Tattoos are for life, and they are our silent storytellers, our loyal companies to the grave.
Tattoos can either bring good or bad perceptions, depending on the visual message it communicates with other people. Tattoos bring us dignity, and it is a pride having it on our skins. So it is important that we are concsious and smart about getting it. Nobody wants a bad tattoo for sure. But unfortunately, a lot of people still get them.
Sometimes the client’s fault, sometimes the artist’s. This is why the old saying kept repeating itself. We gotta “THINK BEFORE YOU INK”. Here are the top 10 things to think of before getting a tattoo. A must-read for tattoo virgins.
1. Condition your Mind
Accept the underlying consequences. There will always be people misjudging or negatively thinking about you from now on. It is normal, so keep calm and fuck what others think. Nobody can please everybody.
Unless you are willing to let the tattoo artist do whatever he wants on the spot, have an idea of the tattoo that you want. Research. Browse through magazines. Find the perfect image that tells your story. You don’t wanna regret your tattoos. So think about it.
Tattoos can be quite painful. If you really want it but all that’s hindering is fear, then you gottta overcome it. It’s the only way to have it. Think Mind over matter. This is why tattoos are not for everyone.
2. Condition your Body
If you are under medications, check with your doctor first. Do not get it if you are pregnant, nursing, or sick.
Diet, vices, and other lifestyles affect the quality of our skin. Smoking, drinking, and lack of sleep dehydrate the skin, reducing its potential to hold a tattoo effectively. We have to know that it is also up to our skin’s ability to hold tattoos efficiently, so that we would avoid blaming an unsatisfactory tattoo solely on the tattoo artist.
So what now if you have bad skin? You can always rejuvenate it by drinking more water to keep hydrated, lotioning it for moisture, getting enough sleep, and abstaining from vices for awhile. Allow your skin some time to naturally cleanse itself. Rid of toxins from pollution and bacteria build-up between the pores by working out. You gotta move and sweat it out, chap!
Be in good shape. Don’t get it when you’re too drunk to know what’s going on. Consuming alcohol during the tattoo session not only thins the blood, but the bleeding pushes out the tattoo inks as well, giving the tattoo artist a hard time pushing it in.
3. Look for a Good Tattoo Shop
Don’t get it from a person you don’t know who’s giving it for free just ‘cause he’s practicing. Get it from a professional. Find a tattoo shop, visit it, and survey the area. Take note of the cleanliness of the surroundings and observe their sanitary procedures. Let the artists educate you about cross contamination and the risks of contracting blood-borne diseases. If they were able to give you an informative answer, you’ll know they’re the ones to trust.
4. Find a good Tattoo Artist.
Look up artist portfolios and get to know your tattoo artist by checking out his/her works. Browse through his tattoo works above all, and take a look at his drawings and paintings if there’s any. See if the artist has good taste and style. Observe his work ethic. If it appeals to you, then you’ve found your artist!
5. Know what you want.
Browse through different styles of tattoos on books, magazines and internet to see which style appeals best. Explain it to your artist and ask for creative advice. If you want a small tattoo, know that too many elements in a small tattoo would visually clutter the tattoo up. Know that a tattoo has to be readable. It is the key to a beautiful tattoo. Discuss with your artist on this.
6. Be careful about what you're getting.
Don’t get your lover’s name tattooed…..not until you’re happily married.
It would be sorry case if you had it too early and all too suddenly, the relationship ended. Just like that. Most of the time, it turns into a sad regret. Most people end up resorting to laser removals, which are expensive, painful, and more damaging to the skin. Tattoos are life-changing. So think about it really well.
7. Check the Spelling.
If you're more into letter tattoos or oriental (Kanji, tribal, or Chinese) characters, proofread the stencil and make sure that it is correct before the session begins. You surely wouldn't wanna get a kanji that translates to "asshole". The joke's gonna be on you for the rest of your life. So do some further research, and be 100% keen about it.
8. Book an appointment with your Tattoo artist.
Book an appointment preferrably a bit ahead of time. This leaves you ample time to think through your tattoo and get in good shape for it. Consult your artist for guidelines prior to the tattoo session.
9. Save up for the tattoo
Tattoos are quite pricey because of the amount of time and creative efforts put into them. Tattooing isn’t an easy job, for it requires a lot of maintenance. From shop maintenance, sterilization of equipment, to skill maintenance. So it’s important to find a hardworking artist to entrust your skin to. Don't ever settle for cheap, amateur tattoos. Remember that your tattoos are supposed to make you look better. They should be able to bring you pride and dignity for life. So get a skilled tattoo artist, ask about his terms and modes of payment, and save up. It’s gonna be worth it.
10. Have enough rest before the tattoo session.
You owe it to your body to rest well prior to the tattoo session, because after all, your body’s gonna suffer for you. The whole tattooing process looks cool, but not so cool once you're on the hot seat, sitting it out for hours. Pain tolerance vary from person to person. Some have a really low pain threshold, some are tough as rock. Know which one are you, and correlate it to the tattoo design you're getting.
If you are not sure about your pain tolerance coz you're a tattoo virgin, then it would be safe to get a small tattoo for now, just to experience how it feels. You can always add another to your collection later on. So get some beauty sleep, and dream about your awesome tattoo happening very soon! Good luck, and welcome to the tattooed community.