A tattoo can be a fun way to express your personality. But, as somebody who used to work inside a tattoo parlor, I can tell you that buyer’s remorse takes on a whole new meaning when discussing tattoos. Tattoos are pretty much permanent, but sometimes people overlook that fact and get tattooed on a whim or without fully considering the future ramifications of a tattoo. The tips below will help you make a more regret-free decision, considering all the important factors (even a few you may not have thought of).
1. Think about your job situation. One of the huge mistakes people make with tattoos is that they do not consider their employment options. Many people spend so much time picking out a colorful design that they will not regret, that they forget to consider the non-aesthetic ways a tattoo can alter a person’s life. It’s a sad fact that many people still judge based on appearance, and tattoos make you appear less professional. Tattoos on very visible body parts (like the forearms, hands, neck, or face) constitute vocational suicide for a lot of jobs. If you’re getting a highly visible tattoo, make sure it will be accepted at your current job and that it won’t prevent you from getting future jobs in your field.
2. Think about the healing process. When considering the location of your new tattoo, make sure you also think about how much it will hurt and how easily it will heal. Tattoos on parts of your body where the skin is stretched tight (like the chest or spine) will hurt a lot, and if you have a low threshold for pain, then you might flinch too much and cause some of the tattoo to come out crooked! A good tattoo artist can usually anticipate your movements and also salvage most crooked lines. Regardless, somebody who is squirming around during the tattoo can still expect a slightly decreased level of quality. Also, if a tattoo is on a part of your body that is constantly rubbed against during the day (like on your back or buttocks if you sit a lot for your job), then the healing process will be more difficult. Also, make sure it is located on a spot that you won’t be tempted to scratch; you don’t want to inadvertently pull off the scabs early and accidentally pull out some of the color beneath! Nothing spells regret like a tattoo that has patchy spots from early scab removal.
3. Think about your history. If you have a history of changing your mind a lot, then stay away from very specific tattoo designs. For example, don’t get a tattoo of your favorite album cover if you have historically changed your music opinions a lot in the past; even if you think that you’ll love that album forever, history may dictate that you’ll probably end up moving on at some point. Also, be very careful when putting a person’s name on your body. If you have a bad track record with significant others, then don’t put a lover’s name on yourself no matter how much you think the relationship will work out-it’s better to keep on the safe side. Also, consider the likelihood of family feuds or lost friendships when adding a tattoo related to other loved ones.
4. Think about the future. When picking out a tattoo design, remember that tattoos change with time. Don’t just think about how the tattoo will look tomorrow, but also consider ten, twenty, or thirty years from now. It’s true that colors fade a little bit over time, but they can be touched up and brightened later on, so don’t avoid color altogether. The main thing to remember is that lines will expand a little bit as you age. The color will seep out of the crisp, clear line to form a slightly older looking blurred line. It won’t be a major change, and it takes a long time to happen, but just remember that the more intricate and detailed your tattoo is, the more you’ll notice the deterioration over time. Just be prepared for that super-detailed tattoo to become a bit more simplistic as it ages. A tattoo should look good even without tons of little intricacies, so make sure you are happy with the overall design as well as the minor details.
5. Think about the tattoo artist. The artist is also occasionally overlooked. People sometimes assume that all tattooists are created equally; this is not true. Make sure you research the tattoo shops in your area and go to an artist with a lot of experience and a good reputation for quality work. The “good” artists sometimes cost more, but when you keep in mind that your tattoo will be on your body forever, it will be worth the extra money to get a high quality tattoo.
If you carefully weigh these factors, you’ll be less likely to get stuck with something you regret a few years down the road. If you go in to get your tattoo with both eyes open, you’ll end up with a beautiful work of art that you love for the rest of your life.