The following pages contain the combined wisdom of many experts within the tattooing world. So why not print ’em off, grab your favorite drink and read it offline. Regardless of whether you are a seasoned tattoo enthusiast or a tattoo virgin you are guaranteed to find the following pages full of valuable insights and expertise!
While tattoos have been around for thousands of years, they are currently experiencing an almost unprecedented popularity in the around the world even in countries such as Iran! However, the general population of developed countries still regards them with some disdain, especially against those who have A LOT of any type of body art. The purpose of this guide is NOT to raise these issues or to change such views, but to educate those who are interested in learning more about tattoos. Regardless of motive, tattooing is a very personal choice. This information should help you make a wiser decision about getting inked, since the reversing process is not easy.
Getting a tattoo is possibly one of the most personal and permanent decisions you are likely to make. It is not a decision that should be made on a whim. It’s best to be as honest with yourself as possible about WHAT type of tattoo design you want and more importantly WHY you want to get it.
Educating yourself about the different styles of tattoos will help. Unless you have a definite tattoo design imprinted into your brain it is recommended that you expose yourself to as many different styles and tattoo designs before you make a commitment to be inked.
Some tattoo artists may be insulted if you waltz into their studio and ask to have an image of another person’s tattoo copied. But then other tattoo artists will tell you that nearly all tattoo art is derivative. One just needs to look at any major style of tattoo from Celtic to Tribal to see how it is derived from earlier works of art and body adornment.
So even before you commit to a tattoo you should check out the tattoo artist’s work. Ask to see a portfolio of their customized work NOT their ‘bread and butter’ tattoo designs. If there is a tattoo design that matches the style you have in mind or ‘resonates’ with you then ask the artist how the design came about, in other words was it designed ‘freestyle’ by the artist or copied from a picture.
You basically want to find out if the artist is happy doing customized work or prefers to work off an image such as a flash design or from a tattoo magazine or website. A quick survey of tattoo artists would suggest that most of them do not like to do customized work too often because it is HARD work!
Obviously custom work is much more expensive because it takes that much longer for the tattoos artist to sit down and physically design the tattoo. As a result the artist will most likely want to see some payment up front unless of course they know and trust you. 🙂
This is why it helps if you have a style of existing image you want customized. It makes the artist’s job so much easier if you have a clear idea of what you want rather than saying you want a wolf in snow howling at a tribal moon! Any tattoo artist worth his salt will be able to modify a tattoo design to make it unique to you.
But before you even get to this stage I recommend that you VISUALIZE the kind of tattoo you want. At this stage you don’t have to be absolutely clear on the overall design. The idea is to just get ‘a feeling’ about what you want to project when others see your tattoo.
Think deeply on this one because this is probably the number one reason why so many people get tattoos that they end up REGRETTING. Prepare NOW instead of repairing LATER! I speak from experience on this as I had a tattoo I put little thought into being covered up.
Try to imagine how your new tattoo is going to make you feel. It helps if the tattoo has a deeper meaning or special significance rather that merely to look good on your skin. The most enduring tattoos are the one with meaning for the person with them. Choose something that has lasting appeal.
Chances are that if you get a tattoo from a recent film or a cartoon character you will look back in less than five years and want it off. So it’s wise to hold off getting a tattoo of the main character of your favorite science fiction thriller or a picture of Marge Simpson on your forearms!
Look around your life and ask yourself what is important for you. Not just for this week, month or even year. What ‘speaks’ to you? An example of this is people who get tattoos of certain birds or animals because they believe that they are imbued with certain powers such strength or healing abilities. Take a look at Tattoo Symbols for more ideas and meanings.
The bottom line is that you want to get a tattoo that you are 100% certain of not because it is trendy at the time. What you don’t want is to spend hundreds of dollars on a tattoo that you will regret. If you are determined to get a customized tattoo make the artist work for their money and don’t be tempted to get a cheap tattoo for the sake of it!
Good tattoos are NOT cheap. Cheap tattoos are NOT good!