Read these tips before you go under the needle, says Liz Connor.
Decided you’re going to bite the bullet and get inked for summer? You won’t be alone.
But even though you might have the perfect design in mind, how do you really know if it’ll be something you’ll love forever? Or will it prove a product of your post-lockdown YOLO mentality?
Tattoos can become a costly mistake if you make a design choice you later regret, but there are a few things you can take into consideration to help you settle on a design you love – and that will have longevity.
We chatted to several tattoo artists to hear their best advice for getting an ink that will stand the test of time…
Do your research
Alessandro Melas, Astrid & Miyu’s resident tattoo artist, says: “During lockdown, most people have had ample time to think about their desired design and you’re now probably desperate to get to your nearest tattoo shop.
“To be completely confident about your inking though, it’s always useful to research the right artist. A lot of tattoo artists have personal Instagram accounts where they post their work, so I would definitely recommend looking on social media for inspiration and the linework you desire – as each artist always has their own flare and personal style.”
Find your style
Keely Glitters (@keelyglitters), who works at Valentines Tattoo Studio in Royal Leamington Spa, says: “We’re really spoilt for choice nowadays of amazing tattoo artists, especially being able to find them so easily on social media platforms like Instagram.
“It’s always best to find an artist that specialises in the style you like rather than going to someone that does a bit of everything. That way you will get the best piece of artwork, as your artist will have more creative freedom with the concept you’ve given them.”
Check the artist’s tagged photos
“The beautiful thing about Instagram is that it’s like an online portfolio – but as well as looking at an artist’s feed, I’d recommend checking out their tagged photos too,” says London-based tattoo artist Rebecca Vincent (@rebecca_vincent_tattoo). “This way you can see photos of their work that they haven’t taken themselves – as you don’t want to base your decision on doctored photos.”
Sit with the idea for a while longer
“It’s wicked that tattoos are so accessible right now, but I think sometimes the permanence of them can get lost,” adds Vincent. “Instead of rushing to the tattoo parlour straightaway, I really recommend sitting with the idea for a little while longer – especially if it’s your first one.
“It’s forever, and what you’re into right now – after a pretty unusual year – might be completely different to the type of thing you’ll want six months down the line.”
Listen to the tattoo artist’s advice
“Sometimes you’ll want something that isn’t possible,” says Vincent. “Listen to your tattoo artist if they believe that the placement will cause the tattoo to become blurred or distorted. They might also recommend that the tattoo needs to be a bit bigger to capture the full detail necessary, too.”
Don’t be scared to tell the tattoo artist you don’t like the first sketch
“Always be honest with your tattooist if you feel that something isn’t what you had in mind and don’t be pressured to go for something you aren’t comfortable with,” stresses Glitters. “We want you to have a tattoo that you will love forever, not just a holiday romance.”