Like many, I have loved tattoos for so long! I’ve been able to legally get a tattoo for quite a while now, but I still haven’t gotten round to it. Annoyingly, there are so many things that really I need to consider. I’ve discovered that getting a tattoo is so much more complicated than I realised.
First things first, I need to choose a tattoo design. I have no shortage of ideas – I have a whole folder on my phone full of tattoo inspiration photos!
Does the design have to be meaningful, or can I just choose something that I think is pretty? I think I have decided on a cute floral heart design, but I’m still not sure.
The only thing that I’m actually certain on is that I wouldn’t get any names tattooed. I thought that I wouldn’t get any words tattooed, but now I’m not so sure. I’ve seen some empowering “fearlessness”, “pro choice”, and “girl power” tattoos that now I’m not ruling word tattoos out.
Basically, I’m quite indecisive, especially when it comes to something as permanent as a tattoo.
Placement and Pain
I’d need to think about where on my body I would get the tattoo. I’ve always wanted a sternum (breastbone) tattoo, but the design I have in mind isn’t really suitable. Also, the sternum seems to be one of the most painful places for a tattoo. This is because the skin is really thin and it’s directly over the bone. Maybe I’ll wait until I’ve had a few tattoos to get a really painful one.
I know that I don’t want my tattoo in a really visible place. Maybe I really want this or maybe I’ve just been socialised into the idea that tattoos are unprofessional, huh. But regardless, I’ve been warned against forearm and wrist tattoos because I might become a BSL interpreter. If I have it in a place that isn’t always visible, I can choose when and where I want to show it off. (I’m a massive introvert – so this is useful.)
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I follow a ton of incredible tattoo artists on Instagram, and I am obsessed with their work! I love Tukoi Oya‘s work, she does a lot of small, dainty tattoos. She even does UV tattoos, which isn’t really something I’d want, but they look awesome! Unfortunately for me, she is based in Melbourne, so it might just be a bit too far to travel to get a tattoo.
Another tattoo artist I love is Medusa Lou. Honestly, I could spend hours and hours scrolling through her Instagram feed! Everything she does is so gorgeous. Although she’s not on the other side of the world, she is still a five hour drive away from me. So it seems that I’m doomed to have every tattoo artist I find on Instagram live very far away from me.
I’ve been looking at artists based at local studios, and I’m hoping that I’ll find one that I love!
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I know that tattoos are kind of expensive, but I would have no idea how much certain tattoos are supposed to cost. How can I tell if I’m being ripped off? How much are you meant to tip? And could I even afford one right now? There’s a ton of other things that I could spend my money on instead of a tattoo.
So I guess what I need to do now is a lot of research, and put some money aside. I’ll use some of these money saving tips to save up for a tattoo.
Mental health, physical health, everything. I have anxiety and a massive phobia of needles, so I would need to face that in order to get a tattoo. I’m quite prone to low blood pressure and losing consciousness as a result of this anxiety (year 8 jabs truly traumatised me).
One of my medications is a beta blocker, which makes the skin harder to tattoo, as well as more likely to bleed. If I were to get a tattoo, I would have to stop taking these tablets for at least a week, which I don’t know if I could do.
I am also prone to dizziness and fainting in hot weather, i.e. the massive heatwave we’ve just had. There’s no way I would have been physically strong enough to withstand the pain of a tattoo, or to deal with my anxiety.
Aftercare is super important, there are so many things you need to think about. Where the tattoo is plays a massive part. You need to clean it regularly, keep it out of the sun, wear loose clothing, and avoid submerging it.
I’ve read that tattoos “heal” after about 2-3 weeks, although they can take up to 6 months for the skin to completely heal. It all depends on size, style of tattoo, skin type, and a bunch of other factors.
I’m really worried about the aftercare. When I had my nose pierced, the ring fell out after 3 and a half months. The hole closed up almost immediately. I took such good care of it but I was just unlucky I guess. I’m hoping that there’s less risk with tattoos – it’s not like it’s going to fall off!
Maybe all of these roadblocks are just signs telling me to wait a little bit longer, as upsetting as that is for me.
So all of this unfortunately means that I probably won’t be getting a tattoo for a while, as there’s a lot more research for me to do. (although cue me soon impulsively getting one and showing it off on my Instagram stories…) Do you have any tattoos?
UPDATE: I got a tattoo less than two months after uploading this post. I’m really happy with it! It was done by the talented Jherelle Jay from Clarence Street Tattoo Studio. You can see my tattoo here!