This blog is dedicated to the art of tattoos. It’s safe to say that this blog is very much pro tattoos! However, there are circumstances where getting inked is not a good idea.
Here are a list of circumstances that should cause you to pause and rethink your tattoo decision, and instances where you should run for the hills away from the tattoo needle.
1. You Feel Pressured Into Getting A Tattoo
Peer pressure is a real thing. Other people’s opinions shouldn’t be the reason why you get a certain tattoo design.
Tattooees were once on the fringe of society and inked arms meant you were “cool” and rebellious. This is not the case today.
Tattoos have become pretty mainstream, with 17% of people in the United States having more than one tattoo, and 9% having one (according to a Statista 2021 study). Further to this, 12% of Americans said that they regret their tattoo.
If a partner is putting pressure on you to get their name tattooed, or you’re feeling like you need to try and “fit in” with a group, this is a sign to rethink your tattoo choice.
Related Post: 10 Essential Points to Consider Before Getting a Tattoo
2. You Don’t Love Your Chosen Design
If you search “tattoo ideas” on Pinterest, you’ll find tons of beautiful images. There are many designs to get inspired by, it can get overwhelming. Also, it’s easy to get sucked into tattoo trends.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself to decide if your chosen design is something that you really want permanently on your skin:
- Why do you want this tattoo in the first place?
- Does this chosen design make you happy?
- Are you rushing into this choice?
Tat Ring points out that as much as design is important, placement choice is key, too.
“Do you want it to show up every day or do you want it covered up most of the time? Think about the clothes you wear, how you style your hair, and the activities you participate in.”
Related Post: 20 Most Popular Tattoo Styles
3. You’re Getting Tattooed On A Tight Budget
There are great ways to save money; going to a cheap tattoo parlour isn’t one of them. The larger or more detailed your choice of tattoo, the more expensive it will be. If the tattoo you love is out of your budget, wait.
Don’t look for a bargain when deciding on a tattoo design or tattooist. Rather, take more time to save money so that you can get the inking you really want.
4. You’re Not In A Safe Environment
The process of getting a tattoo is essentially getting wounded. Your skin is opened up and ink is then put into the lesion.
So, a drunken party or a sketchy parlour is not the optimal place to get inked. While it may seem fun and spontaneous to get a tattoo at a friend’s house, chances are they haven’t followed the sanitation procedures required at professional tattoo studios.
Related Post: The Entire Process of getting a Tattoo
5. You’re With An Inexperienced Tattoo Artist
One of the best ways to avoid tattoo blowout or a poorly done tattoo is to go to an experienced tattooist.
An artist who is well versed in the type of tattoo style you want makes all the difference to your experience. The whole process of getting a tattoo starts way before you sit down in the studio.
A professional, experienced tattooist can advise you on your chosen design and placement, and whether you should change anything about your choice to result in a better tattoo.
Plus, a professional artist knows about the safety aspect of getting a tattoo, including hygiene and aftercare.
Besides that, take the time to look at tattoo artists’ healed work. Fresh tattoos and completely healed tattoos look different. Lines become less defined, so looking at healed tattoos will give you a better look at your chosen artist’s work.
Portland-based tattoo artist, Brit Abad, told Allure that you should also pick one you trust and see yourself having fun with during the process.
“Follow them online and gather a sense of who they are as a person. Having a great experience actually getting the tattoo often has a huge effect on how a person feels about the tattoo on their body. Love your artist and you’ll love the artwork even more.”
Related Post: How To Avoid Tattoo Blowout
6. You’re Not Legally Old Enough To Get Tattooed
Tattoo machines and starter kits can easily be bought online, and this opens tattooing to underage people, as you don’t technically have to go to a professional studio.
In the United States, 18 is the youngest you can get tattooed without parental consent.
So, if you’re too young and get turned away from a professional tattoo studio, keep walking past the random person who says they’ll tattoo you at their house (go back to points 4 and 5).
Related Posts: A Guide to Temporary Tattoos
7. You Don’t Actually Understand Your Chosen Tattoo
This is an easy trap to fall into. Ariana Grande did! The singer wanted her hand tattoo to read “7 rings” in Japanese. Instead, the symbols translated to “BBQ grill”.
Learn from Grande’s mistake and get your tattoo design quadruple checked if you aren’t 100% fluent in the language you’re getting inked.
Further to this, tattoos can go into the realm of cultural appropriation, especially if you’re getting a symbol that you don’t know the historical and cultural significance of.
Saved Tattoo explains why tribal tattoos, for example, should be done under certain circumstances,
“Even though quite popular, tribal tattoos should only be done by members of the culture and tradition of a ‘tribe’, and no one else…those tattoos have specific meanings which regard heritage, ancestry, ancestral lineage, religious belief, social status in the tribe, and so much more. So, unless you are a part of the culture, there isn’t really anything that makes you connected to any of the aforementioned tribal tattoo symbolism.”
Related Post: Types of Tribal Tattoos and Their Meanings
A tattoo is a life long decision. Yes, laser tattoo removal is an option, but it’s not 100% guaranteed – there is a good chance your skin won’t go back to the smooth, blemish-free canvas it once was.
Related Post: What Should You Know About Laser Tattoo Removal
With this in mind, if there is anything that is making you question your tattoo choice, or your choice of tattoo artist or studio, take a step back. The last thing you want is a design that isn’t done well, or that you hate after a few months.
Take a beat, think about your options, save more money if needed, and go into your tattoo appointment with more confidence and excitement.