A tattoo is one of the most meaningful forms of self-expression you can adopt. Adding something to your skin makes it a part of who you are. It also requires a serious commitment. Unfortunately, there are a lot of people who make that commitment without thinking it through, and after awhile they regret their decision. While it is possible to remove a tattoo, the procedure is expensive and can leave you with unwanted scarring.
Taking a few minutes before you sit down in the artist’s chair can save you a lot of trouble down the road. Consider these five questions before you decide to get a tattoo, and you will decrease the likelihood that you will suffer from “Ink Regret”.
1. Why do you want to get a tattoo?
Is your tattoo going to be a reflection of something you really love or believe in? Or is it just an attempt to look “cool”? Remember, getting a tattoo isn’t like buying a new shirt. It’s not meant to just be a style choice. People get tattoos to illustrate their beliefs, to declare their love for someone important, or to reflect their lifestyle. That’s not to say that a tattoo can’t be decorative or beautiful or interesting*but its meaning generally encompasses something deeper than just a “pretty picture”.
2. Is your chosen design something that will always be relevant?
You may be a fan of the TV show Family Guy, but in 20 or 30 years, will people remember who Stewie was? If you are going to have to explain why something used to be cool, chances are that it’s not a good choice.
3. Is your tattoo going to look good as you age?
Keep in mind that the skin stretches as you age and gain weight. Picking a design with too many small details will not look clean and crisp the older you get. A good tattoo artist can tell you whether or not your design needs to be revised to keep a clean image as your skin ages.
4. Is your tattoo artist experienced?
The worst thing you can do is try to skimp on something like a tattoo. A good artist may cost much more, or may have a waiting list, but we’re talking about an eternal symbol of something you (ostensibly) care about. Check out the artist’s portfolio. Ask questions. If you see someone with an outstanding tattoo, ask them who their artist is. This is a decision you should take your time with. It is a decision worth researching and investing in.
5. Location, location, location.
Are you planning to put your tattoo somewhere “personal”? Or will it be located somewhere everyone can see? If so, think about whether or not you want it to be noticed and remarked on for the rest of your life. The general public will stare, and even make comments. It might not be a problem, but it’s definitely worth considering before you get any work done.
A tattoo is nothing to be afraid of, even for the commitment-challenged. But if you are certain you want to get it done, a few minutes of careful consideration will ensure that you are happy with your decision for many years to come.
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