What Tattoo Should I Get? How To Choose And Inspiration Ideas

Simple tricks and ideas to choose the perfect piece of body art for you!

Written by , MA (Mass Communication & Journalism) Joyce Joyson MA (Mass Communication & Journalism)
Edited by , BA, MSc Eshna Das BA, MSc Experience: 3 years
Fact-checked by , MA (English Literature) Aparna Harry MA (English Literature) linkedin_icon Experience: 3 years

Getting a tattoo is both a nerve-wracking and thrilling experience. But before you get inked, you probably have a dozen questions about body art in your mind. What tattoo should I get? How to come up with tattoo ideas? How to decide on a tattoo? Remember, it is important to answer these questions before you get any piece of art permanently etched on the canvas of your skin.

Getting a tattoo is a personal choice and requires time, research, and commitment. So, before going into the process of tattooing, be absolutely sure it is worth the pain, time, and stress. So, scroll down to the article below for important tips and advice to keep in mind before going on your tattoo journey!

What Tattoo Should You Get?

Make sure the design you are going with is something that you love or makes you feel happy. Having said that, life is unpredictable and ever-changing, so what might hold dear today may not be of importance a few years down the line.

Erin, an artist and a blogger, shared her experience of getting a tattoo. She said, “I got my first tattoo the summer I turned eighteen. I knew that I wanted a tattoo of a cross whenever I got older. I wanted the cross to remember my faith and I have my favorite scripture above the cross that I refer to whenever I’m going through a rough time (i).”

Therefore, always go for designs that will stand the test of time. Make sure the design is worth it before committing to it.

The wrong decision can cause you pain and prove to be a costly affair. Hence, it is important to take your time and think before getting inked. Find out more in the next section.

Think Before You Ink

Whether you want to get minimalist tattoos, tribal tattoos, or tattoos of zodiac signs that reflect your personality traits, it is important to understand the intention or motivation behind them. Be it commemorating a special event, person, or milestone in your life, let your reasoning be the guide.

Ask yourself why you want it. Since these tattoos will be a part of your body forever, spend some time deciding what to get etched on your skin. You can start by visualizing the theme or elements you want in your tattoo to get that perfect design. Remember, the idea is for you to be happy with the ink job. So, avoid rushing into it.

protip_icon Quick Tip
Keep a notebook, google document, or pinterest board of tattoo design ideas that caught your eye. You can show this to your tattoo artist to finalize your ink.

Once you get a general idea of the tattoo shapes and designs you want in your body artwork, it is important to get in touch with a tattoo artist for advice. Scroll down to the next section to know more.

Consult A Tattoo Artist

A woman consulting a tattoo artist
Image: Shutterstock

After finalizing your perfect tattoo style, do some research and take time to find an artist whom you can work with. Start by checking out Instagram pages or visiting the nearest tattoo parlors in your area before zeroing in on the one. Look at their portfolio and see if their aesthetics and design sensibilities match yours. Once you finalize your tattoo artist, talk to them and tell them what is on your mind. Ask their advice about placement and size. While you may keep the tattoo artist’s suggestion in mind, remember it is your tattoo at the end of the day.

How visible you want your tattoo to be plays a role in determining its placement. Check out the next section for more.

Determine The Tattoo Placement

Image: Shutterstock

Where you want to get a tattoo can make a big difference! If you want it to be visible to others, then go for body parts such as arms, fingers, chest, legs, or back. Areas such as the wrist, collarbone, or the back of your neck are great spots for tattoos that you do not want others to see.

Also, keep your pain tolerance level in mind. If you have a low threshold, go for areas such as the calves, lower back, forearms, stomach, and outer thighs as these areas have thicker skin and layers of fat when compared to other areas.

Getting a tattoo is a real life-changing decision. Find out in the next section if it is really good for you.

Is A Tattoo Really Good For You?

Image: Shutterstock

Before selecting a beautiful tattoo design, think about why you are getting it in the first place. Is it for aesthetic reasons or has a personal meaning attached to it? For instance, many people get tattoos to show their commitment and love for their significant other. However, there are certain downsides to it. If the relationship does not last, it can be heart-breaking to go around a tattoo that reminds you of that past relationship. Remember, at the end of the day, it is you who is going to live with that tattoo design, so choose wisely.

protip_icon Pro Tip
Avoid getting tattoos over birthmarks or moles. Covering them with tattoos hinder the opportunity to see color or size changes that may be indicative of melasma or other type of skin cancer.

If you need some inspiration for a simple tattoo, mythical creatures, ancient patterns, minimalist designs, geometric shapes, or animal body art, check out the next section to know more.

Gather Some Inspiration For Ideas

A young woman with a rose tattoo on her bicep figuring out her next tattoo
Image: Shutterstock

Getting a tattoo is a big deal, so make sure you get it right. Here are some tips on how to pick a meaningful tattoo.

  1. You can select the lyrics of your favorite song, a phrase from your favorite book, or a quote by an influential person that you truly admire.
  2. You may get the signature of your partner, child, or parent inked on your skin. It is a powerful reminder of your loved one and makes for a unique design.
  3. Gather and read the cards you got from your friends, families, or dear ones.  Look for words or phrases that evoke emotions and bring a rush of memories to your mind.
  4. Think of some inspiring words or a good piece of advice that you got from your co-workers, friends, teachers, husband, or loved ones that gave you the courage, grace, and strength to overcome tough times.
  5. Take inspiration from tattoo magazines and tattoo artist’s sketchbooks to get ideas about beautiful tattoo designs.
  6. Avoid getting tattoos with common designs inked on your skin as they are overdone already!

So, if you want to get a unique tattoo, scroll down for the unexpected places to look for tattoo ideas.

Look For Ideas In Unexpected Places

If you want to move away from popular tattoo styles and want your tattoo to be unique, take inspiration from your all-time favorite movies. They are the best places to get a theme, quote, or symbol that is tattoo-worthy and visually distinctive. So, if you opt for this non-traditional path, provide a high-quality picture of the tattoo design or share minute details with your tattoo artist to give them a clear picture of what exactly you are looking for.

Once you are done with your research and have spoken to your tattoo artist, spend some time visualizing the design and how it will look on you. By doing so, you will be able to get the tattoo of your dreams!

There are a plethora of cool tattoos in different shapes and sizes that one can choose from. But one should focus on finding tattoo designs that resonate with their personality or hold some personal significance to them. Therefore, take your time to decide the tattoo size, color, placement, meaning, style, and the artist you want. But if you are still afraid of taking the plunge, look for small tattoo designs such as star tattoos or your favorite flower design. However, if you want something unique, sift through your favorite movies for quotes and symbols to get the ink of your choice!

Frequently Asked Questions

What do I wish I knew before getting a tattoo?

Getting a tattoo can be painful and discomforting. Therefore, keep your pain threshold level, skin type, psychological factors, size, complexity, and the location of design in mind before getting inked.

Do tattoos look weird at first?

Tattoos look bright and vibrant right after completing the inking process. However, it can turn patchy, cloudy, or even look faded during the healing process. But remember, it is normal and will go away once the recovery period is complete.

Key Takeaways

  • Be clear about why you are getting it, whether it is for aesthetic reasons or to commemorate a special person.
  • Do your research and consult a tattoo artist whose work you admire and discuss every minute detail right from design to the size of the tattoo.
  • If you want to flaunt your tattoos, get them inked on your chest, legs, or arms. However, if you want to hide a tattoo, then go for less visible spots like the neck, collarbone, or wrist.
  • Choose a tattoo design that you can commit to for the rest of your lives, one that holds personal meaning and will remain relevant even as you evolve as a person.
what tattoo should i get

Image: Stable Diffusion/StyleCraze Design Team

Finding unique tattoo ideas is no easy feat and requires careful research and time. Go ahead and check out this video to learn how to get tattoo designs unique to you.

Personal Experience: Source

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