Whatchyoo Need To Know Before Gettin’ A Tattoo


A tattoo is, well, it’s a very important decision. They say you can change your clothes to a new look whenever you feel like it. But a tattoo is permanent, a constant declaration of your personality and what you want the world to know about you. To remove it can be just as painful (not to forget expensive and oftentimes inefficient) as getting it on there to begin with. As exciting and emotionally inspiring as a tattoo can be for you, take this itty-bitty moment to learn up on some stuff you’ll need to know before getting one.


Go On A Date With Confirmation!


When you know, you know. If you’re waiting to ask someone else’s take on your tattoo-idea, that simply means you haven’t touched the ‘I’m sure’ levels high enough to get a tattoo. Once you’re abistively posilutely sure, get started figuring out what design you want, where you want it, how big is it gonna be and what’s the color-choice. Basically, you’re making extra certain you know what you want.

To Show Or Not To Show!

That question needs answering a.s.a.p.. If that tattoo you have in mind is meant to stay hidden, it says a lot about you, your personality and what you wish to communicate to others. The same idea applies if you prefer showing it off to the world. Again, just make sure which one of those two options you want. The placement of your tattoo on a location on your body where it can be seen despite the clothes you wear or, rather, if it’s hidden no matter what you have on, is essential.


Consultation Or Interrogation, Whichever Comes First!

There must be a discussion with your tattoo artist before you take your seat for the real deal. If a consultation isn’t offered up front, don’t panic, it’s best if you insist on one. Why all this fuss, you ask? Well, you need to share your ideas with your chosen artist, get the concepts flowing and the gears turning, see if they with their experience and technical know-how can come up with something to enhance your preferred tattoo choice and so on and so forth.

You get to know the style the artist is gonna execute, you’ll get up to speed on the specifics like shade, color and texture if letters are involved, coz not all of them are practically feasible, and talk on how (if you like) the artist can make room in the design for alterations and/or additions some day in the future.

Get to know your art at this time. Most people opt for exotic stuff like Asian language characters (as in letters and words) or even Arabic, Hebrew, Japanese, Sanskrit and other lingos that have cool-looking writing. You can go for stuff from popular literature (like Tolkien’s elegant self-created script of the High-elves, "Quenya") or computer games (like the powerful Dragon Language script in the Elder Scrolls game franchise). As long as you understand what it says, you’ll have the attitude for the tattoo you’ve chosen.

As you can imagine, a consultation is highly important and it takes all of one hour, tops, so don’t feel shy to sit this session out.

Research Till You Can’t!

There are just a handful of ideas for you to do your homework on before you get a tattoo. This research includes the artist, the salon and the tools being used. Scaring you isn’t my intention at all, but helping you educate yourself on these points is.

Let’s start with the human being involved in all this, namely the artist. Do a background check on him/her because there are some real sloppy-joe’s and shoddy-jane’s out there who’ve gotten a tattoo or ten (!) wrong, so this step will help save you, er, a lot of stuff! You do not want to get infected or scarred, all because the artist is lousy at what he/she does.

Recommendations are a great way to start this particular research-run. Also, check out some online review resources where you’ll find some pretty detailed and interesting info being shared.

tattoo3Moving next to equipment hygiene, an artist’s gear is ample indication of their professionalism, dedication to tattooing, personal sense of self and more. The salon or tattoo-space is one of the first things you notice on entering. Cleanliness there must be way above average. After all, you can’t expect the tattoo-tools to be clean if the room it sits in is a sty, right?

In some places, it’s compulsory (by law) for a tattoo artist to give you a tour, so to speak, revealing the procedures in their facility as well as the sterilization equipment being used. Here’s how you, being the non-technical person where tattoos are concerned, need to check out… Have your artist set up a clean work area on which he should display:

  • Fresh latex gloves
  • Sterilized needles
  • An autoclave: a device for heating substances above their boiling point; used to manufacture chemicals or to sterilize surgical instruments
  • Other necessary ink and equipment.

He/she (the artist) should remove the sterilized equipment they’re gonna use right from its packaging, and do that simple yet crucial step right in front of you.

Bring On The Pain!

In addition to your personal pain threshold, how much a tattoo is gonna hurt depends on its size, complexity and position on your body. Basically the larger a tattoo, the longer it’s going to take to complete and, obviously, the longer the pain.

Quick Pain Fact: The outlining process will hurt like a b—- more than the filling or shading step. These outlines are almost always done using black ink and the time it takes to get that down will probably test your toleration limits.

Silly Pain Fact: Tattoo-pain is balanced, meaning it ain’t torture nor is it massage therapy. It’ll feel like concentrated sunburn and when someone keeps poking that area while it’s burning! No worries, you’ll soon be experiencing this irritating ‘can’t scratch that itch’ feeling soon enough anyway.

Text-Book Pain Facts: The most painful tattoos are those that go over areas with several nerve endings (nipples, fingers, face), skin with relatively less padding (feet, hands, joints), and flesh that sits a little above bones and tendons (spine, neck, back of ankle).


Care, Healing and Keeping Your Fingers Off The Fresh Paint!

The general spiel usually goes like this: "Listen up, kiddo. Go ahead and rub that tattooed area with ointment twice a day to keep it clean and dry and don’t forget to keep it closed for several days but don’t forget to unwrap it after several hours, now and again."

What that also means is: "Stop touching it for no reason! Don’t go pokin’, pickin’, soakin’ or experimentin’ with that tattoo you just survived getting!"

Yes, it will indeed itch like a warthog’s backside and demand oxygen too many times a day, but keep from scratching it and prevent opening it up to the elements too often. You’re going to have this tattoo all your life till you die, so I’m guessing you’ll have time to admire it later.

I’m Shutting This Post Down Now!

Seeing as how you’re probably scared out of your wits by now and, if you’re a lazy guy (like me!) you’re going, "All that work for a bloody tattoo? I think I like myself just the way I am." No worries, it’s all part of the process. You know what they say about no pain no gain? Oh-Kaaay, that’s a terrible thing to say, given the circumstances.

Let’s not forget family and friends who’re most probably terrified to know you’re getting yourself inked. Some of them—and let’s not hope it’s not Mom or Dad!—may feel they’ll need to get one too. And that, my dear tattooed friend, is a whole different pain-experience.


Your tattoo is a mini-you, telling the world who you are, what you’re like and how you see Life. It’s both a style- and a personality-statement. Like class, manners, a kind deed, revenge, murder, and insanity (!) a tattoo is forever, so choose wisely and, well, good luck to ya.

P.S.: To Bhakti I say, "Calm down, everything’s gonna be okay, faint, if you feel like it!"

To readers who’re right now assuming Bhakti Sharma (my co-author for Lifestylerr) is going to get a tattoo I say, "No way in hell, relax, she ain’t the target of the ink!"

And to her younger bro, Tushar, who’s planning on getting a very meaningful tattoo, I say, "Awesome, dude! Rock on!"


Image Credit: robstephaustralia, Miss Molly G. Willikers, Frenkieb, mytat_2s, Burning Red.

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