I recently got a tattoo, which was quite possibly the last thing anyone who knows me would think I would get. I don’t regret mine one bit, but I have learned a lot through the experience. I decided to write a quick blog series about the experience, and I’m going to start with six things I think everyone should think about before they get a tattoo. This are things that really solidified the deal and made me confident in going forward with my tattoo. I hope they help you if you are thinking about getting a tattoo. Here goes:
1. Think about your motivation behind getting the tattoo.
Is is because you want to rebel against your parents? Is it because you want the attention that comes with getting one? Think about why you want this tattoo. Is the reason something that will change with time, or is it one that will always stick with you no matter your stage of life? Your motivation will have a big influence over if you regret your tattoo later on or not.
2. Talk to others
Sometimes others’ opinions can be overwhelming, but those who have been through it before or others who have been with those who have gotten one can provide buckets of insight and remind you to think through some points you totally would have forgotten. Also talk to people who know you really well, like a parent, sibling, or best friend, and can help you process whether this is a good idea or not. At the end of the day, it’s about you and why you want it, but others can bring up a few good points you would have missed otherwise.
3. Location, location, location (on your body)
The location of your tattoo on your body is everything. For five years I wanted my tattoo on my wrist, and the night before going I really started thinking about the location after talking to my friend. Think about what job you want to have in the future, think about the social stigmas (even if you don’t agree with them) that come along with that location, and the pain that goes along with which area you decide on.
4. Do your research
Do your research on the place, on the artist, everything. Yelp and the parlor's website can be valuable information providers. Read about other people’s experiences with the location and artist, call the shop and talk your ideas through with someone. The worst thing you can do is walk into a random shop with no idea who the people are or what you are getting. Walk in with a plan and if you can bring your own drawing of what you want or at least a picture of what you are looking for.
What time of the year is it? Will you be swimming a lot, will your new tattoo be exposed to lots of sun? Will you have the time needed to give your tattoo the attention it needs to heal correctly? Spring/Fall is the best time to get a tattoo because chances are you won’t be swimming and you also can give your tattoo the breathing time it needs by not covering it in layers of clothing.
6. It’s permanent
This seems obvious, but it’s truly something you really need to think about. The power in tattoos is that they are permanent, which while it is really cool, it means you have some serious thinking to do before you execute. Some people say that you need to think about the tattoo you are getting and the place you are getting it, and be confident in it for a year. Others say this is an overstatement.
Stay tuned for next week, when I will give my experiences of how these points played into my decisions!