Getting a tattoo is a big decision; it’s a piece of artwork that will exist on your body for the rest of your life! I have five large tattoos, one of which covers my hand, and there are now many things I know about getting tattooed that I didn’t know when I decided to get my first.

Here are the things they don’t tell you about getting tattooed…

Your design is completely unique

Don’t go visit your local tattoo studio with a picture of another tattoo you like and expect it to be transferred to your skin; tattooists are artists, and their work will be unique and completely their own. You can take with you a picture for inspiration but your design will be slightly different to ensure you get something totally original!

Some hurt more than others…

It’s no secret that getting a tattoo is painful – but what most people don’t realise is that, depending on placement, some hurt way more than others. Typically forearms and shoulders are the least painful, while ribs, hands, bum, and slightly more wobbly parts hurt more. So when you’re deciding on placement, take your pain tolerance into consideration.TattooedNot everyone likes tattoos…

It’s personal taste at the end of the day, but unfortunately we still live in a society where discrimination against tattoos in the workplace still exists. If you work in an industry that is more likely to be against body art being on display, consider placements that you can easily hide with clothing. Avoid getting your hands and neck tattooed.

The aftercare…

Tattoos require lots of aftercare; moisturising, cling-film, and protection. Everyone has different opinions on what aftercare works the best – so always listen to your artist as they will know what works best for your new tattoo.

The itching…

Honestly, the biggest shock to me is how itchy your new tattoo can be; some people are lucky enough to get away with it, but most of us aren’t. As your new tattoo heals, it will begin to scab and flake, and all you’ll want to do is scratch it like crazy – but you mustn’t! Scratching or picking the scabs can remove colour and ruin the healing process, so resist the urge to claw at it! If you really need to itch, just tap it lightly.