Written by John Watson in Body Arts
Viewed by 348 readers since 02-26-2009
Whether you are a heavily tattooed ink lover, or a newbie looking to make a splash with a big first piece, it’s good to know that there are a number of options available to you in regards of placement. The back is a good spot, but be prepared for numerous long sessions in the chair if you are planning on a full back piece. The ribs offer a nice blank canvas, but with that come pain, lots of it as the ribs, in my humble opinion, are the most painful place to get work done. That leaves you with the chest, a large piece of fleshy real estate with tons of space for a very nice, detailed piece of tattoo art.
There are a number of factors to consider when deciding on a chest piece; as is the case with any work, make sure to do your homework and find a reputable shop and artist to work with you. The artist selection is extremely important as design and placement are of major importance in a chest tattoo. That area of the body has a lot of curves and can be a difficult area to add a piece that will flow correctly within those curves. Price is something else you should think long and hard about. This will be a large piece and will not come cheaply, and be prepared to pay a little extra for a good artist. Remember the old adage, “Good tattoos aren’t cheap, cheap tattoos aren’t good”. You may want to think about doing the piece over several sittings, paying for each as you go.
As I mentioned earlier, placement is key, and will differ between men and women. As women are naturally curvier in the chest area, their pieces will generally run from the bottom of their neck to just above the upper curve of the breast. Men, on the other hand, will have more space to work with and it’s not uncommon for pieces to go from the base of the neck to just over the stomach. It is also becoming popular to carry the piece to the tops of both arms, a move that will tack on even more money to the final price.
It is important to remember that a fair amount of your work may be visible, depending on the article of clothing you are wearing. Make sure that the company you work for is fine with such displays, or have your piece designed in such a way as to minimize exposure. Men with a large amount of chest hair will have to adopt regular grooming habits if they want their art to be visible, or consider another location for tattooing.
Finally, be prepared for some pain. The breastbone and the tender area around the nipples may not be the most comfortable place to be tattooed, another reason you may want to stagger the piece over several sittings. Follow the tips I have suggested, and take proper care of your work and you will have a magnificent piece that you can be proud of for years to come.