Getting a tattoo requires a huge commitment. The difficulty of finding designs to permanently tattoo onto your skin is just the beginning. Once you've found the perfect design, you'll need to decide on which part of the body the tattoo was made! Tattoo placement is very important, especially on living things that are constantly growing, such as human skin. When choosing a body part, pay attention to the aesthetics, how big the tattoo is, and how much pain you can tolerate.
Method 1 of 3: Using Aesthetic Values as a Guide
Step 1. Divide your body into several series of canvases to visualize the tattoo
Each canvas can be referred to as a “section”. The “canvas” or parts in question are the joints of your body that are divided. For example, the top of the thigh to the knee is one canvas. Look at each canvas of your body to determine the position of the tattoo.
- For example, the top of the arm to the elbow is called the “half hand”, while the entire hand from the top to the palm is called the “whole hand”. If you are interested in getting a small tattoo that can be covered by the sleeve, ask for it to be tattooed in the "quarter arm," which is the area around the biceps muscle.
- Another example, a tattoo on the back is generally made from the bottom of the neck to the lower back. Knowing where the parts are usually made can help you give specific directions to the tattoo maker.
- By visually dividing the body into sections, you can find out which design is best suited for a particular part of the body. You need to know the smallest and largest areas of your body that can be tattooed.
Step 2. Place a large and detailed tattoo on a large body part
Highly detailed tattoo designs are almost impossible to create in a small area. If you want a detailed design, you should choose a large body part to make it look good.
For large designs, such as a self-portrait or an image of a person, choose an area of skin that the tattooist can easily access without making you move, such as your back, thighs, or upper arms
Step 3. Place the smaller design on a smaller area of the body
For small tattoo designs, such as symbols, you can choose a smaller area. For example, you can put it on the inside of your wrist or on your hand. You can even choose a more discreet placement, such as behind the ear, on the finger, or behind the ankle joint.
To make it even more interesting, try getting a tattoo on the front of the earlobe or on the inner lip
Step 4. Determine the location according to the shape of your tattoo
Pay attention to your tattoo design. Is it long and thin? Round? Rectangle or oval? The shape of the tattoo is very important because different shapes will look better on different parts of the body.
- For example, a long, thin tattoo would look great on the spine, upper arms, or legs. The tattoo can also be placed on the side of the body or stomach. However, note that the shape may change if you gain weight or if you give birth.
- You can place a few designs in a circle on the skin, such as a tribal design or a beaded rosary braid. Choose an area where you can evenly finish the design, such as the top of the arm, the biceps, or above the ankle.
Step 5. Do not use large areas of skin for small tattoos
Many people regret using a large body part to make a tattoo in the middle. You may want to get another tattoo in the area later or a tattoo that covers the entire area.
For example, if you have a small symbol on your shoulder blade, you can't get a bigger tattoo in that area unless you combine it or cover it with a new tattoo
Step 6. Choose a location that you'll still love when you're old
When looking at tattoo locations, think about what happens to your body as you age. Would you still like the placement of the tattoos being put on? This is unthinkable in your 20s, but imagine if you were 40, 50, or 60. You may want to place the tattoo in an area that is not affected by the aging process.
- For example, the back of the shoulders are less likely to be fat than the stomach. In fact, cellulite from childbirth can completely ruin a tattoo. Therefore, the shoulder blade is probably the best option.
- Similar to the above, the wrists and feet are less likely to get fat. So, these areas can be an option. Even if your feet may become swollen or enlarged, the shape of the tattoo usually won't change.
Method 2 of 3: Choosing a Practical Tattoo Placement
Step 1. Make a tattoo on the front of the body if you want to see it easily
Some people like to see their own tattoo all the time, while others don't. If you enjoy doing this, get a tattoo on a part of your body that you can see in the mirror, such as your belly, breasts, arms, or legs. If not, get the tattoo in a private area where you can see it in a mirror.
As a middle ground, choose areas of the body that can be seen without a mirror, but can be covered with clothing
Step 2. Choose an area of the body that can hide or show the tattoo, depending on the clothes you are wearing
You may want to show off your tattoo and place it in a visible area of your body. On the other hand, you may want to be able to hide it under your clothes. If you want to be able to hide your tattoo, choose an area that will allow you to do this.
- For example, if you have a tattoo on the trapezius muscle, which is between your neck and shoulders, you can cover it with a collared shirt or show it off with a collarless shirt.
- You can do the same for tattoos on the thighs, upper arms, back, and legs.
Step 3. Try getting a “hide-and-seek” tattoo to make it more interesting
These tattoos are placed in areas that aren't visible to most people's eyes, but are visible when you move, such as behind your ears, on the inside of your lips, between your fingers, or on the inside of your upper arm.
You can also tattoo the upper chest, lower back, collarbones or the back of the ankle joints
Step 4. Hide the brightly colored tattoo from the sun
Tattoos can wear off over time and sunlight can speed up the process. If you want a colorful tattoo, it's best to place it in a hidden area under clothing. Thus, sunlight can not hit it, so the tattoo does not fade quickly.
- The sun will also make your skin age faster, which can reduce the beauty of your tattoo.
- Protect your skin and tattoo color with a broad spectrum sunscreen cream.
Step 5. Place your tattoo in a hidden location if you need to cover it up for the sake of the job
If you're worried about hiding your tattoo at work, place it in an out of the way area. The torso area is a good location for hiding a tattoo, as you can easily cover it up if you need to.
You can also tattoo the upper thighs, shoulder blades, back, or sides of the body, because these areas can be covered by formal wear
Method 3 of 3: Tattoo Your Body According To Your Pain Tolerance
Step 1. Choose a “fleshy” area such as the thigh or biceps to reduce pain
If this is your first tattoo, those two spots are great options. These spots are less painful to tattoo than other areas of the body due to the presence of muscle.
The upper arm or back of the shoulder is also a good choice. However, you may want to go through the inside of your upper arm if you have low pain tolerance, as that area has a lot of nerve endings that can make you uncomfortable
Step 2. Consider getting a calf or shoulder tattoo for low or moderate pain
These areas have less muscle, and have bone that is more prominent than the thigh or biceps, but is also more fleshy than most other areas of the body.
The wrist also falls into this section, but it hurts a little more
Step 3. Avoid bone areas to reduce pain
Bone areas, such as the feet, hands, ribs, knees, and elbows are all very painful when tattooed. Getting a tattoo is painful, but getting it in these areas causes more pain.
These areas are painful because there is not enough flesh between the needle and the bone. However, you may want to start tattooing from that area to have a high pain tolerance
Step 4. Discuss your pain tolerance with the tattoo artist
Tattoo makers definitely know which areas hurt the most. If you are very sensitive to pain, ask the tattooist for advice on choosing an area that is least painful.
- Listen to what your tattoo maker has to say. Of course, you probably have an idea where you want your tattoo to be, but the tattoo artist can usually help you make a few tweaks to make it look better.
- Tattoos will naturally attract people's attention to certain body parts. So, choose a location where you don't feel uncomfortable when people see you.