5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Getting Tattooed

John Dietrich

First, your wild friend went under the needle. As the years passed, so did your uptight friend. In fact, you’ve witnessed all kinds of people embrace this bold form of body art. Everyone– except you.

After long contemplation, you’ve finally decided that getting tattooed is the right move. For the most part, you’re comfortable with the idea, and you’re confident in the tattoo design you want.

But, you still have nagging moments of doubt. In these moments, the unknown downside of getting a tattoo can feel more threatening than the monotony of playing it safe.

Sound anything like your own situation? Congratulations– you’re human, and that means you’re often called to decide without knowing the outcome of your decision. But, the fact you’re reading this article is a testament to your wisdom: you’re someone who thinks twice before making major decisions.

To help you make the most clear-headed decision possible, we’ve come up with five questions for you to consider before getting tattooed. Answer these honestly, and you’ll go forward– without looking back once.

1. Think about your tattoo idea. Would you classify it as a ‘timeless’ idea, or one made in the ‘heat of the moment’?

Some spur-of-the-moment tattoos turn out to be masterpieces. And only so much calculation can go into a single decision; life, after all, is a big game of risk. But, if you’re the cautious type, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with taking time to consider the longevity of your tattoo.

So, you’ve come across an idea that you really like. Will this same idea be meaningful to you further down the road? Picture yourself ten years from now; twenty years; thirty–OK, slow down! Let’s recalibrate: is this tattoo true to who you are, or are you acting on a whim?

Now, ask yourself this: Are you someone who regrets decisions you’ve made in the past, or do you embrace them? Do you cringe thinking about your past self? If you’re cringing already, then read on. If you’re not, then read on anyway, because I have some useful tips in store for you!

2. Do you trust your tattoo shop?

Trust is essential, and, when it comes to getting a tattoo, it’s arguably the most important part. A good first step is to gauge how the shop feels- are the staff professional and friendly? Is it clean? The shop should use individually packaged, disposable needles and tools, and an autoclave to clean any reusable instruments. Scan the shop to see whether it’s kept in good order- is it tidy and inviting? Before committing, you should be completely comfortable with the venue.

The next question to ask is whether you’ve found a suitable artist. Does he or she have a strong reputation, with a portfolio to show for it? Different tattoo artists specialize in certain styles, so it wouldn’t be a bad idea to search based on the kind of style the artist has experience with. You should also feel comfortable engaging your artist in a candid conversation about what you want. Ensure that you’ve clearly communicated your idea– from the basics to the finer details.

3. Have you chosen the right spot for your tattoo design?

A tattoo on your foot is more painful than one on your thigh. A tattoo on your face is harder to hide than one on your back. A tattoo on your palm requires heavier maintenance than one on your shin. These are all things to think about.

But, let’s focus on something even more fundamental. Do you want this design on your body, or are you simply enchanted by the design itself? How will it look when it’s actually on your skin?

Thankfully, it’s possible nowadays to test out your design before getting inked. Getting a high definition print of the exact design frees you to consider what you want before jumping in the deep end. You can also see what the tattoo will look like with a graphic layover, which can be easily done with the app INKHUNTER which uses Augmented Reality so you can see your tattoo design on any part of your body (WARNING: Some parts of the body are easier to photograph with a friend).

4. Are you willing to invest in a high quality design?

This one’s simple. If your answer is yes, then getting the tattoo is in your favour. If your answer is no, then hold off. Why? Well, you won’t want a gaudy tattoo on display for the rest of your life. As with any highly skilled work, the quality of the service is closely reflected in the price. And for something attached to your body for a lifetime, quality is important.

5. Have you researched what goes into caring for your tattoo design?

Though tattoos are permanent, they still require maintenance. After you’re tattooed, you’ll need to follow specific after-care instructions to ensure that your skin heals properly. Once it’s healed, you’ll need to preserve your tattoo, making sure it doesn’t fade. This involves keeping your skin hydrated, avoiding excessive sun exposure, and getting occasional touch-ups.

Now that you’ve put yourself through the wringer, go in peace! And if you do decide to get tattooed, I’ll impart the lasting wisdom of a biker I encountered on a train: pointing to the tattoo on his arm, he leaned over and said, “Pain is just fear leaving the body!”

Not quite convinced you have the perfect design for a tattoo? We’ve got you covered with a FREE Custom Tattoo Design Quote.