Where to Get a Tattoo for the First Time

Where to Get a Tattoo for the First Time

Where to Get a Tattoo for the First Time

You’re determined to get a tattoo and even have a design in mind, but now you need to decide where to put it. The final verdict is a crucial and plays a big role in whether or not you’ll experience “buyer’s remorse” as the days, weeks, months and years pass by. To help with your decision we have provided a practical guide on how to proceed. Follow the advice below and you’ll look back without regret.

4 Tips About Where to Get Your First Tattoo

1. Starting Small

Most people go with a small tattoo to get started to mitigate the risk of regret and potential for pain. It’s a logical choice but still requires some thought. A talented tattooist can make a small tattoo work anywhere on the body, but the following spots are the most popular:

  • inner wrist
  • space between the ear and hairline
  • nape of the neck
  • lower back
  • foot and ankle

View more on where to get a small tattoo.

2. Going Big

On the flip side, you may be of the “go big or go home” breed. We applaud your entry into the life by going with a large tattoo. But given that it’s your first, we encourage you to give it some careful consideration. For one, it may be a good idea to get the design done up your upper thigh or torso to reduce visibility when clothed. First-timers never really know how they will feel about the work until it’s done. If all goes as planned, you can always expand the large design to more visible areas (lower extremity or upper limbs) later on. In addition, consider to the following as they apply to a large tattoo:

View more on where to get a large tattoo.

3. Do You Need to Keep it Hidden?

While tattoo culture has merged with the mainstream on a sweeping scale, there are still some stick-in-the-muds that make assumptions about someone that has visible tattoos. In a perfect world you’d give them an inked finger, but we understand that you may need to keep your personal form of expression tucked away until you’re ready to move on to greener and non-discriminatory pastures. Here is where you can get a tattoo that won’t throw your a**hole boss (or clients) into a hissy fit:

  • Shoulders
  • Back
  • Inner bicep
  • Thigh
  • Nape of the neck (if you’ve got the hair for it)

View our 5-step guide on where to get a tattoo when you need to hide it at work.

4. Choose a Studio that Appreciates and Welcomes First-Timers

We covered where on the body to get a first tattoo, but your query about where to get a tattoo for the first time may have also been about where in the city.

This is a very good question, because unfortunately many tattoo shops have condescending, patronizing, snobbish, and downright snooty staff from front counter to tattooist table. It’s unfortunate that these studios so quickly forget what it was like to walk into a shop for the very first time to get a tattoo. Sure, tattooist apprentices expect to get a hard time when cutting their teeth in the industry, but this mentality should not pass over the the customer/client. YOU are what keeps this industry afloat. You should be valued and treated with nothing but respect, with all staff being considerate of the fact that it took some careful deliberation to bring you into their parlor.

How are you to determine which studios afford first-timers with the upmost patience, understanding, and respect? View our guide on how to choose a tattoo studio and how to choose a tattoo artist. In addition, going with a shop that takes walk-ins may be your best bet, just in case you decide that you don’t want to move forward with the tattoo. That way you won’t lose your deposit. View more on how the walk-in tattoo process works.


Our Greater Vancouver BC or Toronto ON area studios are welcoming to everyone. Our staff remembers what it was like to get that very first tattoo, and is therefore patient and understanding. Whether you’re ready to schedule a consultation or have any additional questions about where to get your first tattoo we encourage you to contact us here, anytime.

Another article you may like: Where on the Body to Get a Tattoo