Prepping for Your First Tattoo: What to Consider Before Getting Inked

Whether a meaningful reminder of fond memories or just a display of artwork you have admiration for, tattoos are a wonderful way to express your individuality.

September 25, 2017
By: Katie Morton

Tattoos don't have the same cultural significance that they once had. Despite being around for thousands of years, they've recently become more acceptable and mainstream. Whether a meaningful reminder of fond memories or just a display of artwork you have admiration for, tattoos are a wonderful way to express your individuality.

However, getting inked for the first time can be a bit nerve-racking. So, we pulled together a list of the top four things the experts say you should consider before getting your first tattoo.

1. It's Permanent

The most important thing to know about tattoos is that they're permanent. Sure, you'll frequently see or hear about options for tattoo removal, but to completely zap off a tattoo, without leaving a single trace, is very hard--not to mention painful and costly.

Make sure whatever it is you choose, you'd be happy donning the design until the end of time. Not really sure how to know if it was meant to last? The experts recommend spending a significant amount of time planning and considering your design. The more time spent with it, the more meaningful it will be to you (not all that unlike a relationship).

2. Use Instagram for Inspiration

In order to kick off the process of getting a tattoo, you'll have to decide what it is you'll want to get a tattoo of. While Pinterest and Google image searches will yield a TON of options, your best bet is to probably stick to Instagram. Using Instagram, you can search by both hashtags and take a look at the accounts of some of the biggest and most popular artists in the industry.

Once you have an idea of what it is you want, your next step will be to find the right artist.

3. Look for the Right Artist

Finding the right artist is essential for executing your vision. Google the different tattoo parlors in your area--consider casting an even wider geographic net to give yourself some more options.

Once you have a list of the parlors, take a look at the artists. Many will have samples of their best work (or the work they're proudest of) on the website. However, don't stop just there. Check out their social media pages. See if they have a Facebook page or an Instagram account. Don't just check out what they've posted, but also take a look at the photos of their work that others have posted and tagged them in.

As soon as you've decided on an artist, schedule a consultation. Really talk to them about what you're looking to do and make sure it feels like they get it. Any doubt or uncertainty, trust your gut. You can talk to as many artists as you need to before deciding on the right one.

4. Think Carefully About Where You Want It

Picking the right spot for your tattoo is almost as important as what you choose to get. There are a few considerations to weigh when choosing where you'll want to don your future tattoo: Where will your tattoo look the best? How painful will it be? How visible is that spot to you? Will your tattoo fit in that spot?

Work with your artist to help you figure out placement. After getting to know you and your design, they'll definitely have an opinion or where it would look best. Once you've decided on the artwork, artist, and placement, the hard work will be complete. Now, it's time for you to get ready.

Getting a tattoo is both significant and exciting. Make sure you take the proper steps before making the commitment--you'll be glad you did in the long run. Good luck and have fun!

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