Things to think about before you get a tattoo
If I had only known...
So I finally got my tattoo last Saturday, November 11 (Veteran's Day!). It was a big day for me because I've wanted a tattoo since I was 10 and that weekend just seemed like a good day to get a tattoo.
I like to think I was pretty prepared beforehand, asking around and getting feedback and quotes and things like that.
Getting the tattoo wasn't too bad. It didn't hurt really at all (I have a high pain tolerance, though). But in the end I wasn't too happy with it. And it was more than I thought it would be.
So here are some tips to look over before getting a tattoo once you've figured out what you want, why, and where it's going. They might seem common sense but they're things I didn't really think about beforehand.
Sara's tips from experience
1. Research the tattoo you want and make sure it's for you.
At first I had wanted my name in Korean characters. I had wanted that for 10 years. Once I actually got the characters and pictured it on my back, I realized I didn't like it! And what if I had gotten that - I'd be stuck for the most part!
They have the samples of tattoos you can get in the parlor, but I don't think you should got to the parlor and chose from there - I think you should think about it long beforehand. Make sure it's something that represents you and what you believe in, and that it will last the test of time (meaning no names of significant others... haha).
2. Think about where you want it.
Some places hurt more than others, i.e. your shoulders, sides, and other areas that don't have a lot of meat.
Also, some areas are used more and will mean more wear on the tattoo. My friend got one on her foot and it ended up disappearing after a time just from walking.
Also, some areas will have more saggage over the years - you don't want a stretched-out tattoo...
3. Ask around!
There really are differences between places. There are two parlors in the city where I got my tat, and I figured it didn't really matter; a tattoo was a tattoo. I don't HATE the work that was done, but I think that it could have been better. My guy came late and he was rushed because he needed to be somewhere after.
Also, make sure that the place that you want to go has a reputation for safety.
4. Get prices.
So tattoos will always be pricey. But I had asked people about their tattoos the size I wanted mine and they said around $60. And mine was more. It's ok to ask beforehand.
5. Make sure they gave you what you want.
I endured the annoying sensation of the needle for an hour and by the time it was done I was happy enough and ready to go with my new tattoo. But I didn't look closely enough when he gave me the mirror and I got to look at it. It looked fine enough in the two seconds I checked it out, but upon further speculation later on I noticed it wasn't symmetrical; some things were missing from one side of it. And it's not like I'm a perfectionist (I'm not); other people noticed it too. And for $100 I want a perfect tattoo.
I went back the next day to get it fixed and the artist said it had to heal a week before he could add anything. So check it out good before you leave the seat so it can be changed right then.
More by this Author
If you are considering where you should get your piercing, read this page for opinions on the pros and cons of each location, including ears, nose, eyebrows, and belly buttons.
Choosing a tattoo can be stressful because it's so long-term; a tattoo is so permanent. Making the wrong decision can be painful, costly and inconvenient. There are so many factors to consider before making the final...
Sharon Hays, who wrote the 1996 essay "The Cultural Contradictions of Motherhood," described "intensive mothering" as being self-consciously committed to child rearing. It involves being dedicated to...