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One of the most important questions to ask yourself before getting a tattoo is where to you want it and how hard will it be to cover up.

Whether you’ll love your tattoo or grow to hate it depends very much on how much thought you put into choosing a design, its placement on your body and whether what it represents about you will hold up over time. Here are five fundamental questions you should ask yourself before making the final decision to put ink to skin.

1. Is that the right place for it? Placement decisions depend a lot on who you want to see the artwork. If it's for your benefit, make sure you have a good view. If it's for others to see, check it with a mirror as the process goes on so you know how it's going and can correct mistakes early on.

2. Can it be covered up when necessary, say for a job interview? Where you decide to place your tattoo can have a strong impact on your career options in the future, whether you’re a girl or a guy. Having a tattoo on your face or neck might not give the right impression to a potential employer, so many people choose to get a tattoo somewhere that is easy to hide.

3. Is that the right design? Your tattoo should have a deep, personal meaning for you. Many people who chose a design based on its coolness factor have reported regretting the decision later. Those with tattoos representing something they are truly passionate about have mostly loved their ink for life.

4. Have you chosen the right artist? The tattoo artist you choose is the person who is going to make your artistic dream a reality. Research your options and talk to several artists. Go over their portfolios and see if his or her art fits your style. Most towns have options a plenty, so shop around.

5. Are you going to like that same piece of artwork 10 years from now? Aside from the staying power of a design, think about how the artwork might change as your body changes. Before you schedule your ink session, imagine your life in the future. Try to picture how you will look and whether the design and placement you have chosen will hold up to the test of time.

If you give your decision careful thought — and clearly understand the process before getting started — then you are ready to go for the ink!

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