Deciding which tattoo to have before going under the needle is quite the challenge, however choosing the best possible tattoo placement takes this tricky decision-making process to a whole other level. Tattoos last a lifetime, so thinking and researching tattoo placement is a big part of the tattoo process. When overcoming this obstacle to achieving impressive body art step aside from websites that lure clients with ‘what your tattoo placement says about your personality’ and guide them towards which tattoo placement is best for their lifestyle; we’ll cover this later.

Each client’s pain threshold is completely different from the next, so it’s important that they don’t believe everything everyone tells them is true; pain is a game and they’re the one rolling the tattoo needle dice. An artist can only make suggestions on what to have and where to have it but at the end of the day, tattoo placement is as individual the client and their tattoo. Before going under the needle, a client needs to be 100% on everything; the artist, the tattoo, the size and the placement. If they’re not committed, don’t let them commit. When having a tattoo, rushing isn’t a good idea. Tattoo placement is key to the perfect tattoo and avoiding unwanted problems that poor placement can cause, so let’s delve into the dark depths of tattoo placement, pain and blowouts.

The Pain Game

Knowing the pain hotspots and what makes some tattoos smart more than others can really help an artist to narrow down which tattoo placement will work for the piece they’re creating.  At the end of the day, with a tattoo needle delivering ink under the client in the chairs delicate skin, it’s going to hurt wherever they have it, however, this doesn’t mean there aren’t ways of lessening the pain. Tattoo placement can help eliminate any over the top, unnecessarily extra amounts of pain to their tattoo experience. The smaller the tattoo the better, this means less time under the needle and the client can be more flexible in terms of tattoo placement. However, larger tattoos do leave artists restricted searching for space meaning these hefty pieces may have to be put in a more painful area than expected. Thighs, arms, shoulders and the back offer room for large pieces of art with minimal pain and discomfort.

As a general consensus, boney areas of the body such as the ribs, sternum, feet, hands and elbows are more pain prone. Meatier and thicker areas of skin are optimum tattoo placement where clients can get inked without the pain and irritation. An artist can only implement so much advice, but listening to a client and giving guidance that has been gathered over time and experience should help an artist and client settle for the appropriate place to get inked.

Black Ink Blowouts

Sometimes things can go wrong. A client may have the perfect tattoo in the perfect place only to find a few weeks later they have a tattoo blowout. A tattoo blowout is quite simply a tattoo that has suffered from the ink spreading and dispersing under the layers of the skin. When a tattoo has lost its way like this, it’s shape and lines have a leaky dark effect, making a client’s new piece of personal art look blurred and old. Tattoo blowouts are usually caused by artists who have a lack of experience and aren’t that aren’t familiar with the correct tattoo placements as well as how to optimise the use of a tattoo needle.

Thin skin is a no-go area for tattoo placement. If a tattoo is done on incredibly thin areas of skin the needle will protrude into the lower layers and thus potentially cause a blowout. This is why the placement of tattoo stencils before a client gets inked is incredibly important if you’re wanting to avoid such large and permanent tattoo disasters. Constant and severe stretching and pulling of thin areas of the skin during the tattoo process can also be the cause of blowouts. So why does tattooing thin skin make room for the risk of blowouts? It’s simple; excessive pulling and stretching of the skin will cause the needle to protrude the skin at different angles when delivering the ink which in turn leads to a tattoo blowout.

Choosing the perfect tattoo placement is key, a skilled artist will identify areas of thin skin with ease and will avoid them to remove the risk of  to avoid a blowout. A qualified artist will also know to stretch the skin to ensure that the needle delivers the ink exactly where it needs to go. In most cases, it’s the tattoo needle itself that causes blowouts. If the needle is protruded too deep into the skin, it causes the ink to disperse into neighbouring tissue which in turn creates the unwanted blowout effect. Usually, this is down to an error of judgement in the depth of the skin, but blowouts can still occur in the most experienced of artist’s work. As long as a client has the correct tattoo placement, is stencilled up correctly, cleaned thoroughly and the needle is being wielded accurately then there shouldn’t be any problems. Artists with experience will already know this, but refreshing yourself on causes and preventions is the best way to stop a blowout occurring which both you and the client don’t want.

Picking the Perfect Tattoo Placement

When arriving at a studio some people are certain of where they want their tattoo regardless of the pain, whilst others leave tattoo placement as a decision to make with their artist. Talking over a client’s needs with them can help the artist and the client understand what tattoo placement is best. A number of factors contribute to tattoo placement, like the tattoos purpose, the client’s job and how often they want the tattoo to be seen, making careful consideration essential here. You could have anything from a complete cover-up to a peekaboo or an in plain sight piece of body art, it’s really down to the client’s personal preference. Picking the best tattoo placement also depends on what it is the client is getting. Larger art will obviously need more body space whereas smaller pieces can be placed on more delicate and smaller body parts, it’s about finding the right balance between tattoo style and tattoo placement.

Once an artist and client have come to an agreement on where the tattoos placement will be, the art is ready for positioning. Stencils and transfers are the best way to ensure a tattoo will be in the right place before picking up the needle, as the tattoo placement can be repositioned and changed as many times as needed. Stencils and transfers are great for awkward areas like ankles and elbows, as it makes it easier to see how the tattoo will lie before starting the tattoo process. Once a client is stencilled up, the artist can then get to work on the tattoo itself, taking care of the needle’s position and depth to prevent a blowout.

We stock a wide variety of tattoo placement products including; stencil fluids, sprays, solutions,  transfer creams, stencil papers, tattoo pens and thermal copiers to make sure you as an artist get it right first time. Come and see us in our Mansfield store or online where you can find a huge range of tattoo products. Blowout your money, not your clients.