To some, tattoos are a form of art; for others, they are simply for fun and a little thrill. To put it shortly, everyone view tattoos differently.

Personally, getting an ink on my body serves as a solid reminder for myself. Since it’ll always be with me, it acts as a little reminder for me to stick with my beliefs, and not stray away from to this person I want to be.

Even though tattoos are fun and exciting, getting your first ink can definitely be a nerve-wrecking and intimidating experience. If you’re the cautious ones, here’s some advice you might want to take note before getting your first permanent ink.

Tattoos are a constant representation of yourself.

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Word to note: constant.

We choose the way we want others think of us with the things we wear and the way we carry ourselves. Unlike a T-shirt where you can simply take it off and change your style, tattoos cannot be removed (well, technically, you can, but that’s besides the point). They’ll be a perpetual representation of yourself to others, .

How you want your tattoo to be will be how others see you. No matter in a good or bad way, people are still going to judge you based your tattoos. Make sure that the design is something you really want, and not just a phase or trend that you’re following.

How to make sure you won’t regret getting the tattoo

Source: We’re The Millers (2013)

This advice is so overused, but still, it is one of the most important tips a first-timer can get. Before getting that design, ask yourself, do you really want it? If the tattoo does not mean anything to you, there’s a slightly higher chance of regretting.

I’m not saying that every tattoo requires some deep and tear-jerking story behind it, but getting a tattoo with no reason will most likely result in regrets. Getting the design because it is beautiful is better than getting it for the sake of possessing a tattoo.

Set your desired tattoo design as your lock screen for 6 months

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This, my friend, is one of the best tip I have for anyone who is going get inked; be it your first or your hundredth trip to the parlour. Personally, I have a pretty short attention span. I get bored of things easily, which is the main reason why I only got my tattoo at 19, even though I had wanted it for years.

I would recommend at least a six months period before getting something so concrete. Setting the tattoo design as your lock screen for a period of time makes it such that have to see it every single day, and for multiple times. From my experience, this is one of the best ways to know if you’ll grow sick of the design.

The placing of your tattoo

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If you’re like me, you’re probably one who gets sick of things easily and seeks constant change. A simple tip is to get it on parts of your body that is not within your sight. For example, I got my first tattoo on my back, as that is one place that I hardly get to see. On the back, behind your neck, stomach and ribcage are great places to get your tattoo without it being in your sight 24/7.

I know of a few who will say that you simply shouldn’t get a tattoo if you intend to hide it from yourself. Everyone have different views, so it’s up to your own choice; just remember to really think it through making such a major decision.

Get your tattoo after 18

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If I had gotten the tattoo I wanted before eighteen, I will definitely hate myself for the immature decision now. When I had mentioned my desire to get a tattoo to my dad, he warned that if I got it at that age, I will regret it — I’m so glad that I heeded his advice.

At eighteen, most of us would still be finding our individual style and ourselves. Hence, getting a tattoo as adolescence will probably lead to plenty of regrets.

How to make sure the tattoo will be good

Don’t be afraid to ask questions

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It’s not surprising for a tattoo virgin to be asking questions. If the tattoo artist notices a blank canvas, they’d probably ask if it’s your first time. If there are things that you’re really unsure of, do not spare any details with your questions — Remember, this is something that will be on your skin for a lifetime!

However, make sure you do your substantial research, so you don’t ask redundant questions to piss off your artist.

Don’t be a cheapskate

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Sure, not everything cheap is bad. However, if you’re getting a tattoo because it’s less pricey, you’ll most likely end up hating the result. Ever heard of the saying “you get what you pay for”? A cheap tattoo will probably turns out to be a bad tattoo.

Get friend’s recommendation & do your research

The biggest mistake a first-timer can make is to blindly pick a tattoo parlour. Even if the tattoo parlour is popular and widely praised, there is still bound to be a rookie there.

The best way to ensure that your first ink wouldn’t be a big fail, is through friend’s recommendation. If you have friends who are inked, they’ll most likely give you the best guidance.

Once you’ve found your tattoo artist, do even more research. Find out what their style of tattooing is, and see if that’s the same as the tattoo you have in mind. You don’t want a tattoo artist who specialises in Japanese tattoo to be doing your watercolour tattoo.

The final step…

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…Is to be brave and go for it! Embrace your tattoo no matter how it turns out. Your friends will probably make jokes out of it (trust me, I’ve been through it) no matter how it turns out to be. Know that it is now something that represents you, so be proud of your new tattoo and own it!

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