How to Pick a Tattoo

How to Pick a Tattoo
Photo by: Allef Vinicius

Selecting a tattoo is a complex process. Tattoos are permanent, but they’re also not as daunting as many people make them out to be. If you do change your mind, you can have the tattoo lasered off (which can be expensive) or get it blended into a new tattoo. So, don’t feel like you have to wait forever to make sure that you’re really sure. Instead, read the tips below about how to pick a tattoo to help you come up with something you’ll love for a long time.

The First Step of How to Pick a Tattoo: Start With a Basic Idea

Not all tattoos have to be meaningful. In fact, some of the most iconic are simple, pretty designs, shapes, or symbols. Depending on your personality, you may want to commemorate something significant that happened to you, or you might want something that doesn’t mean anything at all. Knowing which type of person you are can make a big difference.

Even if you don’t want something super meaningful like a tribute to someone you loved, it’s a good idea to have a theme or some elements picked out. That way, you can give the artist a basic idea of what you want. Considering your long-term hobbies and interests is a great place to start. Maybe you’re really into yoga and would love a Sanskrit symbol. If you’ve always loved music, you could get a lyric, an instrument, some sheet music, or a band’s logo. If you love literature, you could get a tattoo of a favorite book or author.

How to Choose a Tattoo
Photo by: Loren Cutler

As long as the tattoo is reflective of your personality, it won’t feel trite.

Consider Your Budget and Pain Tolerance

The size, amount of detail, and whether you get a black and grey or a color tattoo will all come down to your budget and pain tolerance. Tattoos vary in price, but it’s a good idea to learn in advance how much the artists you love charge. Then you can see which size and color will fit your budget.

Further, if you have a low pain tolerance, there are some places you’ll want to avoid. The head, neck, ribs, elbows, and fingers all tend to be very painful. But keep in mind that if you have specifically sensitive spots or nerve disorders, the pain might be even more intense for you. In these cases, a small tattoo might be the best option.

Skip the Zeitgeist—Or Don’t

Things that become quite popular in pop culture will usually find their way into tattoos as well. That means that if a super famous movie or book series is around, many people will have tattoos of the symbols and characters. If you don’t want a tattoo that everyone else already has, it’s better to think in terms of timeless things that you love and have always loved. However, if you love something in pop culture so much that you don’t care if your tattoo is ubiquitous, then just go for it.

Find an Artist You Love

The most critical choice you’ll make during the selection process is the artist. Choosing an artist you don’t love can turn a great idea into a piece you’ll regret. But on the flip side, choosing an artist whose work inspires you often means you can’t go wrong when you pick a tattoo. The more trust you have in your artist, the better the chance you’ll end up loving the piece long-term.

And if you’re looking for inspiration, check out the Tattooed Women Gallery!