Friday, April 22, 2016

7 Things You Should Ask Yourself Before Getting A New Tattoo?

Since I was a teenager getting a tattoo was a priority in addition to moving out of my parents and marrying my now husband. I loved everything about tattoos, the stories they tell and the beautiful art work artist create. The fact that they are permanent didn't scare me because I knew I would plan every one of them out perfectly. Once I turned eighteen, and I literally mean the moment I turned eighteen I got a tattoo. At 11:59 pm I was sitting in my tattoo artists house preparing to be tattooed at 12:01. My tattoo artist pierced my nose and had shown me a little book of all the tattoos she had done while living in New York. I was so excited that she was available to do my tattoo "under the table" because she was charging me a quarter of what I was quoted from "in shop" artists. Tattoos are expensive and I found that out really quick. I was working a minimum wage job, living with Travis in our own apartment, and barely getting by. I didn't have an extra $200+ laying around to waste on a tattoo so hearing that she would do it for only $60 was music to my ears. Looking back I wish I would have saved up the money and went the more expensive and professional route but I don't regret it. It taught me a lesson because after 3 hours of tattooing I had a crooked lined tri-cycle on my shoulder and it wasn't even finished. It wasn't what I dreamed of and now years later I am looking into getting it covered up. No artist will touch it unless I allow them to cover it up, because they can't promise good quality work if they work with what is already there.

When Travis and I decided to get a new tattoo, I really sat down and did my research. After a year I made the final commitment and contacted one of the best shops in Oklahoma City. We visited the shop before making appointments, meet the artists and looked at previous work on paper and on skin. Later that night we talked and agreed it was the right fit for us so we made an appointment. It wasn't cheap but it was good clean, quality work and I love it. I will have to do a touch up on it in a few years to make sure that it continues to stay bright and beautiful even for just words and I am okay with that. During the entire year of planning and preparing, I asked myself a handful of questions. I thought it would make for a good post and hopefully help out anyone who is considering getting a tattoo now or in the future.

Can you cover it up if you need to?
Even before I was old enough to get a tattoo this question was constantly in my head. I had and still have goals in life that requires a certain amount of professional appearance. Let's be honest, tattoos are still very "new" to the professional world even if they don't have any provocative or disrespectful meanings. When I first started working as a dispatcher and later a security officer tattoos were opened to be displayed as long as they weren't considered offensive to guests. Beautiful art work was displayed openly and guests commented on them daily, it was nothing short of wonderful. Recently though a new policy has been implemented that any employee who is visible to guests has to cover all piercings and tattoos. It sucks and even though I only have two tattoos, one of them visible it still had an impact. I had to wear a long sleeve shirt on every single day even when it was hot as an oven in the building. Even though I don't regret the placement of my tattoo, it is something I would recommend thinking about to anyone considering a first tattoo or a new one.

Will it delay or destroy any future career or personal goals you may have?
Let's continue with the question above because they kind of go hand in hand. Everyone in the world has career goals and always wants to excel. Professional bloggers want to have consistent traffic flow and growth, while creating a business and doing what they love. Athletic players, Movie Stars, and Singers want to have a large fan base, celebrity endorsements, and personal product lines. You and Me well we probably want promotions, better paying jobs, and career changers. Will your tattoos effect these from happening? It is kind of silly when you think about a piece of art work dictating if you advance or remain in place, but it's reality. Before getting your tattoo ask yourself if it will hold you back now or in the future.

When you get older will you dislike how it will look?
The internet is filled with badass 50+ men and women who are rocking amazing art work and some pretty sexy beards. (more men than women on that point) At the age of 24 how I look at the age of 50 shouldn't be on my mind but it is. Will my tattoos hold up to the way my body will change? Will the color be as appealing as they were when I first got them? The answer to that second question is probably not but I can keep it on point by getting touch ups and pre planning. Proper spacing, good quality work, and after care is the key to having tattoos that last.

Will your children, significant other, or family members be embarrassed or feel offended when they see your tattoo?
When you ask yourself this question also think about the reason why you are getting the tattoo. If you family is against equality and you want to get an equality symbol, do it! Don't allow someone's opinion on certain things dictate how you live your life and what you put on your body. I am not talking about those kind of things, more like words that the world see possibly offensive. Some of my friends during their younger years tattooed words like Slut, B**ch, F**k, and C**t. These words should bring a question mark to your brain. Now if you already have something like that on your body, no judgement coming from this corner of the world. People make mistakes and even if it wasn't a mistake, it tells a story.

Can you tell someone what your tattoo means, if they ask?
Both the tattoos on my body have a meaning behind them and I am not ashamed to tell each of their stories. The internet is filled with "cool" tattoos and their meaning to the person sporting them are most likely have a strong meaning for getting each and everyone of them. Heck I have even seen a tattoo and thought to myself, that would be a BA tattoo to get. After thinking for hours and hours I would slowly talk myself out of it especially when it comes to tattoos in other languages. Other languages or symbols are hard for me to wrap my head around for one simple reason. Is what I am getting tattooed on my body actually what I think it means? I have heard of the horror stories of friends who thought they were getting "love" tattoos and they mean dog, or nothing at all. True story right there. Always remember to do your research and I am not talking about asking the artist that is tattooing it. They probably don't care or don't even know.

How long will it take you artist to complete your tattoo? Can you stand the pain?
Tattoos hurt even if they provide pleasure at some point. In case that made no sense to you, when you get a tattoo your adrenalin pumps through your body rapidly and can provide a pleasure or numb feeling. Which is why some people say that they can be addicting. An average size tattoo with little detail can take about an hour to two. Large tattoos with more details have taken four times longer and numerous sessions. Beware though, sometimes spending to long on a tattoo can be dangerous and cause long term scaring and infection if not cared properly. What I have found helpful is going to a handful of tattoo shops and asking how long your tattoo should take. If one of them says an hour but three of them says three hours, I would choose one of the three hour shops. It sucks but its the truth.

Do you understand that it is permanent? 
Once you get a tattoo there is no going back well unless you have an extra $500 laying around and would like to sport a scar for a little while. The wrong tattoo or the wrong artist can cost you a life time of explaining and personal hatred. I have made this mistake and soon will be paying another artist $300 plus to have it fixed. When I was eighteen I was so excited to get a tattoo I took the word of a friend and went to someone who did tattoo out of their home. She had years of experience (so she said) and so looked professional as possible but after sitting in a chair for three hours and feeling like she was tattooing the same spot for twenty minutes straight. I ended up with an uneven shoulder tattoo that doesn't have a single straight line and is unfinished. The worst part is it has an incredible story behind it and it means the world to me but its not what I expected or wanted. Now I have to have it covered up because no artist will touch it in fear of making it worse. So before you make any final decisions, ask yourself if your willing to risk quality for a price discount.

If you are planning on getting a tattoo and have already asked yourself all of these questions then go for it. Get that tattoo appointment scheduled and share your finished work. Travis and I love seeing new art work especially when its something we have never seen before. If you read this and are confused or struggling to answer the questions above then simple sit back and think about. Even if it takes years, take as long as you need before putting something permanent on your body. You won't regret waiting and your older self with thank you. 

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