Getting a Tattoo: 5 Things You Should Know

Try to be original.

CraveOnlineby CraveOnline
Photo: Photologue (Getty Images)

So, you’ve finally saved up some pocket money and convinced your parents that you should get a tattoo, but what’s next? How do you proceed? Well, the most important thing is to be absolutely sure you want one. As you know, tattoos are permanent and, though they can be somewhat removed using lasers, it’s a painful process that isn’t 100% effective. That is why it’s better to take some time and think hard whether it’s just a spur of the moment or you really want to decorate your body permanently. In light of that, here are 10 things you should know before getting a tattoo.

Choose a Design

The first thing you need to do is find the design that would be just right for you. Remember, people who see it will ask you about its meaning and you’ll want to be ready for it. If you don’t have anything specific you’d like to tattoo, perhaps it’s best that you choose something small and appealing, a detail that only a few will notice. That way, if you like the effect it has on your overall look or your confidence, you can do a larger one. Also, you should stick with a simple black design first, before trying anything colorful.

Research Your Artist

The next essential thing is to choose the venue and, more importantly, your tattoo artist. Of course, you’ll want a place that is clean and sanitized. It doesn’t have to resemble a hospital, but it should give off a pleasant vibe. Go with a friend and scout the place first to see under what conditions the artist is working. Ask if you could stay and watch him do tattoo someone to get acquainted with the process. If he’s unwilling to do so, you might be better off finding someone else. Also, don’t forget to ask around and read some reviews from his customers. They can be life-saving sometimes.

Think Long-Term

We know that this may sound cold and detached, but tattooing is a great time to realize that everything is transient in life. Don’t tattoo the name of your girlfriend or a band that you like right now. Try to think a bit more long-term and find something that marks a special event or defines you completely as a person. Besides that, keep the aging in mind. As we grow older, our skin becomes much darker and wrinklier. Will the design you’ve chosen withstand the test of time? Ask your tattoo artist how to make sure your tattoo doesn’t lose its shape or even meaning.

Take Care of It

People don’t usually think about it, but the process of tattooing is basically scarring of the skin and your skin will react. Chances are it will become red, swell up, and there might also be a rash for a while. You’ll need to consult with your tattoo artist and/or your dermatologist to choose the best care for your skin type. Taking proper care of it will make sure the tattoo is undamaged along with the skin beneath it. Just keep in mind that it’s all quite normal and nothing to worry about. The only time you should really go see someone is if it somehow looks infected.

Ignore Comments

Finally, you’ll have to be aware of the fact that people will judge your tattoo no matter what’s on it. Tattoos are somehow still taboo in our society, so chances are some people will label you as an eccentric. You have to learn to ignore snotty remarks because, at the end of the day, the tattoo is your way of self-expression and is supposed to be only for you. If other people like it, good, if not, who cares? Life is too short to be living off other people’s opinions.

 

Have you thought about getting a tattoo? Do you already have one? Share your experience here to help others make up their minds.