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So…You Think You Want A Tattoo?

So there’s a downside and an upside to tattoos. The downside is that they’re on you forever. The upside is that, well, they’re on you forever! If you do them right, tattoos can be really amazing things to accumulate. They can be a collection of memories, or experiences, or places you’ve been. But they are undoubtedly a commitment, so it’s important to do tattoos right. You have to educate yourself, because there are so many different styles and techniques, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with everything. I have four tattoos, and they’re all very similar in style. Not that I'm an expert or anything, but I thought it would be fun to do an article walking you through all of the different things to consider when you’ve get tats on the mind. Spoiler alert: they're addicting.

1. First of all, style. There are a ton of different tattoo styles, and they tend to vary based on region, culture, etc. For example, traditional style tattoos are known for their bold lines and bright colors. The realism style features portraits that are, as the name suggests, eerily realistic (i.e., everyone who has gotten Cardi B's face tatted on their thigh recently). There’s watercolor, tribal, minimalist (my go-to), and many, many more. There are also different tattooing techniques, such as single needle, double needle, or fine line. Take the time to research all of the different styles/techniques to figure out which one you like the best, and from there you can find an artist who specializes in whatever you choose.  

2. The next thing to consider is placement. This is key because it’s going to be on you forever. Personally, I like tattoos that are concealable, and almost hard to notice. Plus, none of mine are bigger than an inch. If you looked at me straight on, you would have no idea I have any – you’d have to walk around me and move some limbs to find any. To each their own though; some people definitely prefer more visible placement, it’s just up to the individual. You also have to remember the fact that some places are going to hurt more than others - anywhere close to a bone or joint might be a little more tender. So take your pain threshold into consideration!

3. Most importantly, you have to decide what to get! Pretty much all of mine mean something important to me – I have a tiny lightning bolt on my arm that I got with my dad, an upside down triangle on the inside of my ankle that is representative of being raised in the Jewish culture, and a pine tree on the outside of my ankle that reminds me of Colorado, which is home for me. The only one I have that doesn't have a super “deep” meaning is my fourth, which is a star on the inside of my arm. That one was more just for me, and that is totally fine. Not everything you get needs to have a profound story behind it. Just make sure you find a balance that feels comfortable for you!

4. This one's for you, Mom. Maybe your parents are super chill, and have some tattoos of their own, and literally could not care less what you put on your body. But, if you're like me, it might be a good idea to tip off your parents beforehand. It's absolutely your own body and therefore your own choice, but they probably would prefer not to be taken by surprise. I learned that one pretty quickly.

I've got plenty of ideas in the works for more tattoos, but I'm laying off the ink for now, since I just got two new ones a few weeks ago. If you feel like you're ready for one, go for it! Have fun with it, play around with it, and make sure it's exactly what you want, and where you want it. I drew countless pine trees and stars and such on myself before I figured out where I was comfortable with one. Don't be afraid to ask your artist to re-size and re-position as many times as you need. They'll say it, too: it's on you forever!

Photo Credit: 1, 2, 3, 4

Ellie is a junior at the University of Utah double majoring in Ballet and Strategic Communications. In addition to Her Campus, she is also a member of It's On Us. She loves to travel, is a big fan of all things fashion, and has an unhealthy obsession with cute coffee shops. You can find her (and her blog) on Instagram @ellie.bresler
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