No Ragrets: 7 Tips For Choosing a Tattoo You’ll Love for Life
by Content Team on Jun 06, 2023
Sure, we love a good binge watch of Bad Ink or Tattoo Nightmares, but when it comes to your own ink, avoiding a tattoo nightmare is the goal. You want a tatt you can be proud of for life. So how do you choose a design you won’t regret? It goes beyond a simple “don’t get inked while drunk” (though that’s still a good rule to follow).
We got you. Here are our top 7 tips for choosing a tattoo you won’t regret:
1. Check Your Location
When figuring out what tattoo you’re going to get, don’t forget to think long and hard about where you’ll get it. It might be a shocker, but not all skin is created equal. And before you get all up in arms, let us tell you what we mean.
Some spots will lead to fading and blurring faster than others. For example, tattoos on fingers blur and fade faster than anywhere else. Yeah, those Instagram pics might look hot, but trust us, it ain’t gonna last. Our advice–chat with your artist about finding a spot that will keep your ink looking sharp for as long as possible.
2. Don’t Rush It
Remember the first idea you had for a tattoo? If you’re like most of us, you probably didn’t end up getting it, and good thing, too. Sometimes an idea seems rad in the moment, but give it some time. Many artists suggest sitting with your idea for a year before going under the needle. While you're waiting, try tattoo t-shirts in your favorite styles. If after a year you’re still excited about it, that’s a good sign that it’s a keeper.
3. Random is Fun, But…
We’d be the last to judge a spur of the moment tattoo or Friday the 13th design, but if you want to make sure your next tatt is one that you won’t regret, you might want to go for something that has meaning to you. And no, we don’t mean getting matching tattoos with the guy you’ve been seeing for a week. It could be a phrase written in the handwriting of a loved one that’s passed away, a lyric from your favorite song, or an image that reminds you of your home town. Was your grandma’s favorite animal a panda? Get a panda. Is there a quote that never fails to set you back on track? There you go.
4. Watch Out for the Little Guys
We know. Those teeny tiny, fine line tattoos are way fun. But unfortunately, they’ve got their drawbacks. The smaller and thinner the tattoo, the more obvious fading and blurring will be. Sooner or later, those fine lines won’t be so fine. Bigger tattoos with lots of black ink are more likely to retain a sharper appearance, so it’s good to keep this in mind while planning your ink.
5. Don’t Forget Your Day Job
You might love a full sleeve look on each arm or up-the-neck artwork, but unfortunately, your boss might not. You may want to check the employee handbook before opting for something that can’t be covered easily, or chat with the boss just in case. If your current job is cool with it but you don’t plan on staying there forever, consider whether or not your ink could cause a potential problem for being hired in the future. We especially recommend avoiding anything that could be taken as offensive in hard-to-hide spots.
6. Do Your Research
It’s not just important in school; research has its benefits in the world of ink, too. The more research you put into the decisions surrounding your tattoo, the more confident you’ll feel going in (and out of) the tattoo parlor. When it comes to the tattoo itself, you’ll want to look into placement, fonts, and even needle sizes. And don’t forget to fully vet your artist. It’s always a good idea to read reviews, get recommendations from friends, and set up a consultation before booking with an artist.
7. Bring Some References
Whether you’re getting a popular design or have a concept all your own, if you’ve got a specific vision for your artwork it’s a good idea to bring some reference photos for your artist. You might pull a font inspiration from one and a color scheme from another, and that’s totally cool. Just let your artist know which elements you dig.
Bonus Tip: Trust Your Artist
If you’ve done your research and chosen a reputable artist, trust their advice. They’ve been around the block a few times and know what works and what doesn’t. Remember, you’re basically a walking billboard for their work, so they want it to look good just as much as you do. Ask for suggestions and advice, and trust your artist to do their best.
Sure, we enjoy a good watch of Tattoo Nightmares or Bad Ink, but preventing the worst is the main objective when it comes to your own tattoos. You want a permanent tattoo that you can be glad of. Take a look at this infographic to learn the seven guidelines of a masterpiece tattoo.