You go for a walk on the beach and when people start taking their shirts off you see one or two people with tattoos similar to yours… Total downer, or totally OK?
People get tattoos for a variety of reasons, but there are two clear trends. Some take tattoos to stand out, while others take tattoos to show affiliation. If you get a tattoo to show affiliation, the point may be that your tattoo should be similar to the tattoos others in your group have. This often doesn’t mean an exact copy though.
If you get a tattoo to stand out it can be quite a letdown if you meet someone who has “copied your tattoo”. This is why it is important to take control of the creative process around your tattoo. Being activeb in the process is the best way to ensure you get something unique that is “you”. The following paragraphs will guide you through the process of choosing a tattoo you will be happy with.
If you’re ready to get a tattoo but don’t know what kind of design you want, you are not alone. There are few who, the moment they decide to get a tattoo, immediately have a clear and finished design in mind that they know is right for them. Finding the right tattoo doesn’t necessarily have to be difficult, but it is a bit of a process. If you follow it correctly, the result is a tattoo you are very happy with, and that you can carry with pride for the rest of your life.
The process starts with inspiration. The most effective way to generate inspiration in a systematic and effective way is through research. A good place to start may be the Internet. There are countless pictures of tattoos online. Go through these systematically and save anything that is of interest.
Find an idea or design that speaks to you
The perfect design will be one that you feel that both yourself and others can identify with you. When you come across a design that you feel speaks to you, or that you feel expresses something important to you, you are often on the right path. Remember that you do not necessarily have to find exactly the tattoo you want. It is enough to come up with some tattoos you like that the tattoo artist can use as a basis for understanding you and what you want to express through your tattoo.
Ask for help from your friends
Sometimes it helps to get the objective opinions of others. Your friends are usually the ones who know you best. Therefore, it might be a good idea to ask them what they think about the various sources of inspiration you have found, and how they may or may not be used as tattoos on your body. Write down any ideas and comments you get from your friends that might help the tattoo artist.
Meet with the tattoo artist
After you’ve gathered enough ideas and inspiration, it’s time to meet with the tattoo artist. Usually the tattoo artist will have many unique designs created for other clients. You can look at these to judge the skill of the tattoo artist, and to use as further inspiration. Keep in mind that the intention is not to use exactly these designs, but if any of the designs feel right to you, it is up to the tattoo artist to base a new design on the concept or style in one of these, often in combination with sources of inspiration he gets from you.
When you meet with the tattoo artist, it is also important to decide whether it is the right tattoo artist for you. If you do not get along well with the tattoo artist, or you do not like his style, you should find another tattoo artist. Chances are that, if you don’t like his tattoos and his style, you also won’t like the end result either.
New technology makes it easier to remove tattoos using laser treatment these days. Despite this, you should still consider tattoos as a permanent thing. Laser treatment is much more expensive than the tattoo itself and will take a long time. It’s also not something your skin will thank you for. The skin will, however, always bear the mark of the treatment it has undergone.
Therefore, when getting the design from the tattoo artist, you should think carefully before you finally get inked. There is no need to rush this decision. The tattoo is a picture you will carry on you daily for the rest of your life, so you will have plenty of time to enjoy the sight of it later.
Placement of the tattoo
The tattoo will become a part of your body, so how happy you will be with it will depend on how well it fits in where it is placed. It may be a good idea to find out in advance how well it fits where you intend to place it. A tip for figuring this out in advance is to print out the tattoo and simply “try it on”.
Your job may be one thing to consider when deciding where to place your tattoo. For many, it may be a good idea to place the tattoo in a place where it can be easily hidden by the clothing you usually wear at work. Tattoos are starting to become very common, and it is rare that this is a problem, but to be sure, it may be wise to place the tattoo somewhere where it can be covered with regular formal work clothes.
You can learn a lot from observing other people who have tattoos. This can help you decide where on the body your tattoo will fit. Another thing that some people should consider is that certain areas of the body are more sensitive than others. If you are a person with a low pain threshold, you may want to talk to your tattoo artist about where it hurts the most to get a tattoo.
Discuss any changes with the tattoo artist in advance
Tattoo artists want you to be satisfied as a customer and are therefore usually very open to input in the planning process. What they doesn’t appreciate is if you change your mind and ask for changes while the tattoo work is in progress. This can distract the focus of the tattoo artist. It can also in the worst case lead to a messy execution. If you have any changes you want to make to the design, you should talk to the tattoo artist in advance so he can plan. If you want to add new details to your tattoo you will be able to come back later to do so.