Getting your first tattoo
Getting Your First Tattoo: A Checklist
Getting a tattoo is more common than it used to be, but that doesn’t make it any easier when it comes to your first one. There’s a lot of fear and misinformation involved in getting your first piece of ink and the whole process can seem more intimidating than it needs to be. While the process isn’t likely to be completely painless, so long as you plan your tattoo out ahead of time and make smart choices you should be well on your way to a healthy tattooing experience.
Pick a Design
Before you make any other decision you should plot out what kind of tattoo you’d like. You can get with a tattoo artist ahead of time if you’d like, or you can create your own design to bring into the studio when you’re ready. It’s important to remember that this design is going to be on you permanently, so there are some things you should keep in mind before you solidify your design idea. Try to remember the things you liked ten years ago. How many of those things do you like now? If it seems like something you aren’t likely to be excited about in a decade’s time, you may not want to get it etched into your skin forever. When you do pick out a design that really speaks to you, plan your colors carefully. If you do end up needing to get your tattoo removed via laser later on in life, green, blue and black inks are some of the easiest to remove. Red, orange and yellow tend to stay with you a lot longer.
Pick a Spot
After you have your design it’s time to figure out where you’d like to have it placed. Consider how visible you want the tattoo to be and where it’s going to look best. For visual purposes where your tattoo is can make or break your actual design. Something that looks great on flat paper may not look as good on your stomach, which folds and stretches as you move. A good tattoo artist can help you design your piece around wherever you’d like it to go.
Pain is another factor when it comes to getting your first tattoo. A general rule of thumb is that the softer the area, the less it’ll hurt. This is part of why the thigh and upper arm are popular places to get tattoos done. Ankles, your inner wrist and your shoulder blades are going to hurt a lot more than your stomach.
Pick an Artist
Who does your tattoo is just as important as what you have tattooed and where. You want to make sure that your studio has a good reputation, and a quick internet search should give you a baseline as this industry relies heavily on word of mouth when it comes to generating business. Once you’ve found a few good studios check out the portfolios of the artists that work there. If the studio doesn’t have a website you can still find them on social media – most artists have Facebook galleries or Instagram accounts where they show off their work. This will allow you to see which artist is skilled in the area you need them to be: if an artist is excellent at lettering, for example, it doesn’t mean they’re good at doing realistic portraits. After you’ve made a decision, you can reach out to that artist and set up an appointment to come in and get your piece done at a time that works best for the both of you.
Need more help with your first tattoo? Leave a comment below!
Contributed By: Cole is the patient coordinator at Absolute Laser Tattoo Removal. He is also both the first client of, and the reason for, Absolute. To this day, he can’t remember why he decided to get the “Live Fast, Die Young” tattoo. All he knows is that he wanted it off and his father wasted no time figuring out how to get the darn thing off as completely and as fast as possible with as little pain.