Thinking of getting your first tattoo? Bishop’s Tattoo has some advice to think about

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Thinking of getting your first tattoo? Bishop’s Tattoo has some advice to think about

Tattoos have become a big part of modern day culture, with their popularity rising as a way to express yourself.  And Halifax has a considerable tattoo businesses and talent to help get you started.

Tattoos, however, shouldn’t be jumped into without  thought.  So we asked Mike Bishop, a local tattoo artist out of Bishop’s Tattoo in Dartmouth, his thoughts on what a person should consider before getting inked.  Here are a few pointers.

#1.  Research your artist:  Halifax has many shops that offer a wide variety of tattoo styles, some offering specific styles such as American traditional, Japanese or more.  And every tattoo artist may have a specific style appealing to what you want, or if you aren’t sure what exactly your first tattoo will be, gathering information about what’s available can help you narrow down your options.  Tattoo artists should generally have a portfolio available for viewing.  This can be online, in person at the shop, or both.

Find out if a specific artist catches your eye, and then look into reviews and really get to know who may be putting your ink in.  And many artists will offer free consultations, so make sure you go in and do your research if you plan on moving ahead.

#2.  Location, location, location!  Where do you want your first tattoo?  And keep in mind, some artists may be reluctant to put tattoos in places that are still less desirable for a first tattoo.  Neck, face, and hand tattoos are areas where some artists may refuse to work on, otherwisse, consider long term consequences of where your tattoo will be visible by others.  And also, some areas are very painful to have tattooed, such as on the ribs.  If you haven’t had tattoos before, this can cause an immediate shock and make your experience very unpleasant.

#3.  Size and Type:  Another few things to consider when planning on your first tattoo is to consider a reasonable sized tattoo.  Can it be finished in one sitting or will it require several sittings?  And some tattoos to consider avoiding would be very personal tattoos, such as a young couple in love wanting each others names.  Not that this is always a bad thing, but remember, although tattoo removal can be available, it is expensive and painful.  If down the road you decide that your first tattoo was a mistake, which hindsight is always 20/20, you may be in a difficult situation.

#4.  Price:  Most tattoo shops have set prices for certain types of tattoos and hourly rates for other types of tattoos.  Consider that while researching your type of tattoo for your first bit of ink.

#5.  Health and Aftercare:  This is a big one, and should be included as part of your research into a specific artist or shop.  Many factors have to be considered before getting a tattoo, and an easily overlooked subject is health.  For example, shops use a variety of products during and after the whole tattooing process.  From the gloves the artist uses to the bandages and lotions used afterwards, it can be easy to forget that allergies to certain substances can cause a very real and very painful reaction.  Specifically, latex allergies which can be found in the gloves used to the bandages used afterwards.  Also, certain types of low end medicated lotions which can cause reaction in the subject.  If you have any type of allergy it is important to bring this up during your consultation with the artist.  In many cases, a tattoo shop may have variety in the gear they use which will make your first experience more of a pleasant one and less of a nightmare.  And following the advice of the tattoo artist afterwards is important to the healing process and overall end result of the new ink.

Other health issues should be addressed if needed, including disclosing any medications that may cause thin blood, skin conditions that may cause extreme pain and/ or difficulty to work on, and any other conditions that should be disclosed to your artist (or vice versa).

#6.  Some other stuff:  A few other pointers that Mike wanted to mention are as follows.  For one, many tattoo artists do not enjoy tattooing on the impaired.  Drugs and alcohol can have many different affects on subjects, including thinner blood and twitchy or hyper activity.  This can cause a bad experience for both the artist and the subject and may likely end in a poorly executed tattoo.  And speaking of which, everyone tolerates tattoos differently.  Know that you will be sitting for a period of time having various needle types buzzing your skin, so be prepared mentally to sit still and allow the artist to apply a smooth and appealing tattoo.  If you find yourself having issues during the application process, make sure you communicate with your artist.  Your tattoo artist wants to apply the best work he or she can do, and that requires a steady hand and a steady subject.

A tattoo can be a fun and interesting way to express yourself, but they certainly aren’t for everyone.  It really is an important decision and going in knowing what to expect is important. Your chosen artist should be able to provide a clean and knowledgeable experience and answer any question you may have.  If in doubt, hold off.  You have your whole life to make such an important decision with your tattoo.

A tattoo artist also has the right to refuse service, or deny applying certain types of tattoos.  They have a reputation that will follow them through their career, and if an artist is uncomfortable with a certain type of job, age or sobriety of a client, they will let you know.

Mike Bishop has been tattooing in the Halifax area for over 10 years.  His contact info is:

Email :

@tattooerbishop is my Instagram

My shop page on FB is Bishop Tattoo

360 Pleasant Street inside three stacks barbershop

+1 902-431-2334 is the number.


~ Sean Dewitt

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