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What To Do While Getting a Tattoo

what to do while getting a tattoo

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What you can do while getting your tattoo is obviously dependent on where you’re getting your tattoo (this changes your position and what part of your body will need to remain completely still). It’s also dependent on what your artist is okay with. Some artists might find it distracting if you’re on the phone talking to someone or if your handheld game is making noise. You should aim to do something quiet that doesn’t require a lot of movement such as reading a book.

Can You Go On Your Phone While Getting a Tattoo?

As long as your phone is on silent, most tattoo artists will be fine with you reading on your phone during your appointment. The key here is to not play videos or music that will play through your phone’s speakers or play games that might make you move your body. You want to make sure your artist has a distraction free environment if needed so they can do their best work on you – so be courteous and quiet.

Can You Listen to Music While Getting a Tattoo?

If you wear headphones, most artists will be fine with you listening to music while getting your tattoo. This is something you should discuss with your artist first. They might need to talk to you and if so, you’ll need to tell them what to do to get your attention. But tattoo artists understand that the constant droning of the needle can be anxiety inducing for a lot of people, so listening to music is usually something they’ll make sure you have access to.

Should You Talk During a Tattoo?

Talking during a tattoo is different for everyone and every artist. Just like how some people like chatting at the hairdresser’s and some people just read a book, your artist will likely be used to both kinds of people. The exception is sometimes a tattoo artist will find chatting distracting if they’re doing a particularly intricate tattoo. If this is the case, they’ll let you know they need to focus and you’ll need to keep quiet until they’re able to talk again.

Is it Okay to Cry During a Tattoo?

Your artist isn’t going to judge you if you cry during your tattoo. Crying during a tattoo isn’t too unusual, but it’s more often caused by an emotional release than pain. As long as you don’t break into full on sobbing, your artist will be able to continue. If you do need to take a crying break, just let them know – it’s not a big deal.

What Should You Not Do When Getting a Tattoo?

While there are a lot of things you shouldn’t do while getting a tattoo, here are the most common things people try:

  • Do not drink alcohol during your tattoo. While you can bring your own drinks and snacks, make sure alcohol isn’t one of them.
  • Do not bring friends into the room. They’ll talk and distract your artist.
  • Don’t watch the needle going into your skin. While some people can handle it and find it interesting, it can also cause you to feel dizzy and nauseous.


To get your mind off the pain, you’ll need to prepare something to do ahead of time. Anything that is quiet that you can do without moving is likely fine. If the droning buzz of the needle bothers you, prepare headphones so you can listen to music. Most artists don’t mind whether you chat during your appointment or not, as long as they don’t need to focus. Reading on your phone is fine as long as it’s on silent or you have headphones in.