All tattoos should carry deep and significant meaning to the person wearing them, but none so much as your first. A first tattoo should be able to stand alone, should you choose to never get another one, or set the theme for several tattoos to follow. It should represent an aspect of your life that will never change or lose meaning and will remain important for the rest of your life. With any tattoo, but especially with your first, you should take time to consider not only the image itself, but also its placement on your body. Never rush into getting a tattoo.
For nationality tattoos you can choose to either tattoo a flag or symbol representing the nation of your birthplace, such as the "Star and Stripes" or an bald eagle if you are American, or the nations of your heritage. If you have multiple lines of lineage, you can form a creative design that represents all of them. For instance, if you are Irish and Swedish, you can tattoo an image of a clover filled-in with the colors and design of the Swedish flag.
Portrait tattoos are life-like renderings that can honor or memorialize anyone of your choosing, from childhood heroes to loved ones. However, for a first tattoo you should maybe stick to a loved one, as a tattoo of Batman or Yoda may lose meaning over the years. Traditional portraits are done in black and gray, but you can choose to incorporate color to add vibrancy. Also, be aware that portraits can have large amounts of detail and may require a lot of space to display adequately.
No matter how many times you get married or legally change your name in other ways, the last name on your birth certificate will always remain the same. For this reason it can be a good idea to tattoo that name, not only in reference to your direct family but also to memorialize the lineage of your ancestors. There are hundreds of fonts and styles to consider when choosing a script tattoo, but you can also choose to design the font yourself and make it a little more meaningful.
Birth Date Symbols
There are several symbols that represent both the month and year of your birth, including the European zodiac, the Chinese zodiac and birth stones. You can choose to tattoo your particular astrological symbol in the European zodiac, such as Virgo or Cancer, or the appropriate animal in the Chinese zodiac that corresponds with the year you were born. Birth stones, such as sapphires and rubies, are precious gems attributed to each month of the western calendar, and should be done in color to display their unique qualities.
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