I had my first tattoo at 18 and my second at 21, I am now 25 and thought I would write up a post for those considering getting a tattoo. When I got my first tattoo I had no preconceptions of what it was going to be like, I just walked in, had it done and then left. This post includes all the information I wish I had known before getting my first tattoo. This post is not intended to try and put anyone off having a tattoo but for people to ensure they have fully prepared for their first bit on ink.
Seriously consider the design you are going to get. After all this is going to be on your skin for the rest of your life. If you are good at art then draw something up, if not ask a friend or have someone professionally draw a design that you love. Hold onto this design for a while and look back at it a few months later. Ask yourself if you still like this design or are there parts you would change? If you think you would change something then get it re-designed and start the process again. Keep going until you are 100% happy.
When considering your design you also need to decide where it’s going to go. You can literally get a tattoo anywhere on your body but maybe don’t get your very first tattoo in the middle of your forehead. Some lines of work are put off by visible tattoos so if you are looking into a particular career path you might want to think of a placement that can be covered easily.
Can you handle it?
Everyone’s pain tolerance is different. You may get people telling you it doesn’t hurt and others who say it hurts like hell. The pain also depends on where you are getting tattooed. I had my foot tattooed and it was bearable. I had my ribs tattooed and had to have it done in 4 separate sittings because the pain was horrific! At the end of the day you are having ink embedded into your skin with a needle, it’s not a walk in the park.
You’ve got your design and placement decided and you think you can handle the pain but you now need to decide who is actually going to do it. I WOULD NOT recommend just waltzing into any old tattoo studio and getting it done there and then. Research tattoo artists, speak to friends and maybe even visit tattoo conventions to find out who the right tattooist is for you. It’s not an easy talent to master so make sure the person doing your tattoo has worked at their skill and can give you the best tattoo you could get.
Considering when to get it done is just as important as who’s going to do it. You need to consider what else is going on in your life at the time you want to get it done. Tattoos take time to heal and do need good aftercare. It’s no good getting one done the day before a festival for example because you’re just not going to look after it as well.
When you go into your tattooist ask any questions that are on your mind, nothing is stupid. Make sure that you are 100% committed and know everything you need to know. If you’re not sure about something the tattooist has suggested then tell them. This is your tattoo and it has to be right for you.
If you have covered all the above pointers then you are ready to face that needle. Maybe take someone with you to hold your hand like I did (Thanks Mum!) because this decision will change your body for the rest of your life.
If you’re about to have a tattoo and have any questions just send me a tweet and I will be happy to help – @neesharees
Anyone got any tattoo pictures to share with me? I love looking at other people’s designs.