If there’s one way Americans love to express themselves and their creativity, it’s getting a tattoo. Around 14 percent of Americans (of all ages) have at least one tattoo and there are approximately 21,000 tattoo parlors in the United States.
Whether you’re looking to ink yourself with a skull and crossbones, a tribute to a loved one or your personal life motto, there are dozens of popular tattoos and artistic designs to choose from when choosing your tattoo.
Everyone wants the perfect tattoo, but there are plenty of ways that people can end up with bad tattoos. Some of these include:
- Choosing a design because someone else has it
- Picking a design you found online
- Picking a place for a tattoo just so it can be hidden
- Designing your own tattoo
- Picking a tattoo parlor simply because a friend goes there
There are plenty of popular tattoos out there, but ultimately a tattoo should mean something to the individual getting it and should be unique to that person. Popular tattoos such as the underboob designs or arrows or semicolons are just that, popular. But if you’re thinking about getting one of these popular tattoos it should be because it means something to you.
When comes to getting tattoos, here are some tips to help you get the perfect tattoo for you:
- Design: There are plenty of designs for tattoos on sites such as Pinterest or on Google images, but when it comes to getting the perfect tattoo, find a design that you can personally identify with. Having something you can connect with makes the tattoo meaningful and won’t make you regret getting the tattoo in the first place.
- Research: It’s important to do your homework not only on designs but on different tattoo shops and tattoo parlor. Approximately 49 percent of those with tattoos think the reputation of a tattoo artist or tattoo studio is the most important factor when choosing where to get inked. Visit a tattoo shop you might be interested in, find out what sort of designs they offer, if they can help you create a custom design and what they charge. For a small tattoo, the average cost is around $45. For a bigger tattoo, you can expect to pay about $150 an hour.
- Get Opinions: As you search for the perfect tattoo, your friends can be of some help. Your friends can help you find designs, make suggestions and tell you if a design you’re interested in is a good one or a bad one. Remember though that while you may seek input from friends, the design you ultimately choose should be the one you want.
- Take your time: When you’re young, tattoos are a popular way of expressing yourself and asserting your independence. According to a 2015 Harris Poll, 47 percent of millennials and 36 percent of Gen Xers say they have at least one tattoo. But is that tattoo one you’re going to want after six months or even a year? Around 11 percent of people with tattoos have had one removed (or are getting one removed). If you have a certain design in mind, take time to flesh it out, but also take the time to decide whether it’s worth the investment. Once you get that tattoo, it’s with you forever unless you want to take the time and spend the money to have it removed.
While tattoos can be a great form of artistic expression, the words tattoo addiction get used quite frequently when it comes to ink. Some who are said to have “tattoo addiction,” will say they have a passion for it and are simply expressing themselves. Others with a so-called tattoo addiction may do it for the rush of adrenaline or they may do it for attention.
The severity of a tattoo addiction may be open to interpretation. But before you go rushing off to your local tattoo parlor, there’s a lot to consider. The last thing you want is tattoo regret. To avoid that and to get your perfect tattoo, take time to find a design that speaks to you, find a reputable tattoo artist and ultimately decide whether the tattoo you’ve got your eye on is worth the investment, both in time and money.