The tattoo industry has enabled people to adorn their bodies with unique art for thousands of years, and there’s a reason it has endured as a trade for as long as it has. A tattoo is the only type of art that can be taken with you wherever you go, that can’t be lost or stolen, and that comes with you to the grave. A well-chosen tattoo can be a wonderfully personal and aesthetically appealing element to add to one’s appearance, so it’s important that when selecting a design that you’ll wear for the rest of your life, that it’s not something you regret!
Statistics say that almost 20% of those who have one more tattoos regret a tattoo decision. Whether these individuals end up getting a tattoo just because it’s trendy, or if it’s because the design is an impulse decision, a bad tattoo choice is something that they have to live with for an arguably long time. So, how will you choose the design that will last you a lifetime?
1.) Why Are You Getting a Tattoo?
Finding the answer to this question will, without a doubt, decrease your chances of regretting a tattoo choice in the long run. Getting a tattoo because it’s cool or trendy, or as a snap decision influenced by a special occasion or by friends and family will often lead to disappointment; will this tattoo mean something to you, or represent a part of who you are?
Tattoos are capable of communicating a lot of information about the person wearing it when thought has been given to the design. Tattoos can be worn to memorialize a loved one, to symbolize a person’s spiritual beliefs, to commemorate a person’s hobbies or interests, as a piece of fine art for the wearer to admire, and as a slew of other things! Think about how your new tattoo will be working to represent you or something important to you as a starting point in answering this crucial question.
2.) Research Your Design
Once you understand your reasons behind wanting a tattoo, it’s time to research the type of design that fits the bill. There are literally thousands of different designs that you could choose from which encompass a range of styles, from classic Polynesian and Japanese-inspired tattoos to traditional Americana tattoos and photorealism. The best place to start is to research these types of designs to see what might fit the idea behind your tattoo design. Consider its placement on your body and what type of style will fit your personality! If you’re a delicately built woman, for instance, a thick tribal tattoo may not be as flattering to the form as a thin filigree design that is similar in form, but more elegant in style.
Try to be unique! Use your research as tools to give you ideas for your own design, as opposed to copying the idea directly. It’s bad enough to wear the same shirt as someone else, let alone to wear the same permanent body art. And even if the design isn’t the most unique out there, think carefully (some more) about whether this is something you’ll want forever. Try hanging a picture of the design you’re thinking of on your refrigerator or put it on your phone so that you become familiar with it. If you still love it as much a month later as when you first picked it out, you can be more confident that the choice you’re making is the right one.
Another part of your research should be to make sure that the design you pick will translate well as a tattoo. Generally speaking, your design will want to be readable from a distance; it shouldn’t be so detailed that the image becomes hard to discern, and should be large enough to accommodate any small details so that they don’t blur together as the tattoo gets old. Sizing is very important, and so is the placement of a tattoo. Sometimes it can be helpful to look at designs online that are placed in the same tentative location as your own to get an idea for how the tattoo can flow and complement the shape of your body.
3.) Research Your Tattoo Artist
Next, you’ll want to research different tattoo artists and shops in your area. This step is absolutely crucial to achieving the best results for your ink. A good tattoo artist is the backbone of a successful tattoo, and the right one will be well-versed in tattooing the style that you’re looking for. Always check those portfolios; that’s why artists have them! Get a feel for the kind of work each artist in your area is capable of so that you can trust them with your skin. Your tattoo artist wants to be just as invested in creating your tattoo as you are in getting it.
In addition to being able to do stellar work, it can also be beneficial to have good chemistry with your artist. A tattoo is a collaboration between the artist and the canvas–talk with a few artists that you like and see whether or not their ideas for your permanent body art mesh with your own and that you feel comfortable with him/her. Remember, you’ll be spending a lot of time in the chair with this person, and the right energy and teamwork with your tattoo artist will make the final product even more inspiring!