A tattoo is a permanent addition to your body, so if you are thinking about getting inked, there are a lot of things to consider.
Do you know what you want?
This is pretty important. It’s one thing saying that you want a tattoo, but another to actually know what you want and where. It’s not something you should decide on a whim, so really think about it. If you want a quote, make sure it’s spelled and punctuated correctly, and if it’s in another language, check with a native speaker that it’s correct. Is it something that will still mean the same to you in 20 years? Getting someone’s name or likeness on you isn’t a wise idea, but if you do want to do this, make sure you really think about it.
Do you know a decent place to get a tattoo done?
Choosing a tattoo artist isn’t the same as deciding where to grab a burger from. It’s crucial that you do your research on the studio and the artist to ensure you get what you want. Getting a tattoo done in someone’s kitchen is not a good idea at all! You want the studio to be clean and sanitary, and feel free to ask questions about the cleaning process. You’ll also want to look at the artist’s previous work. Make sure there are examples of the style you want, as some tattoo artists will specialize in specific techniques.
Are you prepared for aftercare?
Tattoos need looking after once they are done, to keep them looking their best. For the first few hours, it will need to be covered up, but after this you need to let it breathe and rub special ointment on it. After a few days, it will start to scab and be incredibly itchy, but it’s essential that you don’t scratch it or you could ruin the design. You can’t submerge it in water while it’s healing, or subject it to too much sunlight, so it’s not a good idea to get a tattoo just before a vacation. Tattoos also age, so it’s essential to consider how it will look in a few years. Perhaps you will gain or lose weight, your skin will sag, or it will merely fade – how will you feel about that?
Will a tattoo work with your future plans?
As sad as it is, even today, people with tattoos can be judged by potential partners or employers, so it’s important to consider whether this will affect you. Some jobs don’t care as long as it’s nothing offensive, whereas others are happy for you to have tattoos as long as they can be covered up with clothing – so nothing on the face, neck or hands. Other employers may not have an official policy, but could be subconsciously biased about anyone with visible tattoos. If you are looking to work in entertainment, perhaps as an actor, dancer or children’s performer, or as a teacher or nurse, you may also have to be aware of this.
Of course, there is also the pain element. A whole bunch of needles going into your skin really fast for a few hours is understandably quite painful, so if you’re someone who faints at the thought of an injection, a tattoo might not be for you! However, if you’ve thought it through and really want to commit, go ahead! But be warned – they can be addictive!