Swamp Talk: The Dos And Don’ts of Getting Inked and Having Tattoos

By Brock Seng

Image Courtesy: Brock Seng
Image Courtesy: Brock Seng

You’re in college and you’re ready to get a tattoo. Your parents aren’t around anymore. Who’s going to stop you? No one. It’s time to get inked. So, you walk into the shop and there are big burly guys everywhere. They’re covered in tattoos from, literally, head to toe. They have chains hanging out of their tunnels in their ears. You walk up to one guy and say “nice gauges” instead of plugs and the music stops, everyone turns and looks at you and they notice you for the first time: you’re virgin skin.

I am not “virgin skin.” I got my first tattoo three months after my 18th birthday and now, at 21, I’m wearing two half-sleeves on my arms and three tattoos on my legs. I have two appointments for January to get a half-sleeve on my leg.

Now don’t get me wrong, I was once in your shoes. I was virgin skin. I called plugs gauges and I didn’t know how to be proper inside the shop. But now, I am experienced. I know what I’m doing inside and outside the shop. And there are many do’s and don’ts to getting inked and having tattoos. This little mini-guide I’ve thrown together will save you embarrassment and probably a couple of bruises and black eyes. It’s a quick look into the world of tattoos. Now, I’m not going to tell you every little secret about being tattooed and how to act inside a shop. Just like learning to tattoo, it takes time to learn how to act.

The Shop:

DO: Tip. Your tattoo artist chargers $50 an hour for a tattoo because that money goes almost directly to the shop owner to pay for bills and supplies. Tattoo artists get paid nothing. Their tips are their wages. If you’re sitting in their chair for hours getting a nice, huge tattoo you should tip accordingly.

DON’T: Be afraid. Your tattoo artist understands you’re nervous. They were in your shoes one time many, many years ago. Now you’re here. Don’t be afraid to speak up and talk with your tattoo artist. If you need a break, let them know. If you don’t like the design, speak up!

DO: Make sure you know what you want. Just because you woke up on a Friday and said “I love Batman. I’m going to get a Batman tattoo.” doesn’t mean you need to go get a Batman tattoo. Sit down and think about it. Tattoos are permanent marks on your body. It’s like clothes you can never change.

DON’T: Be a dick. Simple as that. If you walk into a tattoo shop with an attitude and act rudely toward your tattoo artist don’t expect your tattoo to look like the work of God. Sadly enough, according to the show Ink Master, tattoo artists can crank up the speed of a tattoo machine to make it hurt a lot worse than it has to without hurting the quality of the tattoo. That means it sucks for you while they still get return service. Don’t be a dick.

The Streets:

DO: Show them off. You paid money for them. Show those tattoos off. If they’re appropriate. Walk around proudly and let the world know you have a tattoo and you are proud.

DON’T: Show up to your grandmother’s funeral with a sleeveless shirt and your tattoo of a naked devil with boobs out showing to the world. It’s disrespectful. It’s wrong. And the fact that I saw this in person is utterly repulsive. This is where tattoos get a bad rap. Right here. In situations like this.

DO: Support your tattoo shop. If someone asks you where you got your tattoos, let them know and send them business. It’s a way for your tattoo artist to keep getting work and stay in your town. Too many times have I seen tattoo artists come and go at shops due to the fact that their clients aren’t promoting them and they aren’t promoting themselves.

DON’T: Be disrespectful. If someone asks you about your tattoos, don’t be rude. If you don’t want to show them or explain the meaning, tell them that. Don’t be a dick to them about it. They probably don’t know any better and think that all tattoos are meant to be explained.

Shops To Check Out:

Crawling Panther
Ocala, Fla.

Death or Glory
Gainesville, Fla.

If you have any questions about tattoos or tattoo etiquette, feel free to email me at bsengiv@ufl.edu.

42 thoughts on “Swamp Talk: The Dos And Don’ts of Getting Inked and Having Tattoos

  1. Hi, it’s Johnathan from last time!

    I’m contacting because I want to suggest on the already decent work on the tattoo content on oandbmagazine.com. Things are getting a bit outdated though… and Google just updated their algorithm yet again, you know how that’ll negatively impact your biggest traffic source, if there isn’t an ongoing flow of new content! You see, businesses get majority of their free traffic from their blogs, and I feel that you could use a little help, since you are not blogging that much yet.

    Blogging takes a lot of time and energy, and we have just the team from USA/Canada to come up with great content you are looking for.

    You can have a brand new blog to post on oandbmagazine.com starting at $10 in as little as 5 business days!

    Check out our work and reviews from past clients here: http://bit.ly/2U158Vp

    You’re always covered by the industry leading 60-Day Money Back Guarantee!

    Thank you for your time,


    You are receiving this message because the contact form at oandbmagazine.com is open to the public. Thank you.

  2. you’re really a excellent webmaster. The site loading speed is incredible.
    It seems that you are doing any distinctive trick. Also, The contents are masterwork.
    you have performed a fantastic task in this matter!

  3. Hey! This post couldn’t be written any better!
    Reading this post reminds me of my previous room mate!

    He always kept chatting about this. I will forward this page to him.

    Fairly certain he will have a good read. Thank you for

  4. Hello! Someone in my Facebook group shared this site with us so I came to take a look.
    I’m definitely loving the information. I’m bookmarking and will be tweeting this to my followers!
    Outstanding blog and great style and design.

  5. Excellent items from you, man. I have consider your stuff prior to and you are simply too excellent.
    I really like what you’ve obtained right here, certainly like what you are saying and the
    best way during which you are saying it. You are making it
    entertaining and you still take care of to stay it smart.
    I can not wait to read far more from you. This is really a
    terrific website.

  6. Having read this I believed it was extremely informative.
    I appreciate you finding the time and effort to put this information together.
    I once again find myself spending a lot of time
    both reading and posting comments. But so what, it was still worthwhile!

  7. When someone writes an article he/she maintains the thought of a user in his/her mind
    that how a user can understand it. Therefore that’s why this piece
    of writing is great. Thanks!

  8. Hi would you mind stating which blog platform you’re working with?
    I’m planning to start my own blog in the near future but I’m
    having a tough time selecting between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and
    Drupal. The reason I ask is because your layout seems different then most blogs and I’m looking for something unique.

    P.S My apologies for being off-topic but
    I had to ask!

  9. Good day! I could have sworn I’ve been to this blog before
    but after checking through some of the post I realized it’s new to me.

    Nonetheless, I’m definitely delighted I found it and I’ll be book-marking and checking back often!

  10. obviously like your web site but you have to check the spelling on several of your posts.
    Many of them are rife with spelling problems and I
    find it very troublesome to inform the truth however I will definitely
    come back again.

  11. An interesting discussion is definitely worth comment. I believe that you need to publish more about this issue, it
    may not be a taboo matter but usually people don’t discuss such subjects.
    To the next! Best wishes!!

  12. Woah! I’m really loving the template/theme of this blog.
    It’s simple, yet effective. A lot of times it’s very difficult to get that “perfect balance” between superb
    usability and visual appeal. I must say that you’ve done a awesome job with this.
    In addition, the blog loads very fast for me on Opera.

    Excellent Blog!

  13. I do consider all the ideas you’ve presented on your
    post. They are very convincing and will definitely work.
    Still, the posts are very short for newbies. Could you please lengthen them a
    bit from subsequent time? Thank you for the post.

  14. Hello There. I found your blog using msn. This is a really well
    written article. I’ll make sure to bookmark it and return to read more of your
    useful information. Thanks for the post. I will certainly comeback.

  15. I think the admin of this web site is in fact working hard in support of his site, since here every data is quality based information.

  16. Excellent pieces. Keep posting such kind of info on your page.
    Im really impressed by your blog.
    Hi there, You have done a fantastic job.

    I’ll definitely digg it and for my part recommend to my friends.
    I’m confident they’ll be benefited from this web site.

  17. I got this web page from my pal who shared with me on the topic of this web page and at the moment this
    time I am browsing this web site and reading very informative articles at this place.

  18. I’m not that much of a internet reader to be honest but your sites really nice,
    keep it up! I’ll go ahead and bookmark your site to come back down the road.
    Many thanks

  19. Hi, I do believe this is a great blog. I stumbledupon it ;
    ) I’m going to return yet again since I book-marked it.
    Money and freedom is the best way to change, may you be rich and
    continue to guide others.

  20. We are a group of volunteers and opening a new
    scheme in our community. Your web site provided us with helpful information to work on. You’ve done an impressive activity and our entire community can be grateful to you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *