Choosing Your First Tattoo

Don't rush into picking your first tattoo.

It seems like everyone is getting tattoos lately.  No longer just the choice of sailors and motorcycle gang members, today you see tattoos on everyone from young mothers to grandmas. Body art has become a form of personal expression, a way of telling people who you are and what you’re about.  Even so, getting a tattoo isn’t something to take lightly.  You should think long and hard about this decision since it’s going to affect you for the rest of your life.  That said, here are some things to consider when getting your first tattoo.

Don’t Rush Getting Your First Tattoo

A tattoo makes a strong personal statement and will last a lifetime, unless you are getting a henna or temporary tattoo. I once read that you should never get a tattoo that will get you killed in prison. OK, a little extreme. But along those same lines, you should never get a spur of the moment tattoo, especially when you are inebriated.  You might wake up in the morning and regret your spontaneous decision.  Also, don’t go for the trendy tattoo.  There are a lot of people with tribal tattoos and barbed wire tattoos that thought they were cool at the time, but now, not so much.

Here’s How To Get Your First Tattoo

  • Spend some time deciding on your first tattoo.  There are lots of idea books and design galleries, and every ink shop will have hundreds of patterns on display.
  • Research the shop beforehand.  Make sure it’s clean, and that you feel good about the place.
  • Find someone who is a tattoo artist.  Lots of people can tattoo, but there’s a huge difference in the quality of artwork among tattoo professionals and it pays to find someone who is really talented.
  • Have a custom artist draw an original design that will be your own.
  • Don’t go for the cheapest shop on the street, this is not the time to get a bargain basement deal.
  • Ask questions of the artist and the shop owner. If they’re not happy to talk to you, don’t give them your business.
  • Understand that the procedure will hurt, and come prepared to be tough.  For your first tattoo, don’t pick a spot that will be more painful, such as your wrist.
  • Always follow the aftercare instructions to the letter.  You don’t want to ruin your new tattoo, or get an infection.

Keeping these things in mind will help you to have a positive experience when choosing your first tattoo, and will ensure that you will have a design that is both unique and timeless.