Are you tatted? Here are 05 things to keep in mind before getting inked.
What are tattoos to you?
Tattoos are way of expressing for me. But it may differ from person to person. Sometimes, you may just like a design and decide to get it. Most times, you want to express an intent, a belief even art through your tattoos.
I had four tattoos, yes, had! My first one was inspired by a Weekender ad I saw where a cool young woman was taking a shower after an intense workout. She had a tattoo of a dragonfly at the nape of her neck.
I decided to get one too. My place of choice was just below my left collar bone - my first mistake. The tattoo artist couldn't find a dragonfly reference, so I settled for a fire-spewing dragon - my second mistake. It was an interesting experience to say the least. The artist had shaky hands and it would steady only after a drink - a big red flag right there one that the excited young me chose to ignore. It was a dual coloured tattoo where the dragon was in black while the fire of course was in red.
Fast forward few years and the tattoo starts to fade into oblivion. How? No one knows. I don't stop it or get it filled in simply because I absolutely regretted the hell out of my choice of place for the tattoo. It drew the eye whenever I wore a wide necked dress and I hated it. I am an introvert and that was like getting a red blinker on my head. That was when I decided, no more impulsive tatts. I started researching all my tatts and I have three more now.
So here are 05 things to keep in mind while getting ready to getting inked.
1. Research, research, research!
Always research your tattoo. Decide on the size, the colour, and confirm the meaning. I am sure you must have read nightmare stories of foreign language characters tatted that have completely different meaning to what was intended. If need be, visit your tattoo artist of choice and discuss.
2. Choose your tattoo artist
Reviews are a good way of choosing a good tattoo artist. Talk to friends with tattoos, ask their experience of getting one. Carefully study the way they tattoo outlines and the way they shade in tattoos. Most often than not, you can filter the mediocre ones out. Visit your tattoo artist and ask questions about the process. Enquire about the hygiene, the needles used, chances of allergy, the levels of pain to expect.
3. Choose your place of tattoo carefully
Unsure of where to get your tattoo? Research on similar kinds of tattoo and look out for the different places they are tattooed. You usually get an idea but if you are still unsure, go to your artist and take their opinion. They usually have a good idea and will suggest a place. If they are open to it, you can even get a temporary stencil done on your place of choice so you can get used to it.
4. Listen to the instructions carefully and follow them!
When a tattoo artist tells you to eat something and hydrate yourself before coming in for your appointment, listen. They tell you this for a reason, quite often people experience dizziness and may feel faint. Avoid alcohol before getting tatted, it is not your friend.
5. Prepare mentally
You are altering your body forever, be sure of your design. Contemplate on your design, your place of choice, your chosen artist…basically everything. Expect pain and prepare for it. Based on the place you choose to get tattooed, the pain may vary. Discuss with your tattoo artist.
There you go…these are just a few pointers to keep in mind when you are getting tattooed. Personally, my tattoos are often spaced in years now rather than months. I contemplate all my designs carefully and at times, I might be contemplating two or three designs at once for different areas. Once I am sure, I go to my artist of choice and get it done. Please make sure you choose an artist with a permanent setup so that if you decide to comeback for refill, you don't find a Houdini act.
All the best and have fun…it's a beautiful experience that you will always cherish and quite often repeat!
Here are my tattoos!
Do you have tattoos? How was your experience getting one?