I like to categorize myself on the line between spontaneity and responsibility—as a responsibly spontaneous person, if you will. And I think the story I’m about to tell you is really going to highlight that characteristic of my personality.
Tattoos have a kind of painful, artistic, wild-child connotation to them. Sometimes they’re perceived with an air of taboo and they’re definitely something most people give a lot of thought to before getting. Which is why my last-minute decision to get one was so thrilling.
When I say last minute, I don’t actually mean last minute. A friend of mine had actually come to me a week before asking me if I wanted to go with her to get tattoos—this was something she was wanting to do and because she knew I’d talked about wanting one, she asked if I wanted to come along. My answer was almost immediate. But in the days leading up to it, I found myself with a lot of logistical questions, I didn’t know where we were going to get it, how much it was going to cost—I didn’t even know what I wanted to get until the day we planned on getting them.
At the end of it all, it turned out fine. The shop was busy the day we walked in—which can happen sometimes, so definitely make an appointment if getting a tattoo is something you have your heart set on—but we immediately scheduled a time for the next day. I haphazardly picked a text design and changed it a little bit after talking with the artist—I’d also suggest getting an artist that’s willing to work with you, offer up opinions, and respects your decisions. Seriously, that matters. And now, I have a great and timeless masterpiece that I couldn’t be more excited to show off.
I’ve done quite a few spontaneous things in my life—from mid-night road trips to letting a coin flip decide a difficult decision. But this was definitely high on my list, and one I never expected to happen. Overall though, I’m glad I did it. It was a seamless process for a classic piece of work, and it gave me a fun story to tell.
Leading up to Tattoo Day and the days following my ink-age, I learned a lot about the tattoo process. In addition to my fun little story, I also thought I’d share some of the intricacies of getting spontaneously inked with you.
Does it hurt?
I think this is a fairly common concern among first-timers. And the answer is yes, it does. It’s a tattoo—no matter your pain tolerance, it’s going to feel foreign and maybe even a bit uncomfortable. I’ve heard it described as a cat scratching at you, and I think that’s actually pretty accurate. The good news is that when the needle isn’t piercing your skin you actually don’t feel any pain at all.
Now some spots on your body are going to hurt worse to ink than others. These places include areas with thin or sensitive skin and parts of your body directly on top of bone. I got mine near my ankle and there were definitely times when I could tell the needle was right on top of the bone there. But don’t let something like this make you change your mind about your tattoo location. It’s bearable for sure, so no need to make alterations out of fear. Promise.
Where is the best (or worst) place to get a tattoo?
If you’re thinking about getting a tattoo, this is probably another one of those questions that’s high on your must-know list. Truthfully, I don’t know. Everyone has a different opinion on this. For example, behind the ear tattoos seem pretty popular among my friend group. I’ve heard things from this area being the most painful part of your body to ink to it being the best place to get a tattoo for first-timers. So who really knows?
Do your research and pick a place that means something to you.
How much does it cost?
I hate that all my answers seem to come down to circumstance, but that’s really what we’re dealing with here. Many places have a base price for size—say $50 for tattoos smaller than 4 inches. I think that’s the best way to estimate if you don’t know. However, it all depends on the studio and the artist.
How does it heal?
Similar to the level of pain, there are certain spots on your body that’ll heal from the scabbing quicker than others. My ankle took about a week longer to heal than my friend’s arm. As for how to handle the healing process, listen to your tattoo artist. Best practices include cleaning the area, apply unscented moisturizer/lotion to the area, and avoiding scratching and peeling at the color.
Should I get a tattoo?
Well, that all depends on you. If you think, even for just a little bit, that you might want one, then look into it. Experts say that you should sit on the idea for at least a year, just to make sure it’s really something that you want to do. They are permanent after all. But don’t let that dissuade you. Tattoos are beautiful pieces of art that are often sentimental pieces of the moments we’ve walked in life. So I would suggest you at least think about it.
Do you like it?
I LOVE it. It not only looks clean, but it’s also a sentimental symbol of how I want to live my life. 10/10 would recommend.
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I’ve wanted to get a tattoo for years—I was just never quite sure what I wanted to get. So this may not have been a fully spontaneous decision, but it was definitely the unexpected edge I needed to finally go through with getting one. Would you ever get a spontaneous tattoo?
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