So You’re Getting a Tattoo, Eh?

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“Tattoos have a power and magic all their own. They decorate the body, but they also enhance the soul.” -Michelle Delio

Thinking about getting a tattoo, eh? This is a big step. You’re about to etch something into your skin that will last the rest of your life (unless you pay crazy amounts of money to get it removed). To some, this may sound awesome, but to others, it’s quite terrifying. This could be one of the biggest decisions of your life. I am not trying to scare you out of this decision but just want to make sure you are fully educated before you go under the needle. So here are a few tips you should consider before getting a tattoo.

What it really feels like


“Tattoos are like love…beautiful and sometimes painful.” -Inked

When I went in to get my first tattoo, I was extremely nervous and excited. My roommate at the time bet I wouldn’t go through with it, and my mother was hoping I would change my mind. I obviously couldn’t back down because I had to prove a point: I’m no chicken and sorry mom, but this is the beginning of many crazy shenanigans I will pull in the future. The guy sitting next to me could tell this was my first time, and leaned over to ask if I was nervous. I admitted yes but reassured myself that I would see this through. I asked him what it felt like. He responded “it feels like a cat scratching multiple times”……….. what?? One, I had never been scratched by a cat, and two, why would I put myself through that voluntarily?

Now that I have five tattoos, I am happy to tell you it does not feel like multiple cat scratches. Honestly, it is not as bad as many may think. When the tattoo artist began, I was able to let out a sigh of relief because I had built it all up in my head. Don’t get me wrong; it is not enjoyable; however, it is very worth it. To me, it feels more like a safety pin quickly poking the surface of your skin repeatedly. While that may still sound awful, it is really not that bad (I do not suggest you actually take a safety pin and practice on your skin). It really just depends on where you fall on the level of the pain scale. For those that have given childbirth, this might be a walk in the park, but for those that cry about a paper cut, you might want to rethink it.

There are areas of the body that are more painful than others when getting a tattoo:

getting a tattoo image

Get something important to you


“I have chosen my tattoos carefully. Look closely. As tools, they may grant you a glimpse into the human I am.” -Anonymous

This is something that is very important to me, but not everyone. I would suggest getting something meaningful to you because it will be there forever. However, I do have friends who do not believe in this because they see the tattoo as just decoration on your body. I have once had it explained to me as decorating my room; you love the design, but it may not have some emotional tie for you. While that does make sense to me, it is truly up to you whether you want something that holds an emotional tie or something that just looks cool.

The cost of getting a tattoo


“You get what you pay for”- Every tattoo artist

So this is something to really think about because yes, you do get what you pay for. However, some places may completely overcharge you, so watch out. I would suggest looking at multiple tattoo artists and getting a quote from each one what you’re wanting. This way you can see their style and see if it is worth their price. Some shops have a shop minimum of how much a tattoo will cost. My best friend and I wanted to get a tattoo the size of a pencil eraser and the shop minimum was $50. We ended up looking elsewhere and were able to get it for $40.

Picking a tattoo artist


“A great tattoo is a statement, not a style. And getting it Is a journey, not a destination.” -Inked

The tattoo artist is imperative to me because I like to know that we are vibing the same and have a real connection. With one of my tattoos, I had an idea of what I wanted but was not sure how it should look, and I was able to work the artist to come up with a great design. One artist was mid-tattoo and asked me if he could add something to the original design, and I was like yeah that sounds awesome, and I’ve been happy with it ever since. Something that people tend to forget is that these people are real artists and have some mad skills. So try to find one that you mesh well with and let their beautiful minds go wild.

Picking the tattoo shop


The tattoo shop is crucial as well because you want to make sure you are going to a clean environment. Make sure you can see them open up the packages of sterilized needles before working on you. You have the power to leave if you feel that shop is not clean or up to your standards. Dirty needles can lead to not only an infection but also a virus.

In the end, the decision is up to you.

getting a tattoo my experience
Credit: Tavinia Tucker

“If the body is a temple, why not decorate the walls?”- Anonymous

Many people in their 20s fear getting a tattoo because they worry what their parents will do or if it will hinder them from getting a job. In the end, the decision is up to you. It is your body, and you have the right to put whatever you want on it (as long as you are 18 and older, sorry teenagers). It is also up to you how many tattoos you want to have, because trust me, after the first one, it. Is. Addicting.

Resources: Lovinkit, Hepatitis Central

Do you have any advice for getting a tattoo? Share it below!

So You're Getting a Tattoo eh?

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