Hey, thinking of getting a tattoo pretty soon of a phrase underneath my collarbone. I have a very low pain tolerance- any ideas on how painful this area is to tattoo?

Honestly, it sounds like a painful area to me, but I don’t have anything in that area, so I don’t know from personal experience. It’s a pretty boney area - something to keep in mind. Depends how close to the bone, too. Plus, right on your neck. I would think that would hurt. Poke yourself with a toothpick to get an idea! Sounds silly, but might help. I’d say it’s up there on the pain level, especially if you have low tolerance. 

I have an idea for a tattoo that I really want but I really only know the actual subject of the art. I feel like my artist would have a better eye for what specific details would look good than I ever could, and so part of me wants to give him kind of a vague idea of what I'm looking for and give him creative license on the rest. Do you think he'd find this annoying or a burden? The last thing I want is to irritate the person doing my ink. hah

It depends on the person, really. They really want to make something you will like. I know a guy who is very willing to hear your ideas and will sketch some of his ideas for you to see. Then you can adjust from there, tell him what you like or don’t like, and he will tweak to get it the way you want it. But, I also know him personally. An artist you maybe have only gone to once may not be as willing, especially if they’re in a bigger business. It really just all depends on the person. The best thing to do is to talk to your artist. See what s/he is willing to do or has time to do and if they can try some sketches for you. Never hurts to ask. And if it is a burden to them, they’ll just say no. Just be honest with them and they’ll be honest with you. 

Do thigh tattoos on the outside of the leg go or look weird with weight gain or lose?

I just answered a similar question below - if you expect to gain or lose a lot of weight, that will affect the tattoo. As you gain weight, skin can stretch, including the tattoo if it’s on that area. If you lose weight, the tattoo will stay the way it was when it was on the skin. If that skin becomes saggy, the tattoo will be, too, essentially. Ink will NOT change with your body. It will stretch and become distorted if you gain weight, and if you lose it, it will not go back to the way it originally was.

are my thighs to fat to get tattooed?

I don’t know what your thighs look like… but probably not?? I don’t think anyone/anything is ‘too fat’ to get tattooed. If you expect on losing a lot of weight, you do need to keep that in mind, as skin can become saggy and if there’s ink in that area, it will be stretched and saggy with the skin. Hope that helps.

hey, im 19 and really want to get a few tattoos throughout my lifetime. but i have a problem. my parents wont let me get one until im 21 even though i have wanted a tattoo since i was 15. they tell me ill regret it and that jobs wont hire me. they wont listen to me when i say i think it makes me prettier to have tattoos and piercings and makes me feel better about my looks. they think it would make me ugly and i shouldnt scar myself like that. how do i get them to see past their closemindedness?

Honestly, you probably can’t. And, honestly, I wouldn’t worry about trying to explain it to them. My parents are similar. They don’t get why I do it, but they don’t bother me about it, really. I mean, I hate to sound like the person that says fuck your parents, but you’re 19 years old. Let’s be real - it’s your life and it’s your body, you can do what you want. They may not like it and you may never be able to change their opinion about it, but you shouldn’t let that bother you.

As far as jobs go - employers have become a lot more leaner about tats, and they can also be easily hidden depending on where you want them. If you feel like you need to convince them, that might be something you can bring up. Also depends on what you actually want to do for a living. 

I could go on and on about different things to tell your parents, but I honestly don’t think it will be worth it. You’re better off just doing what you want. Good luck!

Hello I just wanted to ask how you can be sure a tattoo is safe ? I'm in Nepal and would like a small tattoo, how can I be sure it's hygienic, what questions can I ask ? And what do they need to do to prevent disease, surely it's more then just a clean needle, and how do you know it's clean ? Sorry so many questions hope you can help :)

You’d have to bring up your concerns with the artist. Typically, needles are sanitized in special sanitizing liquid. The area on your skin is cleaned, they use laytex gloves, and the needles are always cleaned. Most artists will do it right in front of you. It’s really a fairly simple process. All this helps keep things sanitary. Just ask the same things you asked me if you’re concerned about it.

Hi! So, today was a completely overcast day and I sososo stupidly forgot to put on sunblock, and now the tattoo on my back is surrounded by tomato-red skin. I've been aloe-ing like crazy in an effort to help the burn heal quickly, and I don't even know exactly what sunburn can do to tats but I'm really nervous I've just permanently damaged it! Is there anything you can suggest to help it heal correctly and with as little damage as possible? I really really appreciate your help in advance! <3 :)

Sorry this is so delayed - I’ve been pretty busy the last couple months and haven’t been able to keep up. I’m assuming since this was sent a month ago that this question is no longer necessary? But I’ll answer for anyone else that might be wondering. 

If you typically keep up with the care of your tattoo, one sunburn shouldn’t be too bad. Sounds like you were doing the right thing with the aloe. What happens with sunburns is that, obviously, it burns the skin, like the top layer. Like a cut or scrape, the skin essentially becomes dead and new, healthy skin replaces it - that’s typically the healing process. With tattoos, when the top layer of skin is damaged, it can cause some of the tattoo to be exposed. Usually the ink is under a couple layers of skin or so. So if it’s not too bad, it shouldn’t ruin the tattoo. But, it will cause it to become more at risk since there’s less protection on it, if that makes any sense. As long as it all heals and there hasn’t been any other issues, the tattoo should be okay. You will just need to be extra careful with it. Hopefully yours turned out alright!

So I've been thinking of getting a tattoo on my shoulder, but I don't have a specific design in mind. I have my inspiration for the tattoo and one picture I'd like to be part of the design, but nothing else. I'm afraid it might not be enough to go off of if I give the artist some artistic freedom. Should I think of something else I want added or go in what I have and figure it out with the artist when I set up an appointment?

Depends on the artist. Typically, they’re pretty good and willing to shoot some ideas off you and give you ideas on what might look good with your idea. It’s best just to ask around. If you don’t get any luck, ask some friends/family who know you well and play with other ideas you might have. Hard for me to suggest much else. I can offer some insight if you’d like to explain your idea to me. Usually I just say, go personal. Think of all the ways this tattoo means to you, what relates to it, etc. Good luck!

Do finger tattoos fade quicker?

There seems to be a lot of misconceptions about tattoos fading. And I seem to get these questions a lot. Maybe I can clear some things up…

All tattoos will ‘fade’ a bit over time. But, this is over a period of YEARS. As long as you take care of it, you will never notice it. It will never fade in a noticeable way at a quick rate. In fact, the only way you’d probably notice that a tattoo has faded is if you look at pictures that were taken years apart. It will never fade away completely/disappear. 

I think it’s better to use terms like dull. Colors of a tattoo will become dull over time. They won’t be as a bright and vivid 50 years from now. But, as long as it’s taken care of, it will never really look horrible or anything.

Taking care of it means keeping it out of the elements as much as possible. Don’t be afraid to use too much sunblock when you’re outside. Be careful with your body, as cuts/scrapes/burns/etc can ruin a tattoo.

That being said, a tattoo on someone’s finger can be at a higher risk of becoming dull quickly as opposed to a tattoo on someones back or thigh or area that’s usually covered in clothing. Exposed tattoos will need a little extra attention, but will never be something that requires daily attention.

Tattoos are ink, and the ink is IN your skin. There is some protection there as new skin heals over it. So, you do need to protect this skin, as that is what protects the ink. But, otherwise, it’s the same as anywhere on your body. One area isn’t ‘better’ for a tattoo as far as fading goes. It’s the same amount of skin/protection over the ink. It’s just a matter of how well you take care of it.

So, in that sense, yes, a finger tattoo MAY fade quicker when compared to a tattoo on an area that is often covered. But, like I said, it really won’t be anything you notice, and may even take years before you notice, as long as you take care of it.

There are a ton of other factors, too, like color and such, but I think you get the idea. Honestly, I wouldn’t worry about fading or a part of the body that will cause it to fade quickly. Don’t let that be a factor in deciding where you want your tattoo.

Hope that helps!

Hi, I already have a tattoo design in mind i just want to know a good place to put it. I have a 1.5 inch by 3 inch barcode and I can't decide whether I want to put in on my pubic mound, the back of my neck, or on my lower back like a "tramp stamp". I would seriously like some help thank you!

Personally, I like the back of your neck idea the best. Not sure what other advice I could give you. It’s your personal choice. But, that’s what I would go for. I also would never even consider a tattoo on a pubic mound. But, again, that’s just me, so maybe that makes me biased haha. Plus, what’s the point of getting a tattoo where no one will see it? That’s my thinking, anyways. But, pick whatever you like best! Good luck.