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  • jmellinger1

Tattoos: What to do ahead of time.

Tattoos are amazing. They can represent something very important, or just look beautiful. They're so unique and creative. Everyone has a different taste and style, so everyone's pieces will differ from anyone else's. There are a lot of things to consider before getting a tattoo however. If you're contemplating getting a tattoo, then here are some helpful ideas to think about ahead of time!

I was helping someone decide what to do for a tattoo in a couple months, considering I already have three, and he is about to get his first. He explained his idea to me, and as I was asking him questions, I realized he was not ready yet. There were a lot of factors he had not considered and didn't think about yet.

So Julia tip number 1, know what you want.

There are of course a lot of things that go with this, do you want words or pictures? Color or just black ink? Any sort of shading? If so how much? How big do you want it to be? Where do you want it to be? If it includes words, what sort of font do you want? etc.

As you may know, tattoos are kind of permanent. A lot of thought needs to go into what you want, down to the tiniest detail, to ensure you won't have any regrets down the line. Personally, when I get a tattoo idea that I really love, I sit on the idea for at least one year, if I still want it, if not more than before, I know to get it.

Julia tip number 2, know who you want to go to, for the tattoo.

How many times have you seen a tattoo, that was executed horribly, a word was spelled wrong, a face looks distorted, etc. It's so so so crucial to do your research ahead of time and find someone you trust. I knew a lot of people who had gotten tattoos before my first one, so I asked all of them for their recommendations. I also looked at the websites of all the locations near my home, so I could see the work that some artists have done, to see if I like their style. After I got my first one, I loved how it looked, so I have gone back to the same place over time. Trust me, you do not want to walk into any random store and expect a good tattoo. DO YOUR RESEARCH!

Julia tip number 3, location matters more than you think.

It doesn't seem like a location should matter that much, as long as it makes you happy, but it's good to look ahead in your future to decide if the location will look wrong down the road. For example, if a teenage girl decides to get a tattoo on/near her lower stomach, the tattoo's look will be affected if she ever decides to have a baby. The skin in that area will stretch out and distort the image. Another thing to consider is if your job will affect it. I'm not suggesting if it's visible or not, I'm talking about a blue collar job. If you were to get a tattoo on your arm, then one day got a huge gash on the job, getting stitches, having a scar, etc. will affect your tattoo as well. I chose areas on my body where stretches and scars shouldn't affect my tattoos to much.

Julia tip number 4, know if you'd rather have a meaningful tattoo, or one that's appealing to you.

People's taste changes all the time, there's nothing wrong with getting a tattoo with no meaning behind it, but if that's the case, I advise that it's something you're absolutely positive you'll love forever. Time and time again, I've seen people get feathers or dolphins, for no reason other than they like it, and less than a year later, they hate the tattoo. especially when it's in such a prominent and noticeable place. Personally, all of my tattoos have meaning, so I know they're things I will love forever. I also have them in places that are more for myself than anyone else, so even if I don't like how they look one day, no one ever has to see them unless I want them too.

Julia tip number 5, make sure you're ready.

Financially and mentally, make sure you're in the right spot to get a tattoo. It would be terrible to get a tattoo then have to pay, but not have enough money. Tattoos are expensive and artists can't give you an exact price amount until it's done. If you're cutting it close with cash to be able to pay, it's probably not the right time to get the tattoo, and it might be better to wait until you come into more money. Besides that even, if you're not in the right mindset and in an "f-it" mood, you might regret whatever you got down the road, because it will remind you of that negative headspace.

I made sure to do all things considered before my tattoos and I still love them all. My first tattoo is a small cross next to my left breast, symbolizing how God is close to my heart, he always has been and always will be. I got it when I was 17, at the time I got it, just to get my first tattoo. It doesn't look the best, because I was underage I had a friend do it to me. Although it's not great, no one else can ever see it besides me, and the meaning is still there. One day I might have a professional go over it to make it look better, but that's not a priority for me yet.

My second tattoo was with my sister about a month after my 18th birthday. We got matching "Pura Vida" tattoos (meaning explained in my first blog post about traveling!) in each others handwriting on our rooms, also on the left side to be closer to the heart.

My most recent tattoo I got about a year after that, in January of 2020, of a drawing I made way back when I was a senior in high school. It's a triangle to represent change, a lotus flower growing out of the triangle to represent growth, and a sunrise over it to represent new beginnings. It's to remind me of my strength at the lowest point in my life, and how I was the one pulling myself out of it, so if I ever encounter another dark time in my life, it'll remind me that I can get through that too.

I'm getting another tattoo this December (my last for awhile), and it's of 2 pinkies holding each other like a pinky promise. There's a very long story behind it, but essentially it's for my best friend in the military. I plan to get it either on my bicep or behind my shoulder, but I'm going to see what looks best when I go to get the tattoo, since they can transfer the ink both places to make sure it's where I like it, before it's permanent.

At the end of the day, your tattoo is for you and you alone. Don't get one for anyone else and don't change your idea to fit someone's standards. Do what makes you happy and what makes you look good.

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