Tattoos have grown exponentially over the past several decades in both popularity and acceptance. They come in all shapes and sizes, styles, colors, and are an incredible way to express oneself. They make an artist’s canvas of the body.
In more recent years, the trend of couple and “best friend” tattoos has seen a rise. These tattoos (besides their fun, visually-pleasing and symbolic aesthetic), represent not only a commitment to personal expression, but a commitment to expressing the dedication and time put into the relationship with the individual who is the second half for the matching ink. When considering any tattoo there should be a bit of thought put into if matching ink is the right choice, and from there, considering– what design is most ideal and representative? When handled smartly, these tattoos can be an incredible, beautiful, and highly symbolic investment.
Making the Commitment
So where do you start? Well, let’s start with the question you’re probably already wondering: What if I get this permanent marking on my body, and the relationship with my matching tattooed partner ends badly? It’s a critical query to consider. For some, tattoos and their personal significance do not have to last through time; rather, many see tattoos as a point on a timeline, an indicator of a moment in life when that design did hold personal significance. They are memories in a scrapbook. For some, the spontaneity and desiring-in-the-moment is what makes tattoos special for them.
However, if you are unsure of your feelings towards a matching ink with the potential to lose its second half, there are two additional things to take into consideration:
- 1) How long have you been in a relationship (whether romantic or platonic) with this person? How long do you realistically see it lasting?
- 2) Really want one but are still stuck and unsure? Lean towards a design that doesn’t depend on its second half to be coherent. Go with a design that, with or without its counterpart, can stand on its own and that you will be content to have on your body.
Choosing the Design
Got it all sorted out? Great! Now it’s time to mutually settle on a design, as well as a placement for your tattoo. For some, this will take more consideration than others. What’s important is that you’re both happy with the product, as a couple and as individuals.
One of the most popular places for couple tattoos is the wrist, as well as surrounding areas along the arm and hands, including the fingers, forearm, and upper inner forearm. Other common places may include the ankle or sides of the abdomen, along the rib cage. No other place along the body is off limits though, of course. This is all up to you. However, you may want to consider getting the tattoo in a place where both of you can easily see your matching qualities!
Searching “couple tattoo ideas” online should render plenty of comprehensive results. For something even more personal, consider designing your own or reaching out to a friend or tattoo artist for assistance in personalization.
What to Know Before You Ink: Choosing Your Tattoo Artist
There are a few final things to think about before getting inked. The first thing you should do (particularly while deciding on the body placement of the piece) is to research pain-level diagrams online to learn how much getting what piece and where, will hurt. If this is your first time getting tattooed, or you know you have a low threshold for pain, this is imperative. There are several places, such as the shoulders and forearm, which many describe as having a barely-there “pin prick” feeling. Others may have much higher levels of pain involved. Ultimately, this will fall to your own personal threshold and processing.
If you still want the tattoo, but are skeptical about your ability to handle pain, consider the level of detail in your design: the more shading (how much is colored in versus just being outlined), the more pain. If you are nervous about this, go with a simple design, perhaps on the smaller side, with fewer details.
Next, you need to start researching tattoo artists and parlors. Firstly, find out the price minimum for your area. This is generally more expensive in populated regions, like cities. Second, read reviews, read reviews, and read reviews. Ask for recommendations from friends. Inquire not only about the pricing, design skill, and overall satisfaction with the final product, but their overall experience as well. Lastly, do not skimp on pricing. There are certainly shops that overcharge for their work (this is where the necessity of researching reviews comes in), but if you want a tattoo, you should be willing to budget a fair allotment that will make your piece a quality investment. It’s something that’s going to be on your body for the rest of your life. Ensure that the design is done to the fullest extent that it should be, and that your body is being handled in the safest way possible. Ultimately, choosing one shop’s cheaper pricing (for a more cheaply done tattoo), will only cost you more money in the future when you have to have touch-ups done.
The day before you get your tattoo, go easy on the alcohol, and make sure you’re hydrated. These simple measures will help to prevent unnecessary excess bleeding, and will help expedite your skin’s healing process. If you know you’re going to be nervous, be certain to eat before! You don’t want to pass out at the parlor. You should also avoid tanning, weight-lifting, or doing any chemical peels that could lead to additional sensitivity or soreness in the tattooing area. Depending on your placement, you should also make sure the general area is clean-shaven. The consultants at the tattoo shop should walk you through the steps of aftercare for your tattoo once the process is finished.
Enjoy the process. You’re getting a beautiful and meaningful piece of art to show the world. And it’s totally okay if you have to hold someone’s hand.
If you’re looking for information about couple tattoos visit San Marcos Tattoo Emporium in San Marcos, TX.