I got a tattoo on my left forearm when I was 18 that I had wanted since I was around about 14. It has now been just over a year since I got it so I thought I’d tell you the three rules I abided by when making the decision to permanently modify the appearance of my skin.
Rule number 1. It has to be unique.
Mine happens to be one of a kind. I know this because it is half a line of a very obscure 2700 year old poem written in Homeric Greek that barely anyone can read. It is not a clichéd line quoted a thousand times in the inscriptions of books and pop culture mottos, and I have not published it on social media. I found the line myself and out of those people who can read ancient languages with fluency, no one has ever known of it when thy see it inked under my skin. I’m not going to tell you to go and find something that you’re absolutely sure no one else has just for the sake of it. But I would recommend that you don’t copy anyone else’s design both out of respect for the owner and artist of the tattoo you fancy and of course also because a tattoo is indelibly yours and noone elses.
Rule number 2. It has to be timeless.
Some people look at their skin and see a canvas full of potential for art that has no sentimental meaning intrinsic to itself and hats off to them because they look absolutely beautiful. My own foray into tattoos however was something I thought long and hard about, because I intend to live hopefully to when my skin is wrinkled and age spotted. So if I get sick of the design or the lettering then the meaning of the tattoo I got has got to retain its validity forever. With this in mind, I chose a tattoo that means an awful lot to me, and I could never regret at least the sentiment behind it which gives me a bloody good chance of still liking my engraved skin a hundred years from now.
Rule number 3. Ask someone who means everything to you for their permission.
Because if you don’t care what their answer is then you’re ready to get inked.