Getting your very first tattoo can be a bit scary if you don’t know what to expect. The idea of needles repeatedly piercing your skin is not that appealing, we’ll admit, but the end result is usually well worth the discomfort. Some people decide to go small and modest for their first tattoo. Not biting off more than you can chew is always smart. Others have a “go big or go home” mentality when it comes to their first tattoo and go all out with a large tattoo or even sleeve. There’s no right or wrong way to go. It’s a question of how much pain you can handle and if you can sit still for long periods of time. Some people think long and hard about their first tattoo and its design. While others go and get a tattoo on a whim. That’s part of what makes the first tattoo a person chooses so fun to see. Here’s a look at 25 first time tattoos. These fresh tatts range in shape, size, and style. People never cease to amaze!
25. Love Yourself
Sometimes a sweet note to yourself is just what you need for a little pick-me-up. This person shared a picture of their tattoo that reads: “I am enough, beautiful, worth something, intelligent, strong, free.”
24. Love, Your Mom
This mom went out and got her son’s name tattooed on her arm. This simple and elegant tribute to her son will be there forever, just like her love.
23. Light as a Feather
This lovely tattoo wasn’t a crazy choice for a first-timer. It’s not too big and it’s not overly complicated. We love the classic black and grey look that’s been given a bit of an update with the addition of white ink.
22. For Nan
This woman got a tattoo in tribute to her “nan” that recently passed away. It’s based on a floral design that used to be on her china. She shared the image of these gorgeous rose tattoo with the message, “I miss you so much, nan.” Bittersweet.
21. Call of the Wild
This person threw caution to the wind and decided to get half his chest tattooed. The blue eyes of the wolf are stunning! If you’re going to be bold, be bold folks.
20. Heart on a Sleeve
This detailed and very realistic heart tattoo probably took a fair amount of time to complete. Luckily, the person getting the tattoo didn’t want it any bigger. The shading is impeccable.
19. A Fish on His Shoulder
According to the caption shared with this image, this tattoo found a home on a US Marine. He walked in, without an appointment, and got this rather large tattoo. Fortunately, he was paired with an incredible tattoo artist who did some amazing work here.
18. Comes at You Fast
This person chose LIFE! And then, got that tattooed on their knuckles. This was a bold choice for a first tattoo, most people don’t tatt a hand their first time around.
17. Cloudy with a Chance of Rain
The person with this ankle tattoo described the design as a “cloud flower.” It is a hand poke tattoo done with a single needle. Many people dip their toe into the world of tattoos with a stick and poke style tattoo.
16. Delightful Demon
Hannya masks are popular in Japanese culture and prevalent in a form of dance-theater called Noh. This big, bold design looks fantastic and the colors truly catch the eye.
15. Turn to Stone
The person who shared this image of their first tattoo said she was inspired by the Greek Gorgon, Medusa. This imaginative and slightly scary design is beautiful. This was a very brave choice for a first tattoo.
Because owls are nocturnal hunters, they’re often associated with darkness, wisdom, and the moon. This tattoo plays into the spooky wisdom owls seem to have. We love the linework and shading of the owl’s feathers.
This stunning watercolor tattoo of Mickey Mouse was the perfect choice for a first tattoo. A tattoo on the back of the neck is a bold choice so be sure you fully consider it before you do.
12. Cool Cat
We love a cat tattoo! This cartoonish, bespectacled cat is not afraid of an accessory. It is also sporting an ascot. This tattoo is not too terribly big and was a great first choice.
11. Up Up and Away
This person looked to the stars for inspiration for their first tattoo. The planets have been reimagined as colorful balloons. What a fun and creative design!
10. A Serpent and Flower
This was a confident choice! A snake wrapped around a bluebonnet flower is an interesting design. The tattoo is done in a traditional style similar to Ed Hardy.
9. Precious Pastels
This person went out and got a full-on masterpiece for their first tattoo. This stunning hummingbird looks like it was drawn on with pastels or chalk instead of ink.
8. Lost a Limb
There were a lot of firsts involved with this tattoo. It was the first tattoo this man ever got. It was the first color tattoo the tattoo had ever done. It was also the first original design the artist had ever tattooed. This cute little tentacle turned out great despite all the risk factors at play!
This teeny-tiny micro tattoo is tattooed on one of the most painful spots to get tattooed, the collarbone. The Vancouver-based tattoo artist who completed it shared, “The tiniest tattoo I’ve ever done!”
6. At Least It’s Not the Gherkin
This person looked to London architecture for inspiration for their first tattoo. This is another stick and poke tattoo that’s incredibly done. Look at all the dots!
5. Don’t You Know Your Queen
This queen of hearts tattoo reigns supreme! We love the striking, traditional design. Two hearts are better than one! She’s a beauty.
We’re suckers for pet tattoos. Here’s a pet portrait of this person’s cat, which is adorable. This modestly sized tattoo has so much detail.
Here’s a neotraditional rose tattoo with a portrait of a lady. The colors are bright and beautiful and the tattoo is just thrilling. One of the best places to get your first tattoo is your forearm because it’s easy to get to and it doesn’t hurt as much as some other locations. This was a smart choice for a number of reasons.
2. Still Rosie
This woman’s first tattoo really turned out beautifully. The organic shape of the flower juxtaposed with the two, parallel diamonds is a great look. This tattoo incorporates a number of different styles which makes it incredibly unique.
1. Did it Hurt
This big, beautiful, detailed tattoo was a risky choice to start with! Luckily, he was in capable hands. After what must have been hours, this person wrote that he’s already planning his next tattoo design with the artist.
Your first tattoo can be as important or silly as you like. You get to make the rules because it’s your body! We advise that you start small for your first tango. Find an artist that you trust to do a great job. If you’re ready to pull the trigger, remember that you can always ask for a break if the pain is too much to handle.
Andrew is a Chicago-based writer who enjoys finding the best of the internet, obsessively making lists, and cooking for friends. After studying Film and Art History, he developed a deep love for both topics. Celebrity news, pop culture, and stories that bring people together are his passions.
- 1 25. Love Yourself
- 2 24. Love, Your Mom
- 3 23. Light as a Feather
- 4 22. For Nan
- 5 21. Call of the Wild
- 6 20. Heart on a Sleeve
- 7 19. A Fish on His Shoulder
- 8 18. Comes at You Fast
- 9 17. Cloudy with a Chance of Rain
- 10 16. Delightful Demon
- 11 15. Turn to Stone
- 12 14. Wisdom
- 13 13. M-I-C-K-E-Y-M-O-U-S-E
- 14 12. Cool Cat
- 15 11. Up Up and Away
- 16 10. A Serpent and Flower
- 17 9. Precious Pastels
- 18 8. Lost a Limb
- 19 7. Microscopic
- 20 6. At Least It’s Not the Gherkin
- 21 5. Don’t You Know Your Queen
- 22 4. Meow!
- 23 3. Rosie
- 24 2. Still Rosie
- 25 1. Did it Hurt
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