Tattoos on The Bluff

By Natalie Rubio-Licht | December 13, 2017 9:16pm

A person's first tattoo can be a milestone. Whether it be sentimental, impulsive or simply aesthetically pleasing, people that get tattoos tend to get them for a reason.

Whether small or big, elaborate or simple, tattoos are often confidence boosters and conversation starters. Many students at University of Portland have unique tattoos, each one with a different story. 

Thinking of getting a tattoo?

Getting a tattoo is a big choice that requires a lot of thinking. However, these tattoo veterans have some advice to help guide you through your decision. 

Do your research. 

A big part of getting a tattoo is feeling comfortable with the shop and the artist. Finding a place that is reputable and has the style of tattoo you want to get is important in not only getting the tattoo you want, but having a good experience while you are getting it.

“Doing research is important, especially if it’s going to be something a little larger and more complex in any way,” Jeffrey Meiser said. “You want to find a high quality artists with a style you like, because each one has a different style. Things like the cleanness of the lines is going to depend on if they have experience or not, and the design is going to be different depending on who you choose.” 

Plan in Advance. 

Though overthinking a tattoo can be overwhelming, planning your design in advance is always a good idea.

“If its (a tattoo) you're trying to plan in advance, wait a little bit and make sure you still want it after a period of time,” Bernaldo-Olmedo said. “There have been plenty of tattoo designs that I thought I wanted and then within a year I was glad I didn’t get.”

Placement matters. 

Until you see where your tattoo will be in on your body, you won’t be able to tell if it is a good spot for you. Try out a few different places on your body to see where the tattoo looks best and how comfortable you are with showing it off or not. 

“Test out placement, because sometimes you think a place is good and it turns out it's not,” Martel said. “Like the one on the back of my neck, I thought I wanted lower. But when they put the stencil down I saw it in the mirror and didn’t like it.” 

It doesn’t have to be sentimental. 

Though having a meaning behind a tattoo can be nice, not all ink has to have a sentimental story behind it. If you want to get a tattoo because you like the design and it fits for you, don’t let a lack of a heartfelt meaning stop you. 

“A lot of people think that tattoos need to have some really deep meaning to get them, but I say if you want something just because it looks nice or it’s an artistic thing for you, just go for it,” Bernaldo-Olmedo said. “People are always going to have something to say about, especially young people, having these permanent things that you put on your body, but at the end of the day it’s your body.”