Choosing a tattoo placement is the second responsible step after you have decided to get a permanent art piece on your body. There are so many options that it can for sure be a difficult task when choosing which body part you would like to cover. Depending on size, color and of course your preferences, it is up to you where to put your design. We are sure that you will make the right choice especially after going through our suggestions. Let`s get into them!*We may earn money from affiliate links on this page. Please check out our disclosure policy for more details.
Tattoo Expert About Tattoo Placement
Why does tattoo placement matter? We asked our tattoo expert Seokhwan Jung to tell us about this important topic:
Placing tattoos on body parts is very important. Even if you have the same design and skills, the quality of tattoos can vary greatly depending on the location of the tattoo. The difference would be even more obvious if it were a portrait. If it is a person's face or an animal's face, it should be placed on the flattest and widest area of the body. If the design distorts when you bend the body part it is inked on, it would be hard to expect the tattoo to look cool. But there is a way out. If you adjust the size according to the curvature and arrange it well, you will get a positive result.
Why Placement MattersSource: jackie_blabla via Instagram
Whether it is your first or tenth tattoo, you still may have troubles with finding a perfect placement for a tattoo. There are a few factors to consider while choosing where you would like it to be. The way it will look on it, how visible it will be to other people and of course don`t forget about the sensitivity of your skin. What does it mean? Well, in different places on your body the pain from getting a tattoo may differ. The thinner the skin, the more painful it may feel for you. Keep these 3 factors in mind, and you will find the perfect spot on your beautiful body that will make your tattoo even more special. Would you like some tricks on how to reassure that your tattoo placement choice is correct? We have some prepared for you.
Method 1. Using Aesthetics To Guide You
Break your body upSource: valeria_kapan via Instagram
The first trick we have is visually breaking your body into parts. For example, choose a body part and from one joint to another imagine it as a place where you can have your tattoo. Visualizing is really important. Where do you see it when you first think of the design you have chosen? For example, you think that the tattoo will look good on your leg but can`t decide where exactly. Firstly, in your imagination, “divide” your leg into three sections. Your foot, from foot to knee, from knee to your stomach. Imagine your tattoo in every section, and you will see which one you like the most.
Big tattoo for bigger space of your bodySource: pissaro_tattoo via Instagram
Is your design a really detailed artwork? Then it requires a bigger space on your body. Such big detailed tattoos are tough to get on smaller parts and honestly, they usually lose their charm if not placed right. What is the trick for such beautiful and detailed ideas? Imagine yourself getting your tattoo inked. Your tattoo artist has to reach to your tattoo placement. The spot you choose for your big detailed tattoo shouldn`t make you feel physically uncomfortable. This means you will be in a fixed position without that won`t make you contort yourself all the time. If you feel relaxed in the position you are in and the spot is in easy to reach for the artist, congrats, you`ve made the right choice.
Small tattoo for smaller parts of bodySource: mini_tattooer via Instagram
Small little artworks are the trendiest this year, but not everyone knows how to rock them in the best way possible. Would you want it to look absolutely stylish on you? Then listen to our advice. We believe that such tiny tats look best in smaller areas of your body. Consider small tattoo placement behind your ears, on your ankles, fingers, wrists they will look even more charming. It is not a secret that such small designs may look a bit “lost” on bigger areas of our bodies. Especially if you decide to add a bigger design after that will take all the attention from the beautiful tiny artwork.
Think about your tattoo shapeSource: pissaro_tattoo via Instagram
The shape of your tattoo is influencing your choice too. Is it of a longer shape? Is it round or square? The size and the shape are two notions that have to work together when you are thinking of the right space where to put your design. After you know these two, imagine the tattoo on your body using the first trick we have offered you, and you will understand what will suit it more.
Avoid taking up a large space for a small tattooSource: mini_tattooer via Instagram
As you have already understood, tiny tattoos look fantastic when they are placed into smaller spaces of your body. There are so many options, so don`t think that it is boring. Even the smallest tattoo can be the most charming and also the most noticeable one.
Think of place where your body may not change with ageSource: tattooist_banul via Instagram
With age, our bodies change, so it is really important for you to understand if your tattoo looks good even in 30 years from now on. Think of places where your body may not change so much. Of course, your skin may age, but in some places, it won`t be visible so much. Also, nearly everyone gains weight when years come, so make sure this won`t influence your tattoo. Can you imagine it on your skin in the place you have picked in such a long time? Then you`ve made the right choice.
Method 2. Choosing A Practical Placement
Tattoo on the front if you want everyone to see itSource: michellechristyn via Instagram
If you like showing your tattoos, then why don`t you put them to your front? This will allow everyone to see them more, especially if placed on legs and arms. Imagine how many compliments you would get. A beautiful idea that will change your appearance without any doubt.
Think of the place where you can hide tattoo with outfitsSource: zihwa_tattooer via Instagram
Different circumstances in our life may make us want to hide or reveal our tattoos. So think of the place where you will able to both hide and show your tattoo to the world. Even having tattoos on the arms have possibilities for covering them up.
"Peekaboo" tattoo for funSource: veronicalilu via Instagram
What are these ones you may wonder? Well, these are the trendiest tattoos that you may find in the 21st century. They are usually put to those places on your body where you can only see them in movement. For example, behind your ear, on the back of the neck, inside the upper arm or even on your lip! These ideas are also perfect for tiny tattoos especially if you wouldn`t like them to be noticed a lot.
Hide colorful tattoos from the sunSource: mini_tattooer via Instagram
Colorful tattoos are gorgeous, and no one can deny that, however, they require some special care. For example, if you don`t like the colors fading from your skin, you should cover them from the sun rays. This may save you from renewing the colors every 4-5 years, so think of that while choosing a placement for your tattoo too.
Think about job before choose tattoo placementSource: zihwa_tattooer via Instagram
Unfortunately, even in the 21st century, not every company is ready to hire a person covered in tattoos. Of course, there are a lot of them that don`t care, but still, this may influence your career path in some way. This is why we suggest you consider the placement that is really easy to cover and doesn`t influence your profession.
Method 3. Working Within Your Pain Tolerance
Aim for the places with least painSource: koray_karagozler via Instagram
If to think about pain and the ways how to lessen it, we have some ideas for you. If you dream of a tattoo, but can`t think of even dealing with a second of pain, choose a “meaty area” that won`t be as sensitive as the one where your bones are close to the skin.
The calves or shoulder for pain in the lower- to mid-rangeSource: zihwa_tattooer via Instagram
Other areas where you are likely to have less pain are the calves and your shoulders. Of course it will hurt, but still it will be bearable for an hour or two of your tattoo session. People with tattoos say that after 10 minutes you get used to it, especially if you turn your attention to talking or to being on your phone.
Avoid bony areas to make your session less painfulSource: veronicalilu via Instagram
As we have people with tattoos in our team, they all claim that areas that are too boney are really painful. The thinner the skin, the more access the needle has to the bone. We advise you to choose less boney areas to avoid pain, especially if your design is likely to take more than an hour.
Talk to your tattoo artist about your pain sensitivitySource: urreneti via Instagram
You should definitely have a meeting with your artist to talk about details before you are heading to get the tattoo inked. If you already know that your pain intolerance is really bad, warn him about it, so he suggests you some ways to get the process as comfortable for you as possible. For sure tattoo artists share their secrets.Main photo by valeria_kapan
FAQ: Tattoo Placement
Does tattoo placement affect price?
Most tattoo artists charge by the hour, if the area, you decide to get tattoo on, is painful and requires breaks and more tattoo sessions, the price will be higher. Moreover, there is more skill required to get a tattoo on stretchier skin (like stomach, neck, ribs). Skin has to be stretched and tattooed along its entire stretched length to achieve good saturation of ink. That also increases the difficulty.
Where is the best place for a first tattoo?
If you decide to get a delicate tattoo, the best place for it will be on your wrist, ankle, the back of your neck. If you don’t want it to be noticeable the back of your ear, ribs area, sternum or inner arm tattoo is a perfect alternative. If, on the other hand, you want people to see it, choose exposed areas. Collarbone is ideal for small pieces. If you plan to get a rather longer tattoo, it can look ideal on your spine area. Areas, where the skin is thick and there is fewer nerve endings, are less painful. Those areas include calf, outer shoulder, outer arm, and buttocks.
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