Common sense dictates that sometimes a person getting art on their body will not want it to always be there. This gives rise to a number of questions, and has also led to some “tattoo artists” promising customers that they can have a tattoo which will not wash off today or tomorrow, but will fade away in a month, a year or so. It should be recognised that there is no real temporary tattoo. When ink goes beneath the skin, it is there for keeps, barring long-term surgery. Anyone who tries to tell you otherwise is a liar.
You can get body art done which will go away quickly. This, however, is only possible if the drawing is done onto the top layer of skin. It will wash away in one go, if you scrub hard enough, and if you do not it will come away in parts. If you want a tattoo just for one specific occasion, this is the kind of body art to go for. It is not, in real terms, a tattoo. A tattoo is when the ink is put underneath epidermis, and if you scrub hard enough to wash that off your next stop is the emergency room.
Think long and hard before adorning your skin with body art. It can look fantastic, but you need to know what you are getting. If someone tells you that the tattoo will merely fade, walk out of the shop. Body art that can be washed off in one go, or a tattoo that will be there unless you get it removed by a surgeon – those are your choices and there is no middle ground.
There are certain lines when it comes to getting a tattoo, lines which must not be crossed either by you or by the tattoo artist. These exist in order to protect health, dignity and decency, and crossing them will only end badly. The following are some facts about the no-nos of tattoo art.
You should know when getting a tattoo that the artist is reliable. There is some chance of blood seeping out through the skin which is pretty much unavoidable. For reasons of hygiene and health, a good artist will wipe this away as and when they see it.
Getting a tattoo on your face may seem like an interesting thing to do at the time, but be wary that in many countries most artists will refuse to do it without a lot of persuasion that you are ready for the repercussions. Many employers will simply refuse to employ someone with a facial tattoo – especially in public-facing jobs. No, you shouldn’t judge by appearance. But people do anyway.
Tattoos on hands and feet are similarly unpopular with artists, but for different reasons, although hand tattoos are also highly visible and a tattoo artist does not want to be the cause of your unemployment. The other reason is that our hands and feet get through a lot of work, and during the three month period that exists between getting a tattoo and it truly healing that work can lead to the tattoo rubbing off. If it came off all in one then that’d suck, but in actual fact it is worse – it comes off in bits and looks appalling.
People who have never been tattooed before will often wonder before they sit down to get the work done whether the process will be painful. In fact, the fear of pain and of needles are two major reasons why people decide not to get a tattoo done. When looking at another persons tattoo, almost always the first question someone who has never been tattooed will ask is “Did it hurt much?”. The answer to this question is not straightforward – it depends on the person, for a start.
First of all, how do you define “much”? For most people, getting a tattoo is no more painful than – for example – having your hair brushed by someone else. It is less painful than being scratched by a cat, and more painful than a light scrub with a bristled brush. If you really want the tattoo, then the pain is more than bearable. The needles used to put the ink underneath the epidermis are sharp, of course, but they are also very short. It is not like a long series of vaccinations.
Of course, the above may not apply to everyone. Everyone has a different pain threshold and we all have our Achilles heel, too. Some people who lift weights for a living will wince for an hour if they cut themselves shaving. Some people who have multiple piercings, even in sensitive areas, will turn away at the idea of childbirth. Different things hurt different people too much, and in the end it is a matter of how much you value the end product.