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Your Guide to Getting a Tattoo

Tattoos are a form of art that have been around for centuries. Tattoos allow people to express themselves, which can create personal value in the tattoos that they choose to put on their body. However, western society has frowned upon tattoos in the past, and many stereotypes are often associated with them. Within the last couple decades, there has been a shift in society where tattoos have become more acceptable, and more people have been taking part in getting them.

I personally love tattoos; not only are they just beautiful pieces to look at but I enjoy how a piece of art can offer so much personality and meaning to the person who has it. After getting four tattoos over the past three years, I have surprisingly learned a lot. For anyone looking to get a tattoo, I would like to offer some advice on what you should know before you take the plunge. It’s important to remember these are permanent unless at some point in your life you choose to partake in removing them. With that being said, here is your guide to getting a tattoo.

1. Don’t Rush the Process

The entire process of getting a tattoo can take a long time. You need to stay patient during this experience to see the results of a good tattoo that you will have forever. Some artists don’t have any appointments available for up to a year, and some will be able to fit you in right away. Whichever it is, just be patient because you don’t want to rush into it.

2. Do Research

Doing research for getting a tattoo is extremely important. Even if you just want to do a walk-in appointment, it is important to research the tattoo parlor that you want to go to. First, do research on the various tattoo parlors that are around your area. Or you can look at various artists first, pick a couple that you like and then research their studio from there. Either way, both should be done to ensure your tattoo is to the quality of your liking.

3. Choosing an Artist

When choosing an artist, it’s is important that you meet with them. Not only will they discuss their rates with you and the specific design that you’re looking for, but it will also allow you to get an understanding of who they are as a person. It’s not necessary to connect with your artist, but by being able to connect with them it is possible that the tattooing process will be more comfortable for you.

4. Don’t Be Cheap

Tattoos cost a lot of money and wanting to be thrifty for a tattoo is not something to do. Remember that this tattoo is going to be on your body forever, which this means it is not the time to try and get a deal. It is probable that your artist’s rates are high because their quality of work is worth that amount of money.      

5. Choosing and Finalizing a Design

After choosing your artist, you are now going to be working with them to design your tattoo. This is the time to tell your artist the specific things that you’re looking to see in the design. After they draw up the tattoo, it is important that you are happy with it. If not, discuss possible changes to the design with your artist in a professional manner. A helpful tip: if you find that you’re struggling to enjoy the artwork that they are designing, they just may not be the right artist for you.

6. Mentally and Physically Prepare

Depending on your pain tolerance and placement of the tattoo, it may hurt and bleed. When going to your appointment, it’s important to eat, drink water and relax. In addition to this, wear comfortable clothes as you may be sitting for minutes to hours. Either way, you’re going to want to be in a comfortable position.

7. After Care

Your tattoo artist is going to give you aftercare instructions and you’re expected to follow them in order to take good care of your tattoo. Not taking proper care of a tattoo can lead to infection or if you scratch it, lead to loss of ink from the tattoo. If it isn’t taken care of properly then you may need to go back for touch ups, which may cost extra money depending on their shop policy.

8. Show Off Your Tattoo

Now that you got through the process, it’s time to show off your brand-new tattoo!

Getting tattoos for some people can be stressful, as there can be a fear of how it’s going to turn out. However, by doing your research and properly preparing, it is going to make it a lot easier. Even so, at the end of it, you’re going to have a tattoo that you feel confident to wear on your body forever.

Ashley Ethier

Wilfrid Laurier '23

Ashley is a second year double major in Sociology and English at Wilfrid Laurier University. In her spare time she enjoys reading, walking her dogs and enjoying the simpler things in life
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