or blood on them, and make sure they are light and won’t rub on your new tattoo.
Bring cash or credit card and plan to have more than you need in case. If you do have a credit card, you might want to tip in cash. You should have found out how much ahead of time you need to bring, or at least an estimate. Do not be caught off guard spending more than you thought.
Do not bring anyone that gets bored easily, and no children, because you might be there for a while. Cameras are often allowed and are sometimes really fun to document with.
Other than that, relax and enjoy your experience.