I know that its been awhile since I’ve done a Tuesday Top Ten and I feel bad about that. I’ve been so busy and I’m glad to be back and with such a fun topic. I love tattoos. I love getting them, I love having them and I love showing them off. I admit, summer is usually my favorite time of the year because I don’t have to bundle up and cover it and my tattoos can be seen. I love when people see them, and I really love that I can see them. I get them for myself first and foremost, so I love having them show.
That being said! I’ve had a lot of people come to me and ask me for advice over the past few years, and I thought, you know what, I’m going to do a Tuesday Top Ten talking about getting a tattoo and the things you should know!
1. Research Your Artist
This seems like a common sense to me, but you’d be surprised how many people just don’t do this. Its important to feel comfortable with the person that you’re getting a tattoo from. They should have a good reputation, work in a clean tattoo shop, and all of that sort of thing. But they also should be on the same page as you when it comes to your vision and what you want. Not all tattoo artists are the same! I use the same artist for a good chunk of my tattoos but I know that I won’t always be going to him, because there might be some tattoos that he might not feeling comfortable doing. Do your research for sure!
This is also important: be VERY clear on what you want. Bring pictures, examples, all of that. Make sure you and your artist are on the same page about what you want. Vague descriptions, “I don’t really know what I want”, that sort of thing is just frustrating to an artist. Give them something and work together to create something that you’re going to love and that they feel 100% comfortable tattooing.
2. More Money, Better Quality
Again, should be common sense. But again, people don’t put the time to think about this. You’re going to be spending a good amount of money. Most shops have a minimum of about 60 to 80 dollars, no matter how small the tattoo is. Please be aware of that. Your tattoo artist, for the most part, is not trying to rip you off. You are definitely going to get what you paid for, so pay more! You are spending money on the quality of the tattoo and this should be incredibly important to you as its going to be on your body forever!
3. Put Some Time and Thought Into It
This is huge to me. I don’t believe that every single tattoo on your body should have some deep soulful meaning. I don’t. I think tattoos can be there just because you want them, or just because you appreciate the artistic value of them. Either way, you still should think before you get one. Put some thought into it, especially if its a fandom tattoo. Is this something you want on your body forever? Is it something that, even if you don’t like later, you can look back onto fondly? I may not always love the book series I’ve permanently etched on my skin but right now, they mean so much to me and I’ll remember that when I’m older. Give some thought to what you want!
THIS IS HUGE! This is incredibly huge and you need to think about this. The location is incredibly important when getting a tattoo. One, you need to make sure that you have enough space available for what you’re hoping to get tattooed. Don’t think you can get something huge on your arm if you have noodle arms. Be realistic.
You also have to think of it because of potential job situations. I would never judge anyone who has visible tattoos…I have plenty! But if you’re looking to go into something that looks down on visible tattoos (though I think that’s becoming more and more rare), you need to weigh how much you want your tattoo in that location versus how important that career choice is for you. You should also keep in mind that while a job might be okay with a visible tattoo, do you want to present a huge Pikachu on your bicep to the people you will be interacting with at work.
Lastly, you need to think of the pain. That’ll be covered more below but location is huge when it comes to pain and pain tolerance.
5. Its Going to Hurt
Yup. It is. Don’t let anyone tell you that its not. Tattoo artists use anywhere from one to many needles at one time, and yes, they’re stabbing at your skin over and over again.
What’s great about this is…I personally think its not nearly as bad as people make it out to be, at least in the locations that I’ve gotten tattoos so far. Some areas hurt more than others. Places that are more muscly or bony tend to hurt more. My thigh and ankle were the worst places for me and I keep putting off my rib tattoo because I’m not quite sure I can handle it. But all of my other tattoos were mildly painful but definitely tolerable. Be aware of this. Know which locations hurt more than others when deciding where to get your tattoo and keep that in mind. If you have a low pain tolerance, I wouldn’t suggest getting your tattoo in a spot where its going to be incredibly painful! That or be very prepared to feel that pain. In the end, for me, the pain is always worth it because of the beautiful piece of artwork left behind. Also! Talk to your artist; they will take breaks, and give your skin a breather if that’s what you need!
6. Trust Your Artist!
Yes please do! These people have spent years doing what they do. They must apprentice and learn all the different aspects of tattooing and running a tattoo shop. They draw and draw and draw and practice and practice and practice before they even tattoo somebody. This is a trade, just like any other trade that has to spend time learning and they know best. If they suggest something, you need to listen. This is why researching your artist is very important. Find someone who sees your vision and gives it to you in a very practical way. This is not only going on your body, but this is something that is under their belt and they want to be proud of it. They know better than we do. Of course, don’t give up everything you want! Just like with everything, there is a compromise. Listen to your artist, tell them what you want and work together to come up with the best tattoo for you!
7. Tips, Tips, Tips
Its so simple: tip your artist. They work hard! They draw out the design for you, they make sure its on straight, which canNOT be an easy task, and they spend a lot of time, hours, multiple sessions, bent over, making sure your tattoo comes out perfect. Its simple. Just tip them. They deserve it!
8. There is Long Term Care
Please remember this! You don’t just get to walk out of a tattoo shop, and wham, you’re done. There’s a lot of care going into a tattoo. When you first get it, you need to do everything your artist tells you to do in order to make sure it heals right. Keep it out of the sun, lotion it up, all that good stuff. This is important to make sure that it heals correctly. But also remember, after it heals, you still need to take care of it! Sunscreen will keep it safe from sunburns and fading, and lotioning it up will make it look shiny, and soft and new! Also keep in mind that you will be putting more money into that tattoo over the years, to keep it looking fresh! Touch ups are necessary. Tattoos are something you need to care for, so its definitely something you need to keep in mind!
9. Its Addicting
People always joke, oh tattoos are so addicting. I remember laughing and thinking, no way! I just want a few and I’m good at that. Fourteen tattoos and a million more ideas later…and I would agree with that assessment. I’m not saying that’s going to be you! But do keep in mind that you just might be bit by the tattoo bug. I’m happy to be a part of the club though, so if you do get a little addicted, there’s nothing wrong with that. Remember: its your body!
10. Be Confident
This one I put on here especially because of fandom tattoos. People are NOT going to understand. Fandom people will and its awesome to get compliments on my Harry Potter, Doctor Who, Star Wars and other nerdy tattoos. It really is. But not everyone is going to think that. Now maybe I’ve had bad experiences with it. I’ve had people judging me, making fun of me, telling me I’m going to regret getting Harry Potter tattoos and all sorts of just mean and negative things, but here’s what I’m going to tell you: who cares? Be confident. If you are happy and satisfied with your tattoo, rock it! Its your body, not anyone else’s and you are the one that should be happy with it. It does suck to have someone tear you down for something like that but I look at my tattoos and I see how awesome they are and I love where they are and all of that and I rock it. I remember that this is my body and not theirs and I’m happy with them. If you’re happy with what you have put on your body, then that’s all that matters…and to me, it makes it that much easier to not have any regret about them.
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So those are my ten little bits of advice about getting a fandom tattoo…or any tattoo really. I will never pretend to be an expert but after fourteen tattoos, I am more and more comfortable when going under the needle. I am always here for advice or any of that, and if you live around me, I’m always always always up for a trip to the tattoo parlor!
Happy Tuesday everyone! Don’t forget to share your awesome tattoos with me!