What to Consider Before Getting a Tattoo

Tattoos: some people love them; some people hate them. As society is growing more accepting of them as a form of artistic self-expression, there has been a significant increase of people willing to get inked. Personally, I have two tattoos so far and I am nowhere near finished – they become addicting once you begin. Although they are incredibly small and may be seemingly pathetic to anyone with a full sleeve, I can share some tips that anyone should follow before getting their first tattoo.


  1. 1. Think about your idea for at least a few months.

    Before you get a permanent design on your body, it’s obviously a good idea to think long and hard before you go and get it done. We’ve all heard horror stories about someone getting their significant other’s name tattooed on them or getting something done on an impulsive night out. While this could make for some crazy memories, chances are you probably won’t want a Where’s Waldo tattoo on your leg forever. Make sure you think about your idea for at least a few months so you can make sure that it is something you will appreciate for a long time.

  2. 2. Find the perfect artist for you.

    There are tons of different tattoo design styles: realism, Japanese, tribal, watercolor, American traditional, and many more. Artists specialize in specific design styles; so, if you’re looking to get something super small (like a single needle tattoo), make sure you find an artist that is able to do it. I’ve had the experience of traveling all the way to a tattoo artist, only for him to tell me that he wasn’t able to go as small as I wanted for my tattoo. Of course, I am grateful he was honest with me and didn’t give me something that I would have ended up regretting, but it instead taught me to find a specific artist before anything.

  3. 3. Find the perfect placement.

    Make sure you think about the body placement of the tattoo. The size and length of your tattoo will often determine the best place to put it. If you want a large tattoo, for example, you should find a large surface area of skin that can fit it. Smaller tattoos can be done on smaller areas like the neck or fingers. Of course, get your tattoo wherever your heart desires – but make sure you’ll want it there forever! If you have the intention of being able to hide it when you need to, try to stay away from the lower arms or chest area.

  4. 4. Save up.

    Tattoos are not cheap. If you want to go to a reputable, high-end tattoo shop for your first tattoo (which I highly recommend), they will almost certainly ask you for a security deposit of $100 and it will go up from there depending on the size and style. Make sure you set aside some money before you go and get it done!

  5. 5. Don’t go drunk.

    Some people may think taking a shot of liquid courage before getting a tattoo will lessen the pain or ease up their nerves. Alcohol is a blood thinner, which means that you will likely bleed much more than you naturally would if you decide to drink before you get a tattoo. Save the shot for after you’re finished and you won’t be sorry.