Walk in Tattoos: What You Need to Know

  • Written By Dan Hunter on October 1, 2021
    Last Updated: October 12, 2021

A walk in tattoo is when you’ve not made an appointment and just turn up on the off chance that the tattoo artist can fit you in. However, this is not necessarily a spontaneous decision, and nor should it be. You still need to prepare beforehand. 

Some people don’t want to book an appointment for their first tattoo as this will give them the easy option of backing out. If you have an appointment scheduled, you will need to show for this or let the tattoo artist down and you don’t want to do that.

A walk in tattoo design will need to be simpler than if you have a scheduled appointment as the tattoo artist has limited time to complete the work. If you’re wanting a large tattoo or one with lots of intricate detail, a walk in isn’t for you.

What To Expect From Getting a Walk in Tattoo

If going for a walk in tattoo you need to understand that you may have to wait a while as you can’t guarantee that the tattoo artist will be free to work on you as soon as you get there. 

You should know what you want before you get to the tattoo studio as the artist doesn’t have time to waste going through lots of different designs. Time costs money and they may have appointments booked in for the rest of the day.

What to Know Before Getting a Walk in Tattoo

You should treat the preparation for your walk in tattoo just as you would a regular appointment. You should make sure that you’re well-rested and have plenty to eat and drink before going. This will keep your energy levels at a maximum throughout the tattoo process. Avoid alcohol as this will only ever hinder things.

Make sure that you have checked out the tattoo artist before deciding to go to them for your tattoo. Just because it’s a walk in, doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t do your homework about the tattoo artist and their work.

Choose Your Tattoo Artist

If you decide to go for a walk in tattoo it’s still important to carefully choose the right tattoo artist. Don’t just go to the first tattoo studio you find and have a tattoo. 

Check out the tattoo artist’s social media profile and their online portfolio. Speak to friends and colleagues that may have used them in the past to understand if they would recommend them. Good hygiene should also play a big part in your choice.

Know What You Want

One of the key things about a walk in tattoo is knowing what you want. It’s no good just turning up and saying that you want a tattoo, you need to know what kind of design you want, the size of the tattoo, and where you want it. 

The tattoo artist will be happy to help you choose a design but they need something to go on so at least have an idea of what you want.

You should also think about the pain of the tattoo. If this is your first one, you should think about where on your body you will have it as some areas are more painful than others. Once the tattoo artist starts the tattoo, you don’t want to stop them. If you can’t handle the pain you may be stuck with a tattoo that’s not finished. 

Make a Reasonable Request

Your walk in tattoo request should be reasonable, you can’t walk in and ask for a full sleeve or a large back tattoo. You should aim for a small, simple tattoo when having a walk in. 

You shouldn’t ask a tattoo artist to copy someone else’s work. If there’s a design that you like, this can be used for inspiration to create something similar but unique to your artist. All tattoo artists are proud of their own work and don’t want to copy others. 

Remember that all tattoos cost money. A walk in tattoo isn’t cheaper than a scheduled tattoo appointment. Make sure that you have enough money with you, and include a tip.

The Importance of Aftercare

Aftercare with any tattoo is important as the surrounding skin needs to be looked after so it can heal properly. Listen to the advice of your tattoo artist as they know what’s best for your newly tattooed skin.


A walk in tattoo can be a great idea, especially if it’s your first tattoo and you’re a little apprehensive about getting it done. This will remove the worry before your appointment and you’ll just go and do it when you’re feeling ready.

You should still make sure that you’re prepared and we hope that we have given you lots of tips on how to do this.

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