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Think Before You Ink
“Think before you ink”. These were the words written in big, bold letters on the front of exam papers in high school, and duly ignored by most students who were just trying to get that shit done and get the hell out of there… However, now that I’m a little older (and just a little wiser), I find that these words to be far more useful and meaningful, especially in the world of tattoos.
So, here are just three small but vital pieces of advice from tattoo artists who’ve learnt a few things in their time.
Especially for tattoo novices who often don’t give enough thought to the concept, design, size and placement of the tattoo they want – have a brainstorm with your tattoo artist to give help you create something original, instead of simply walking into a tattoo shop and getting it done on a whim (which is pretty easy to do in most tattoo parlours with a wall of tribal flash art to choose from).
Once you have an idea of what you want, sleep on it. If you have an image of the tattoo you want, stick it up somewhere visible so you can glance at it with fresh eyes at the start and end of each day. There is no time frame to think about these things, but once its there, its for life, so make sure your future self doesnt deem a coverup necessary as you mature.
Where is just as important as what when it comes to tattoos, and it’s important to consider the placement of a tattoo before hopping in the chair to get inked. The dead honest truth is that, in 10 years, you might regret it, particularly after you’ve been to the seventh job interview in a row and realise the huge spider tattoo covering crawling up your neck might have something to do with it…
Skin isn’t paper
When it comes to tattoos, skin is everything. It affects how many hours it could take, how certain ink colours will show up and how delicate or bold the design can be. Skin texture, colour, age and thickness of hair all make a difference.
Darker tattoo pigments create a contrast with the colour of the skin to create depth and certain colours compliment different skin tones better. A red or blue undertone will also have an impact.
Medium or tanned skin tones: oranges, greens, and bright blues work well.
Darker skin tones: the darkest colors, like royal blue, crimson red, and black, work best.
As human beings, we change our minds all the time, and the things we like and dislike also change over time, as we learn and experience more of our world. Remember that what you put on your body is there until the day they tip you six feet under, so you’d best make it count!