Desperate to fill those blank spaces? From pain to placement, here are the things to consider if you're deciding whether to get two tattoos or more in a day.
Once you get your first tattoo, I assure you you’ll be planning your next one even before it heals.
And, if you’re desperate to create some fuller coverage, you might be wondering if you can get more than two tattoos in one day? The short answer is yes! Hell, yes!
To find out everything you need to know when getting two or more tattoos in a day, we chat to artists Lucy Alice and Lauren Hepple. Plus, we hear from tattoo collectors Tia and Maz too.
The Stories & Ink tattoo studio in Falmouth, Cornwall, UK
Things to consider when getting two tattoos in one day
Making the decision to get two tattoos in one day might be an easy one. But, as with any tattoo, there are a few things you should think about first.
Squeezing in more than two tattoos in a day; how’s your pain threshold? I’ve done this a couple of times with a few different tattoo artists. And for me they definitely get more uncomfortable the more you get.
"Our adrenaline, tolerance and patience is being pushed to the limit when we sit for long sessions," she says.
"When you’re hyped up ready to get the one tattoo, that energy does so much work to keep you going through the process, but once that is gone it definitely becomes tougher!"
"I love doing more than one tattoo in a day. My client can have as many breaks as they want"
Blackburn-based tattoo artist Lucy Alice (@_cattnip) urges clients and tattoo artists to take a break when doing multiple tattoos to cope with the soreness.
"I love doing more than one tattoo in a day and find it absolutely fine as long as I force myself to have breaks for food and drink in between.
"I always voice to my client that they can have as many breaks as they want, but personally I find the area becomes more and more tender the longer it is left. Sugary treats are encouraged to help keep you going!"
Choosing the placement
Where you get your tattoos is always important, but if you’re looking to get more than one a relatively painless spot might be better.
Tattooist Lucy explains that placement-wise she tends to do more multiple piece sessions on arms and legs.
"Anything on the torso, I usually advise one tattoo per appointment. But I’m always more than happy to see how my client feels on the day!" she says.
Like Stories & Ink, she’s all for tattoos being as enjoyable as they can be. "In my opinion, I’d prefer someone to have a lovely (as painless as possible) experience than do too much in one day," she adds.
"My advice would be to not have them all done in the same location"
Tattooer collector Tia got three tattoos done in one day by Lauren Hepple.
“I really enjoyed getting more than one tattoo in one sitting. It made it feel more worth it as you walk away with a little collection. I had one on one arm and two on another so I think changing location helped reduce the pain.
"My advice would be to not have them all done in the same location or close together, otherwise it would get very painful. But it’s definitely worth getting more than one, especially if they're small."
How long will they take
Tattoos can be completed in all sorts of time, from a quick 20 mins to eight-hour sessions.
If you’re getting more than one in a day you’ll definitely want to ask your tattooer for a rough time and add this into your plans for the day. Especially if you’re travelling to your tattoo appointment and relying on public transport.
How long your tattoo takes also depends on your artist and the designs you’ve chosen.
Lucy says, "Blackwork tattoos are a quicker process for me so I feel very comfortable that myself and my client can manage a few! For colour work, I tend to advise the customer to limit the amount to three pieces or sometimes two (depending on size) and go from there."
The tattoo designs
The size, intricacy of the design and whether you choose coloured inks can affect how many tattoos you can get in one sitting. Opting for simple, black, linework tattoos could mean you can have more than two tattoos during your appointment.
You might want to add a smaller tattoo onto the end of your tattoo session, or choose to have an appointment filled with small gap fillers.
But make sure to speak to your artist first and agree how many you’re doing. They’ll let you know what’s possible and how long it’ll take.
Healing your new tattoos
How you care for your new tattoo is super important. But can getting more than one tattoo affect how they heal?
"At the end of the day, a tattoo is still an open wound which your body is trying to heal," Lucy says.
"Healing multiple pieces could take a little longer than if it was just the one. And there’s always the risk of becoming a lil’ under the weather due to your body’s reaction to the process."
"I won’t do more than three tattoos in a day as I think it can make the healing harder"
"Overdoing the amount of tattoos may be putting the body through too much to get a nice, simple heal," adds Lauren.
"I won’t do more than three tattoos in a day as I think it can make the healing harder and therefore more likely to run into issues. I find this with my style of tattooing, especially colour work, so this isn’t a one size fits all sort of thing.”
If you’re worried about healing your tattoos you might want to opt for black work, as Lauren explains. "I know some artists who do fine-line work where they will spend a whole day doing smaller tattoos," she says.
"Because it’s not such hard work on the skin, the body copes better with the healing process so the risk is much lower for infection or complications."
Is your tattoo artist onboard?
Make sure your tattoo artist knows about your tattoo plans and is happy to do more tattoos in one session. Rather than asking them to add on more tattoos on the day.
When you’re messaging the tattoo artist let them know where you want the tattoos, what designs you want as well as all the usual info they ask for.
Getting two tattoos in one day or even more is going to cost more. Sometimes tattoo artists might do deals on flash designs or multiple tattoos in one day.
They may even charge a day rate rather than per piece. Your artist will confirm how much your tattoos will cost during your consultation and/or emails.
If you have a budget in mind, let them know. Tattoos can be expensive, but they’re also definitely worth investing in.
Getting a tattoo two days in a row
So, you can get two tattoos in one day but did you know you can also get tattooed on consecutive days? You might book to get tattooed two days or more in a row if you’re:
- Starting a large project
- Continuing work on a tattoo piece
- Having to travel a long way to see your artist
- Getting tattooed by an artist who’s guesting from abroad
- Getting tattooed at a convention
- Making a trip of it or visiting friends
Getting tattooed two days in a row can be tiring and painful, but if you’re committed it’s totally worth it. It can also be a great opportunity to explore a city you’ve not been to and get some amazing tattoos from an artist you love.
"We could have a chat about the plan for the next day"
Tattoo collector Maz has to travel a fair bit to see her tattooer, so "popping two days together made sense, as we worked on a continuing project and started a new one."
"It was a really great experience as I stayed very close to the studio so the morning was relaxed and I wasn’t rushing. They were full on days, but for me the pain of my stomach tattoo was minimal."
"At the end of the first day we could have a chat about the plan for the next day and my artist could take pics of the area to get it fitted perfectly."
Maz’s tips for multiple days include; "stay somewhere close to the studio and get a cab if needed so you arrive fresh, on time and not stressed! Make sure you eat beforehand, take snacks for the lunch break and have plenty of liquids.
"Another thing that makes a multiple day sitting better is to see an artist that you’ve been tattooed by before and you feel comfortable and relaxed with as it will make the experience enjoyable instead of just bearable."
Getting tattooed at a convention
You might be getting more than two tattoos in a day if you’re at a convention - especially if your tattoo artist is from another country or you’ve travelled a long way for the event.
You might even decide to get tattooed two days in a row if you’re filling a large area, or if the artist wants to submit your tattoo for a prize in a competition.
Can a sleeve tattoo be done in one day?
Tattooist Lauren Hepple doesn’t think it’s possible.
“[Getting a full sleeve tattoo] would be a super long day. So much stamina from both client and artist would be needed, which doesn’t sound like fun at all!
"If we're both struggling to get through the day, it for sure won’t be the most enjoyable time." And surely tattoos should be enjoyable!
A full sleeve tattoo can take anywhere from two days to 10 days - that’s roughly 16 to 80 hours.
My left sleeve in full colour was completed in around six sessions which averaged around four hours each. Although a tattoo appointment can last up to eight hours depending on how you sit and your tattoo artist's speed.
Can you get a full back tattoo in one day
Whether you can get a full back piece in one day depends on how fast your tattoo artist works, the design and if you can sit for the whole thing in one go.
That’s not to say it can’t be done, but you and your tattoo artist would need to agree on the time frame and what’s possible.
Should I get two tattoos in one day?
We’re not here to tell you what to do; your body, your rules! Before booking in for more than one tattoo in a single session, you might want to think about everything that’s been mentioned in this guide.
Getting one, two or three tattoos in one day is totally doable. Just make sure to plan ahead and take snacks. Oh and don’t forget to order your tattoo aftercare!
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For more top tattoo tips, aftercare advice and artist highlights, check out the Stories & Ink Journal.