I meet a colleague for lunch. “He knew how much it would hurt me,” I say, tears running down my face. “For years I’ve said, don’t do it. It’s there for ever, even after you’ve changed your mind about who you are and what you want to look like. You’re branded, like meat. It can damage your work prospects. It can turn people against you before you’ve even opened your mouth.”
"In the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, tattoos were as much about self-expression as they were about having a unique way to identify a sailor's body should he be lost at sea or impressed by the British navy. The best source for early American tattoos is the protection papers issued following a 1796 congressional act to safeguard American seamen from impressment. These proto-passports catalogued tattoos alongside birthmarks, scars, race, and height. Using simple techniques and tools, tattoo artists in the early republic typically worked on board ships using anything available as pigments, even gunpowder and urine. Men marked their arms and hands with initials of themselves and loved ones, significant dates, symbols of the seafaring life, liberty poles, crucifixes, and other symbols."[64]
Because it requires breaking the skin barrier, tattooing carries health risks including infection and allergic reactions. Tattooing can be uncomfortable to excruciating depending on the area and can result in the person fainting. Modern tattooists reduce risks by following universal precautions working with single-use items and sterilizing their equipment after each use. Many jurisdictions require that tattooists have blood-borne pathogen training such as that provided through the Red Cross and OSHA. As of 2009 (in the United States) there have been no reported cases of HIV contracted from tattoos.[85]

If you can't decide, there are some sure-fire spots for long-lasting tattoos. "[The longest-lasting tattoos are] on flatter, less abused areas of the body like the flat of the forearm, upper arms, shoulders, back and thighs," Toby Gehrlich, tattoo artist at Red Tree Tattoo, tells Bustle. "These areas can usually withstand the test of time." Get whatever you want wherever, but know these spots will likely age the best.
Tattoodo is a social network designed exclusively for tattoo lovers. Co-founded by Ami James of Miami Ink fame, Tattoodo is one of the most visited tattoo sites in the world. The site, along with accompanying mobile apps, boasts an impressive 30 million users. Having found international acclaim through his TV work, James set out to develop the complete tattoo resource where users can upload and browse ink pics, find and follow artists, view tattoo-related videos, and read interviews and guides.
Always pay attention to whatever the tattoo artist tells you, and do exactly what he or she instructs. If the artist is a professional, they will definitely know what kind of product and healing technique works the best for their own creation. Remember that if you change the aftercare for whatever reason it may be, the artist won’t be obliged to touch up your tattoo free of charge. It’s ultimately up to you to take care of your tattoo, once you leave the studio.
An important note to consider, whether you’re just getting your first tattoo or are a veteran of the process, is your nervous system. Anywhere that the skin is thin—feet, hands, or clavicle—you will experience enhanced sensitivity. Concomitantly, in places where an abundance of nerves run close to the surface—upper inner arm, back of the knee, hip and groin area, and lower back—tattooing will be more painful.

Before getting a tattoo, make sure you have had all your immunizations (especially hepatitis B and tetanus shots). If you have a medical problem such as heart disease, allergies, diabetes, skin problems like eczema or psoriasis, a weakened immune system, or a bleeding problem, talk to your doctor before getting a tattoo. Also, if you get keloids (an overgrowth of scar tissue) you should probably not get a tattoo.

Compasses were traditionally tattooed on sailors and boating enthusiasts. They symbolise not only been at sea but also finding direction in your life or a particular journey you embarked on. Nowadays they are popular for aesthetic value as well as for people such as backpackers who have done a lot of traveling and want a compass design. Some will even have the compass face the direction of their home from where they have moved to so as to have a reminder of where they came from.


The first documented professional tattooist in Britain was Sutherland Macdonald, who operated out of a salon in London beginning in 1894.[50] In Britain, tattooing was still largely associated with sailors[51] and the lower or even criminal class,[52] but by the 1870s had become fashionable among some members of the upper classes, including royalty,[3][53] and in its upmarket form it could be an expensive[54] and sometimes painful[55] process. A marked class division on the acceptability of the practice continued for some time in Britain.[56] Recently, a trend has arisen marketed as 'Stick and Poke' tattooing; primitive figures are permanently inscribed by the user himself after he obtains a 'DIY' kit containing needles, ink and a collection of suggestions.[57]
Another great place for ideas – especially if you’re already in love with one of our artists’ styles – is to look through their tattoo portfolios. Our team has done some really amazing work over the years, and their books alone are inspiring! They’re the best for a reason! Not only can our team design for you an amazing, personalized tattoo, they love working with clients that come in with a clear concept and then let them run with the idea, designing something 100% unique!

Anatomy Anchor Angel Animal Aquarius Aries Art Astrology Astronomy Baby Barcode Beach Bird Books Buddha Butterfly Cancer Awareness Cars Cat Celebrity Celestial Cherry Christian Clock Comic Cross Crystals/Gems Dagger Death Demon Devil Dinosaur Dog Dove Dragon Dragonfly Dream Catcher Eagle Eyes Fairy Family Feather Fire Fish Flame Flower Food Football Geisha Girl Gun Heart Indian Infinity Insects Jellyfish Jesus Koi Leo Lion Lotus Mandala Mermaids Military Moon Moth Mother/Child Motorcycles Music Name Nature Ocean Octopus Other Owl Patriotic Peace Peacock Peony People Phoenix Pinup Praying Hands Reptile Rose Sacred geometry Samurai Science Scorpio Scorpion Semicolon Shells Ships Skateboard Skull Snake Space Sparrow Spider Sports Star Sun Surfboard Surfing Swallow Symbols Tattoo Artist Tattoo Shop Tiger Travel Tree Tribal Turtle Wave Wings Wolf
Another common smaller tattoo for people to get is a simple letter. The letter P may symbolise the persons first name, someone’s name that’s important to them or even the periodic symbol for Phosphorus. There are thousands of fonts to choose from and luckily with letters it’s easy to test them out on your computer before you pick which one will look best.
The most difficult part about getting a tattoo is planning the theme, the motif, and the design. Planing is even more important when it comes to sleeves because they are elaborate works of art that take a long time to draw. You don't want to go through hours of pain and then be unsatisfied with the final result. Work closely with your artist to come up with the exact image and colors.
Tattoos are also placed on animals, though rarely for decorative reasons. Pets, show animals, thoroughbred horses, and livestock are sometimes tattooed with identification and other marks. Tattooing with a 'slap mark' on the shoulder or on the ear is the standard identification method in commercial pig farming. Branding is used for similar reasons and is often performed without anesthesia, but is different from tattooing as no ink or dye is inserted during the process, the mark instead being caused by permanent scarring of the skin.[24] Pet dogs and cats are sometimes tattooed with a serial number (usually in the ear, or on the inner thigh) via which their owners can be identified. However, the use of a microchip has become an increasingly popular choice and since 2016 is a legal requirement for all 8.5 million pet dogs in the UK.[25]
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