Think before you ink

Tattoos are no taboo for Stellenbosch University (SU) students.

According to a recent poll of 100 students, 64% say they would get a tattoo, but only 30% claimed to be aware of the pre-tattoo preparation process.  

MatieMedia investigated and here is everything you need to know before getting inked:

VIDEO: Paula-Ann Smit

Tattoo first-timers

Disciples Ink tattoo artist Jamie Vanico (25) has been in the tattoo industry since he was just 16 years old. He advises tattoo first-timers to think carefully about what tattoo they want and where they want it.

“I don’t believe that all tattoos have to mean something,” he says, “but don’t get anything that you will regret. You might think it is funny at the time, but a tattoo is permanent.”

Placement is also very important, adds Vanico. “Although tattoos are more accepted today, you might limit yourself, as some people do still have a preconceived notion about tattoos.” This, he says, is especially true in corporate industries.

In contrast, only 23% of students say that they have a prejudice towards people with tattoos.

Tattoo artist Jamie Vanico (25) has been in the tattoo industry for nine years. PHOTO: Tania Heyns

How to spot a good tattoo studio

According to Vanico, research is key. “Always check the [tattoo artists’] work online and look at comments and reviews by clients,” he says. He also advises that you should go into a tattoo studio beforehand to look at the general cleanliness and how the artists present themselves.

Now that you have completed your research and chosen a tattoo design, here are a few dos and don’ts before your appointment:

SOURCE: Jamie Vanico GRAPHIC: Paula-Ann Smit

SOURCE: Jamie Vanico GRAPHIC: Paula-Ann Smit

So you’ve gotten your tattoo, now what?

The aftercare of your tattoo is extremely important, says Vanico. Follow these steps to ensure that your tattoo stays in tip-top condition:

SOURCE: Disciples Ink GRAPHIC: Paula-Ann Smit

By now you know the ins and outs of getting a tattoo, but this art form is not for everyone. Here is why 36% of students do not want to get a tattoo:

GRAPHIC: Paula-Ann Smit


– Tania Heyns and Paula-Ann Smit