Although an exciting experience, getting your first tattoo can be intimidating for some people. The fact that tattoos are pieces of art that will stay on your skin forever is something you should really consider before getting your first tattoo.

On top of that, there are so many different styles and artists out there, which makes the process of getting a tattoo anything but boring.

Figuring out something that suits you will take patience, which is why it is so important to avoid rushing the process when it comes to your first tattoo.

Let's dive in and take a look at some tips and tricks for your first tattoo and a breakdown of what to expect from it.

What Should I Expect From My First Tattoo?

You might feel incredibly nervous or anxious about getting your first tattoo but remember that your tattoo artist is an expert and will guide you through every process.

Your first tattoo can be intimidating, but if you have done your research into your tattoo artist and have a particular vision in mind, everything should be smooth sailing from there.

Remember to ask questions and don’t be afraid to discuss your concept with your tattoo artist so that they can design something unique to your life, and your experiences.

- Consider tattoo aftercare 

Take the steps to prepare for your healing process by getting advice from your tattoo artist and stocking up on products that you may need.

While the process of leading up to getting tattooed is exciting, the steps that you take post-tattoo are essential to preserving the longevity and vibrancy of your artwork.

moisturizing tattoo balm


Read also: Tattoo Aftercare - Do's & Don'ts

6 Things You Should Know Before Getting Your First Tattoo

1. Size (& placement) matter

The placement and size of your tattoo are directly correlated.

Smaller tattoos are more versatile because they do not take up as much space. However, your small tattoo may impact a large piece that you are looking to get tattooed in the future.

- Placement contributes to the pain levels of your tattoo.

Areas with fewer nerve endings like shoulders and calves tend to be less painful than hands and ribcages. While pain tolerance varies between every client, deciding on the size and placement of your tattoo are going to directly affect pain.

2. Meaning (or not?)

People get tattoos for a number of different reasons:

  • Some choose to commemorate loved ones or even a special date.
  • For many others who see their body as a canvas, tattoos are a form of expression without any meaning attached to them.
  • Many people simply choose to get tattoos because they admire the artist or love a particular design.

Because tattoos are entirely personal, their meaning, or lack of, is up to you.

Read also: 60 Most Popular Tattoos & Their Meanings

3. Colour vs black and grey

One of the big decisions you will have to make is determining the color of your tattoo.

Color can completely change your design. Colored tattoos are vibrant and can convey your personality, compared to their black and grey counterpart.

When choosing colored tattoos, the color palette and your skin tone will have an impact on your design that can appear differently after your tattoo has healed.

On the other hand, black and grey tattoos are ideal for those looking to create contrast and bold lines.

4. Tattoo style

With hundreds of tattoo styles that exist, how do you even begin to choose one for your tattoo?

Some of the most classic tattoo designs include Japanese, old school, neo traditional and black and grey to name a few. Each of these styles has specific imagery tied to them.

For your first tattoo we recommend you do some research about every style, see how they look like, and only after that decide the style you want to go for. 

For example, old school tends to have old-school symbols like daggers and hearts that are designed with bold outlines and bright colors. 

old school tattoo butterfly

5. Finding the right tattoo artist

Finding a tattoo artist who is an expert in their style and understands your vision is often a challenge that many people have.

Check out different tattoo artists and their portfolios on social media to find someone who will best suit your tattoo design.

Generally speaking, it might be a good idea to find a tattoo artist that its specialized on the style you want to get tattooed. 

6. Price

We can't strees this enough: tattoos are permanent, which is why it is important to see your tattoo as an investment.

A professional tattoo shop will provide you with the best advice and care, while also being hygienic. Professional tattoo shops can also save you money down the line by using quality tools and products that ensure the longevity of your tattoo.

When considering a tattoo, price shouldn't be the main driver of your decision. Cheap tattoos can cost you a lot more than anticipated, both financially and mentally.

Where's the Best Place to Get Your First Tattoo?

In recent years, wrists, ankles, and ribs have become popular places for first tattoos.

While these placements can be painful, they make for great statement tattoos, even if your design is small and subtle.

Areas like thighs and shoulders are some of the least painful places to get your first tattoo, which makes it another popular choice.

If you happen to work in an environment that is less forgiving of tattoos, consider a placement that is easily hidden.

First tattoo pet

What’s the Most Common First Tattoo? 

  • Classic imagery like butterflies, flowers, dates, quotes, or a combination of any of these makes for some of the most common first tattoos.
  • Commemorating a special event or person is also a very popular choice as a first tattoo.
  • Minimalistic phrases and symbols are also a popular one.
  • People tend to gravitate towards smaller and subtle tattoos for the first time to test the waters.

Bottom Line

Getting a tattoo might seem like a quick and easy process, but the reality is that it takes time and research to figure out all of the aspects that make your tattoo.

Remember to take your time to research all of the ins and outs of getting a tattoo so that you will love and appreciate your piece for years to come.

Our mission is to inspire and educate the tattoo community. We have combined our many years of experience in the industry and our love for tattoos to create useful and enlightening content. Join us in this exciting journey in the beautiful art of tattooing.
Welcome to Sorry Mom.

- Rasmus Cort Hansen, CEO & Founder