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In this new era of self-expression, tattoos and body piercings are becoming increasingly popular as a medium to showcase individualism and enhance one’s sense of identity. While society once harbored certain stigmas and misconceptions about them, views are quickly shifting beyond acceptance. Just as the world embraces with open arms body diversity and positivity, more and more people are choosing to get tattoos and piercings, whether it be of aesthetic or symbolic reason, on all parts of their body, often as an emblem of something (or someone) they feel strongly about.

With so many designs, art styles, sizes and placements to choose from, the ideas can get quite overwhelming, especially if it’s your first time experimenting with body art. Afterall, the possibilities are boundless if you have a talented artist at hand, waiting to bring your visions to life and etch them on skin. Here, we’ve put together a checklist that you can funnel your ideas through to help you get started on your tattoo and body piercing-searching journey, and we hope by the end of it, you’ll have a clearer picture of what you’d want to see when you look in the mirror every morning.

Pen down what you like

A foolproof way to ensure that your tattoo remains timeless is to centralize it around something you’re fond of, or deeply personal to you – bringing new meaning to wearing your heart on your sleeve. This significance can be anything imaginable – think values, reminders, people, animals and even the literature you love – in the form of writing, symbols, portraits, nature and more. Once you have a general concept of how you may visualize or represent them on skin, make a list that you can refer to time and time again. If you find that you don’t like one enough, scratch it out. Odds are as you develop your ideas over the course of your brainstorming process, the answer will come to you naturally.

Narrow it down to the style

The next hardest part about deciding on the ultimate tattoo for yourself may just be sussing out your desired style. As a form of art, tattoos exist in a myriad of colors and techniques in the same way we have realism, expressionism and impressionism in painting. As of today, some of the most iconic and sought-after tattoo styles include Japanese, Calligraphy, Floral, Minimalist and Line Art, and each of them come with their own characteristic color palette and imagery. You may even have noticed the recent rise in popularity of watercolor tattoos, which typically sport splashes of light yet vibrant colors against fine, intricate lines. Spoiled for choice? Wait till you take notice of the UV tattoos that materialize under black light.

Make a mood board

A picture is worth a thousand words. In fact, the more pictures the better, because they will help you capture the essence and look you seek more definitely and effectively than simply describing. Comb through places like Pinterest and Instagram, and even niche magazines and websites for existing tattoos and piercings that you would like to draw inspiration from, then collate them in a mood board or a folder where you take stock of the idea. This could also be a good time to look through artist portfolios to find out their scope and expertise, thus helping you determine whether you could entrust them to realize your vision.

Find your placement

There are a couple of factors to consider when it comes to the placement of your tattoo or piercing. Due to its permanence, it is important to give thought to how it may impact your everyday life based on where on your body it is located, and how big it is. A full sleeve tattoo, for instance, could be much harder to cover up than a half-sleeve. On the flip side, some may prefer a tattoo in highly visible areas such as the wrist as an aide-memoire.

That said, there will be limitations with certain designs and placements on the body. Bigger surfaces such as the back may be able to cater to larger and more detailed styles than the wrists or ankles. However, some areas may also be more prone to changes as the body ages and loses or gains weight, and this in turn affects the tattoo or piercing. Those who are looking to get more tattoos or piercings in the future should also consider if their new placement would be in the way of any prospective body art to come.

Do note that unlike tattoos, body piercings have the tendency to heal. This means that temporary removal of any jewelry may put you at the risk of regressing any progress you’ve had with the piercing hole if it closes up. If there is a constant need for you to remove your piercing, it is best to weigh your body piercing placement options or speak to an experienced piercer for advice beforehand.

Sit on it and trust your gut

So you’ve researched, pondered, and got your ideal design down to a tee. Now all that’s left to do is to get someone to do it, right? Before you sprint into your last lap of actually getting tatted or pierced, take some time to soak in the idea and make room for any refinements should any doubts arise along the way. By sitting on it, you’re also allowing yourself to prove that this isn’t an impulse purchase but a calculated and thought-out decision. It also means that your design can stand the test of time and the decision isn’t made on a whim while under the influence of a trend.

Remember, that body art should remain a gateway to better morale, creativity and empowerment, but the commitment, like most other investments, is long-term and can lead to regrets if not addressed properly. So, trust your gut – it’s your body, and your choice – and nobody knows what resonates with you, what celebrates you and what feels good on you, better than you do.

Speak to us at Ink By Finch today, where we can help you envision and realize your dream tattoo or piercing with the help of our talented and experienced artists. From cool and simple calf tattoos, detail-oriented arm sleeves to delicate daith piercings, we will execute your dream look with high levels of precision and expertise.

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