How To Avoid A Terrible First Tattoo, According To A Tattooist

Getting regrettably bad first tattoos is a part of growing up! We should celebrate that we live in a time and place where we can make these terrible and permanent decisions without any serious consequences. However, as anyone with their university sweetheart etched in their skin will tell you: if you can avoid getting a terrible first tattoo, definitely do.

When done right, body art is a badass and awesome way of expressing something about yourself. Whether you’re remembering someone lost or just want to show the world how much you love a specific film – you shouldn’t rush into a first tattoo.

Obviously you should never get a tattoo when you’re inebriated, another good piece of advice is to avoid getting any phrases inked in a language you don’t understand. Sooner or later someone that can read arabic is going make you look the fool…

first tattoo

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Simon Doherty from VICE has written a great piece about what you can do to avoid getting an absolute dud of a first tattoo. You probably don’t have the connections or money to guarantee the best artist for your body but by taking some time, you can get the tattoo you deserve and want.

1. Research, research, research

Tattoo artists aren’t like hairdressers, you can’t just walk yourself to their shop, have your appointment and return the next month. You need to get to know your artist and give them time to understand what you want. It’ll make the whole process much easier and more like an experience than a rash mistake.

2. Avoid designing your own

Obviously if you’re a designer by trade or hobby then by all means get designing. However, one of the leading causes of regret is customers having too much faith in their own designing skills. Bring ideas of what you want but a tattoo artist has a better understanding of how a picture on paper can be translated onto your body.

first tattoo

Image credit: RexFeatures

3. Get it done at home

People like to get tattoos to commemorate particularly special holidays. Apart from the drinking issue, tattoo aftercare is something people don’t think about when they get inked abroad. You’re likely to be instructed to avoid swimming and the beach because of infection risk – it could put a real damper on your holiday. Do you really want that associated with your first tattoo?