Once I was of age, the one thing I was most excited about was getting a tattoo. Tattoos have always been so beautiful to me despite how members of my family may feel about them. I now have eight tattoos, but there are some things I wish I would have known before I got my first one.
*Now we all know tattoos are forever. With that being said, you want to really think about what you are getting on your body. Take as much time as you need to make your decision, but whatever you choose, make sure you get something that has meaning to you. I’d suggest researching whatever idea you have, especially if it’s something that’s a part of a different culture.
*Not only do you want to research the tattoo idea, but you also should research the artist. I have a tattoo by an artist that I wish I wouldn’t have gotten. You want to look at the person’s work. Ask the artist all the questions you want. If you feel weird about the artist trust you gut. Just because your cousin got their tattoo by a particular artist doesn’t mean that you have to.
*I’m not going to lie and say tattoos don’t hurt because that’s not true; it all depends on your tolerance of pain and the placement of the tattoo. Research the more painful places on your body to get a tattoo. I’d strongly suggest against getting a tattoo in a place that has a high level of pain for your first tattoo, like your foot, chest, or face. If you’ve never gotten a tattoo you won’t know your tolerance of pain and you shouldn’t just jump in and get a big tattoo on a sensitive area like your chest.
*You want to research the shop you choose. Knowing about the tattoo artist’s work is important, but if the shop isn’t clean does it matter if the artist is the dopest in the world? Look at the reviews of the shop you plan on going to. Personally, I have gotten some tattoos in apartments, but I’d strongly go against going to someone’s house. Go to an clean, established tattoo shop.
*Tattoos are not cheap, and honestly, would you want to pay $20 for something that’s going to be on your body forever? If you want a nice tattoo that won’t fade before it’s supposed to, then you’re going to end up paying some bread for a tat. Before you go get the tattoo make sure it’s within your budget. Also, be aware if the tattoo artist is trying to finesse you. If you’re planning on getting a tat the size of a quarter you shouldn’t be paying $500 for it.
*I can not say this enough, but the most important thing about getting a tattoo is research. You shouldn’t just wake up one morning and say, “Hey, I’m going to get a tattoo today!” Really think about your decision. There are so many other things to consider when getting a tattoo, that I didn’t even mention on this list. This is something that is going to be on you forever and you don’t want to get a tattoo in your teens that you’ll regret in your 30s.
By Jordan Danae, Northern Illinois Alumna
IG & Twitter: jordaniaa_