So you wanna get ink ’d ? – Everything you need to know before you get tattooed.
Getting a tattoo is not something you ought to get on a whim or when you are drunk. It is a life long commitment and must be treated as such.
Of course if you are me – you might wake up one morning, decide to get a tattoo, harass your friend to find a tattoo artist in the city – and be the proud owner of tattoo in two weeks. But I was 14 (im pretty sure getting a tattoo at that age without parental consent is actually illegal now) so lets chalk that up to immaturity 😛
(sorry for the flash in this picky)
Apart from the fact they are so pretty, there are a fair few reasons why people decide to get ink ’d.
- Change – You want a new look, you want to change a part of your image and a new hair color isn’t enough
- To commemorate a special event – Accomplished a personal goal, special events or people you don’t want to forget or even as a constant reminder of a valuable lesson learned.
- Self expression – body art is a great way to express yourself, and a great outlet for all the dark and twisty thoughts 😀
- You got one and now you are addicted.
- Just because 😀
Most people will find however that their first tattoo is generally a mix of all of the above.
So how do you know you’ve picked the right tattoo?
Pick a design, and then ask your tattoo artist to do a temporary one on your chosen spot – live with it for a week. If it feels right, you’ve picked a winner and if it doesn’t feel right then you can make all the changes you want until you know you’ve picked the perfect one.
However people change, personalities change so while picking your tattoo ask yourself a few questions …
- How will I feel with this tattoo when I am 60 years old ?
- How will I carry this tattoo when I am older?
- Consider the placement of your tattoo and where you want to be in life, a tattooed lipstain on your neck is all good and funky but chances are you might get turned down for a lot of jobs with a tattoo like that.
- What kind of signals are you sending – ie Do you really want that tramp stamp (typically a butterfly at the base of the spine, right above the butt)? How would you explain a tram stamp to your children?
Tattoos can be beautiful and classy or they can end up being downright tacky and tasteless. A good tip to keep tattoos beautiful without being in your face with them is –get one on a discreet part of you body. The shoulder, back, inner hip, or on the legs are great places where one can hide them easily as the occasion demands it. Having a tattoo on your wrists, arms, above the breast, on the neck, or behind the ear can be slightly obvious, and be very problematic once you have a serious career. The last thing you want is to be a banker with a tattoo on your wrist and to flash it every time you shake a client’s hand.
NOTE: This is a true story actually. I met this guy who worked for a bank. He also had dreadlocks and a tattoo of his ex girlfriends lip print on his neck. Management refused to let him deal with clients and they made him hide in the cafeteria every time senior management or external clients were visiting !
But like I said before, if it feels right it feels right, whether its on your butt or on your face 😀
People are often worried that tattoos hurt a lot. If you are sensitive to pain, yes it will hurt but if you are like me, used to the pain of waxing, you will be fine. Tattoos don’t hurt in that OH MY GOD AHHHHH kind of pain you feel when you get your nosed pierced. It is surface pain, because the needle only pierces the top layers of your skin. So it is not bone deep pain. It is similar to the sting of threading or being scratched – but it doesn’t stop during the process….The actual procedure involves a machine with a motor that allows the needle to rotate a very high speed. The needle is dipped into ink and then run over your skin, effectively injecting the ink into your dermis – not the epidermis. This is because the dermis is more stable than your epidermis and it is what allows your tattoo to last a lifetime.
However before you get your sexy tattoo – ensure the following are in order.
- Your tattoo artist is hopefully a senior artist – they may cost more but they are more conscientious and definitely worth the money.
- A disposable needle is used. Make sure they open the needle in front of you and either hand it to you at the end of the procedure or dispose of it safely in front of you. I am sure you all are familiar with why this is necessary, HIV, STDS blah blah blah.
- They sanitize the area before they begin the tattoo process.
Once you have you have been ink ’d, after care is very important. Vaseline will now be your new best friend. However most tattoo artists will give you a talk on their preferred method of after care.
Tattoos may be difficult to remove but they can actually be changed, or added on to after a while. If your tattoo starts to fade in a few years, a touch up is recommended so that it can go back to its dark and defined glory. Of course you can always change your mind and get them surgically removed but if you are so wishy washy about your commitment to body art then why bother with one in the first place? But if you are sure want one of these babies – jump right in ……
In my experience most people who get tattoos are in love with them. After a few years your tattoos just become a natural part of you, like your nose or your lips. So while getting a tattoo might be a huge deal in the beginning, after a while its just one of those things, its special, its beautiful but most of all it’s a part of you: D