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Things to think about before you get a tattoo

Updated on December 1, 2014

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.


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    • glassvisage profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Northern California

      Thanks everyone! Pro, I try not to show it off too much now... but only because I'm looking for jobs :)

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      hey. looks good! when i finally turn 18 im getting my tattoo straight away! i wanna get a quarter or half sleeve.

      you should check out LAink. reallllllly good show!!

      hope ur showing it off! LOL

    • organized living profile image

      Adrian Walker 

      10 years ago from Magnolia, AR

      Thanks a lot! always nice to hear another ink-virgins experiences. I've been cruising the tattoo pages on the web looking for one to take the plunge with. Ya know next time if you don't mind a little drive check out Shannon Archuleta Tattoo She is one of the most beautiful artists I have found and has a unique style all her own. she sounds very professional too. Her work is all over Flickr if you want to check out her designs

    • jaymz profile image


      11 years ago from USA

      That looks great. Every new tattoo that I get is an experience. It's exciting each time.

    • GreatTattoosNow profile image


      11 years ago from San Jose

      Nice tattoo. Be careful they are addictive! Next thing you'll know you will have some full sleeve tattoos. Koi fish look hot on women by the way if you are searching for another one! Nice hub!

    • profile image


      12 years ago

      beautiful... I have 4 tattoos myself.

      a useful hub!

    • sapheyerblu profile image


      12 years ago from Western Nebraska

      I think for your first tattoo, it's pretty good. Very delicate and feminine.


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