Now more than ever, people are considering the various forms of body art as a way to express themselves. The term “body art” itself can refer to a number of different forms of body modifications. Some prefer tattoos, while others see piercings as a better form of expression. With that being said, no matter what form of body art you prefer, there is much to consider before you commit. Even if you choose a potentially temporary form of body art, like a piercing, you’re still financially committing to a physical procedure. For that matter, a “botched” tattoo or piercing can potentially last longer — and have more negative effects — than most would imagine.
With that being said, you shouldn’t be afraid of getting a tattoo or piercing. Body art certainly isn’t as “counter-cultural” as it once was; it’s estimated that about 14% of Americans have at least none tattoo, and millions of people across the world have piercings. Body art can be a fantastic way for you to set yourself apart from the crowd, and many find gratification out of decorating their bodies the way that they choose. Below, we’re going to look into some of the things you should consider before getting your first tattoo or piercing.
1. You Get What You Pay For
Keep in mind that, as with most products, tattoos and piercings range in quality, and higher quality artists usually charge more than lower quality artists. Of course, this isn’t to say that artists that charge less are automatically bad — many artists starting out in their careers charge less than more experienced artists. However, many tattoo and piercings shops charge based on their reputations, and good reputations are not easily found in the world of body art. Tattoos and piercings should be seen as investments. On average, a smaller tattoo costs around $45. Larger tattoos can take an extended period of time, or even multiple sessions — and as such, the artists often charge for them based on the hour, with some averaging out to $150 per hour. If the price seems too good to be true — the artist may just be undercharging. But do your research before buying your body art.
2. Consider Your Art
Not to harp on a cliché — but many people do regret their tattoos, and yes, their piercings. Keep in mind that while jewelry can be taken out with regards to piercings, some piercings never fully heal, or heal with scarring. However minor these scars may be, they will be noticeable to you. Tattoos, on the other hand, are definitely permanent. While they can be removed, the tattoo removal process is expensive and painful. Most tattoo shops recommend a tattoo cover up over a true removal. In fact, about 5% of the American population has had a tattoo covered up with another tattoo. But cover ups are more limited, and be so difficult that some artists refuse to do them. Think long and hard about your tattoo or piercing before moving forward with it.
3. Take The Healing Process Seriously
Tattoo artists and piercers are professionals — listen to their advice when it comes to the healing process. A poorly healed tattoo or piercing can leave you with an unsightly scar, discoloration, or raised or irritated skin. Furthermore, tattoos and piercings should essentially be treated like open wounds. They can produce infections, and tattoos in particular can potentially endanger your health if they become infected. These infections can cause fevers, and the medical treatment required to treat them can make a relatively affordable work of art taxing and expensive. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to call your artist; it’s better to be over-cautious.
Again, a tattoo or piercing is worth it — just think about what you’re getting first. By choosing the right artist and the right piece of work, you’ll end up with a piece of art that lasts a lifetime!