You’re doing some soccer betting on your team to win, and you notice the guy in the row ahead of you has an epic sleeve of tattoos.
His style is immediately appealing, and you begin to consider what you would look like with tattoos. Maybe you’d be able to pull it off, but you just don’t know where to start.
Getting a tattoo is such a big decision, and we’ve all seen the horror stories of tattoos gone wrong. It can be intimidating to take that first step, particularly since you’d want to get the best tattoos possible. Rest assured that everyone who has great tattoos has once been in this same situation.
It’s all part of the process, and we’re here to guide you through it.
Here’s our five-step guide to getting the best tattoos possible.
Start Small and Be Comfortable Building Up Your Tattoo
Having seen that guy with the awesome sleeve, there can be a temptation to jump straight into wanting one of your own.
It’s fine to have a full sleeve as your end goal, but also, there’s no way that this needs to happen all at once. Our first piece of advice when getting tattoos is to be comfortable with starting small. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and great sleeves usually aren’t either.
There’s every chance that when you get your first tattoo, you’ll learn something along the way. Maybe it’s how a certain color or style shows up on your skin type, or maybe it’s how your tattoo goes with your favorite outfit.
There are so many different variables in getting a tattoo, and there’s nothing to lose by getting them slowly, but plenty to lose by going big all at once.
Strike a Balance Between Cool and Meaningful
Anyone who says they’re getting a tattoo purely because of some deep meaning behind it is kidding themselves.
Tattoos look cool, and that’s a fact. When getting a tattoo, there’s no need to beat around the bush and deny this—make sure you get something aesthetically pleasing that is going to look great on your body.
However, tattoos should also be more than just an external appearance. This is something you’re going to carry around with you for the rest of your life. That doesn’t mean every single piece of ink on your body has to have an amazing story behind it, but at least consider what meaning is involved before going under the gun.
Choose an Artist You Can Work With
For those of us who aren’t artistically talented, designing a tattoo can be the most frustrating and intimidating part about getting inked.
The most important thing here is choosing an artist who is willing to work with you, and understand what you really want. Plenty of artists out there just want to make a quick buck and won’t have the patience or the desire to hear you out, and go on a journey to create a design that truly reflects what you desire. These are the artists you need to be OK with walking away from.
For an artist, your tattoo might be a couple of hours of work, but for you, it’s a lifetime, so make sure you don’t settle for anything less than an artist who really takes the time to understand.
Pay Big, Then Pay Even More
There’s no taking short cuts when it comes to getting tattoos.
If you find someone who is cheaper than all the rest, ask yourself why. Either, they’re simply not as good, or they’re cutting corners on hygiene and quality. Do you really want to subject yourself to either of those?
Recognize that a tattoo is an investment in yourself, and be comfortable paying a premium to get the job done well.
Our insider tip for not compromising on quality yet maintaining your bank balance is being willing to travel to get your ink. If you’re lucky, there will be countries where your currency is strong and skin color is the same—it’s here where you may be able to find a talented artist, willing to do your tattoo for a quarter of the price.
Learn to Love Your Tattoo
A tattoo is like a marriage.
You can do all your due diligence beforehand, but once you’ve said yes, you’ve just got to make it work.
Chances are, there will be an aspect of your tattoo that isn’t exactly how you envisioned it. Perhaps the artist made a slight mistake, or there was a miscommunication. These things happen—what’s important is that instead of walking around with regret, being reminded of it every time you look down, simply make peace with the matter.
Learn to love your tattoo, just the way it is.