We’ve all heard the horror stories of drunken nights leading to tattoo failures. It may sound like an amazing idea to get a banana tattooed on your thigh while you’re under the influence, but hungover you might have different thoughts. Tattoo regrets can happen anytime, but there are ways to make sure you get a tattoo you won’t regret. Follow these 11 tips to make sure you get a tattoo you love.
1. Make it Meaningful
The best tattoos are thought out and reflected upon before commiting. Choose designs that are meaningful to you. You’ll never regret something that has meaning or memories behind it, unlike a ginormous tiger tattoo on your back. Hey, unless you’re into that!
Search the internet for ideas, just remember, trends will come and go. Steer clear of anything that could turn out to be a fad. Do you remember the trend of getting a mustache on your finger? The hype is long gone now but people still live with their choice. The point is, really love the tattoo you’re going to get. Not just now, but also in 60 years.
2. Do Your Research
Many tattoo fails happen with tattoo artists who have a little niche compared to those who are constantly striving to improve their craft and expand. Find a reputable tattoo artist to give you the tattoo you’re dreaming of.
Don’t forget to ask friends and family for tattoo artist recommendations. Personal recommendations are the best way to find the quality tattoo artists for your desired style. If you like the way their tattoo looks, you’ll probably be happy with the tattoo you get.
3. Look at Portfolios
Professional tattoo artists have social media profiles, particularly on Instagram, where you can get an idea of their style and examples of their work. Take a look and see if it aligns with what you’re looking for. Don’t be afraid to ask for testimonials or reviews from clients. This will give you an idea of how trustworthy and professional the tattoo artist is.
4. Tour the Shop
If possible, visit the shop virtually or in-person and check out the space. You can get a great idea of the type of business it is by walking in the virtual door. Most tattoo shops operate by appointment only - but many shops are taking their video shop tours to their social and websites.
If you aren’t feelin’ it, try another tattoo shop. In fact, visit several before making a decision. This will help you get to know the expectations you should have and those expected of you.
5. Don’t Bring a Crew
Hey, friends are great, but sometimes, they steer us wrong. Everyone has their opinions and you know what they say about those. Tattoo peer pressure is a thing! Bring your best mate, but leave the posse at home. Check ahead of time with your artist if visitors are allowed in the tattooing session. A quality tattoo artist will limit the number of people in the area you are being worked on. This is to help keep the area clean and safe for everyone.
6. Share Examples with the Artist
Tattoo artists tend to be more visual, so the best way for a tattoo artist to get an idea of what you want is with examples. Share a few versions of what you’re looking for and explain what you like and don’t like about each one. Be as specific as possible to get as close as you can to what you’re looking for, however; be open to the tattoo artist's expertise on how designs lay on skin. Your artist will sketch up their version with the examples you provide.
7. Pick a Good Spot on the Body
Think long-term when picking where you want your tattoo. Will you need to cover your tattoo? There may be times when you need to hide your tattoo. Places like fingers, neck, hands, and behind the ear are difficult to hide. The foot, rib cage, or hip are great places for a tattoo you think you will need to hide at some point.
Plus, let’s face it - some body parts age better than others. The inner forearm, upper chest, back of the neck, and lower back give you the best chance of portraying minimal signs of aging. Think long-term about the best place for your tattoo.
8. Don’t Show Up Drunk
Let’s get serious for a minute. Don’t get a tattoo while you’re drunk! Not only are your thoughts unclear, you could make a tattoo decision you will regret.
It’s important to know alcohol thins your blood which can make the bleeding worse. You can also experience light-headedness and, possibly, faint. Professional tattoo artists will refuse service if they see you’re intoxicated.
9. Avoid (Most) Names
You’ve probably heard the advice to never get that special someone’s name tattooed on your body (but, hey, that’s up to you!). But what about other names? Family names are often chosen because family is forever; it’s unlikely you’ll regret getting their names. When considering a name tattoo or other honor, make sure it’s a statement you feel comfortable making as long as you sport the tattoo. This is true for political and social tattoo images.
There are many reasons you would get a name tattooed on you. This is often used in memorial tattoos for past loved ones or pets.
10. Don’t Price Shop
Quality doesn’t come cheap. If you’re looking for a cheap tattoo, just remember, you get what you pay for. The extra money and time is worth the difference in quality. Many artists specialize in specific types and styles of tattoo art. Shop for type, style and quality over cheapest price.
11. Listen to the Artist
The tattoo artist knows their craft better than anyone, and they want you to love your tattoo. A quality, professional artist will not try to convince you of something to make a buck. Some even refuse service if they think you’re making a mistake in your tattoo choice. Listen to your tattoo artist advice and consider their recommendations.
Don’t end up on a tattoo fail list. Stick to the tips and advice in this article and you’ll end up with a tattoo you love.