Tattoos: considering your first

By Gregor Crawford

So you’ve decided to go ahead with it. You’ve found a design you’re happy with, you’ve scouted for the perfect artist.

It has taken a few months and a lot of saving but it’ll be worth it.

You’re about to commit to one of very few things you are actually bound to for life so of course you’ve thoroughly prepared for it.

Aye, right.

It’s sad, but as much as I’d love this to be the norm in choosing a first tattoo, it really is far from it.

Don’t get me wrong, there is no denying the temptation if you’ve loved tattoo art from a young age and the opportunity finally arises, of course you want to dive in!

Personally, I’ve loved body art for as long as I can remember. On the morning of my 18th birthday, I stood outside Chameleon Tattoo in Paisley for opening time in order to get inked up that day (no dodgy ‘I know someone that does them in his garage’ tattoos for me).

I’d thought for months and months what I wanted and hey presto, I left with a few nautical stars on my arm on that day.

I remember my first thoughts though, everyone goes through them.

Do I want it some place to show off? How big should it be? Am I looking at black and grey or would my piece suit a splash of colour? Does my wallet even allow me to get what I want right now?

There are three things to consider when choosing a tattoo – what you want, why you want it, and who is going to be lucky enough to mark you forever.

Why are these important? Because getting a tattoo means a lot more than altering your skin.

Reasons for having a tattoo range from proving yourself as part of a lifestyle or culture, to releasing yourself from events that have haunted you. Hey, to some people they are an addiction.

Your tattoo should mean something to you.

Picking a tattoo artist is an important decision to make. You need to make sure that their style and/or skills match what you are looking for.

Scour websites and find Facebook pages with galleries. Ideally find someone who has had a tattoo from that artist and judge for yourself.

Would you be happy with that creeping up your neck? You’ll find if you delve further into tattoos you’ll start getting recommended artists and it’s often the ones you’ve never heard that produce the gems.

Make sure the artist is right of you. Would you let your mum cut your hair? Hell no!

To anyone considering a first tattoo, don’t be afraid of expressing your personal thought in the process. Don’t think you need to go with something because someone else thinks it looks cool.

Finally, don’t think you even have to get one, remember that for someone who likes tattoos, the most precious thing is bare skin.

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