They say diamonds are forever, but tattoos are a real commitment.
Are you ready to get some ink? Here are some things to think about before going under the (permanent) needle.
Will You Love This Design Forever?
Ask yourself - will I still want this design in...
If someone asks about the tattoo, what will you tell them?
Which Shops Are Safe?
Walking around the corner to the nearest place that says "TAT-2" might be convenient, but you'll want to check that the place is safe and hygienic.
In the US, licensing rules vary by state, but check that the shop:
Is willing to give you a tour of the workspace
Uses disposable, medical-grade equipment
Sterilizes any equipment that is not disposable
Shaves and disinfects the skin
Feels clean, bright, and uncluttered
Has a safe, marked container where they dispose of needles
Cleans and wipes everything down between clients
Tom wants a tattoo and has a design he REALLY loves. How can he find a safe shop?
Ask his friends for referrals
Visit the shop before he gets the ink
Read online reviews
All of these
Who Will Your Artist Be?
Shop around, meet with different artists, and look at their portfolios.
Make sure they do the kind of work you want!
If you're looking for a pretty watercolor design and all they do are sailor tattoos, you're not going to get the work you want.
This person is putting something on your body forever, and sometimes you'll be spending hours with them over multiple visits - you deserve to like and trust them!
Joe found an artist online that does the exact kind of work he wants. Which is the most important thing for him to do before getting tattooed?
Follow the artist on Instagram
Read online reviews
Comment on the artist's photos
Meet the artist face-to-face
Where, How Big, And How Expensive Will Your Tattoo Be?
When thinking about your tattoo, consider that:
Big tattoos hurt more than small tattoos
Tattoos on fatty areas of the body hurt less
Tattoos directly over bone hurt more
Tattoos on your thighs, stomach and arms tend to stretch over time
Tattoos that see a lot of sun will fade faster
Good tattoos cost money - discuss this with your artist BEFORE THEY START!
How Will You Care For Your New Tattoo?
While it heals you'll need to keep it:
Dry (no swimming!)
Moisturized (ask your artist for recommendations)
Out of the sun (cover it initially, use sunscreen after it heals)
Follow the directions from your artist so your tattoo heals well!
If you feel ready for your first tattoo (and you're legally old enough to get one) it's time to:
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This Byte has been authored by
Creative, Cross Cultural ID and HPT Practitioner