At some point, you have probably thought about getting a tattoo. Tattoos come in all shapes and sizes. You can get temporary or permanent ones. You can get any design you can think of, as long as the tattoo artist is good. You can get one on your arm to show off to the world or on a more private area for your own amusement.
But no matter what you get, you need to do some prep before you walk into the shop. You need to know what to expect in your experience. Your design needs to be thought about. And you should also try and get a preview if you can.
Between the internet and a few app developers, most of your concerns can already be answered.
1. Tattoos Hurt (Web): Everything a First-Timer Needs to Know
It’s the question every first-time tattoo enthusiast has: is it going to hurt? Those who’ve already got multiple tattoos tend to forget the first experience, but that’s what this site is here for.
Tattoos Hurt tries to be as honest as possible in helping you decide whether you want a tattoo or not. It’ll tell you about all the pitfalls you can expect, from how to prep your body for it to post-procedure aftercare. It also has a helpful Tattoo Pain Scale chart, which tells you which body part is going to hurt the most. This is the kind of reality check that will make you want to just add a tattoo to your picture in Photoshop instead.
It’s also one of the few sites to talk about tattoo removal and the aftercare needed for it. Tattoos Hurt’s no-nonsense approach is a welcome change from the hyperbole-spouting, over-enthusiastic sites you’ll usually find on the web.
2. Tattoo Johnny (Web): Tattoo Designs for Anyone
So you’ve seen everything Tattoos Hurt has to say and decided that you definitely want a tattoo. You’ll need a design you like, and a stencil for it. Tattoo Johnny has you covered there.
The site stores over 100,000 tattoo designs, neatly arranged by categories: animal, astronomy, ethnic, for men, for women, gambling, horror, insects, marine life, miscellaneous, mythology, patronage, plant life, religious & spiritual, reptiles & amphibians, specific body parts, tattoo styles, and zodiac. Browse or search to find the tattoo that you like the most. Then head over to the download page and print it out or get it on your phone so your tattoo artist can print it into a stencil.
None of these are free, but they’re not too expensive either, costing anywhere between $10 and $20. Considering this is a permanent image on your skin, that’s a fair price to pay. But if you’re not looking to open your wallet, then there are also some free tattoo design sites you can check.
3. InkHunter (Android, iOS): Preview a Tattoo on Your Skin
You’ve picked the tattoo you want, but you aren’t quite sure where it will look best. Should you get it on your bicep or your forearm? Why not check out a quick preview of how it will look with InkHunter.
This is one of the coolest examples of augmented reality on smartphones. All you have to do is draw a little box where you’re thinking of getting the tattoo. Pick the tattoo design on the app, and point your phone’s camera at the box. Like magic, the box will disappear and you’ll see your tattoo design there, superimposed on your skin to perfection. Move the phone around to see exactly what it looks like from different angles.
InkHunter is available for both Android and iOS, and comes with a few tattoo designs built in. You can choose those, or add your own custom one from your phone’s gallery. You can also snap a photo of your preview and send it to friends, so you get their opinion before you take the plunge.
4. /r/tattoos (Web): Check Real Designs From Artists in Your Area
As with all things, Reddit has a community of tattoo enthusiasts who are proud to show off their skin art. But the r/tattoos sub-reddit isn’t just good to get inspired by designs. It also helps you find tattoo artists in your area.
One of the rules at /r/tattoos is that everyone has to share the artist’s name and location in the title of the post, along with the image. The result is that /r/tattoos is a storehouse of final, real-world images submitted by real people. So if you were to search for your city, you’ll find images of people who got a tattoo done by someone in that location. Just like that, you can compare the final creations of multiple tattoo artists in your area.
If nothing else, you can always rely on Reddit for true stories from real people. It’ll go a long way in earning your trust for the final product.
5. Tattly (Web): Buy Easy-to-Apply Temporary Tattoos
Getting a tattoo doesn’t necessarily have to be a lifelong commitment. If you’re unsure about putting something on your skin permanently, or if you want to change up the tattoos periodically, Tattly is the solution.
Tattly calls itself a temporary tattoo store. You choose a design from their vast collection, and have it shipped to you for a small price ($2.50 in U.S., $6 outside U.S., free above $45). Apply it and you have a tattoo. After about two to four days, you can clean it off.
The tattoo gallery at Tattly is designed by professional artists, who get a cut out of each sale. The prints uses vegetable-based ink, ensuring they’re safe and non-toxic. And in case you have a design of your own, you can contact Tattly for a custom temporary tattoo. You might want to try out Canva to create gorgeous designs.
Show Us Your Ink!
Have you got a tattoo on your body? We’d love to see it! Upload it on Imgur and share the link in the comments below. And if you can, share the story behind your tattoo as well.