Updated: Oct 13, 2018
Talking to people about making a tattoo is always interesting. One of the most common aspects is about not being able to make a final decision on making it... People often have second thoughts about permanency or the right design and placement on their body.For many it is a crazy choice to make when you are young, then your body will change and the tattoo won't be beautiful anymore...I love ambivalent people... it means they want to be sure of their decision, they are intelligent and usually are very positive in their attitude when they arrive to one.
OK NOW... Basic steps to ensure you are making the right decision...
Make sure your health allows it - There are rare but still existing cases that having a tattoo - medically speaking - is forbidden or dangerous. Before opening your appetite and being disappointed please make sure those exceptions do not apply to you.
Start with something small - When you thing about a tattoo do you have in mind a long sleeve or a big dragon? Do you imagine excruciating pain? Talking to others about their experience is often deceptive. Start with something small, meaningful and elegant. It will be easier to remove if you please, it will be a test of your pain tolerance as well as an immediate experience.
Choose a position you can hide easily - Having a tattoo on your body gives you a specific energy and sense of power. It is your body and you make a decision to decorate it in a very specific and ancient way. It is very possible that you do not want to flash it to everybody and in every public appearance you make. Maybe you would prefer to hide it in your job and when you visit your grandparents, just because you do not want to share your personal reasons. Neck and waist, or parts of our bodies that are hidden by our underwear are very commonly chosen for this reason.
Choose something for YOU - Remember that tattoos are like design clothes or jewellery. Whatever looks gorgeous on somebody else, does not mean it will look perfect on you... and vice versa. Tattoos are personal and they have to enrich you and enhance your beauty, never get inked because somebody else (e.g your boyfriend or girlfriend) asked you to or because your best friend got one. Tattoos are about the quality of uniqueness, doesn't that make you feel wonderful?
Have your personal reason - Okay tattoos are a trend... you are on the beach and you spot that beautiful someone with tattoos on them that look amazing... next thing you know you go to the tattoo studio and you don't know why... In a way it is the same as being pushed by an external source and not even realise how. To get a tattoo you need to find your reason. Is it about something or someone you love? Is it something symbolic or religious? Something that you thing will look nice and sexy? And then ask yourself, do i know in my heart that this reason will be important to me in 5 years? Be honest with yourself and you will never regret your decision.
Make a design research - Nowadays finding the right design for a tattoo is the easiest and most difficult thing in the world. I mean it is easy because of the vastness of the web and the available designs. On the other hand, so much info can be really chaotic and confusing, leading you to the opposite direction of what you need. So you have to use the database of the internet but have in mind a little idea of what you want. Otherwise it will lead you to chaos and you will once again abandon the whole thing.
Stay honest to your reason - Knowing why you want a tattoo and it's purpose, gives you a specific direction on your next steps. Your personal reason will guide you through design alternatives from different schools... old-school, neo-traditional, realistic, dotting, mandalas, letters... you name it... it is out there! cause it is not only about the aesthetics of the design but basically about the story it tells. If you narrow those choices you will be able to find the right artist as well. (see following steps...)
Make a price research - Usually the price of a tattoo comes from a combination of factors such as size, design, originality and difficulty. That means that having a unique design on you is definitely more expensive than choosing one ready made from the internet, and choosing a well-known awarded tattoo artist is usually more expensive than any other tattoo artist. Ask around, but if you decide to begin with a small first tattoo, use your guts to decide not the cheaper but the safer alternative for your needs.
Find the right artist - One of the most important aspects of making the decision to get inked is the tattoo artist. Don't fool yourselves, the right tattoo artist will give you the time and space to arrive to your final decision without trying to persuade you or criticizing your second thoughts and choices. Having a tattoo is about you and your body and not about offering a canvas for someone to promote their talent. Trustful communication and talent are equally needed for you to feel safe to take that step. The next step will help you on that direction.
"Test" the outcome - Any honest artist will tell you that you can change your mind anytime about your tattoo, just do it before the time you get inked. No artist wants a person who wears their tattoos to regret their decision. So, a good way to be sure is to work with an artist that uses design apps like photoshop or illustrator to "test" the outcome on your body. This will be very helpful for both of you.
Take your time - The above steps cannot happen in one day or even one week. Take your time... think about it. Follow the steps in your own personal rhythm. Don't hesitate to investigate more. Having the tattoo is your responsibility.
Be positive!!!!! The right attitude creates waves of positive energy that will make your tattoo experience just the first one of many more to come.