My first tattoos: symbology and tips

Hey! I asked if anyone would be interested in a blog post about my tattoos and it seemed something that was requested so here I am.

I’ve been wanting to get a tattoo since at least three years ago and last summer I decided it was time to finally go through with it. The fear that I something could go wrong was always there with me until I saw them so don’t wait for it to go away (especially if it is your first tattoo) also some questions were always coming to mind.

Can I take it off if I don’t like it? I mean I can but that’s painful and expensive, I don’t want to do that.

What if I become tired of it?

My body is going to change when I get old…what if it won’t look good anymore?

I think I went through with it because I had a passion for what I was tattooing and I knew I wouldn’t grow out of it and this was a risk but also a choice. You don’t have to do it but I chose to go forward with it and I’m glad I did.

I decided to do in Portugal as I had already chosen the place and some of my friends highly recommended this particular artist and I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out. However, it was not a decision that I would take on my own.

Although I wanted it I had to talk to my parents about it first. I am 20 years old and this is my body but I felt the necessity of their approval. My mom was quite okay with it as she has always wanted one for herself but never gone through with it but my dad was a more difficult case. After two long conversations with him, I had to wait two weeks before doing it because he needed to get used to the idea – the two weeks passed and he said: “I’ll never get used to it anyways so you can do what you want”. So I did.

My best friend and I went to the place and booked a date and went for it.

As I arrived I had no more fear but excitement. I had decided to make two designs as I love them both and it would have been cheaper this way. One on my arm and the other one on my foot.

I had a sketch of the two designs that I had found on Instagram but I wanted a twist on them and I wanted the artist to do it. He took his time to draw and it was time to discuss placement. After that was figured out I laid down and the process started.

Pain. Honestly, I liked the experience. There was a bit of pain but it was a nice pain. I am very sensitive and I thought I would faint or feel terribly horrible but it was amazing and I can’t wait to do it again but it will vary with the person.


#1 Poppy

Poppy is my favourite flower. They grow everywhere and are very fragile but so beautiful. This tattoo also symbolises my childhood as I used to go on the fields with my grandma and pick poppies along with ladybugs. The fact that I have three poppies wasn’t on purpose actually but I later identified them as my parents and I. I love the flowy movements that the branch transmits and that was an addition that the artist chose to make.


#2 Shell

You may think it is because I love the beach but that is not the case. This tattoo has a ‘secret’ meaning that goes deeper. First, let’s appreciate how detailed this little tattoo is. I feel like I can look at it for hours. Now for the meaning, the shell means communication and understanding. As I live close to the beach I’ve been told that if you listen closely to a shell you can hear the sea and so I tattooed this symbol as a reminder to listen closely and be attentive.



1∴ Artist

This is a big decision and you want to be left feeling confident that the person that is going to do it is a professional. I had a tattoo shop that was recommended to me but I still had to decide on the artist.


Go Sherlock on the artists and see which one you like best. All of them have a different style and technique try to find the one that you think would make the best out of your design.

My artist: @redfishtattoonazare

2∴ Reviews

Check for reviews online on the place’s Facebook and other apps to learn more about the establishment and their artists, health procedures and prices.

3∴ Prices

When checking prices be cautious if it’s too cheap or overly expensive. Try to see what is the normal pricing of the area. I paid 90 euros for both. The minimum is 60 euros even if you are just getting a dot and that’s because of the equipment used and its care so be careful with the health and safety of the place and the price you pay for it.

4∴ Recommendations

The Internet is your friend but your friends and family are more reliable. Ask them about their experience and what they’ve heard about the tattoo shops around.

5∴ Take a friend

Take someone that has been through this experience or someone that will calm you and make this more enjoyable. This makes a big difference if you are doing it for the first time to help you feel more confident and relaxed.

6∴ Talking to the artist

If the artist sketches something you don’t like just tell him to alter it. It takes him 5 minutes to do so and that is going to be with you for life. Don’t be afraid to talk.

7∴ Placement

Same goes for the placement of the tattoo if you want it 2 mm more to the right say so! Communication and honesty are key. Also, if you are a person that becomes easily tired make sure to put the tattoo in a less visible place. For example, you can see the one on my arm quite easily but I still surprise myself with it sometimes because I look that often to the back of my arm.

8∴ Pain

It varies on the person. For me, it was painful but enjoyable and I got one on the areas that are supposed to hurt more (foot). Maybe I was just lucky. I wouldn’t worry too much about it. I was stressing so much about it because I’m quite sensitive but you never know.

9∴  Finished result

Hopefully, you are amazed by the result. Cherish it and enjoy having it on your skin.

10∴ Side note about the artist

If you found your design online just make sure to ask the original artist before you do it especially if he/she is a tattoo artist. Art should be appreciated and not stolen. Respect the artist’s will.

Well, this was a long post but thank you for making it this far! Hope this helped you and you can always leave any additional questions and worries in the comments! I love talking with fellow bloggers and readers.

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