Deciding where to place your tattoo is very important for a few reasons. Your main concern should be esthetics, meaning the way it looks on your body. However, depending on how well you do with pain, you might want to consider placement in relation to how bad it hurts in a specific place. If you cannot take the pain and need to stop, or change the design, that looks much worse than if you had put it in a different location.
When choosing a place for your tattoo, you should first analyze what type of tattoo you are getting, and what type of person you are. Males and females generally get different places tattooed, according to society’s ideas of femininity and masculinity. So if you are getting a small feminine tattoo, you probably don’t want to place it on your bicep. And if you’re getting a burly masculine tribal, you probably won’t get it on your lower back.
Stereotypically, males usually go for the arms, shoulder, upper back and chest pieces, while females go for the ankles, feet, lower stomach/crotch area, lower back, upper back shoulder area, and back of neck. Of course, these are just basic ideas, if we were to keep all our tattoos separated by gender like this we would all look the same.
Keep in mind what the design looks like when choosing the spot. Sometimes a female will want a feminine flowing type tattoo that doesn’t stay in just one area. One that I just saw started on a girl’s hip went up her back, onto her shoulder, down her arm, and ended on her hand. Yet, because it was a thin, light, flowing design, it was very feminine and did an excellent job of accentuating her body’s shape and curves. That is very important in the eyes of most women, they want the tattoo to fit their body to make it look better, and not just place a piece of art on it randomly. A woman’s curves can be major factors in the design process so have the artist keep that in mind.
For men, it might look best to fill an area of muscle with the tattoo, so if the design you choose doesn’t quite fill the area, a little bit of colored or greywash background might make it fit better and look better placed.
A tattoo artist has stencils in order to place the design on your body. If you need them to move the design in any direction, let them know. You are not being a nuisance; they are obligated to make sure you are fully satisfied with the tattoo. After the stencil is placed on your body, you and your artist might discuss small additions in order to make it fit better, when it is a design, just color, or something traditional like clouds. These last additions would probably be drawn on with a marker, and this is where trusting your tattoo artist is important.