Patience, thought prevents tattoo horrors

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The moment the ink-filled needle enters your flesh, there’s no turning back.

It’s no longer rare to see tattoo-covered students roaming Dixie State University. There’s no shortage of Asian-inspired sleeves, infinity symbols and cursive words written in permanent ink. With the rising popularity of tattoos, students need to ensure their dream tattoos don’t turn out to be bloody nightmares.

314 Tattoo, located at 551 N. 1400 East, is a popular spot to get inked. 314 tattoo artist Jasen Workman said patience makes all the difference when deciding on a tattoo, and it’s important to think long and hard about getting some owl tattoo you found on Pinterest.

“I tell people to go home, look at your walls, and go through old photographs,” Workman said. “Make a list of five things that are going to be unique to you. You’ve got to look deeper and find out what the tattoo means to you.”

Trendy tattoos like feathers and typical tribal designs make Workman’s skin crawl, and he advises students to pick a tattoo that will stand the test of time.

Tommy Trotta, a junior automotive major from Salt Lake City, has a full sleeve of ink and warns students to not make impulsive decisions when choosing a tattoo.

“You can’t erase it once you have it,” Trotta said. “Never get a girlfriend or boyfriend’s name on your body. I knew a guy who had at least three girlfriends’ names tattooed on him. He ended up having to cover them all up with black ink.”

Tattoo artists typically have portfolios that display previous work, and looking at multiple artist portfolios is a practical way to find an artist who complements your style, said Rollen Pool, a tattoo artist at Last Call Ink, located at 344 Sunland Drive.

Pool said once you find an artist you like, let him or her run with your initial idea. If the artist is gifted, he or she might come up with something even better than you thought.

“Getting a tattoo is like going to a restaurant,” Pool said. “You tell the chef you want a steak and how you want it cooked, and then you sit back and let the professional do the rest.”

Kahill Hunt, a freshman health science major from Price, has his last name in black and bright green tattooed down his torso and plans on getting many more tattoos. But he’s not following in his sister’s footsteps.

“My sister got a tattoo that she didn’t think through,” Hunt said. “She got a big ol’, messy fairy on her back. It just looked really bad.”

You get what you pay for when buying a tattoo, Workman said. So avoid getting inked in your friend’s basement, and don’t be a cheapskate when comparing prices. Tattoos can range from $50 to thousands of dollars.

“Do your research,” Workman said. “A lot of people want instant gratification: fast, now, I want to get it tomorrow, and that’s when people have the most regrets. I recommend going online and looking at all the artists in the area, and if you want a particular style and you have to go out of state to get it, go!”