So You Want a Tattoo

In the thousands of years that people have been decorating themselves with inked lines, tattoos have run the social gamut from being acceptable and necessary, to despised and back to acceptable again.

The discovery of the 5200 year old Iceman who is adorned with tattoos proves that the practice has been around much longer than was originally suspected. A number of female Egyptian mummies were found to have tattoos on various parts of their bodies, but the Iceman predates them by around 3000 years. Color was not limited to just black with many cultures using bright colors such as yellow and red. The peoples of the world had various reasons for tattooing.

Tattoos were thought to protect women during childbirth, provide therapeutic healing, and have been a form of self-expression and to show your love for someone or the fact that you mourn their passing.

In modern times they have become symbols of criminal activities such as gang involvement or time spent behind bars. Personal adornment has become a primary reason for getting a tattoo for many aficionados of the practice.

Even as an adult, it is prudent to understand the consequences of getting tattooed. While they can be removed, the process is expensive, painful and can result in scarring. Make sure you really want that tattoo before having it done. The first thing to consider is what kind of tattoo you want and where you want it on your body. How detailed, whether just black and gray or in color and how large.

Work considerations are important because tattoos are difficult to hide with makeup and depending on where it is located, can also be hard to cover with clothing. Also consider if a tattoo will affect your profession or job, be discreet on what it will be and where it should be placed.

Once you have an idea of what tattoo you want and where it will be placed on the body, it is time to find a tattoo shop. Cleanliness and hygiene is of upmost importance. There are needles and ink involved and you want a sanitary shop that practices safe tattooing. Friendliness and being willing to answer your questions will go a long way in calming any fears you may have, so do not accept a shop that employees surly workers. Choosing the artist to do the tattoo comes down to what style you are looking for and what they may specialize in.

Some tattoo artists prefer to deal in mostly blacks or grays which is fine, unless you want a highly colored tattoo. Go through the artists portfolios, talk to them and find someone who puts you at ease and who understands what it is you are looking for in a tattoo. It is a permanent part of your body so being completely comfortable with the design and the artist is paramount. Choices include whether to take a design that is already done, have the artist do custom work or use a combination of custom and stock for your artwork.

Tattoo prices depend on the size, how much color and the amount of detail work that goes into the piece. Tipping your tattoo artist is optional. Most do not expect a tip but it can be a nice gesture if you can afford it. Always let the artist know how much you like their work, expressing your appreciation often goes further than a monetary offering. Pain involved with the process varies from person to person, but there is at the very least some discomfort involved.

Tattooing is not a fast process since the artist will need to outline and then do any shading or coloring. They will explain after care of the tattoo and what you can expect over the next week or two. Summertime can be rough on new tattoos because of being out in the sun or getting into a pool. You will not be able to tan that area, go swimming or shave over your tattoo for at least a few days and possibly longer. Never get tattooed when you are sick. Not only are you going to be in close contact with the artist, but you do not want the possibility of infection while your immune system is not at its best.

Remember that a tattoo becomes a permanent part of your body. Tattoos are much more accepted today than they were a few years ago, but there can still be some stigma attached to them. Satisfaction and happiness with your new tattoo comes after thinking it through and careful planning. Be patient and do your research and you will be thrilled with your new body art.

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