What Should I Know Before Getting My First Tattoo?

Advice from Someone Who Did Everything Wrong

Victoria A. Fraser
3 min readNov 17, 2020
Photo by Adrian Boustead from Pexels

If you’re nervous about getting your first tattoo then you’re not alone. Putting something on your body permanently is a big decision. After always wanting a tattoo, I finally got around to getting my first tattoo last week just after my 25th birthday.

Honestly, I didn’t do anything right.

All the advice on the internet says to start with a small tattoo, in a place where it won’t hurt, and to bring a friend… My first tattoo was pretty big, partially in a painful area, and I was totally alone. And you know what?

I don’t regret it at all.

Everyone can tell you all sorts of things about getting a tattoo, but at the end of the day, it’s an individual experience. What works for others might not work for you. Still, I think there are a couple universal things you need to know before you go.

Pick Something Timeless

Daisies are my favourite flower, so I knew I wanted to get a tattoo of them for a long time. I also adopted a corn snake named Lexicon and knew when I saw her cute face that I wanted a tattoo of her.

For your first time, I would avoid getting a tattoo of something specific to a single point in your life. Again, you might have a different opinion, but I found it much easier to commit to a tattoo I knew would always be meaningful to me for a long time.

Prepare to Entertain Yourself

You’re going to be sitting for a while. My tattoo took 2.5 hours and I was suffering more from boredom than from pain. Thank god I had my phone and wifi to occupy myself.

Bring a book! Download a podcast! Listen to music! Depending on the size you could be there a while and staring at walls is torture.

Choose an Experienced Artist

Even a small, cheap tattoo is fairly expensive. Tattoo artists spend hours practicing and refining their skills and you should be paying them what they deserve. Don’t skimp on your tattoo.



Victoria A. Fraser

Freelance copywriter, humourist, podcaster, and nerd. Follow along for writing tips, marketing blather, and my opinions!