Our current generation of Kenyans adores tattoos.
Tattoos are cool. The problem is that many people spend a lot of time worrying about two things only – the pain of their first tattoo and the image they want. Those are important things to consider, but at least you can be fairly sure your tattoo artist will discuss them with you in detail before you begin. If you spend all your time thinking about the image and the pain, you’re missing out on these other important considerations.
1. How your parents will react.
Trust me, it matters. Especially if your parent is of the old school generation. Mothers especially tend to be more heartbroken if their children get tattoos, no matter how old the child is. Tattoos will change the way your family looks at you. Consider what they might think, and decide how much you care about their opinions before you get your work done. If you put a tattoo and your mother doesn’t like it, it might change her perception of you forever. If you are not sure how she will react but you are close to her, you can ask her if it’s okay. Or you could just put your tattoo in a place where your parent can’t see.
2. The meaning of the tattoo.
The ‘meaning’ is more important than the ‘image’. The pain, the cost, the time, the look, and everything else will literally be meaningless if you don’t take the time to consider why you must put body art on your skin. Your aim shouldn’t be to just look good. Neither should you do it because your friends have cool tats and you’d like some too. You should have something that motivates you, something that is close to your heart.
3. Size of the tattoo.
The size should also depend on the message and location but good tattoos generally don’t need to be bigger than the size of your palm. A majority of people say that nice small tattoos tend to be cooler than big ones. Small tattoos also make it easier to appreciate.
4. Your profession.
Your tattoo can make a big difference in the impact it will have on your life. Tattoos that are out in the open have a big impact on the way your friends, co-workers, and employers look at you. This makes a difference if you work in a profession where it’s important to look professional. Having a large eagle on your head might not look so great for a lawyer. Likewise, tattooing your face up like a zombie will work best if you are a celebrity rather than when you are a doctor.
5. Your tattoo artist’s experience.
Make sure your artist has the experience, training, artistic talent, and attitude that sits well with you. Don’t just rush to the nearest artist and get started. You might end up working with someone who doesn’t understand you and what you want, or you might get ripped off in price because they don’t like to do the kind of work you want done. Likewise, going for cheaper tattoos might mean your artist has less experience than you’d prefer. Take the time to find and get to know the tattoo artists you want to work with.
6. Location on the body.
Location matters too. You don’t want to put your tattoos in places that will make people say “what the hell?” there’s never a need to be outrageous. You might regret it. To be safe, if you want your tattoo to be seen, just put it in one of the most general places.
7. Potential addiction.
Pain and art, like most things in this shared reality, can become addicting very easily. So if you’re going in for your first, make sure you consider whether or not there will ever be a second. Usually, by the time you get a second tattoo done, you know you’re already hooked.