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My name's Jake, I'm 17 year old, and I'm looking to get my first tattoo. I want to get the three letters of my little sister's initials written on my shoulder (she passed away last year). Hoping to have a few questions answered. Thanks!

1. I've read that it's important not to go cheap when getting a tattoo. All together I want the design to be about two inches long and an inch tall. What is a reasonable price for three letters on the shoulder?

2. Is it really important to find a veteran artist if I'm just getting three letters? What credentials should I look for in an artist?

3. I'm aware that tattoos hurt a fair bit. I'm concerned that I might flinch or shake a tiny bit which could make the lines less straight. Thoughts? 

4. What is it like to have a shoulder tattoo? Would wrist be a better placement? 

 

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Pricing varies regionally; and there's a lot that can be done with initials. I could imagine designs ranging from $50 to $300. 

It is important to get an experienced, competent tattooer even with simple designs. Technique is a huge factor; and a hack can royally fuck up the simplest of tasks. 

As far as discomfort is concerned: in my experience, I'd say that lining in a sensitive area has a bit of a paper cut quality to it. Nothing horrible, but going into it relaxed is the best way to avoid flinching or flexing. And an experienced tattooer will be prepared for all of the uncertainties that first time customer may bring. 

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I will also chime in here. I agree with what David has said with maybe a small bit of wiggle room about the experience of the artist. If the artist is working in a shop, they are probably going to do a good job with script. With that being said, even a single line on your body will be better with a more experienced artist. Script is considered one of the easier tattoos to make (I still enjoy the) so you have a bit more options than you would if you wanted something like a portrait. 

As far as credentials, just don't go to someone who works from home. Check out their website and scroll through their previous work and looks especially for script to see how theyve done. 

 

I wouldn't worry too much about flinching or shaking as long as youre not jiggling around constantly - that gets annoying. But I expect most clients to react to a bunch of needles stabbing them repeatedly. A good artist knows how to compensate for movement. 

 

I would go with shoulder rather than wrist if you are concerned about pain. That being said, everyone is different. 

 

Eat a good healthy meal and get solid night of sleep before your tattoo. I've found that being hungry and tired makes getting a tattoo hurt a lot more. 

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