Tattoos have always been popular, but they've never been as mainstream as they are
today. If you've decided to go ahead and get a tattoo of your own, there are a few
things to consider before the first needle touches your skin. Take the time to research
so you won't be left with a permanent mistake adorning your skin.
Finding a Tattoo Artist
Tattoo parlors abound in every major city and town across the country. The first important
choice you'll have to make is where you want to go to get your tattoo done. Make sure
that the place you're considering is clean and hygienic. Ask about their sterilization
procedures and anything else that you're concerned about. If they're legitimate, they
will gladly answer all of your questions. Check with your local Better Business Bureau
to see if there have been complaints made about the location. Go in and talk to the
tattoo artists, and get a feel for their personalities. It's very important that you
feel comfortable with the artist who will be doing your tattoo, and are confident
in their abilities.
You should also make sure that you like the quality of the work that the tattoo artist
does. The best way to check, of course, is to see actual examples. Ask your friends,
or if you see someone sporting a tattoo that you especially admire, ask them where
they got it done. Every tattoo artist has their own individual style, and you'll need
to choose someone whose style meshes with your vision for your own tattoo.
Look closely at other people's tattoos. Good craftsmanship will stand out; the lines
will be solid and smooth, the colors vivid and completely filled in, and the overall
appearance will stand up to close scrutiny. Visit several studios or parlors, and
make comparisons. My first tattoo was based on one that I saw on a stranger at the
mall. I stopped him and asked where he had it done, what he paid for it, and how much
it hurt. He was happy that someone noticed his body art, and more than willing to
share the info.
Choosing Your Image
Now that you've got an artist in mind, it's time to decide on the artwork. You can
choose from literally thousands of pictures in the books you'll find at the tattoo
parlor, but if you really want to be individual, you'll want to come up with a design
of your own. Think about things that you really love - hobbies, colors, things you
collect, people you can't live without - and draw your inspiration from these. You
want to make sure that your design reflects something that you know will be in your
heart forever, not a tribute to your current favorite band that you'll be embarrassed
over in a few years' time. The same goes for names on your tattoos. While you might
be head over heels in love with Frank today, you may not feel this way 20 years down
the road. Think long and hard about your choices.
Another thing to think about is the size of the tattoo you want. While many people
advocate the selection of a small tattoo for your first one, you may not be able to
see the quality or detail in the finished product if the image is too tiny.
Once you've decided what image you'd like to use, book a consultation with your tattoo
artist. He or she will be able to do up a custom design for you so that it will be
unique and truly yours. If you can, take along pictures or illustrations of what you'd
like to have, and together you and your artist can make your dream tattoo a reality.
Don't be afraid to speak up and tell them if you want things changed as the drawing
goes along. A true professional will welcome the challenge of making your tattoo absolutely
Location, Location, Location
Getting a tattoo can be confusing if you do not know what you want. For starters, browse through these numerous tattoo designs
and you might find a tattoo design that you like.
Tattoos are painful, there's no doubt about it. Some people will tell you horror stories
about the pain they endured getting their tattoo, while others will brush it off as
just a bit of a burning, prickly sensation. It really depends on your own tolerance
for pain. There are some places on the body that are more painful to have tattoos
done on than others. Anywhere that is right near a bone, like the hips, shoulder blades,
spine, or ankle, is going to be a touch more painful than areas with more fat on them,
like the buttocks or upper arm.
Another thing to consider is your career. While it would be nice to think that potential
employers wouldn't care in the least about visible tattoos, this is simply not the
case. If you're not sure you want people to see your tattoo while you're on the job,
get it in a spot that can be easily covered by your work clothes. As a freelance writer,
a mom of two, and a volunteer with my son's school, I have tattoos on my shoulder
blade and ankle - two spots that can be easily covered, or shown off in the summer.
Finally, you'll need access to your new tattoo in the aftercare stage immediately
following the work. If you live alone or don't have anyone available to help you out
with this, then getting a tattoo in the middle of your back where you can't reach
it probably isn't a wise idea. In this case, make sure the tattoo is in an area that
you can get to easily to clean and check for infections.
Enjoy Your New Body Work!
Before you get the procedure done, ask loads of questions and make sure you understand
everything that's involved in getting a tattoo, each step of the way. Once you've
made the commitment, enjoy your new artwork! Tattooing is definitely addictive, and
once you've done it the first time it's very likely you'll be back for more.