Everything You Need To Know About Getting A Tattoo

Tattoos are the physical extension of ourselves. They are artistic renderings that showcase how our mind works and what we think is beautiful. Just by looking at a person’s tattoos, you can grasp who they are and what they’re about.

Here at Psycho Tats, we have always wanted to share important knowledge about tattoos, but after acquiring BullsEyeTattoos.com we want to spread our information even further. 

To all the readers of BullsEyeTattoos.com, welcome! We hope you enjoy our content and learn something new along the way.

Information You Should Know Before Getting A Tattoo

Before you sit down in the tattoo parlor, you should have done your research. That’s probably why you’re reading this now! If that’s true, well done you’re already going to be great at caring for your tattoo. If not, well it’s better late than never.

There are a couple of things you should know before getting your tattoo. In this section, we will explain why these points are important and link to another page on our website that goes into more detail.

Age Requires In Each State

Each state has a different age requirement to allow tattoos. In most areas, minors (people under the age of 18) are allowed a tattoo if a parent or guardian is present. However, we recommend not allowing those under the age of 18 to get a tattoo, as they are still growing. 

As you continue to grow your tattoo will stretch with your skin, meaning your original design will not look the same. For visual effects alone, you should wait until you have stopped growing.

For a list of each age requirement by state, click here.

Your Right To Give Blood May Be Taken Away Once You Have A Tattoo

Each state has its own rules for giving blood and donating plasma. However, as a rule of thumb, you cannot give blood if your tattoo is 3 months old or less.

This is because your blood may be infected through the needle and through the ink. The three-month time frame is given to allow your body to heal and to give you enough time to find any medical issues.

For example, if you start to feel ill, you may have contracted a virus (such as the flu) or an infection. In these examples, you should be resting and are not in a fit condition to donate.

Should You Book Ahead Or Just Show Up?

Each tattoo parlor will have its own rules on booking and walk-ins. However, from a personal point of view, the real question is “do you want something unique by a specific artist” or “do you simply want a tattoo.”

If the answer is the former, then book tattoo artists. You can discuss what your tattoo should look like and they can design ideas for you to evaluate. After a couple of back-and-forth chats, they will be able to create the exact image you desire.

If the answer was the latter, then walk into a tattoo shop and see if they have any spaces available. For a short and simple session, they may just have enough space.

Don’t Drink Alcohol Before Getting A Tattoo

We have made an article that explains the 7 reasons why you shouldn’t have a tattoo if you’ve been drinking. However, they can be reduced down to 2 reasons – the ink won’t set and you’ll probably move around too much. 

In fact, we can reduce it even further  – down to one reason. It won’t look good.

When you have alcohol in your system, your body is already trying to get rid of the toxin. To do this your body thins your blood. For tattoos, this means your body cannot absorb as much ink, which will result in a faded tattoo that either needs an additional session to bring color back into the pattern or will end up looking 50 years old after just a couple of months.

Research What Your Tattoo Design Means

If you found a pretty image on the internet, and want to have it inked to your body, you first need to do some research. There are lots of hidden meanings in the world, and you cannot possibly know them all.

For example, did you know that a 5-pointed crown on top of the number 5 is considered a Crip tattoo? Crips are a type of gang based in LA and California, and they have a lot of violent encounters with Bloods, another gang.

Showing a tattoo of a gang sign could put you in a dangerous situation without you knowing.

Before sticking to an online idea, do some research to be sure about what your image means.

Behind The Ear Tattoos

Tattoos behind the ear feel chic and elegant while still harnessing that rebellious side. And you have to be rebellious to choose this tattoo placement. Behind the ear, tattoos are painful, because your skin is so thin in this area.

Your eardrums use vibrations to hear what’s around you, which means during this process you’ll be experiencing an overwhelming amount of vibrations as the needle jumps up and down. This can make the process even more uncomfortable and unpleasant.

Prepare yourself for this sensation by overstimulating your ear for weeks beforehand. This will make the feeling less unexpected when it arrives.

Finding The Right Tattoo Artists

Finding the right tattoo artist for you,  means searching for someone who understands the vibe you’re going for, and can complete the artistic rendering in a style you want. There are amazing tattoo artists all around the world, some costing thousands of dollars to see. But there is no point asking for their lucrative appointments if their style and design choices don’t match your aesthetic. 

Instead, you should be looking at their previous designs first to see how closely they can match the image you want. You should also look at their reviews. Some artists are fantastic at creating beautiful images, but tattoo blowouts are more common than they should be. Ideally, they shouldn’t create blowouts at all, but if you can see complaints on their Instagram, then you know to avoid these artists (we will explain more about blowouts below).

Leg Tattoos

Leg tattoos are a lot of people’s first choice for tattoo placement. You can easily hide it to stay “professional” at work, and you can ask for a detailed design without worrying about space.

However, each part of your legs will have pros and cons. 

Your knee is the most painful part of the leg to get inked. That’s because there isn’t a lot of protection around your kneecap, as the skin is super thin and there aren’t many muscles.

Ankles have the same problem, but they also have a risk of damage from wear. Choosing flip-flops and slip-ons as your main shoe can help prevent irritation in the weeks to come.

Thighs are the easiest area to tattoo and it gives you the biggest space to work with.

During your healing time, you won’t be able to shave the tattooed area. For legs, that tends to be a massive fashion issue for half of the population. Keep this in mind when you book your tattooing session and plan your non-shaving time scale accordingly.

Forearm Tattoos

Forearms are considered a low pain area for tattoos. Just like your thighs, they have a large canvas for you to work with, which means you can add almost any image you want to your skin.

However, unlike your thighs, your forearms are harder to cover up. If you want to hide your tattoo for whatever reason, this placement will make it difficult.

Rib Tattoos

Your ribs are another sensitive area to get tattooed. No matter your size, the amount of muscle in this area isn’t large enough to protect you. The tattoo artists will be putting their needles close to your nerves which will send off painful alerts to your brain.

There is no way to avoid this other than taking breaks, using numbing creaming (which we will talk about in more detail later), and finding a reputable artist. 

Experienced artists will have greater knowledge of how much your body can take before the pain becomes an issue. They will stop you early so your body doesn’t start twitching, making an uneven surface for them to work on. They will also know the correct techniques to ensure the least amount of pain.

Talk to people in your local tattoo community about which tattoo artists create a low pain experience for rib tattoos, before settling on a specific shop. 

Consider Numbing Creams

If you have sensitive skin or can be overcome by ticklish feelings, then using numbing creams can keep you calm during the tattoo experience. 

Most tattooing artists don’t offer the cream as standard. This is for 2 reasons. 1 – the added layer of moisture protection can get in the way, this means they will have to wipe it off to create a clear line to the skin. This leads to point 2 – It often takes a while to start working, which will delay your appointment.

For this reason, you should apply the numbing cream before you arrive. Depending on the brand you buy, the timescale of effects will be different. Read the label first and plan your day accordingly.

Caring For Your Tattoo Straight After Getting Inked

Your skincare routine should be explicitly explained to you by your tattoo artist. However, we can all forget the basics once we live in the shop. To make sure nothing gets left out or forgotten, we have compiled a list of information so your tattoo remains clear and healthy for a long time.

As before, each section will come with a link to another page on our website for more information.

You Cannot Swim Straight After Getting A Tattoo

After you leave the parlor your new tattoo will be wrapped up to protect it from water. This way you can continue showering and bathing without worrying about your tattoo getting damaged.

You should wait at least a day before removing the plastic wrap, however, swimming pools have more chemicals than your bathroom. This means you cannot use the same timeframe, otherwise, your tattoo will get damaged.

Instead, you should wait between 2 and 4 weeks, before swimming with your new tattoo.

If you don’t wait, not only will your tattoo become discolored by the added chemicals in the swimming pool, but you may also risk infection.

Feeling Unwell After Getting A Tattoo

Tattoo flu is a common element that many people get after getting a tattoo. The person feels feverish, and nauseous and may have a running nose. This is because the tattoo artist has just put ink into your body. 

Your immune system is trying to fight off this foreign body, causing it to respond similarly to receiving a virus. 

However, just like the common cold, this isn’t a serious health issue. You should simply be aware that feeling ill is possible after getting your tattoo.

Lotioning Your Tattoo

Lotioning your tattoo is a healthy way to make sure your skin stays hydrated, and the image remains clear. Many tattoo artists will recommend using lotion to prevent your skin from peeling away the hard work they just accomplished. The less peeling there is, the more crisp the lines of your tattoo will be.

There are lots of different types of lotions that you can use, including Aquaphor.

You can start lotioning your tattoo as soon as it completely dries, however that could mean waiting a couple of days. 

Once it’s dried completely, you can start lotioning 3 times a day. Cleaning it, drying it, and adding moisture to the skin.

The Dreaded Ink Blowout

Blowouts are when your tattoo’s colors start to bleed into each other, and the lines become blurry. This happens when the tattooing process has gone wrong. Perhaps the needle went in at the wrong angle, or maybe they went too deep or too shallow.

Either way, the issue stems from the artists, not from the client. 

Sometimes blowouts occur in the healing process, but you should notice them soon after the tattoo has been created.

The issue can be fixed, however, it will require either a cover-up or laser correction.

Tattoo Ideas

The best inks are the original ones, but nothing is entirely original. Instead, we get our creative juices by looking at the intriguing, beautiful, and inspiring world around us. 

To help you find and create the best tattoo for your aesthetic, we have a couple of ideas to share.


The peony flower is seen as a symbol of luck, beauty, love, wealth, new beginnings, pride, and strength in Japanese culture. But the name itself comes from the Greek Gold Peon, which means granting light.

If any of these concepts inspire you, look at our 37 penoy-based tattoo ideas, to help you explore this idea more.

Small Tattoos

Most people’s first tattoo is small. Starting off cautious, they get something they can easily forget about if they end up regretting their choices. But what kind of small tattoo do you want to go for, and where should it be?

Some of the best tattoos in recent fashion have been the finger tattoo. Here people put detailed images (of wolves for example) along their middle fingers. Or perhaps they pay for a tiny mustache along their index finger. These images are hard to hide, but you get to appreciate them every day.

The next option is often the wrist. Again these are hard to hide, however, you can put in more detail while still remaining small.

The list goes on, and we have 31 small tattoo ideas to share with you. Get inspiration by taking a look!


Sunflowers have connotations of joy, optimism, and devotion. They are normally styled in great detail to show off the iconic head of the flower. You can add sunflowers to an image to create the happy aura your design is meant to convey. You could even mix an animal into the flower design like a magical druid creation.

Here we have 29 sunflower tattoo designs to spark joy.

Religious Symbols

If you follow a religion and see faith as an intrinsic part of your life, then having a tattoo to represent your faith can allow your body to match your mind. 

You don’t have to simply add in a symbol and nothing more. You could use the symbol to show your personality. For example, in one of our 11 design sides, you can see a flower that has sprouted into the shape of a Christan cross, showing a beautiful side to the brutal story.

Designs Around Birth

A design that many new parents are making famous is the birth clock. This design is meant to show the time of day your new child or loved one was brought into this world. Many people use a stopwatch or pocket watch as their design, but we have 21 other suggestions to make this idea more individualized.

You can also get a rainbow baby tattoo. These are tattoos created in the memory of stillborn and miscarried babies, along with those who died in infancy. 

Many people add in the name of the child that didn’t get to experience life, or they add in the child’s originally planned birthday. The rainbow colors are used to embrace the multiple different personalities these babies could have turned into.

Spine Tattoos

Spine tattoos can be thin and take up your whole back, or large and reach around your sides too. You can also get tiny spine tattoos that still align in the center of your body, but perhaps they stay at the top of your back, or maybe lay closer to your derriere.

These types of tattoos tend to be delicate, as they rest upon the most sensitive area of your body. We have 24 spine tattoo designs to help the image stay elegant or branch out to something more powerful.

Cute Tattoos

The definition of cute can’t really be pinned down. At a push, we’d say t5hat cute things are endearing, pretty, and charming. This could mean a sentence that makes your heart flutter, or a picture of an awkward ghost.

One thing is for sure, most cute things are small. We have 24 cute tattoo ideas for you to look through, so find that one that makes you go “aw”.

Bat Tattoos

Another cute tattoo idea is the mysterious bat. You can go down a creepy midnight route, like our example number 2 which has a Tim Burton feel. Or you could ask for a simplistic and mysterious idea such as example number 3.

A personal favorite in our office is fuzzy bat number 15. It has the face of a doe, the belly of a hamster, and the wings of a bat. The creature of our dreams!

Cover Up Tattoos

Sometimes you need to cover up an image that no longer has the same affectionate feeling as it once did. Perhaps an old partner’s name, or political beliefs that you no longer share. Regardless of the reason, the cover-up tattoo doesn’t need to be an ugly mess to hide something worse. You can make the cover-up beautiful like it always should have been.

Check out our ideas to help you find something perfect for your cover-up.

Sleeve Tattoos

To some people, a sleeve tattoo is a collection of small images that have been collected over time to create one massive piece of art in your life. To others, the sleeve itself has been designed from start to finish as a beautiful display.

Our collection of sleeve ideas is for those who want a single theme on their arm, but need some help picturing it. Browse through, and see if inspiration strikes.

Bicep Tattoos

Bicep tattoos are becoming ever more popular. The most common trend is to have writing which can only be read by the person in front of you. Ironically these phrases often say something like “be yourself”, but they cannot be read by the client. It then becomes a message to the person reading it. 

But there are lots of different designs you can use, and we have but a few to help you decide.

Flamingo Tattoos

Flamingos are often seen as beautiful and innocent creatures which embody grace and balance. 

If you want a flamingo tattoo you can follow the graceful delicate nature of these beautiful birds by adding splashes of color in the background or suggesting a bloom of flowers growing from its body.

Or perhaps you’d prefer a more cartoon version of these iconic creatures, leaning into the romantic persona these birds bring. We have a library of photos and ideas for you to flick through until you find the image that best represents your personality.

Sun Tattoos

Tattoos around the sun and the moon often circulate around good and evil, yin and yang, masculinity and femininity, and so on.

Whatever your reason for having a sun tattoo, they can be cute and small or large and dominating. You can have light dancing off the image to create a burst of energy or keep the details in black and white for a mellow visual.

Check out our sun design ideas to spark your interest.

Mountain Tattoos

Mountain ranges are the perfect tattoo for hikers and adventurers alike. The most popular mountain tattoos are ones that mess with dimension. It looks as though you are walking in a wilderness which continues as if your arm leads to another dimension. 

However, you don’t need to have a tattoo as detailed or large as these beauties suggest. You can have a simple line tattoo of a mountain and still showcase your adventurous spirit. In fact, you should search through our collection of mountain tattoos to see which version of adventure best summarizes your experiences. 

Father Daughter Tattoos

Father Daughter tattoos can be as simple as a silhouette on your forearm, or as subtle as each person sharing a personalized version of a symbol. 

If you and your family members have the same interests, and you want to show your love in tattoo form, you should figure out how to express your interest in tattoo form. 

Perhaps you both love star wars. You could both have lightsabers and the same pattern surrounding them, but the saber could be different colors to make it unique to you.

We have a lot of ideas to help create these personalized changes, so click on the link to find out more.

If you are a parent and want a tattoo that symbolizes your connection to your child but aren’t sure how. Take a look at these ideas. Some are realistic drawings to capture their earliest memories. Others are translations from words to morse code form. Our idea can help you find the right image to represent your family.

Heart Tattoos

You might think that heart tattoos have been done so many times that you cannot possibly make an original design. We are here to tell you you’re wrong. In fact, the heart image is so iconic that you don’t even need to design a symmetrical or completely clear heart for people to understand the shape. 

Number 3 in our list is a tattoo of shattered glass, where nothing is smooth and there are way too many points for you to count. And yet we can clearly see that it’s a heart.

You can also make the inside of your heart hold a secondary image. Perhaps a picture of the world, maybe a beautiful gradient in color, or even a personalized image that matters to you.

There is still so much that you can do with a heart, let us show you.

Funny Tattoos

Of course, everyone’s idea of humor is different, but there is something so freeing about having a tattoo that captures your funny side. 

When people normally talk about tattoos, they discuss meaning, beauty, and personal stories. Very few people take humor so seriously that they’ll tattoo it on their bodies.

Having the guts to take this leap shows everyone how free you are, and how you accept adventure and joy in the world. 

Take a look at our suggestions to see if any make you chuckle.

Star Sign Tattoos

Star signs can be both a personal and spiritual phenomenon, as well as an avenue for beautiful designs.

Take the Aquarius sign, for example. Aquarius is symbolized as the water sign. You can use this theme to create water-based imagery that both encaptures the beauty of freedom you possess, and the magical flow of life.

Or perhaps you are a Sagittarius, a fearless personality symbolized through a centaur. You can embody this through an image of a centaur relaxing in foliage or riding off to battle. Or maybe you’d rather focus on the centaur’s longbow – using precise aim and delicate strength to symbolize your personality.

Some people simply use the arrow as a connection to their Sagittarius sign, and as a reminder that they know where they are going. Simply let the air take them there.

Self-Love Tattoos

We live in an era that recognizes love has to start with yourself first. Self-love is when you recognize the importance of caring for yourself. This means your mentality, your body, your emotions, and your time. 

As this concept is still relatively new, there are very few tattoos that fall into the “overdone” category. Each image we have in our linked list is unique, new, and showcases self-love in its own way.

Take a look for yourself.

Ladybird Tattoos

Ladybirds are the symbol of good luck and good health. They are beautiful bugs that a talented tattoo artist could turn into something lifelike. Number 2 of our list shows a realistic tattoo of 3 ladybirds traveling along a person’s arm. They are vivid, round and adorable. 

While number 4 shows a couple of ladybirds landing on beautiful budding flowers. If you like the idea of a floral pattern, but need something to help bring life, add in a ladybird.

Skull And Flower Tattoos

Skulls and crossbones aren’t the common symbols of delicate anarchy, but skulls and flowers are. Mixing life with death like this shows a personality trait of dark beauty and a contemplative mind.

There are so many directions you can go with this tattoo idea. You could have flowers that are growing in such a fashion, that in the right light, they look like a skull. Or you could have a bed of flowers nestling around an actual skull.

Perhaps one side is a skull while the other is a person wearing a flower crown. Or even better, a skeleton with flowers growing from it. 

The possibilities are endless, so check out ideas for inspiration.


Getting a tattoo means adding a personal image of your mind to your skin, and knowing it will be permanent. This means you want to know exactly what to expect, how to care for your new tattoo, and that you’re definitely sure of your design. 

Browse through our website to find inspiration, meanings, and Tattoo shops near you.