Individuality and uniqueness are what most tattoo enthusiasts proclaim as their reason for wanting ink. IN reality, approximately 4 out of 5 men and women have one or more tattoos. Popular “Sleeves” large back pieces,” and “symbolic” tattoos are common, not unique.
Getting a “name” tattooed on your skin could result in a lifetime of telling a story, over and over, even if that story is one that you want nothing more than to forget. This mark could eventually represent who you were vs. who you are and could take you to a negative place, everyday, well after you’ve moved on. Although at one point in your life, it seemed like the most “right” thing to do, ever. Now, it causes pain; pain that no one deserves to have to re-live every morning, every time you bathe, and every time you meet someone new. No one can predict the future with 100% accuracy and certainty. With that said, save the space for a meaningful, positive tattoo.
THINK Safety first:
Simple protection goes a long way. Without protection, the permanency of a tattoo makes the risk high and the price far too great. Tattoo artists must first use universal precautions; not only for you, but for themselves, the next client and so on. Don’t be afraid to ask about this. Know what safety procedures should be in place and ask if they are being followed. Better yet, know your artist, and let them get to know you before starting the piece… and still…. ASK. Educate yourself on blood-borne pathogens. Possible risks associated with a negative tattoo experience: Hepatitis B or C, Tuberculosis, HIV/AIDs, infection, reaction to Ink, Dermal conditions, and delayed reactions to anything used in the process.
Superheroes, Cartoon characters, and symbols:
Remember being obsessed with (insert positive childhood memory here) and all you wanted were the shoes, backpack and movie. You quickly outgrew the shoes, were too mature for the backpack, and the moved you watched on loop- you have no idea where it is. Imagine that character or symbol in the form of a tattoo on your forearm. Then imagine trying to cover or hide a Hannah Montana or I-Carly sleeve from your co-workers or new crush. At one point in life we are too young to make decisions that have life-long repercussions. This is because those before us have learned from these mistakes. We believe that our thoughts and feelings will not change enough to no longer love someone or something. But, didn’t we think the same thing about our first crush, our first favorite song, etc?
A tattoo we enjoy at 18 will more than likely not have the same, if any, appeal, or meaning at 25; will likely embarrass us at 30, may need a thorough explanation as to what it even IS at 40, and depending on the size, placement, or “body changes” over the course of 30 years, may be real “unique” by the time we’re 50, because we are trying to remember what it is. Something to THINK about! Change IS inevitable and limitless.
This may be a good time to be thankful for the need of parental consent. Unfortunately, the only magic that happens when we turn 18 is that we do not need parental consent and we, overnight become legally responsible for our decisions. We can suddenly do whatever we want to do. That in itself is not a reason to get a tattoo. Consult a friend or family member who really knows you, take your time. Making mistakes is part of growing up. We are still learning and maturing, every day … and a tattoo IS permanent.
The Right artist:
A good artist will work will you thorough the entire experience. Well before even putting anything on paper, you should be communicating for the specific purpose of placing this permanent piece of art on your body. The artist should encourage your individuality and help you avoid regrettable decisions that could potentially turn into permanent mistakes. If your artist does not ask you personal questions about the piece he or she is creating, then ask yourself “Is this the best artist for me?” and “Am I in the right place?”
The Right tattoo:
There is no shortage of resources and methods to assist you in finding artwork you love. There are countless “unique” easily found online, especially on all forms of social media. There are “trends” in tattoos and they have become socially acceptable. By the time you find a piece you love and even add your personal touches, there’s a good chance the tattoo is not 100% unique. We are NOT discouraging tattoos. Not in the least. We are, however encouraging thinking, taking your time, educating yourself, and true Individualism.
Trendy symbols with powerful meanings that we believe connect us to something or someone; spiritually or otherwise, are likely to be appealing to young people. One you are legal able to place a permanent mark your yourself, anywhere you want, as mall or as large as you’d like, it becomes tempting – Granted. Take a few recent trends for example: Hand tattoos: On the index finger, between the fingers, or on your knuckles; the infinity symbol; the KOI fish; Chinese/Japanese writing. These trendy, spiritual pieces are precisely non-unique. They may fill a void, even provide a purpose and you will likely truly enjoy them for some time. However, in a few years, they could further categorize you, age you, and there’s a good chance you forget why you got them in the first place; or even worse, you remember. They may eventually remind you of what those who care about you told you when you showed them your tattoo the first time. Things like “It’s permanent” “Why?!” or even “You are probably going to regret that one day!”
What questions will you ask yourself before you get inked?
Coming next: But, what if it’s NOT a TATTOO?