Getting My First Tattoo: Tips and Tricks

CW: suicidal ideations and self-harm

University is an excellent time for many of us to try new things. This past Monday, I got a tattoo at Tattoo Box Montreal, something that I would have never pictured myself doing. But just as I have changed a lot at McGill, so did my views on getting a tattoo. I had a really positive experience, so I would like to share some aspects that made my experience truly excellent.

1. Make sure that you get something you will not regret

For me, it was important to get a tattoo of sentimental value. However, tattoos do not need to carry a sentimental value for everyone - they could just be pretty or cool-looking. I got a semi-colon tattoo on my left wrist to commemorate the fifth anniversary of when I was hospitalized for cutting myself during an episode of suicidal ideations. The semi-colon tattoo symbolizes a pause in someone's life rather than death, which could be represented by a period. As an English major, I enjoy the use of grammar in this metaphor. I also chose to get a very small tattoo because I felt more comfortable getting a small one, but that will vary from person to person.

2. Bring friends

Getting a tattoo was a big moment for me, as it was a brand new experience. The friends I brought validated the importance of getting this tattoo, while also de-stressing the situation through jokes (some to my own expense regarding my accident proneness). After, we stuffed our stomaches at Juliette et Chocolat on St. Laurent, and they served as my photographers and modeling advisors for how and where I should pose for photos.

3. Communicate with your tattoo artist

My tattoo artist, Graham at Tattoo Box Montreal, really took his time to make sure I liked the size and orientation of the tattoo and asked me questions during the process to ensure that I liked it. In the end, it was exactly how I wanted it.


Getting a tattoo is an experience unique to each individual, and I hope that my experience adds to a myriad of opinions that influence a person on whether or not to get a tattoo.


Images are author's own