Image: Courtesy

Tattoos are fun, hip and expressionist. Most have a story behind them; maybe a tribute to a loved one, a reminder you're a survivor or a verse that keeps you going.

However, an underlying meaning is never a requirement for getting inked.

People get tattoos just from the sheer fact that they think it looks cool or their favourite icon has one.


What's important is that they walk away from the tattoo session happy.


So in case you were thinking of getting inked, here are a few things to keep in mind before getting permanent artwork.

Size and location


Outlines and shapes can look sharp and sleek at first but fade or even blur over time depending on the size and location.

If you're still unsure, consult your artist as they know where a certain piece might look better.

Tattoos hurt no matter where you have them, but the fleshier the area the less pain you experience.

More painful areas include:

  • Forehead
  • Neck
  • Spine
  • Ribs
  • Hands or fingers
  • Ankles
  • Top of your feet
  • Breasts
  • Groin

Ps: Being sure of the location and size is really important, especially if you want to hide your tattoo from your parents or your boss.

Be sure of what you want.

It's important to have an idea of what you want before booking an appointment. If you want letters/numerals have your preferred font in mind.

Ps: Have images saved for inspiration so when you go to the shop, you and the artist can figure out the placement and pricing.


Most people opt for illustration but if you want script alongside your image or standalone, you have to know what kind of font you want.

If you see something you like, get a copy and bring it to your artist so that they have a point of reference.


Your skin tone plays a major role in how well individual colours will hold.

Fairer skin tones tend to hold white, red and purple pigments better. Darker skin tones typically hold darker colours.

This, however, doesn't mean you can't get pastels and other light hues if you have a dark skin tone. They just won't appear as pigmented as darker colours would.

Note: All colours, including black, fade over time.

If at any point the pain becomes unbearable, inform your artist, a good tattoo artist will give you a breather to get your head in the game.