If you could turn back the clock and go back to you first time tattoo, would you make the same decisions? would you pick the same design? same colours? same style? same artist?
Unfortunately many of us would have to say no to these questions. If we are honest with ourselves, deep down a lot of us would probably have a different design altogether.
Take my example for instance. My first tattoo was a tiny green Japanese dragon on my right bicep. I’m by no means any kind of bodybuilder but my arm simply dwarfs this design.
It’s too small. It’s not my favourite colour. It has absolutely no meaning to it. It is a flash design that I simply picked from the studio wall without so much as fifteen minutes of planning.
Tattoos are addictive. No sooner had I had the first one than I was planning more. bigger designs, bolder colours. Better body placement.
I grew to dislike that tiny green dragon dwarfed by a sea of skin colour. So I added to it. Firstly with some symbols. then another dragon behind it. This wasn’t big enough either so I added a further dragon, and further symbols.
I now have a half sleeve made up of multiple dragons and associated Japanese work. It’s nice, but it’s all a bit disjointed. a bit of an afterthought. If I could go back I would have one huge design big enough to make a sleeve.
I guess that’s the benefit of hindsight isn’t it? we could all probably make better decisions if the laws of time allowed us to go back and change them
But there are ways to limit the chance of regret for your first time tattoo. you need to plan well in advance. make sure you’re totally happy with the style of artwork you’re embarking on.
Remember, fads go in and out of fashion. your choice may be hip or square a number of times over it’s life cycle, so you need to be totally comfortable with it.
Try to decide as early as possible exactly how much artwork you are likely to want. as I said, tattoos are addictive, so even though you might just be thinking about a small discreet image on your hip you need to be well aware that your decision may change very quickly.
Be sensible about where you place your tattoo. Factor in the chance that you may wish to add to it. your artist will be able to make suggestions on how to make your first design easily adaptable.
Think about the colouring. If the design is going to be on a part of your body out in the open then bright vivid colours will faded more quickly.
Above all, TAKE YOUR TIME. Even if you have to visit the studio ten times before finally getting in the chair. thorough planning will give you the best advantage on getting the first time tattoo for you.