How To Decide Where To Get A Tattoo?

How To Decide Where To Get A Tattoo
Here are 5 tips for choosing where to put your tattoo:

  1. Cut it out. A good way to get an idea of tattoo placement is to take a printed version of the image you want and try moving it around on your body.
  2. Consider your job.
  3. Look at others.
  4. Ponder the pain.
  5. Determine the look.

How do I choose the right place to get a tattoo?

About This Article – Article Summary X When you’re choosing where to place a tattoo, get one on the front of your body if you want to be able to see it easily. If you’d like to hide it or reveal it depending on your mood or outfit, choose a place like between your neck and shoulders or your upper arms.

For a fun placement, choose a location that can reveal the tattoo as you move but isn’t readily visible like your lower back. If you want to be able to hide your tattoo, choose a location like your upper thigh or shoulder blade, which can be covered by clothing.

Choose a meatier place like your thigh or bicep to minimize the pain. The bonier the area, the more the tattoo will hurt. For more helpful tips on choosing a location based on the shape of the design from our Tattoo co-author, read on! Did this summary help you? Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 262,906 times.

What should I consider before getting a tattoo?

Download Article Download Article To choose a tattoo design, you should reflect on your personality, interests, and appearance. Take your lifestyle into account before choosing the tattoo size, placement, and coloring. Work out your budget and research local tattoo artists whose work you like. A tattoo can be a beautiful way to commemorate an important life moment, or to express your identity and interest.

  1. 1 Look up tattoos online. Visits image banks or galleries online to view images of different tattoos or designs. Images are usually grouped by category, which can reduce your search time if you have a basic idea in mind. Save your favorite images in a folder on your computer, or on a Pinterest.
    • It might be helpful to consider your long-term tattoo plans, too. If you want your initial design to be part of a larger sleeve tattoo , then look for images that show individual tattoos used within a broader sleeve.
  2. 2 Check out binders at a tattoo shop. Most tattoo shops will display portfolios of their regular artists in their waiting area. Visit a shop and peruse these binders to acquaint yourself with what each artist has to offer. Many shops will also make their artists’ portfolios available on their website. [1] Advertisement
  3. 3 Book a consultation with a tattoo artist. If you find a tattoo artist whose work you like, book an consultation appointment to discuss a possible tattoo. Bring along pictures of artwork, designs, or other tattoos you like to give the artist a sense of what you want. Discuss the size of tattoo that you want and where you want to put it so that the artist can generate a fitting design for you. [2]
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  1. 1 Figure out how large you want your tattoo to be. Size is an important consideration for tattoos because it limits what kind of designs you can choose from. For instance, a very detailed portrait will not work for a very small area of skin. Alternatively, a very basic design like a music note might look odd if it is stretched out over a large part of the body. [3]
    • Consult a tattoo artist for advice on size, design, and placement of your next tattoo.
    • If you have a low tolerance for pain, opt for a smaller tattoo that will take less time.
  2. 2 Choose the placement of your tattoo. Before deciding to get a tattoo, you should decide how visible you want it to be and how it may be altered as your body ages. If you are not free to display your tattoos at work, do not choose an open area of your body to tattoo, such as your hands, wrists, ankles, lower arms, or neck. [5]
  3. 3 Decide between a full color, white, or black and gray tattoo. You should decide right off the bat what color scheme you want your tattoo to have. If you want a more subdued tattoo, a white or black and gray design is your best bet. If you want something bold, colorful, and fun, a full color tattoo is a great choice. [6]
    • If you are unsure about this decision, note that you can always add color to your tattoo down the line.
    • Keep in mind that white and yellow tattoos tend to fade the fastest. [7]
  4. 4 Work out your tattoo budget. Before contacting tattoo artists to start planning your tattoo, you should know how much you are willing to spend on it. Good tattoo artists may charge $250 or more per hour for their work, and some tattoos will require multiple sessions. Be clear with any artists you speak to about how much you have to spend and get estimates for what the tattoo you envision will cost in total. [8]
    • Factor in a tip amount of at least 20% for your tattoo artist. [9]
  5. 5 Make sure to choose a design that makes you happy. Before settling on a tattoo design, make sure that it is something you will enjoy looking at for the rest of your life. If you love nature, for example, a tattoo of a sunrise, bird, tree, or butterfly will reflect your personal affinity for the outdoors. [10]
    • When you have a few options sketched out, take your time and just look at all of them. Which one brings you a sense of pleasure? Which one feels like it’s about you? Go for that one.
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  1. 1 Have a meaningful date tattooed on yourself. An important event can be commemorated with a tattoo of the date, either in regular text, numbers, or Roman numerals. Bring a picture of the specific design you want for the date, or look for samples of different fonts to use. You can also ask your tattoo artist to draw the date in ornate script for a more artistic flair. [11]
  2. 2 Get a portrait tattoo. Portrait tattoos are a beautiful way to honor a loved one, either after their passing or while they are present to appreciate the gesture. Look for a tattoo artist who specializes in portraits and schedule a consultation to discuss what you want done. Be sure to choose a clear, detailed photograph to base your tattoo on and give it to the artist to work from. [12]
    • Portrait tattoos are also a good way to pay homage to a personal hero or favorite celebrity.
    • Portrait tattoos can also be done to commemorate cherished pets.
    • You can opt to frame the portrait with a border or a Victorian cameo-style design.
  3. 3 Spell out the name of a loved one. Tattoos are a great way to honor parents, siblings, children, or spouses. Consider getting their name tattooed by itself, or surrounded by a design that reflects their personality. For instance, if you get a tattoo for your spouse, an avid gardener, you could add a rose next to their name. [13]
    • Wait a long time before having the name of a significant other tattooed on yourself. These tattoos tend to be the ones that are most frequently covered-up later in life.
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  1. 1 Choose a design that reflects your cultural background. Represent your own cultural background by choosing a tattoo inspired by traditional artwork or symbolism. For instance, if you are of Irish or Scottish descent you may opt for a Celtic tattoo, like a knotwork circle or cross. For a more direct tribute, you may opt for a tattoo your nation’s flag or national symbol. [14]
  2. 2 Get a tattoo inspired by your favorite movie, TV show, or comic book. Express your appreciation for a favorite element of pop culture by borrowing from TV, cinema, or literature for your tattoo design. Opt for something that you have been a fan of for a long time and expect to enjoy for the foreseeable future. Bring a photo of a specific logo, character, or screen capture for your tattoo artist to work with, and discuss your specific ideas with them. [15]
    • For instance, you might opt for a Batman tattoo if you are a long time comic book fan.
  3. 3 Opt for a literature-inspired tattoo. Get a tattoo that represents a favorite book or author by choosing a specific quote or creating a design based on specific work. If you opt for a written quote, choose the font or style of writing you would like. If you have an artistic design in mind, bring pictures of different elements that you would like incorporated into the tattoo to your consult appointment and discuss your idea with the tattoo artist.
    • For instance, you might get a tattoo of a raven as a homage to Edgar Allen Poe.
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  1. 1 Get a retro nautical tattoo. Sailors were some of the first people in the U. to get tattoos, mostly to commemorate their service. Anchors, ships, swallows, and nautical stars are all timeless tattoo designs that are still popular today. Look for a tattoo artist specializing in old school tattoos and choose the navy-inspired symbol you like the most. [16]
  2. 2 Choose a flower tattoo. Flower make beautiful tattoo designs and can also hold a lot of meaning. For instance, daisies are often used to symbolize purity and innocence while red roses are a sign of true love and passion. You may simply opt for a tattoo of your favorite flower, or a combination of flowers that you find visually pleasing. [17]
  3. 3 Go for an elegant abstract design. Have your tattoo artist doodle some shapes or patterns that appeal to you. Consider designs of simple shapes, with straight lines or perfectly-spaced dots. Opt to get an abstract geometric design, or a geometric representation of a favorite object, animal, or person. [18]
    • If you are drawing your own design, use a ruler or protractor to make perfectly even lines or circles.
    • Simple shapes look great dressed up with jewelry, so consider getting them on your wrists or right below your clavicles.
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Add New Question

  • Question Do watercolor tattoos fade easily? Burak Moreno is a Professional Tattoo Artist with over 10 years of experience. Burak is based in New York City and is a tattoo artist for Fleur Noire Tattoo Parlour in Brooklyn. Born and raised in Istanbul, Turkey, he has worked as a tattoo artist throughout Europe. He works on many different styles but mostly does bold lines and strong color.

    [4] Ask your tattoo artist for advice about placement to avoid tattooing an area of the body that will stretch out and distort your tattoo, such as your lower abdomen. Avoid settling on anything popular or trendy that does not actually bring you joy.

    You can find more of his tattoo designs on Instagram @burakmoreno. Tattoo Artist Expert Answer Support wikiHow by unlocking this expert answer. Watercolor tattoos fade much easier than other tattoos if they’re not done properly. It’s better to use the watercolor effect as a supporting element of the design instead of for the main part.

  • Question Is a neck tattoo a bad idea? Burak Moreno is a Professional Tattoo Artist with over 10 years of experience. Burak is based in New York City and is a tattoo artist for Fleur Noire Tattoo Parlour in Brooklyn. Born and raised in Istanbul, Turkey, he has worked as a tattoo artist throughout Europe. He works on many different styles but mostly does bold lines and strong color. Tattoo Artist Expert Answer
  • Question How much should I expect to pay for my tattoo? Burak Moreno is a Professional Tattoo Artist with over 10 years of experience. Burak is based in New York City and is a tattoo artist for Fleur Noire Tattoo Parlour in Brooklyn. Born and raised in Istanbul, Turkey, he has worked as a tattoo artist throughout Europe. He works on many different styles but mostly does bold lines and strong color. Tattoo Artist Expert Answer Support wikiHow by unlocking this expert answer. Good tattoos are not cheap, and cheap tattoos are not good. It is a classic motto between tattoo artists. The price will depend on where you are getting your tattoo. Each state/country has a different price point. In New York, for example, the standard for a decent tattoo would cost around $250 per hour.

Ask a Question 200 characters left Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. Submit Advertisement

  • Once you have a design in mind, take some time to think about it before getting tattooed. Hang a picture of the design on your mirror or fridge to see if you still like it after a few days or weeks.
  • If you are getting a word or phrase from another language tattooed on you, make sure to get an accurate translation before going through with it.
  • Some tattoos will require touch-ups down the line to keep them from looking blurry. Talk to your tattoo artist about this during your consult for an estimated timetable.


How do you design your body for a tattoo?

Download Article Download Article Tattoos are a big commitment. Agonizing over which design to permanently ink onto your skin is only one part of the puzzle. First you’ll need to decide where the design will go on your body. Placement matters, especially on a living, growing thing such as your skin. When choosing placement, think about things like aesthetics, how much of the tattoo you want to show, and how much pain you can tolerate.

  1. 1 Break your body up into a series of canvasses to visualize your tattoo. Each canvas can be called a piece. These “canvasses” or pieces are broken up by your body’s joints. For instance, the top of your thigh to your knee is one “canvas. ” Consider each of these canvasses in turn for placing your tattoo. [1]
    • For example, the top of your arm to your elbow is called a “half-sleeve,” while your entire arm from the top to your wrist would be a “full-sleeve. ” If you were interested in a smaller arm piece that would be covered by a short-sleeved shirt, you could ask for a “quarter-sleeve,” which ends mid-bicep.
    • As another example, a back piece traditionally goes from the bottom of your neck to below your buttocks. Understanding where these pieces traditionally go will help you tell your tattoo artist exactly what you want.
    • By visually breaking up your body into sections, you can figure out which designs work best in each place. You’re looking for the best small and large areas on your body where tattoos can go.
  2. 2 Place large, detailed pieces on large sections of your body. A very detailed design is nearly impossible to do in a small space. If you want a detailed design, you’ll need to choose a larger area of your body to make the design work.
    • For a large design, such as a portrait or a character, choose areas of skin that are easy for your artist to access without making you contort yourself, such as your back, thigh, or upper arms.
  3. 3 Put small designs on smaller parts of your body. For smaller designs, such as symbols, you can pick much smaller areas. You can put one on your inner wrist, for example, or on your hand. You may even prefer a more whimsical placement. Try behind the ear, around a finger, or behind the joint of your ankle.
    • For an extra bit of whimsy, consider the forward helix (on your ear) or the inside of your lip!
  4. 4 Choose a location based on your tattoo’s shape. Look at the design of your tattoo. Is it long and thin? Is it round? Is it rectangular or oval? The shape is important, as different shapes will look best on different parts of your body. [2]
    • For instance, a long, thin tattoo might look good down your spine, along your forearm, or down your leg. They may also look great going down the sides of your back or stomach, but keep in mind that their shape can change as you gain weight or if you have a baby.
    • You can wrap some designs around a limb, such as a tribal band or the string of rosary beads. Choose an area that will allow the artist to complete the design evenly, such as the upper forearm, the bicep, or just above the ankle.
  5. 5 Avoid taking up a large space for a small tattoo. Many people regret taking up a large part of their tattoo-able space with a tiny tattoo in the middle. You may want to get more tattoos in that space later or a large tattoo that covers the whole thing. [3]
    • For instance, if you get a small symbol in the middle of your shoulder blade, you can’t get a larger tattoo there later unless you incorporate that symbol into the design or cover it with an entirely new design.
  6. 6 Pick a location that you will still like as you age. When looking to place your tattoo, think about what may happen to your body as it ages. Are you always going to like that tattoo in that particular place? It may be fine when you’re in your 20s, but think about how you’ll feel in your 40s, 50s, or 60s+. [4]
    • For instance, you’re less likely to gain weight on the backs of your shoulders than you are on your stomach. In fact, stretch marks from having children may obscure the tattoo completely. Therefore, your shoulder blade may be a better option.
    • Similarly, you’re not likely to gain much weight in your wrists or feet, so they may be a good option. Even though your feet may occasionally swell or can get bigger, tattoos usually maintain their shape.
  1. 1 Get your tattoo on the front of your body if you want to be able to easily see it. Some people love being able to see their tattoo all the time, and some people don’t. If you do, place it somewhere you can see it without a mirror, such as your belly, breasts, arms, or legs. If not, place it somewhere you can only see if you look in a mirror. [5]
    • For an in-between option, pick a place that you can see without a mirror but that can be covered with clothing.
  2. 2 Try a spot that you can hide or reveal depending on your outfit. You may want to show off your tattoo and place it somewhere people can see it all the time. On the other hand, you may want the option to hide it at times by picking a different piece of clothing. If you want to be able to hide it, choose a place where you have that option.
    • For instance, if you have a tattoo on the trapezius muscles between your neck and shoulders, you can cover it up with a collared shirt or choose a shirt with a low neckline to show it off.
    • You may also be able to do this with tattoos on your thighs, upper arms, back, and your feet.
  3. 3 Try a “peekaboo” tattoo for a fun placement. These tattoos are placed in areas that are commonly not very visible to the casual observer, but may reveal themselves as you move, such as behind your ear, inside your lip, on the webs of your fingers, or on the inside of your upper arm.
    • You can also try your upper chest, lower back, collarbone, or behind your ankle joint.
  4. 4 Hide delicate colorful tattoos from the sun. Tattoos will fade over time, and the sun speeds up the process. If you want a tattoo with a lot of color, then it’s best to place it where it can be hidden by clothing. That way, the sun can’t get to it as much, keeping it from fading as quickly. [6]
    • The sun also makes your skin age faster, which can decrease the beauty of your tattoo.
    • Protect both your skin and your tattoo colors with a broad spectrum sunscreen.
  5. 5 Place your tattoo in a discreet place if you need to hide it for a job. If you are worried about hiding your tattoo at your job or from certain people, then put it somewhere that’s easily hidden. The torso area is a good option for a hidden tattoo, as you can easily cover up this area as needed. [7]
    • You could also try your upper thigh, shoulder blade, back, or side, as those areas are usually hidden by professional clothing.
  1. 1 Aim for “meatier” areas like the thigh or biceps for the least pain. If it’s your first tattoo, these 2 places may be a good choice. They tend to be less painful than other areas because of the muscle. [8]
    • The forearm or back of the shoulder is also a good choice. However, you may want to skip the inside of the upper arm if you have a low pain tolerance, as it has too many nerve endings to be very comfortable.

    EXPERT TIP Michelle Myles is the Co-owner of Daredevil Tattoo, a tattoo shop located based in New York City’s Lower East Side. Michelle has more than 20 years of tattooing experience. She also operates the Daredevil Tattoo Museum, co-owner Brad Fink’s personal collection of antique tattoo memorabilia that he has amassed over the last 27 years of tattooing. Michelle Myles Tattoo Artist It’s a good idea to focus on where you want the tattoo to go, rather than where it won’t hurt as much. Get your tattoo where you really want it, and don’t make the decision based on how much it hurts. It’s really not going to make that much of a difference from once place to another, especially if it’s a smaller tattoo. The pain will go away, but you’re still going to be stuck with the placement.

  2. 2 Consider the calves or shoulder for pain in the lower- to mid-range. These areas still provide quite a bit of muscle for the needles to hit. They have a bit more bone than the thighs or biceps, but they still have more cushion than other areas. [9]
    • The wrists also fall into this range, but they are slightly more painful.
  3. 3 Avoid bony areas to decrease the pain. Bony areas, such as your feet, hands, ribs, knees, and elbows, are all going to be more painful. A tattoo is going to hurt, unfortunately, but if you get a tattoo in one of these areas, it’s likely to hurt more. [10]
    • These areas hurt because you don’t have as much flesh between the needle and the bone. However, you might prefer to start with these areas to set your pain tolerance at a high level.
  4. 4 Talk to your tattoo artist about your pain tolerance. The tattoo artist is going to know which areas hurt the most. If you’re especially sensitive to pain, ask the artist about good places for you to get a tattoo. [11]

Add New Question

  • Question Does it hurt to get a tattoo on one of my lower cheeks? Kiara Hamed is a Tattoo Artist based in Dallas, Texas. She has over nine years of tattoo designing experience. She received her Tattoo Artist Certification in 2010 and a BS in Computer Information Systems from Clark University Atlanta in 2013. Tattoo Artist Expert Answer

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What does your tattoo placement say about you?

The ThighsHow To Decide Where To Get A Tattoo – This placement usually holds sentimental value and also a mysterious. If you have a somewhat introvert personality, this is the place for you. This gives you an opportunity to express yourself or commemorate something that you want to keep to yourself and only show on occasion. Currently, this is one of the biggest fashion statements in the tattoo industry. How To Decide Where To Get A Tattoo.