If you’re thinking about getting a tattoo, there’s a few things you should know first. Now, I’m no tattoo artist or expert. I don’t have 40 tats, I don’t have a full or half sleeve. But, I recently got my third tattoo, and it got me thinking about what I wish I’d known back at age 19 when I got my first one.
Again, all this is just my personal thoughts and opinions, so the next person might think something totally different!
- Pick something with meaning.
I’m sure by now this a pretty well-known tattoo tip, but…back in college when I decided to get my tattoo, I just picked one off the wall. Literally. Brandon and I went into the tattoo place right by campus, I saw a butterfly tat on the wall, and said, “I’ll take that!” Which I would NEVER recommend these days. It’s just not my most favorite tattoo, because it has no story or meaning to it. Thankfully, I wised up and by the time I got my second tattoo in 2013, I knew it should have meaning. So my sister and I got matching tattoos on our feet. And I still love that one–it’s so special that we got it together. And the one I just got DEFINITELY has meaning and I can’t help but smile every time I look at it–because it’s my kids’ names.
- Don’t tattoo your significant other’s name.
Ok, I just told you I have my kids’ names on my body, so obvs I am cool with that. Then it might see odd that my next thought is to just say NO to tattooing your boo’s name on you. But seriously…don’t. Now listen. I fully intend on being married to Brandon til we’re like 90 and can’t see or hear anymore. And then we’ll go peacefully in our sleep, together. BUT THIS IS REAL LIFE. Real life doesn’t work that way, and so I’m calling it like I see it: it’s just a bad idea.
- Expect it to hurt.
Yeah, I’ve had two kids. It ain’t pleasant. And the 6 weeks after you give birth isn’t all that great either, pain wise. So while I think that getting a tattoo is like, a 2 on the pain scale if giving birth is a 10, I’m also just warning you–it’s not exactly a walk in the park. And side note here: running a half marathon is probably like a 9…so if you can run distance and have kids, I fully expect you to handle a tattoo like a pro.
- You may not pick at it.
Soooo…this is really hard for me. Tattoos peel after several days. And no matter how much you want to pick at that peeling tattoo…you absolutely cannot do it. It will ruin your tattoo. It takes everything out of me to not pick and scratch at it, but so far I haven’t and all 3 of my tattoos have been better for it.
- Research your tattoo shop and artist.
Thank goodness for Facebook Moms. I mean, how else would I have known where to turn to get my recent tattoo? I didn’t even have to ask for recommendations myself, because it’s asked enough that i just searched the moms FB group I’m in. I actually liked this place I just went more that the other two places I’ve gone and this artist the best too. Before, I just kinda did a quick Google search of places and whatever popped up was good. But now I know better, and if I ever get a fourth tattoo…well, I’ll be heading right on back to Julio.
Which leads me right into…
- Tattoos are addictive.
They hurt, sure, but not bad enough to be one and done. In fact, I don’t know a whole lot of people who have one tattoo. Either you have zero or you have multiple, it seems! Even my mom, who I thought might be the exception to the rule, is contemplating getting her second one while she visits us later this month!!
- They are becoming more acceptable in the workplace and everyday life.
It used to be that if you had one, it needed to be covered up, and most people didn’t have them. Let me tell you–more than one person at my office has tattoos, and we don’t require them to be covered up. And I think that is true more and more–I see tattoos on employees as I’m out and about as a customer regularly. In general, it feels like tattoos are seen more as “art” than something that only delinquents and tattoo artists have. #SideNote: I’m not the only one at church with a tat, either!
- Consider your placement.
Maybe you DO have a career where you can’t be rocking tattoos. Or maybe having visible tattoos is going to just cause a lot of unnecessary issues for you. Consider putting them in places that can be easily hidden. And if you want to have a really visible tattoo and are able to, then you should totally do it!! I’ve kind of gone up in visibility with each tat I’ve gotten. 😉
- In my experience, black ink holds up better than colored.
Now, it could just be that my colored tattoo is the oldest so THAT’S why it is the most faded. But I did a 2 minute Google search and I think I might be onto something. So just do some research, figure out what will work best for you, your lifestyle (are you always in the sun, for example), and your skin tone. For me, black/gray just works and looks better…so I’ll stick with that!
- It’s not a cheap habit!
Tattoos range in price, but the pricing is based on how complex/time consuming the design is. I’m a fan of smaller, simpler tats, so thankfully mine haven’t been crazy expensive…but still, by the time you’re getting the tattoo (and tipping!) it’s not cheap!
And there you have it! My ten things you need to know before getting your tattoo!
Do you have any tattoos? Is there anything I forgot on this list? If you don’t have a tattoo, would you ever consider it?