Tattoos, what to keep in mind for new people


Daniel Rodriguez

Tattoos are a way for people to artistically express themselves. There is a lot of decision making for a first tattoo. With that there are also things to keep in mind for first timers.

Getting a tattoo can be an exciting experience. Though there is also a lot of decision making and important factors to consider when choosing what kind of tattoo to get. One major thing to consider when getting a tattoo is the placement of the tattoo itself.

Places to consider for tattoos

A common mistake that first timers make is getting a tattoo on an area where it may hurt. Places like behind the ears and ankles should be avoided at first. These areas in particular can be a bit painful since the needle will be coming pretty close to bone and since there is little muscle there it is mainly nerves. Causing pain for those that aren’t prepared for it.

Besides the pain that might occur in the area, another thing to consider is the visibility of the tattoo. Having a tattoo is definitely something to show off, but it could also be a problem if you can’t cover it up either. Some employers may require that any tattoos need to be covered while working. That may be hard to do if getting a tattoo on the face or neck.

“I remember this kid in college wanted a chin tattoo. Last time I heard he was having a hard time putting his degree to use” Neil Rodriguez, a traveling tattoo artist, said.

When asked about good spots for a first tattoo Rodriguez mentioned that a few good spots would be places like the bicep or calves. Not only do these areas have dense muscle to help lessen the pain of the needle, but they are also fairly easy to cover up for work as well. It’s also fairly easy to uncover to show off the new ink.

Designs for tattoos

Designs like this – while visually appealing – come with hidden costs that may not be thought about at the time, namely custom stencils and shading. (Daniel Rodriguez)

After deciding on a spot for the tattoo to be placed, next comes the design. Tattoos can be detailed or simple in design. It all depends on what is desired for the look of it.

Oftentimes the first thought about tattoos is getting images drawn. These types of tattoos can be a bit more difficult since the size of the tattoo needs to be considered. There are other factors to consider as well. Such as the price for custom stencils to draw the image, shading, the time it will take to work on, and colored ink if the design is extravagant.

Tattoos aren’t just about images. A fairly popular choice for tattoos is getting writing done. Things such as quotes or Chinese/Japanese characters. Though if characters are something desired be sure to look up what they mean. It is not uncommon for people to get a character that they do not know what it means. Unlike images these types of tattoos are fairly fast and may not need stencils depending on what’s being written. 

Costs for tattoos

As previously mentioned there are certain factors that can cause a tattoo to be more expensive than expected. When calculating the cost of a tattoo, tattoo artists factor things like colored ink, personalized stencils and the amount of time it’ll take to create the tattoo. 

When asked about how the price of a tattoo is calculated Rodriguez mentioned that it would be different depending on where you go for a tattoo. 

“An established tattoo shop could have a very different price than a traveling artist like me.” Said Rodriguez.

Each has their own advantages and disadvantages. Going to a tattoo shop may give more options and have better tools, but could be rather costly. Going to a traveling tattoo artist may be a cheaper visit but they may not have the equipment needed for the design that is being wanted.

When thinking about tattoos, the placement, design, and cost are very important to keep in mind. Tattoos can be a lifetime decision to make, so anyone looking to sport some new ink should make sure they can live or even appreciate a tattoo design they have chosen.