For my twenty first birthday this past Tuesday, I got my 2nd tattoo. The picture in the middle is of my henna tattoo I got on vacation; very cute, but very temporary. Henna's are a great way to test out an idea! It's no secret that I'm a fan of body art and self expression through body art. I now have two tattoos and I'm open to getting more. But, I think there's a lot of misadvise floating around about tattoos. Now, I'm no expert but these are a few things I wish someone had told me before I got my first one.
1.) They're professionally unacceptable
Yes, in some cases tattoos can prevent you from obtaining a job. But they're not deal breakers. You'll find that tattoos are actually widely accepted in a lot of fields these days, it just depends on where you get it and then of course said career field. I have a friend who has plans to go into the navy and can't get any visible tattoos until after she's 100% in. I'd ask people in the field you want to go into for peace of mind. I asked my school newspaper's faculty adviser if tattoos were deal breakers for journalists and she said absolutely not.
As fun as it is to just go out one day and say "to hell with it!" and get a tattoo, this isn't the best idea. I strongly advise thinking about a tattoo it's going to be on your body for a long time. Decide what you want, why you want it, and where you want it. Don't let others decide for you, and don't let others dissuade you from a certain idea simply because of their personal taste. Consulting with friends can be very helpful, I consulted a few friends before I got my 2nd tattoo, but they remained unbiased. You also don't want run the risk of waiting too long and then over thinking your tattoo idea. Try to give yourself a year tops. If you haven't gotten up to do it by the end of a year, you most likely just shouldn't.
3.) Find your own care regimen
Your tattoo artist (assuming you go to an established parlor :p) will give you detailed care instructions. But with most things it's perfectly fine for your to find a regimen that works for you. I like the care advise my artist gives me it's pretty easy, but it differs from advise my friends have be given. We've all done different things and we've all lived! I use A&D the first two days with no shower washing. Then I use Aquaphor lotion for the rest of the two week period and I wash it gently in the shower. Everyone does their own thing.
4.) Go to an artist you feel comfortable with
I have a really good experience every time I go to my parlor. I've gotten my nose pierced there, and both of my tattoos. You don't want to get a tattoo from someone who doesn't seem like they care, intimidates you, or isn't very experienced. That 2nd one is a big one. If you're intimidated by the artist you might not feel as comfortable speaking up about design preferences and that could be a huge problem. You want to be able to comfortably articulate what you want. I've never felt bad or awkward about having my artist redraw the sketch or reposition it once the outline is on my skin. You want to love it.
5.) People are going to have their opinions
Not everyone is a fan of tattoos both personally and professionally. You're going to deal with people giving you grief over them whether it's your mother (my main enemy) or someone you meet in school. Just accept that they're not wrong to think how they think because neither are you. You'll meet so many awesome people through the body art realm anyways it won't even matter. Remain as positive as possible even when the comments can be out of line or just plain mean.
I'd love to hear your tattoo stories if you have any! Hope this helps.