Do you remember where you were the first time you had an urge to get your very own tattoo? Were you really young, or did it spring on when you were a tad bit older? For me it began at the age of 14, I was an early tattoo bloomer. The first tattoo I ever got was at the ripe old age of 16, and now I must share my top 5 biggest regrets in all my 26 seasoned tattoo years!
1. No One Told Me There Were Bad Artists in Nice Shops!
That’s right, who knew that inside of greatly established and very nicely kept tattoo studios were unseasoned and inexperienced tattoo artists. Shame on the studio really, but shame on me for not checking their portfolio. Many years ago an artist’s portfolio came in the form of a portrait album with literal pictures. Now you have the incredible option of social media portfolios. Use it!! Check their work in advance.
2. I Should Have Thought Long-Term
Upon first impression you might read this and think I am talking about thinking long-term with having old wrinkly tattoos when you’re old. Nope, what I wish I had done is thought BIG. Big with my designs, BIG with my vision and made each tattoo a masterpiece. Not one off the wall or in the book slightly customized to me because I couldn’t afford more. I would have saved and pushed myself to get a tattoo that was outside of my small comfort zone and picked something more of a masterpiece.
3. Oh Crap…I Picked a Spot Way Too Painful and Now I Can’t Finish!
A few years back I was in for a tough learning lesson when I went to tattoo my stomach. My artist looked at me, as he was about to begin and said to me…”Did you take anything for the pain?” “What?” I said. He then looked at me with terror on his face. I had no idea your stomach was by far one of the most painful places. Know the area you will be tattooing well, are you committed to completion? If you can’t handle the pain in that area pick another spot or back out. I am 3 years later still trying to complete my stomach!
4. There Is Such Thing As Tattoo NumbingCream??
Maybe you know about this already, but I was late on the scene in learning this barely 2 years ago. YES ya’ll, there is tattoo numbing cream that actually works when applied correctly. Here are some tips to using Tattoo Numbing Cream:
- Apply it an hour before and cover the entire area with saran wrap and seal it with tape.
- Know that the numbed area will expire so if you’re in for a few hours of tattooing you’re lucky to get 2 hour of numb time.
- I have experienced and read the numbing creams can actually slow healing time and cause more swelling. The swelling has been true for me, but FAR worth it!
- Not all work! My top 2 favorites are NUMB520 and Dr. Numb, both found on Amazon5
5. Why Did I Wait So Long?
In hindsight I waited far too long to go after the tattoo I truly wanted and that was my beautiful floral sleeve. Don’t let society or your circle of influences get in your head on what you TRULY WANT for yourself? I wish I wouldn’t have waited so long. I adore my sleeve and am extremely happy with having it, but missed many years of authenticity with it because fear of acceptance got in the way.