How To Pick The Right Tattoo


I only have a few weeks left in Paris and I would really like to get a new tattoo before I head back Stateside. I have so many ideas in my head for different tattoos, but this time I want to get something totally NON CORNY that’s going to remind me of my love for this City. No, not a picture of the Eiffel Tower and not some dumb picture of the French flag.

At any given time, people who love tattoos probably keep a good number of new tattoo ideas rolling around their heads. Everyone says tattoos are an addiction, and this is why. After a while you stop noticing the other tattoos you have and you’re always thinking about what you could do “next.”

People get tattoos for all sorts of reasons. Peer pressure! Cool people always have them! Because why not? At least when you get old you will be able to explain what an awesome rebel you were to your family and kids. Or, you know, some people just like the feeling of pain, which is cool too!

I got my first one on my wrist about three years ago today. It was a birthday present to myself. Before deciding on what I wanted to get, though, I spent months fantasizing about the thing. As a starting point, I knew I wanted something on my wrist and that ultimately made it easy to figure out. I also prefer the abstract to the obvious, which made the tattoo choosing even more complex. When I got bored on the train I would look down at my wrist and imagine a tattoo being there. I drew stuff on my wrist in dark black ink so I would have a sense of what I was signing up for. I didn’t want to take so long and I actually felt really bad but it’s like kind of my skin and stuff so I need to take my time.

Settling on a tattoo is one of the hardest decisions you’ll make. Or it should be, anyway, unless you are really okay with something embarrassing branded on you in a language that you barely understand. You have to think about a tattoo, because it is going to be there forever. They are expressions of your personality. They tell your personal story. You have to know that this is the exact thing you want.

When I got my second, much more visible inking, this time a signature, the tattoo artist came back with a drawing that I thought was way too big for what I intended. I was like, “Yo that is way too huge!” And one doesn’t always get to say THAT. I asked him to make the drawing smaller three different times. Once he came back with the sketches, I sat in the mirror for 20 minutes and put the smallest and second smallest renderings on my arm to see which one looked better.

I have no idea what kind of marking I’ll get before I leave this city, if I get one at all. I don’t want to rush into getting something stupid just because “I got it in Paris!” L-A-M-E. I will say, though, that the sexiest tattoos in my opinion are almost always half or full sleeves, where the drawing just magically wraps around your arm. I would love to get one of those, but a) too much pain b) I don’t have that many ideas! The next sexiest tattoo is obviously the neck tattoo, little drawings that start on the shoulder blade and curl up to the neck so it is just barely visible with a regular shirt on. That or a super isolated on-the-neck tattoo. I don’t know what it is, but these things always get me so freaking hot.

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