6 tips for women over 50 who want a tattoo

  1. Avoid fly-by-night tattoo operations.
    Jancee DunnJancee: I didn’t want my mother to get a tattoo at some fly-by-night, unsafe place, of which there are many. I had also seen some very crude designs out there, and I was afraid of what she might end up with. If you’re concerned about safety, consider mall-based tattoo parlors. There’s one called Tattoo Nation. It’s in a mall in New Jersey, and it’s for people who are a bit older and don’t necessarily want to go to, say, Avenue D in New York City.
  2. Do your homework.
    Jancee DunnJancee: I highly recommend spending as many hours as you’re able on researching the right tattoo artist. Or, if you’re fortunate enough to have someone you trust, let her do your due diligence for you. My mother really put herself in my hands. I made calls to tattoo artists throughout the city and found the best one–but he happened to charge thousands of dollars and had a six-month waiting list. My mom didn’t want to be on a waiting list, so I kept looking. I searched the Internet for days and eventually found Chris.
  3. Interview the tattoo artist beforehand.
    Judy DunnJudy: Even though Jancee had scoured the Internet for days to find the best possible tattoo artist, it was still important to meet Chris personally and make sure that he that we were comfortable with him. In fact, Chris himself insisted that we do an interview with him before he would do my tattoo. When I asked why, Chris said, “I just want to be sure that this is really what you want to do, because having it removed is quite a job. I just want to be sure you know what you’re doing.” I thought that was very clever.

    My husband and I both went in for the interview. Chris had quite a number of tattoos, but they were all well done, and Chris himself was charming and kind. We loved him, and he did a really great job on my tattoo.

  4. Review the tattoo artist’s portfolio.
    Judy DunnJudy: When interviewing a prospective tattoo artist, have him show you a number of things that he’s done. You really have to know who you’re dealing with, and this will give you a better sense of that, and a better sense of what his work is like.
  5. Personalize your design.
    Judy DunnJudy: A tattoo artist can provide you with a catalog of designs to choose from, but I researched my own. I went on the Internet, found a number of flying raven images I liked, and printed them out. Then Chris and I both picked one together. When I came in for the actual tattoo, Chris had done the drawing, and it was perfect. It was just perfect.
  6. Be prepared to wait to discover your tattoo’s symbolic meaning.
    Judy DunnJudy: I knew a raven was the right tattoo for me, but I admitted to Chris that I didn’t really know why that image called to me. Chris said he thought that, at some point, I would start to find meaning in it. Jancee thinks it was a really good observation and very profound, to think that my tattoo’s meaning may come to me later.

Do you have a tattoo? Share your own tips for getting a tattoo below!

Posted in books & entertainment, live it! lists.

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4 Responses

  1. Generic Image firstnonna says

    I’m 52 and have 4 tats. I got the first one when I was 22. There are so many things to consider when getting a tat. Uudy and Jancee’s list is a good one. I just wanted to add a couple of things. One is how it will look years after you get it. My first was a butterfly on my breast and it is now stretched out from one corner to the opposite corner! The second is to be really sure of what you want. I mean, it’s there forever. I have been thinking about my next tat for about 3 years. It will be a mixture of items relating to the time I spent serving in the Navy.

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  2. Generic Image Peggy T says

    You go girl!  And hopefully the raven image will have deeper meaning for you. Maybe through you dreams an answer will come.  My idea for a tatoo came to me years ago. I seriously considered starting a new trend by having my own design of a filigree across my chest like a lacy camisole.  Then I realized it was just a premonition when I noticed clothing designs that fall had many decorative designs.  Plus my husband & family discourage me from it.  When the time & situation is right it may happen.  What do you think.   Peg


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  3. JoyfulC JoyfulC says

    Hi Judy and Jancee, 

    This is a response I made to another person about my tattoo experience, thought I would add it:


    Hi Sope Gal! This is my first post here on VN. I just wanted to tell you that I have had a great experience with getting a tattoo for my 50th birthday. But let me for worn you, you may get addicted! LOL! I have never been a big tattoo fan. My husband and I were supposed to get one together about 5 years ago and I chickened out, but he got his with my name emblazzoned across his arm. So, he has always said “so when are you going to get YOURS?” Then my younger son got his first one at 19 and 3 more since then. I observed how thoughtful he was about choosing his art and his artist. So, I have had a couple of years of kinda, oh, finding my path of clarity, and decided I wanted to celebrate that and being 50, cause baby, I am not going down the path of “your supposed to act like your age’ pppfftt. Anyway, back to the story. I started looking at lots and lots of tattoos. Lots and lots of artist, went to a tattoo convention (which was a great eye opener for me), spent a year thinking about it. Unlike some of the other posters here, I wanted something I COULD SEE and enjoy. So, I have always worn ankle bracelets, hit me, duh, that would be the art. Then I proceeded to choose charms that I would like to hang from the anklet. I chose my childrens, husband and my birthstones. A music note, a heart with my husbands initials, a joy charm and a LOA charm. Found a tattoo artist (I wanted a woman) that I felt I could have a great experience with. When I found Amy, Sacred Rose Tattoo in Berkeley CA, her bio said she was interested in tattooing people who she attracted into her life and had meaning. She is also a Reiki Master.(another story) I set up an appointment with her for a consultation. Checked out the shop, looked at reviews of the shop and Amy. Took in pieces of examples of jewels and vintage jewelry (an obsession of mine) and communicated clearly what I wanted. She took it and within 10 minutes was drawing my vision! Another plus in going to her was that she has her own private room, no one watching….  The next week I went in for my 3 hour appointment and it was sooooo wonderful. I describe it as a freeing moment for me. I was doing this for ME and NO ONE else. This is my body and I was adding art that represented so much of my beautiful life. Did it hurt! uh YAAAAA! But, it was sort of like, once I got past the initial pain, and I relaxed and Amy and I just talked and talked about some wonderful things, it was like childbirth, yes it hurts, but you get something really wonderful in the end. The top of the foot is one of the most painful spots, as you have lots of nerve endings there, but now I look at it and adore it. The joy charm is right on the top of my foot, so it reminds me to take every step in JOY. And everybody can see it. I have had more people stop me and tell me that it is so beautiful. Well, that’s my story, and I have more of those, for another day. I have added another larger piece to my upper back, another vintage jewelry piece, representing my 30th wedding anniversary. Sooooo, have fun with it! Make it a special event. I see NO down sides to my choice. So if it is YOUR CHOICE, there is no down side….let me know it you do it… 

    4 like

  4. LindaInLubbock LindaInLubbock says

    I am 55, I have 5 tattoos so far, and I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon. I think tattoos are an art form, and I collect them just like anyone would collect sculpture or paintings. I would love to talk with others my age who are interested in the art of tattoo, so I started a Facebook page, “Senior Class Tattoos”. I’m not selling anything or promoting anyone: just wanted to create a place where my fellow Senior tattoo enthusiasts could gather. So, if you are of like mind, drop by! If you want to express your hatred of tattoos: please go elsewhere! Have a great day!

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