How To Set Up A Tattoo Workstation
When it comes to the question “How To Set Up A Tattoo Workstation?” Every Tattooist will tell you the same thing;
There’s something ritualistic about how to set up a tattoo workstation. Everything you do should be the same every time you tattoo. This way you always know where everything is and where everything is not. If something is missing you will feel ‘wrong’ and this is the best indicator that something is wrong. A tattoo workstation should be a clean area.
Tattoo Station Best Practice
It is not an office, not a drawing room, and most definitely not a cafeteria. Drawing, paperwork, discussions with clients before and after the tattoo, Internet research, and other business functions of the studio should be performed outside the station as much as possible. While this may not always be practical, it is the best possible practice.
Tattoo Station Setup Step-by-Step
The first step of the tattoo process is to sterilize your work area. This means that you want to spray down all of your workstation surface and the chair your client will be sitting in with your bleach and water mixture. Spray the table then the chair. The reason you want to do this in order is because you don’t have time to let the bleach water sit on the table. That way the table top is soaking for and extra few seconds while you spray the bleach water on the chair. You wipe the bleach off the table and let the chair soak while you set up.
After you wipe down the table top you when to lightly spray water on the corner of the work station you plan to use. You always want to operate from one corner or the other so you have room to move your client around. If you work from the center then you will hit the table or they will get in the way as you tattoo.
Rip off a sheet of wax paper about a foot or so in length. Lay down the wax paper in the water lined up with the corner of the table. The water you sprayed will hold down the wax paper and keep it from moving as you tattoo.
Over the years I have constantly adapted my setup to best suit my constantly evolving creative needs. Here’s a short breakdown of what i think is the most important thing i’ve learnt over the last 10 years. Ergonomics.
What is Ergonomics?
By definition, ergonomics is “the study of work.” That is a pretty broad statement, so understanding it scientifically may make a little bit more sense.
What are the benefits of ergonomics in the workplace?
What is seemingly comfortable and simple for one person may be set up in a way that is extremely difficult for another. That’s why focusing on ergonomics is beneficial in the workplace.
Preventing injury with proper ergonomics
There are several conditions that can arise as a result of poor ergonomics. Some of them may require medical attention or other treatment if they are left alone without correction for too long. You can be susceptible to the following ailments:
- Headaches and migraines
- Back injury, pain, and aches
- Stiff neck
- Sharp pain in your fingers “trigger finger”
- Musculoskeletal disorders – carpal tunnel, tendinitis, rotator cuff injury
Each of these health conditions can cause you mild to severe discomforts not only while you are working, but after you leave the job site. Each can lead to poor production as well as days missed from work or a complete inability to perform your work tasks any longer period.
My number one tip when setting up your work area ergonomically
- Check your posture. Your posture has to be correct before you start building a workstation around it. The look and feel should be similar to that when you sit in your car. Your feet need to be flat on the floor, put your hands in your lap, relax your shoulders, and stick your buttocks behind you. This is the perfect position for comfort and ergonomics and your “natural position.