In the world of tattoos, placement is one of those things that will either mean everything to you or nothing at all. Some people are happy to slap their tattoo design anywhere on their body and be cool with it. Others think the placement plays a massive role into the overall result of your tattoo. Your body isn’t just a flat canvas that’s never moving, so you really need to put a lot of thought into where that particular tattoo is going to look best. You also can’t just rely on your tattoo artist telling you if you picked a bad place for a tattoo. It’s something you really need to put a lot of thought into yourself.
Determining the type (style) of tattoo you want will help in deciding the best place/position for your tattoo. Think of your body of lots of small canvases. From one joint to the next joint is one canvas. For example, ankle to knee or wrist to elbow.
Once you have come up with a rough tattoo design, figure out the general outlining shape of it. Will it be round, long and thin, square etc? Once you have that you can match it up to a canvas piece on your body. An arm or leg sleeve is a bit of a different story and most of it can be left up to your artist to do the positioning as they will have the best knowledge on how to piece it all together so it will flow correctly.
If you‘re worried about getting a discreet tattoo that no-one should see, then it’s literally just about finding somewhere that shouldn’t see. It’s up to you to figure out what part of your body that you usually aren’t going to show skin on. You can even draw on a pretend tattoo with marker, put on your normal work clothes and look in the mirror to see how visible it may or may not be.
Although it’s generally impossible to know for sure about your future plans for tattoos, you need to think about the canvas you are committing a tattoo onto. It’s very often that a person will commit a part of their body for a tattoo – then a few months of years later you think “damn I wish I didn’t take that spot up” as they want to put a larger or more suited piece on that part of their body. A common example is getting a tattoo on your forearm, and then later wanting to do a full arm sleeve and having to work around it.
If you’re getting a small tattoo, then don’t put it in the middle of a large canvas. If later on you want a tattoo on that spot, then you will have to either work around it or cover it up. One last thing to take into consideration is that your skin is constantly moving as you move. As an example, if you get a line of writing down the side of your forearm. When they put the tattoo stencil on it will be placed on when you have your arm straight. But when your wrist moves it will twist the shape of the tattoo. This is generally not a big deal but it can upset some people.
So, now you’ve decided your style, outline, position and placement of your tattoo – all that’s left to do is book it in!