Design, Placement and Size

The tattoo process is very lengthy and detailed. A body art enthusiast may not know all of the factors that go into getting a tattoo, such as how painful it will be, how much it will cost, the desirable size, or even what design they want. 


Because body modification is so entailed, individuals must be patient and 100% confident in the decision they are making as it is irreversible.  Tattoos can be breathtaking and beautiful, but if the correct precautions are not met they can quickly lead to regret. You need to think about how to pick a design, how to choose an artist, and many more factors first to ensure a positive outcome.


In addition, the process is filled with many unknown factors that can only be determined after getting tattooed. The tattoo might come out terrible and you might hate it, the ink may cause an allergic reaction, you may lose your job, your family might excommunicate you (slightly dramatic) and most importantly IT IS PERMANENT (unless you can afford laser removal surgery which is very expensive and not always a guarantee to rid the tattoo anyway).


Selecting Your Tattoo Design

Before you opt for anything permanent you should first ask yourself if the inspiration behind the tattoo is meaningful and personal. For starters, is it a memorial for someone dear or does it celebrate the birth of a child? Will the design mark your identity or stake a bit of freedom? 


Perhaps you’re commemorating a milestone in your life such as a graduation, career change, or other personal goal? All of these reasons are sufficient enough for making a permanent, yet artful mark on your body.


Whatever your motivation might be for a tattoo, chances are you have plenty of ideas dancing about in your head. Can you visualize what elements you’d like included in your design and do you know what sort of art style appeals to you? 


There are several basic tattoo art styles, some of which include Realism, Japanese and Old School tattoos. Or you can opt for a more cultured piece in a tribal or abstract design. Once you determine the style you connect with, you’ll need to decide if you want vivid and colorful ink on your skin, or if you dream in shades of black and grey.


Finding Inspiration

For muses, some people look to their favorite art styles or to an event that happened earlier in their life. Others may get their tattoo ideas from celebrities and people that they look up to or respect. Some cultures prefer to have tattoos of their deities with hopes they will bring luck and power.


An online tattoo gallery can be used to get inspired for the types of tattoos you might like. Helpful and easy to use galleries often have designs separated into different categories so that you can search and find the tattoos easily.


Another way to scroll through types of tattoos is to go to individual artists’ profiles to see their professional galleries. This is a good way to see if the artist is reliable and credible. If they are, they'll have plenty of great tattoos in their gallery as well as lots of followers and reviews proving their worth. It's also a great way to discover how the tattoo artist operates.


Because there is literally an endless well of inspiration for tattoo artwork that is growing every day, there is no end to the search. The best thing to do is to start from within, from individual desires and expression and then build on top of that with your search.


Since tattoos are a reflection of personality, are permanent, and are an art form, work with your tattoo artist or a competent tattoo designer you can find right here on to take the concept and turn it into a masterpiece. When picking a tattoo design, stay away from “flash” and use it only as a guide to help spark your imagination. 


Once the artist has drawn up a design for you or at least a rough, spend time to think really hard about it. A common method suggested by tattoo artists is to take a picture and tape it to the wall facing you while in bed or on the ceiling so it’s something you look at often. 


If you get sick of the design then chances are you will not want it inked permanently. These small steps may sound tedious but it’s better to realize that you don’t love the design before it sets up permanent shop on your body.


With all of these important considerations at hand, the decision making process has just begun. Luckily the design planning is one of the most introspective and rewarding steps once you differentiate between your likes, dislikes, and define your personal style.


Size Matters

Tattoo newbies usually spend a lot of time picking out a tattoo design, choosing a tattoo artist, and saving up enough cash to pay for their design. Once these important tasks are completed and the time comes to sit down for that first tattoo most people draw a blank when asked “How big do you want this to be?”


For some reason the size of the tattoo is something that a lot of first timers never really consider. Many assume that their tattoo will be the exact size of the design they have found online while others believe that the tattoo artist ultimately decides. The truth is big or small tattoos depend on the design in question and the decision of the future bearer.


My Tattoo is Too Small


A lot of people who get tattoos, especially their first, are terrified of being stuck with a huge tattoo that they can't easily hide. The idea of being stuck with a gigantic, permanent picture that will be present at inconvenient times encourages many to select a small tattoo design. A petite tattoo might seem like the safest route but it isn't always the wisest.


After choosing a beautiful tattoo, allowing it heal, and getting ready to show it off, many wish their tattoo was bigger. This wish often comes as a shock to those who thought they would be spending their lives keeping their tattoo out of sight.


My Tattoo is Too Large


On the other end of the spectrum some tattoo enthusiasts find themselves saddled with huge tattoos that just don't look good. These individuals don't necessarily mind having a large tattoo; they just wish it looked better. This often happens when a tattoo design such as a butterfly, tribal arm band, or something else designed to be a certain width or length is enlarged at the request of the person getting inked.


In many cases large tattoo disasters are avoided by the intervention of the tattoo artists. Most tattoo artists can tell right away if an enlarged tattoo design is going to look ridiculous and don't mind speaking up about it. Of course there are times when the tattoo artist's advice is ignored or, on occasion, not even offered. The way to avoid both situations is to experiment.


When the time comes for you to make your decision keep two things in mind:


  • Will you be happy with a small tattoo?

  • Does the design in question look better large?


Both questions might seem insanely simple but the answers will make all the difference in the world.


Tattoo Placement Selection


Once you’ve narrowed your design selection down you’ll need to determine where to place a tattoo.


If this is your first tattoo you may want to start small and select an area that is less painful than others. The most painful areas for men are the abdomen, spine and chest. For women, they include the ankle, spine and ribcage. The least painful areas for men are buttocks, arm and back. Women voice the least pain in the abdomen, buttocks, thigh and shoulder. It’s also important to consider the size of the piece because it should be proportional to the area of the body you will want to place it on. Nevertheless, pain is relative and no matter where you get tattooed you will feel the sensation, so you might as well instead focus on a few other very important aspects of tattoo placement.


Another inkling of advice is that some tattoo parlors will refuse to tattoo hands, feet and the face, which may be disappointing should you have your mind set on any of these locations.


A large tattoo consideration is your social life and career. If you are young and carefree this may not be the most appealing subject to debate, but you really should consider the long term effects of your body art. Will your career or possible future jobs allow you to have visible tattoos? It might be best to choose a discreet location, easily concealable with clothing if need be, so that your body art does not hinder your future lifestyle, career opportunities and goals.


If you know the design you want and feel confident about your tattoo, you're ready to move forward in selecting a tattoo artist for the job. If not- you may want to spend more time and thought on your piece. This is a decision that will last forever and it should not be made on impulse.