Tattoos are very cool – there’s no denying that! However, there are some aspects to take into consideration before getting one. We interviewed tattoo collectors and gathered their advice to make sure your tattoo journey will be as good as it can get!  

How to find the right tattoo artist 

Social media is a very popular place for those in search of a tattoo artist. You have probably also seen lots of cool designs all over Instagram, or have checked out the artist your favourite celebrity tagged in their tattoo reveal post. Recommendations from friends often work like magic, and it’s great to know that someone you trust had a great experience with their artist. However, you should keep in mind that your own research is vital for such an important choice! Check your artist’s social media accounts in order to ensure that their art and personality match your own vibe. Pay attention to the way their work heals over time, whether the colours fade, or the lining becomes fuzzy.  

Pro tips from tattoo collectors: Don’t just go for artists with nice designs, always choose professionals! Also, never settle for the cheapest options! If you are on a budget, wait a bit longer, save up and get an appointment with someone who you think works the best. If it’s far away, it’s worth the travel! Afterall, it’s stuck on your skin, right? 

Making an appointment 

This process will go quicker than you might think. After answering some basic questions regarding the size and placement of your tattoo, as well as gaining some insight into your health (for example, whether you have allergies), your appointment date will be set! Reservations can be made either in person, via social media, or email and it’s great that most artists reply the same day.  

Pro tip for tattoo collectors: Be mindful about your future plans! Fresh tattoos shouldn’t be exposed to the sun or water. Therefore, if you plan on going to the beach shortly after getting your tattoo, you should probably reschedule your appointment. 

Choosing the design of your tattoo 

Whether you are a spontaneous person, or you like to plan things in detail, the design of your tattoo should be a well-thought-out decision. Know that not every tattoo should have a meaning behind it. You can choose something that you like and which fits your aesthetic, without having to link a deep interpretation to it. And, as Petrut, one of our interviewees, observes, “when you don’t have a meaning behind the tattoo, you can give it different meanings, depending on the moment in which you are in in your life.”  

Pro tip from tattoo collectors: Be open to collaborate with your artist! Often, tattoo artists will give you advice regarding your chosen design. On the other hand, you might also just have an idea of what you want and give the artist creative freedom to illustrate it. In both cases, consider your artist’s experience and talent, but make sure to speak up about your preferences and only say yes when the design is perfect 

Does it hurt?

People describe the pain of getting a tattoo as a “scratch from a baby kitten” or “a poke of a cactus”. Cristina, a first-year student with a great passion for tattoos, said that “physically, it feels exactly how the machine sounds”. All in all, our interviewees agreed that the pain is totally bearable. Of course, the pain level depends on which area of your body is tattooed: the closer to the bone, the more painful it will be! Usually, females tolerate the pain better than men! Petrut noted that an artist he went to said that “she only had men crying, never women.”  

Pro tip from tattoo collectors: Distract yourself! Focusing on the pain is something you should try to avoid. Instead, try chatting with your artist to take your mind off the uncomfortable feeling. They surely have some crazy life stories they would be happy to share! 

For more insights into what happens after you get a tattoo, check out the second part of this article! 

PS: Surprises from our interviewees are included!