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Tattoos

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Why Get a Tattoo?

We've all seen tattoos of various designs, styles, sizes, shapes and colors.
Aside from the fact that tattoos can be removed by lasers, surgery and other
methods, they are quite permanent. Most people have very specific reasons for
these lifelong marks and some even have stories behind each one.

One simple reason for a typical tattoo is just for looks. The tattoo may be one
that resembles one seen on a celebrity. It may also be a design that is simply
pleasing to the eye. Perhaps the tattoo has bright colors or neat shapes that
attract the eye. Aesthetics are one common reason for many tattoos.

Another reason why one might get a tattoo is as a memorial. Friends and family
who have passed away are often memorialized through tattoos. These memorials
are also often created in the memory of a particular celebrity. These might be
designed with flowers, crosses or other shapes and dates of birth and death.
They might include special sayings that were important to the deceased. They
may also involve complicated tattoos that are copied off an actual photograph.

Children and relationships are a popular reason for getting a tattoo. Millions
will have tattoos designed incorporating a child's, spouse's or partner's name.
Typically these will be accompanied by other designs such as flowers,
butterflies, shapes and even likenesses. Hearts, stars and script letters are
often found on spouse or partner name tattoos.

Many people will have tattoos designed to commemorate special events
experienced during their lifetimes. Achievements, difficult times and other
special events are often displayed as a lifetime reminder of an important time
in one's life.

Tattoos also represent spiritual status for many cultures. They can also be a
symbol for social ranking. Some social groups are known for specific tattoos
which would require a member to receive the same. Others are known for having
tattoos in general, regardless of their designs.

Expressing individuality and personality are often the most common reasons for
getting a tattoo. If a person likes butterflies, they might get a single tattoo
or multiple tattoos flaunting butterflies. If another enjoys a particular field
in which they are employed, they might have tattoos representing what they do
for a living.

There are other ways to look at expressing individuality through tattoos,
however. Many tattoos are designed to reflect heritage. Ancient symbols that
are associated with the history of many cultures are often displayed on those
who are of a particular culture's decent. For example, someone of Irish decent
may choose a tattoo depicting the Claddaugh design while another of Egyptian
decent might prefer one similar to ancient ancestors. On the other hand, many
choose designs resembling certain cultures simply for aesthetics.

Regardless of where you want to have your tattoo applied on the body or where
you have the procedure done, it's important to comprehend why you really want
the tattoo. Tattoos are permanent. Having a tattoo created for the right
reasons, and reasons that are truly important to you will help increase the
enjoyment of the design for years to come.

Why Do People Get Tattoos?

There are nearly as many reasons for getting a tattoo as there are people who
have them. Each person has his or her own particular reason; it may be a common
reason or it may be unique, but it is nonetheless individual.

People who get a tattoo on impulse or a dare, while intoxicated, or to please
someone else, are the ones who are usually less satisfied with the results.
Even while holding it out as a spur-of-the-moment mistake, a person who
acquires a tattoo under these circumstances are rarely happy with having it on
a longterm basis. Unfortunately, these types of situations do comprise a fair
percentage of the number of people who get tattoos-- and later regret it. Most
people who get tattoos primarily as a means of rebellion are also dissatisfied
in the long-run; as they grow out of feeling the need to rebel, they grow out
of enjoying the symbols of it.

For those who make an informed decision about getting a tattoo, whether they
acknowledge it or not they are usually in either of two categories: those who
are identifying with a group, or those who are identifying themselves as
individuals. Both are using tattoos as a means of self-expression. On the
extreme end of the spectrum are inmates who belong to such groups as "the Aryan
Brotherhood." A tattoo shows both members and non-members alike what group the
inmate belongs to. These tattoo designs are of various codes and other oddities
which they assume people who are not likewise affiliated will not understand.
Most inner-city gangs also have coded tattoo designs for the same reason. In
these types of instances, tattoos serve a dual-purpose: they are a means of
bonding a person to a particular group, and they are a means of separating
oneself from those who are outside of that group.

Some people get a tattoo simply because they want to have one. Other than not
putting much careful thought into its longterm implications, nor being very
selective about what particular design they want, this is not necessarily
negative. For many, simply liking artwork on one's skin is reason enough to
visit a local tattoo studio, hand over a relatively-large sum of money, and
have something etched into one's skin that is intended to remain there for the
rest of one's life. The most intricate design or the most plain one can be a
matter of speaking to the entire world, or something which one chooses to keep
solely to oneself.

Others use this form of self-expression in a manner similar to what generations
past used to do with t-shirts: to show the world what they wish to say. They
choose wording, or designs which symbolize something that is meaningful to
them. You can see everything from American flags and crosses to the names of
who they love, and, occasionally, wording which pushes the limits of the First
Amendment. In the past, people wore what they believed, stood for, and cared
about on their shirts; these days tattoos often serve the same purpose.

Many people use tattoos as memorials. Tattoos can be designed for remembrance
of a deceased loved one, of course, but they can also be designed for the
purpose of keeping in mind other places or situations which a person does not
wish to forget. When there is someone or something that you wish to hold close
to your heart, a tattoo can be a beautiful way of doing it. Photographs and
other souvenirs are not permanent-- tattoos are.

Why do people get tattoos? The reasons are as varied as there are individuals.
Whether you yourself have a tattoo or not, if you know someone who does, it is
important to realize that you do not know what that person's reasons are,
unless he or she decides to tell you.

Who Is Most Likely To Get Tattoos?

While tattoos have been gaining a widespread appeal and acceptance during the
last couple of decades, they are still more popular with some people than with
others. No longer seen as something which is limited to small segments of the
population, nevertheless they are still not embraced by everybody. For many,
they are great forms of self-expression; to others, they are as taboo as
they've always been. Like most aspects of American life, it's often a matter of
one likes them very much or one dislikes them intensely; there is rarely any
middle ground. While preferences toward specific styles of tattoos differ very
much between individual persons, the opinions on them rarely change.

One group which has grown fond of tattoos is the younger generation. This is so
much true that these days most areas which have colleges and universities also
have at least one tattoo studio nearby. For many in the younger crowd, visiting
the tattoo studio is as much a social experience as it is about the artwork.
Comparing notes about which designs they like, the costs, and even the tattooing 
process itself is often done with one or more friends. The popularity of tattoos 
amongst young people also extends to high schoolers, many of whom are not old 
enough to legally acquire a tattoo. Some get around this by dangerously 
attempting their own tattoos with homemade equipment; others go to nearby states 
where it is legal for artists to tattoo minors if they have their parent's 
presence and consent.

On the opposite end of the spectrum you will find members of the older
generation who sometimes use tattoos to either recapture or attempt to hold
onto their youth. It's questionable as to whether those in this category do so
for the artwork itself, or more for the environment of the tattoo studio, as
most studios are clearly designed for the younger generation. You can find
quite a few older folks leafing through books of tattoo stencils alongside the
younger crowd who are twenty or thirty years younger than themselves. This type
of situation is at its oddest when the tattoo studio also doubles as a piercing
parlor.

Certain groups also go for tattoos. While the practice used to be considered
the arena of bikers and others of that element, they still hold quite a
monopoly on the subject. It is unlikely that you will ever find someone whose
primary concern in life is his motorcycle who does not hold to the age-old
tradition of acquiring tattoos to symbolize his number-one passion. The person
may have one tattoo or many; he may have done the artwork himself with a
homemade machine or even plain needles, or he may have spent a considerable
amount of money to have his tattoos done professionally; but whatever form the
tattoos take, it is almost guaranteed that he will have them.

People who have spent time in jail or prison also have the common factor of
tattoos. While these tattoos are almost always recognizable as being crude
replicas of art, this fact is mostly due to the tattoos being done by such
unsanitary means as using cigarette ashes instead of tattoo ink and whatever
may be handy instead of sterile professional tattoo needles. For anyone who is
at all familiar with tattoos, it is not difficult to recognize the difference
between one which was done by a licensed tattoo artist and one which someone
did on himself while incarcerated.

These days you can find tattoos on every segment of the American population,
nearly everywhere in America. While young adults, convicts and bikers are
usually most noticeable, tattoos show up or are hidden on everyone from
businessmen to farmers to housewives. They have become a part of American life.

What to Expect When You Get Your Tattoo

To many people, tattoos are exotic and daring things to get into. It's such a
huge decision as the design, whatever it may be, will be permanent. Not only
might this seem daunting but the actual process of getting a tattoo can be
frightening to those who have never experienced it.

Most people know that tattoos are created with a needle that delivers ink into
the skin by the use of a special tattoo gun or machine. Beyond that, many are
clueless as to how the procedure might actually carry on. It is important to
realize that every tattoo artist and parlor varies in their techniques.

The first thing to be prepared for is choosing a design. If you have a copy of
something in particular, be prepared to discuss it with your tattoo artist. He
or she may be able to make recommendations to make the image look its best on
your skin.

If you do not already have a design, the tattoo artist can assist you. The
design will depend on where you want the tattoo on your body and if you prefer
all one color or multiple colors. The tattoo artist can assist with making
decisions based on your personality, size preference for that tattoo and the
aesthetics of the design.

Once the design has been decided upon, the tattoo artist creates a stencil.
This stencil is laid out on the skin and traced. Some artists will draw the
stencil straight on the skin freehanded. The general design can be visualized
at this point on the skin.

When the design is decided upon, the tattoo process begins. This is where
things can start to change a bit. Depending on the location where the tattoo
will end up, the customer is typically seated in a position as comfortable as
possible to make for easy access to the skin by the tattoo artist. Obviously
the sitting position will vary accordingly.

The time frame is another variance. As is easily guessed extravagant, intricate
and very large tattoos will take a longer amount of time than a smaller, simpler
design. Tattoos that are excessively large, such as designs covering the entire
back often require repeat visits to the tattoo parlor.

Generally, for an easy and small tattoo of one color, one can typically expect
to it to take about an hour or less for the design. Some can take as little as
thirty minutes. If there are a lot of color changes or intricacies the amount
of time will increase.

Price can vary depending the geographical location of the tattoo parlor. Other
factors that are reflected in the price include the size of the tattoo,
difficulty and color variations. Many parlors charge by the hour with a general
range of between $40 -- $150 per hour, again depending on location and the
design. For very large tattoos, prices might change accordingly switching from
a per-hour fee to a set fee for the entire process.

Once the design is finished, expect to be taught how to care for the tattoo
afterwards. It may be dressed in a bandage that will need proper care for the
days following. The tattoo artist will discuss all after care instructions with
the customer prior to letting them leave the parlor.

Getting a tattoo can seem a lot less daunting when you know what to expect.
Getting to know your tattoo artist can help one feel more at ease with the
whole procedure. Meeting the staff before hand might also go along way to
ensure comfort with those working around you.

What Is Going On Today With Tattoos

As with most things in life, changing times signals new improvements, and
tattoos are not an exception. The process itself has come a long way since
people had no choice but to use crude homemade instruments to force
equally-crude variations of ink into their skins. People these days also do not
need to resort to regular needles and either ashes or bottles of India ink,
because most have clean, sterile tattoo studios and licensed, reputable artists
readily available. For a practice that has been around nearly since the
beginning of time, such factors as health, safety, and procedure are relatively
modern.

Since South Carolina lifted its ban against tattooing in 2004, which required
eleven years of failed attempts before its eventual success, the state of
Oklahoma remained the sole hold-out in banning tattoos until that ban also was
finally lifted at the end of 2006. Currently, tattooing is legal in all states
of the United States, each with its own set of laws, some of which are governed
by the state itself, others which have left the matter in the hands of city or
other local governments.

Laws and regulations covering tattooing are varied on a state by state basis.
If you wish to get a tattoo, or if you're considering going into the tattoo
business yourself, it is wise to familiarize yourself with what is required in
the state where you live. One key point is that if you have received a tattoo
license in one state, it is not necessarily valid in another state. An unusual
exception to state laws is that it is becoming a common practice for parents to
take their teenagers to a nearby state where tattooing minors is legal with
parental consent, even though they reside in a state where it cannot be done.
Crossing state borders in order to get a tattoo may appear extreme, but it
happens quite frequently.

However, this has produced difficulties in some instances where school
districts have implemented policies forbidding their students from having
visible tattoos.

As tattoos as a basic form of artwork and self-expression have expanded, so has
another aspect of tattooing which has its roots in ancient history but until
quite recently was not widespread in modern times. Many women, the famous and
the average alike, are now opting for tattoos as a form of permanent cosmetics.
No longer needing to apply such things as eyeliner or lipstick on a daily basis,
a more permanent form of these previously-temporary cosmetics are made by
tattooing in a manner quite similar to the more well-known types of tattoos.
Getting these types of tattoos not only requires careful consideration on the
part of the client, but skill and professionalism on the part of the artist.

Especially since HIV and AIDS became a life-threatening risk, reputable tattoo
artists have become even more conscientious in taking health precautions for
both their own and their customers' sake. In addition to keeping their studios
clean in general, there is a large focus on such practices as using disposable
tattooing needles, throwing away unused inks, and wearing gloves. Prior to this
problem, while most artists did take a reasonable amount of care during tattoo
procedures, it was not nearly as important as it is today. While keeping tattoo
studios under the jurisdiction of the state, city, or county Board of Health may
be an intense measure, it is good to know that reputable tattoo artists consider
it to be important, necessary, and worthwhile.

What Do The Religions Say About Tattoos?

One subject on which the major Biblically-based religions agree is that getting
a tattoo is wrong. Fundamentalist Christians, Catholics, and Jews all agree on
this. They do, however, hold very different viewpoints on why it is wrong. It
is interesting to take a look at the beliefs and viewpoints of these
religions-- not only what each one believes, but what each one bases that
belief upon.

For Fundamentalist Christians, the generally-expressed opinion is that people
should not get tattoos because tattoos are "a pagan practice." Fundamentalist
leaders state that this is a good enough reason for not getting tattoos,
although they also add that there is nothing in the Bible which states that a
person should not. Potential confusion regarding this standpoint is explained
in terms of the Fundamentalist belief that the whole of the Bible consists of
the New Testament, and the New Testament contains no references to tattooing,
either positive or negative. Describing the practice of tattooing as something
that was, or is, done by pagans, constitutes their main objection to the
practice.

As Catholics believe that the Old Testament is as relevant as the New
Testament, the general Catholic negativity toward the subject is covered by
such Scripture passages as Leviticus 19:28, which reads "You shall not make any
cuts in your body for the dead, nor make any tattoo marks on yourselves..." For
most Catholics, though, it is still usually considered to be more a matter of
personal interpretation and personal choice. The usual modern-day Catholic
interpretation of the subject is that while tattooing is indeed wrong by
Biblical standards, it is not necessarily sinful.

The Jewish faith takes the subject, and negativity about it, even further. As
the Books of the Old Testament are taken to be the word of God, and
commandments to be adhered to, in the Jewish faith tattoos are something which
is simply not done. This commandment against any desecration of the body has
been proported to be one of the main reasons tattooing was done on observant
Jews at the concentration camps during the Holocaust; it was not merely a means
of identification as many people assume. It was an attempt to separate observant
Jews from their God, albeit unwillingly.

In the Jewish faith, desecrating the body with tattoos is considered to be such
a violation of the commandments that a person who has tattoos is sometimes
denied burial in Jewish cemeteries. While this used to be the standard
practice, modern times reflecting fewer prohibitions has resulted in this being
less of a concern than in the past. Although today few but the most orthodox
consider it to be a serious issue, it is still indeed an issue.

The general consensus amongst these three major Biblically-based faiths is that
it is wrong to get tattoos, although each one's reasons and points of view
certainly differ. Whatever one's personal faith may happen to be, the two main
factors involve both what one's religion teaches about tattoos, and what their
specific reason is for it. These are important factors regardless of how
observant an person is of his or her particular religion; and makes it clear
that one should consider both factors in order to make an informed decision on
whether or not to get a tattoo.

Tattoos VS. Other Body Art

These days, it is not uncommon for tattoos to be associated with other forms of
body art. In many areas, especially larger cities, tattoo studios are no longer
solely tattoo studios, as they also offer piercings. In combining these two,
two issues frequently arise. First, while many people consider tasteful,
well-done tattoos to be a legitimate form of self-expression through artwork, a
large number in this category also consider body piercing to be unacceptable;
or, at the very least, undesirable. It is difficult to communicate this to
young people, especially teenagers, when an increasing number of tattoo studios
also offer body piercing. Kids will naturally assume that if artwork is
acceptable, acquiring holes and rings in various parts of their anatomies
should also be acceptable.

A second important issue regarding this subject is that while states generally
have strict regulations surrounding tattoos, that is not always the case with
body piercing. Even when tattooing is strictly regulated to the extent that
minors cannot be tattooed, or, in some states, requiring the parent's consent
for the process, it is becoming an increasing problem in some areas that body
piercing carries no such requirements.

There are a couple of serious repercussions to this fact. First, many parents
rightfully consider it to be a violation of parental rights to find that
"piercing artists" can undermine their parental authority by putting piercings
in their under-aged kids, not only without a parent's consent but without their
knowledge in advance.

Second, in the areas where this can legally be done, there is also the issue of
health standards. While the general rule is that a person is presented with risk
factors in writing prior to getting a tattoo, piercing artists often allow
minors to sign health waivers; although this is illegal, it is sometimes done
anyway.

This opens up a whole "can of worms" with both legal and health issues.
Legally, minors cannot sign such forms; but the health aspect of it is also
worth noting. As body piercing carries much higher and more frequent risks of
infection than tattoos, in signing these health waivers the teenager is rarely
aware of how significant these risk factors actually are. While the risk of
infection from body piercing is high enough in general, it can become even more
so depending on the location of the piercing. Having piercings done in areas
that are normally exposed to saliva, or airborne dirt, is simply asking for
trouble. Yet piercing artists are often more concerned about making money than
they are about the potential health repercussions to their young clients.

In addition to these factors, there is also the factor of social stigma. While
youngsters may be accurate in assuming that acquiring body piercings will
impress their teenage or other immature friends, it is not likely that it will
impress anyone else. Even if they withstand parental objections, and ignore the
dismay of school staff and employers, they have yet to see that body piercings
generally do not go over very well in "the real world."

Whether one is most concerned with the potential health risks of body piercing,
or the general consensus of the American population, body piercing has a long
way to go before it is considered an acceptable practice. Tattoos carry some
degree of valid purpose; in the opinion of most American adults, body piercing
has no value other than for its owner to appear less than respectable.

First You Want It, Then You Don't -- Tattoo Removal

A tattoo is meant to be permanent. Unfortunately, what a person might want
today may not be what he or she wants two or twenty years from now. Both the
procedure of and cost of getting a tattoo are relatively minor in comparison to
having it removed at a later date. It may be wise to consider these facts before
visiting your local tattoo artist with design and cash in hand.

Two of the most commonly used methods for getting rid of an unwanted tattoo are
also two of the most unsatisfactory. The first method involves removing a piece
of skin from a less-noticeable part of your body, and grafting it on top of the
tattoo. This odd form of "plastic surgery" covers up the tattoo, but generally
leaves scar tissue, as the skin is not in its normal state. Another popular
method is to simply go to a tattoo artist and have another design tattooed on
top of the unwanted one. With this method, the black outline from the original
tattoo will be noticeable through the new one; the larger the original, and the
more black ink it has, the more difficult it will be to cover it.

A surgical method which is equally if not more unsatisfactory is called
dermabrasion. In layman's terms, you can think of it as going at your skin with
sandpaper. Even when this method is performed by a licensed physician, you will
likely decide that the resulting scar is worse than the original tattoo. The
reason for the scarring is that removing a tattoo by this method means going
through the tattoo and the underlying skin. The scarring left by this method
will leave that portion of your skin a much lighter color and a different
texture than the surrounding skin. Of all tattoo removal methods currently in
practice, dermabrasion is the method which will leave the most noticeable
scarring.

Excision rarely presents a satisfactory alternative, either. As its name
implies, the excision method of tattoo removal consists of having the tattoo
surgically cut out of the skin, and the surrounding skin then sewed back
together. The scar may not be as noticeable as one from the dermabrasion
method, but the rather gruesome excision procedure itself more than makes up
the difference in terms of a procedure which you will probably not like going
through.

A variety of creams are sold for tattoo removal. Tattoo artists state that they
are a waste of money and time, as they do not work. Whatever new concoction is
sold under the guise of being a sure method of getting rid of a tattoo, a
potential customer should keep in mind that since the tattoo is not simply on
the top of the skin but deep into its layers, over-the-counter creams sold for
this purpose will do little if any good. The chemical peel method which uses
trichloroacetic acid produces some degree of results, as it actually removes
the layers of the skin.

Currently, the use of lasers is one of the most common methods of tattoo
removal. It is not as simple as it may sound, however. First, depending on size
and details of the artwork, removal by laser can take up to ten sessions in
order to achieve a degree of results. One source states that each session can
cost between $250-$850 per session. It has been said that the laser removal
method can be quite painful.

The most recent tattoo removal method is Intense Pulsated Light Therapy.
Although it is considered to be less painful, and produces better results than
removal by laser, it is also much more expensive.

The most common sense way of looking at the subject is that if you're planning
to get a tattoo, you should plan on keeping it. None of the methods currently
available for tattoo removal are guaranteed to produce satisfactory results,
and those that show any amount of success in the final results are quite
expensive.

Choosing Your Tattoo Parlor

Once you have made the decision to get a tattoo you'll need to find a qualified
tattoo parlor. This is a very important decision, as it can easily make or break
your tattoo. Before you decide on a tattoo artist or tattoo parlor, you must
first see if they are qualified. There are hundreds of thousands of tattoo
parlors out there, some better than others. If you go to a less than perfect
tattoo parlor, you could very well end up with an infection that can cause you
more trouble than you ever thought possible. Finding out how long a parlor has
been in business is very important -- as this will tell you how much business
the parlor receives.

When you look for the best parlor you should always watch for those who have
the best history with keeping their equipment clean. Clean equipment and a
clean studio is without a doubt the most important consideration when dealing
with tattoos.

If the artist isn't licensed or not a professional there will be little to no
guarantee that the equipment is clean. Health is a big concern with tattoos for
most people, and for good reason. If you are looking to get a tattoo you should
always make sure that the artists are licensed, the parlor is clean -- and the
equipment is sanitized and cleaned after each and every tattoo.

The best tattoo parlors will welcome you in with open arms, anticipating your
business. When you meet the tattoo artist, he should be friendly and not
intimidate you at all, nor should he at any time attempt to push a design on
you. Under no circumstances should the artist try and talk you into getting a
more expensive tattoo design if all you want is something small and simple.

Pushy sales and unfriendly salesmen are common pitfalls with most businesses.
Tattoo parlors should always be friendly and open to what you want. Although
the more experienced tattoo artists will offer their opinions, they shouldn't
try to push you around. If a tattoo artists thinks there will be a problem with
your design or if he thinks he can do anything to improve it, he will more than
likely let you know. If he is able to save you some money, the higher quality
tattoo artists won't think twice about doing so.

Before you decide on a tattoo parlor to do your tattoo, you should always
compare what's available to you and weigh out your options. The higher quality
tattoo parlors will cost quite a bit of money, more than the other parlors.
This is to be expected, as the higher quality studios cost more to pay their
artists and keep their parlor nice and clean. These parlors are among the best
in the world, with sparkling floors and a clean interior. The tattoo artists
here ensure that their rooms are clean, with most wiping down their equipment
and materials every chance they get.

The ideal way to find tattoo parlors in your area or close by is to use the
Internet and search or just open a local phone book. If you look for the
keyword tattoos, you'll find several that are relatively close to you. Once you
have found some addresses, simply drive out there and take a look around. If you
like what you see, you can always come back. You shouldn't rush your decision --
but instead look at what each tattoo parlor has to offer you.

Celtic Tattoos

Celtic history goes back thousands and thousands of years. Early Celtic people
were well known for their skills in artwork of jewelry, metal, and even
weapons. They were warriors as well, regarded as fierce fighters by the Romans.
Throughout Ireland, there are many examples and evidence of Celtic artwork and
Celtic crosses.

Over the years, modern Celtics evolved and established symbols for themselves
along the way. Throughout North America, Celtic people often wear these symbols
to let others know that they are a Celtic descent. The symbols and knowledge
have been passed down through the years, as there is little no written history.
Tattooing however, keeps the Celtic tradition alive with the infamous Celtic
cross and other popular Celtic designs.

Most Celtic tattoo designs come from Ireland, where the evidence of Celtic
history is very strong indeed. The Trinity College found in Dublin, Ireland,
contains many manuscripts that document the Celtic heritage and symbols. The
height of Celtic tattooing however, occurred during the era when stone and
metal work was really popular.

Celtic knot tattoos are some of the most popular and most common designs,
featuring loops with no end that symbolize a never ending cycle of dying and
rebirth. There are also Celtic animal tattoo designs as well, which are similar
in design to the knot tattoos, although the cords in the design normally
terminate in heads, tails, and feet. The pure knot tattoo designs are normally
never ending, unless an individual adds an end to symbolize a spiral.

The meaning behind the knots in Celtic tattoos defies any type of literal
translation and is found at a much deeper level. The interlacing of the knots
expresses the repeated crossing of both physical and spiritual elements. The
strands and their never ending path is a popular design for Celtic tattoos,
representing life, faith, and love. For many years, Celtics have used these
designs for emotional as well as heritage purposes.

Those who are from a Celtic descent, Irish, Scots, or Welsh, normally find a
Celtic tattoo to be a great way to express their heritage pride. These tattoos
help to reestablish pride, and give tribute to one's ancestors. The tattoos
aren't easy to do, most taking several hours. Unlike other tattoo designs,
Celtic tattoos are among the hardest designs in the world.

If you are from a Celtic descent and have decided to get a Celtic tattoo, the
first thing to do is find an artist capable of doing the tattoo. The designs
are very difficult and not all tattoo artists can do them. It's always best to
find a tattoo artist who has a background in Celtic designs, as this will
ensure the tattoo is done correctly. The artist who does the tattoo needs to
have an eye for detail and exact line placement -- which is a skill that not
all tattoo artists possess.

Celebrities Love Tattoos

It is not really surprising to learn that many celebrities love tattoos, nor is
it surprising that those who are in the public eye and in the media have quite a
significant influence on the American population's fascination with tattoos. The
stars have tattoos, so all of their fans want tattoos also. For celebrities, age
is not a factor; older stars as well as the younger ones have them. We know all
of these people-- but how much do we know about what unique styles of artwork
they have?

One of America's most longtime popular movie stars, Robert DeNiro, has appeared
in movies sporting numerous tattoos. Whether or not his fans realize that they
are only accessories for his films, the fact is in real life Robert DeNiro has
only one tattoo, that of a black panther. Another actor who shows off many
tattoos in his movies is Johnny Depp; all of his, however, are real. Bruce
Willis also has a few tattoos; most notably the symbol of his movie "Die Hard."

Tattoos have long been in style with musicians. Former teen idol Justin
Timberlake has a guardian angel, amongst others. Rapper Eminem has more tattoos
than can be counted, including his daughter's name and his own. The wording on
Keith Urban's wrist, "Omni Vincit Amor" is Latin for 'Love Conquers All;' he
also has an eagle on one arm.

Some sports celebrities also go for tattoos. Michael Jordan has his fraternity
symbol tattooed above his heart, while Dennis Rodman is a virtual canvas of
artwork.

Not to be outdone, many female stars also show various degrees of artwork.
Young actress Drew Barrymore is essentially a canvas full of tattoos; it is
said that she created most of the designs herself. Reese Witherspoon is more
subtle, wearing only one small star tattoo which is rarely visible. Pamela
Anderson has a variety of tattoos also, the most notable being the word 'Mommy'
on one finger, which reportedly used to read 'Tommy.' Spice Girl Victoria
Beckham has five stars to represent each member of her family, her husband's
initials, and the traditional Jewish phrase 'I am my beloved's, and my beloved
is mine.'

Some of today's supermodels also sport tattoos. Kate Moss, Christy Turlington,
and Stephanie Seymour all have these permanent forms of fashion accessories.
Most supermodels who opt for tattoos show fewer and smaller designs than
celebrities in other fields.

While many celebrities have had tattoos for a very long time, the popularity of
tattoos amongst stars has been increasing, both in the number of celebrities who
have them and the number of tattoos that they have. A very few have only one
tattoo; more and more are taking on a large number of tattoos as well as more
and more visible tattoos, using skin as a canvas for nearly unlimited varieties
of permanent artwork.

As celebrities show off their tattoos, and this is picked up by the media, it
presents an ever-increasing influence for their fans, especially amongst the
younger generation, to want to do likewise. As with anything else that stars do
in the public eye, their influence with tattoos helps this form of artwork
become more widespread, more popular, and more acceptable to most of the
American population in general.

Celebrities and Their Tattoos

When deciding on whether or not to get a tattoo, the first thing to think about
is how the tattoo will be a permanent mark on the body. The next thing to
consider is what the preferred style might be. Most tattoo parlors have samples
of previous designs that can be altered to suit the customer. But what many
people enjoy is sampling and mimicking what many of those whom we idolize might
have already had created.

Today, celebrities influence much of what is done in society. Clothing styles,
hair dos, things to eat, places to hang out and, yes, even tattoos are often
influenced by many celebrities. There are more famous people that have tattoos
than what has been originally thought. Some may be quite surprising.

As many people know, Angelina Jolie is one of the most popular tattooed
actresses today. She flaunts over a dozen tattoos, each with their own meaning.
Angelina Jolie is such a fan of tattoos that there are always plans for more in
the future.
In fact, she's made the tribal dragon tattoo the most popular among women.

When it comes to tattoos and famous actresses, it's certain that Pamela
Anderson's name will be brought up. The arm band was made popular almost
entirely due to Pamela Anderson. She also put an emphasis on the barbed wire
tattoo as it's one of her most well known marks.

Mike Tyson sports a facial tattoo that is of Maori influence. While the tattoo
didn't exactly cause a boom in applied facial tattoos, it does prove
interesting among tattoo enthusiasts.

Johnny Depp is one highly acknowledge actor for having tattoos. He's decorated
with over twelve known tattoos all with stories behind them. Depp's tattoo on
his right bicep is the most well known. When Johnny Depp and Wynona Ryder were
together, he had "Wynona Forever" tattooed on his arm. When the relationship
ended, it was modified to say "Wino Forever." A good example of why tattoos
should be thought through before taking the leap.

A group tattoo was made for those actors in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Each
actor received a tattoo of the word "nine" written in Elvish script. Tattooed on
different areas of the body, and a first tattoo for some, each member now has a
permanent mark commemorating the making of the movies.

Other movie celebrities where we will find many tattoos to admire or copy
include Drew Barrymore, Julia Roberts, Gillian Anderson, Alyssa Milano, and
Christina Ricci. We can also find tattoos in music artists such as Billy Idol,
Eminem, Henry Rollins and Brittany Spears. Kobe Bryant, Dennis Rodman, Anna
Kournikova, and Stone Cold Steve Austin make up just a few of the sports models
that flaunt their own ink.

This is just a sampling of a few of the tattoos that are likely to be found
among celebrities. These people are acknowledged and admired for their style
and personalities. Many of them have caused booms in the tattoo trends
throughout the years with special emphasis on designs that closely resemble
their own. It's not unusual or unheard of by tattoo artists to receive requests
for a tattoo that looks just like one sported by the hip celebrity of the times.

Caring For A New Tattoo

When you finally decide to get a tattoo, the first thing you'll need to do is
find a reputable tattoo artist. Most tattoo artists have several designs that
you can pick from. If you don't find anything you like, you can always ask him
to make a custom tattoo. You should always be careful in what you choose, as
you'll have the tattoo for the rest of your life. The design is very important,
although not nearly as important as taking care of it.

Good tattoo artists will also clean and apply antiseptic ointment to your
tattoo as they create it. Expert artists know that this helps keep the tattoo
healthy. Once the tattoo is finished, the artists will wipe it down, clean it
off good, and apply another coat of antiseptic ointment. Once the ointment has
been applied, he will put a piece of soft tissue or cellophane over the tattoo.

Once the tattoo is finished, the artists should tell you how to take care of
your new tattoo. Some of the better artists will talk to you and give you a
detailed sheet with all of the information you need. If you went to a tattoo
artist who didn't explain this to you, you may be wondering just what you
should do. Taking care of a tattoo isn't hard -- as long as you know what you
can and can't do.

When you first get home with your new tattoo, you should never hop right in the
shower. You should keep it dry for the first few days, but also clean it every
few hours. Before you touch the tattoo or clean it, you should always make sure
that your hands are clean. If you keep your hands clean, you won't have to worry
about an infection.

You'll also want to visit your local drugstore and purchase a tube of A&D
ointment. A&D ointment is the best to use. A&D will keep your tattoo clean and
shiny and should be used for the first few days. Once the ointment starts to
dry on the tattoo, you should wipe the old application off and apply some more.
Don't rub it too hard, or you could damage the healing process. For the first
few days, you should avoid using soap as well.

After 5 -- 6 days, you can quit using the ointment. A&D ointment will keep your
tattoo healthy, which you'll notice the first time you apply it. After you stop
using it, you should use an unscented body lotion. You want to avoid body
lotions that have scents, as they can easily irritate the tender skin that
resides under your tattoo.

After you have used the lotion for a few days, you can stop using it. Most
tattoos, after they have healed, tend to leave a scab in some areas. If your
tattoo has a scab, you should be careful when you try to pick it. If you aren't
careful, you could end up damaging your design. The best thing to do is you have
a scab is to leave it alone. You can put A&D ointment on it if you want, as most
of the time a scab will itch.

A tattoo can be a great thing to have providing you take care of it. Tattoos
will stay with your for the rest of your life, unless you choose to get them
surgically removed. Taking care of your tattoo now will keep it healthy and
infection free in the long run. If you follow the above advice on how to take
care of your tattoo -- you won't have anything to worry about.

Are Tattoos An Addiction?

The longtime connection between tattoos and individuals of questionable
character is not the sole account for why tattoos are frequently given a bad
reputation. While of course this connection, which is becoming less and less of
a factor as each generation progresses, has been true in many circumstances, the
subject of tattoos in the present day has yet another cloud over its reputation;
it is darker, and rarely based on the truth.

From both those who know and those who do not, there are frequent insinuations
about the "addictive" characteristics of tattooing. Many people sport multiple
tattoos; some have acquired them over a number of years or decades, while
others make regular trips to their favorite tattoo studios, but arbitrarily
labeling this as an "addiction" is unfair, unrealistic, and rarely based in
fact. As each person has his or her own individual reason for getting tattoos,
it is impossible to know what a person's reason is unless he or she states it.
Some like artwork, some wish to honor a special person, some get tattoos in
order to feel a part of some specific group, some people just enjoy spending
money. In other words, most people have their own individual reasons for
getting tattoos, and it is almost never a matter of being "addicted" to them.

There are two parts of this misconception. Both play a role in giving a bad
reputation to the subject of tattoos as well as to the people who elect to get
them. The first is that people are addicted to the tattoos themselves; the
second misconception is that people are addicted to the process of getting
them-- specifically, that they are "addicted to pain." One might wonder the
mindset of anyone who states the latter opinion; but it certainly provides
quite a scope of misunderstandings on the entire subject.

One tattoo artist, in remarking that tattoos are a "fever," had been referring
to the simple, if odd, enjoyment which many of his clients had in being able to
spend money to buy permanent artwork for themselves. "I think I'll get another
one" was something often heard in his studio. This did not constitute
"addiction" by any definition of the word. Nor, in his decades of practice as a
tattoo artist, did he ever have a customer who even remotely enjoyed the
discomfort of the tattooing process.

The word, and its mistaken applicability to tattoos, is often tossed around by
those who know too well what the word "addiction" really means. Addiction is a
compulsion, something over which a person has no self-control. Addiction cannot
differentiate between a "want" and a "need." Individuals who do have numerous
addictions-- drugs, alcohol, behaviors, etc.-- can very well become addicted to
tattoos. However, that is certainly not the case for the majority of people who
decide to get them. Most people who get tattoos do so simply because they want
them; they do not possess the weakness of character which leads addicts in the
position of being compelled to do something.

The concept that a person gets tattoos because he or she is addicted to pain
and therefore enjoys the painful process of being tattooed can only come from
either the most ignorant or those who have some personal issues of their own.

Unfortunately, both of these misconceptions shed a very negative light on both
the subject of tattoos and the people who wear them. It is a bad reputation
which neither deserve, for there is almost never any fact in either point of
view. While there are those who get tattoos with less than desirable motives,
most people who get them do so with no negative attachment to either the
tattoos or the process whatsoever. The bottom line is if you find someone who
is attempting to convince you that getting tattoos is an addiction, you've
probably found someone who actually is an addict and does not realize that most
people are not.

Application Techniques Of Tattoos

Tattoos are more common these days than they have ever been in the past. As we
all know, tattoos are decorative markings in the skin, such as symbols, signs,
and letters that are applied by puncturing the outer layer of the skin and
injecting color. Tattoo guns are the best instrument to use, as they move
extremely fast and are sharp enough to easily puncture the skin.

There are several types of tattoo guns available, many of which use a very
sharp needle. There are guns out there that use more than needle, although they
aren't ideal for tattoos that require strict lines or designing. Single needle
tattoo guns are the best for tattoo applications, although the needles need to
be changed out after each tattoo. Tattoo needles can be very dangerous if they
aren't disposed of -- possibly leading to serious infection if they are used
over and over again without being disinfected or disposed of.

There are also tattoos out there known as "jailhouse tattoos". These types of
tattoos are normally found in jails and prisons, using homemade material for
tattoo guns. Normally, tattoo artists in jails and prisons will make their own
guns, using batteries and needles for ordinary ink pens. These tattoos aren't
very safe, and normally lead to infection. The skin is punctured to inject the
ink, although with jailhouse tattoo guns the needle will literally pull and
jerk at the skin, ripping it and normally going very deep with the ink.

If the skin is jerked or ripped, it can result in the tattoo looking horrible.
In most cases, if the ink goes too deep into the skin, it can lead to an
infection. Deep ink also looks terrible as well, especially if it penetrates
the third layer of skin. For that very reason, jailhouse tattoo applications
aren't recommended and should be avoided at all costs.

With any tattoo, color is very important. Black and white are the most commonly
used colors, although there are other colors used as well. Tattoos need to have
an equal balance of color, along with the right shape. If the shapes used in
your design follow the contours of your body, the tattoo will look even more
impressive. Therefore, you should always have your tattoo applied by someone
with a lot of experience.

From a technical standpoint, tattoos involve micro pigment implantation, as
they are a form of body modification. Tattoos are a design in ink, normally
symbolic or decorative, permanently placed under your skin. Tattoos have been
around for hundreds of years, although tattoos in the past used everyday
needles and ink -- with a very high risk of infection. Although they are very
common and very popular, tattoos always have risks. No matter what type of
application method is involved, there will always be a risk of infection.

Today, electronic tattoo machines are the most common methods of tattooing.
With electronic tattoo guns, the ink is injected into the skin by a group of
needles that are attached to a bar. The electronic gun moves very fast, going
in and out of the skin hundreds of thousand of times per minute. If an
experienced tattoo artist uses the gun, the results can be amazing. Experienced
tattoo artists are always the way to go, as they have the experience to give you
the results you want.

With the right tattoo artist and the right application technique -- you should
have a tattoo that you can be proud of.

A Tattoo?! Are You Crazy?!

One certainly does not need to be a sociopath in order to get tattoos, nor does
the appearance of a tattoo mean that a person is one. However, numerous studies
have shown that most sociopaths do indeed have tattoos as being one of their
strongest common factors. In addition, a well-known crime writer stated in an
interview that every single one of the many serial killers he had spoken with
had had multiple tattoos. For many people, tattoos hold no negative
connotation; for those who already have serious personality defects, tattoos
are often a very visible symbol of it. For those in the latter category,
everything about tattoos has an entirely different purpose and meaning than it
does to the majority-- why they feel the need to get them, and what they
represent.

Psychologists tend to refer to tattoos as "body modification;" and most have
both very strong opinions and knowledge about how tattoos are connected to
those who are in the minority. On the most clearly defined side, psychologists
state that for those who already exhibit signs of personality defects, tattoos
are but an extension of their anti-social personalities. It is said that these
types of individuals who engage in drug use, promiscuity, and violence, merely
make tattoos a part of that particular lifestyle.

Psychologists state that these traits, coupled with tattoos, are linked to
subclinical psychopathy. In clearer terms, for this segment of the population,
getting tattoos is yet another means of "thumbing one's nose" at society, and
of displaying one's sense of self-importance. As one of the foundations of
sociopathy is to refuse to adhere to what is generally considered to be
acceptable behavior. given that tattoos still have some degree of negativity
associated with them, they are of special allure to those who already have
serious personality problems. For these people, acquiring tattoos is primarily
an aggressive means of defying what is conventional.

In using tattoos in this manner, one also presents a "tough" image. The problem
with this is when one uses what to most people is relatively harmless to portray
a sense of toughness, it is rare that the individual in question will stop at
artwork. For one who connects tattoos with toughness, aggression in his
behavior is also a very real possibility.

While this fact is relevant to sociopaths in general, and cannot afford to be
overlooked, it takes on an even darker side for those who commit serious
violent crimes. In research regarding serial killers, a much worse connection
comes up about tattoos. Continuing with the factors already evident in
sociopaths, there are the additional factors of causing bodily harm and of
refusing to let go. In plainer terms, these types of individuals gain tattoos--
often by their own attempts-- both as a means of expressing hatred and as a
means of permanently holding on to the objects of their hatred.

On a slightly lesser but still important scale, as most of the individuals who
fall into the categories of sociopaths and violent criminals were subjected to
severe abuse in childhood, it is relevant to note that it is not unusual at all
for them to display, in their adult life, tattoos with the name or some
representative symbol of their abusive parent.

When facts like this are taken into consideration, even if much of the
population isn't aware of it, it's no wonder tattoos have such a negative
reputation. While it is true that most people in the United States of America
choose to get tattoos for no negative reason and no underlying motives
whatsoever, learning that tattoos are a common standard amongst sociopaths and
serial killers does tend to lend a less-than-desirable quality to the entire
subject.

Things To Expect From Tattoo Removal

At some point or another or for various reasons, people often make the decision
to get their tattoo removed. In some cases the tattoo will reflect a lost love
and sometimes the tattoo will be something that the individual doesn't want
anymore.

Whatever the cause may be, getting a tattoo removed is a decision that takes
quite of bit of time and thought.

If you've been thinking about getting a tattoo removed, you'll need to start
out by making an appointment with a local doctor or dermatologist and discuss
your options. Your doctor will look over the tattoo, the condition of the
tattoo, and which methods he thinks will work best for the removal.

All methods of tattoo removal do require surgery, which in itself will carry
along risks and side effects. Even though you may be getting a simple surgery,
there may be complications with it as well. For this very reason, you should
always consider getting a tattoo removed very carefully. It's very important
that you be extremely sure you want the tattoo removed before you proceed with
any type of tattoo removal surgery.

Most often times your doctor or dermatologist will be able to explain to you
step by step how the surgery works, how long it will take to complete, and the
type of recovery that you can expect. As you probably already know, the surgery
site will be quite tender for a long period of time and will more than likely
result in scarring. As time goes by however, the scarring will tend to lessen
eventually to the point where it isn't all that visible.

The answer to scarring however, all depends on the tattoo's size. If you have a
large tattoo, the scarring result will be more than that of a smaller tattoo.
Depending on where you have the tattoo that you want removed, you may notice
quite a bit of pain. Certain areas of the body, such as the chest and elbows
are more sensitive than other areas of the body.

Once you and your doctor have agreed on a decision to remove the tattoo, you'll
be given an appointment time for the surgery. It may or may not be performed as
outpatient surgery; it all depends on your health and any complications that
may arise. In most cases, those that had tattoo removal surgery are held
overnight and observed before being allowed to go home. Before you have the
surgery, you should always speak to your surgeon and find out if there are any
known risks associated with your procedure.

As many know, the costs of getting a tattoo removed can be very expensive. If
the tattoo is a large one, the expenses can be outrageous. Most insurance
companies won't pay for these costs unless there is a medial or health reason
involved. With insurance not paying for the removal of the tattoo, you'll need
to pay costs out of pocket. You should always talk to your doctor and make
payment arrangements before you have the surgery. Once they are approved, you
shouldn't have anything to worry about in terms of costs.

Getting a tattoo removed can be expensive, painful, and impose risks that
you'll need to think about. Even though you can get a tattoo removed, many
wonder if it's worth it. The best way to deal with tattoos and their removal --
is to avoid getting them in the first place -- especially if there is any doubt
in your mind that you may not want them later on.

The Meanings Of Flower Tattoos

These days, more and more women are getting tattoos. As more women decide to
get tattoos, flower designs continue to rise in popularity. The best thing
about flower tattoos is the fact that there are many different colors and types
of flowers -- providing many different meanings as well. The flowers can mean a 
few different things, although specific types of flowers such as the rose and 
the Lilly may have a more specific meaning.

In general, flower tattoos have a connection with nature, bringing up thoughts
and images of life and vitality. Anytime we look at a flower, we see the
duration of life, simply flowers connect with us in the sense that we both
grow. Flowers emerge from the earth and continue to grow on a daily basis.
Then, the flowers bloom, knowing that they will later dry up and start to wilt
away.

Having a tattoo with a flower brings back the entire process known as life.
Keep in mind however, that different colors and flowers on tattoos will
symbolize other things as well. White flower tattoos symbolize purity, while
red flower tattoos can symbolize a burning passion. There are many colors and
designs available, giving plenty of meaning to those desiring flower tattoos.

Roses are the most common flower design for tattoos, symbolizing love. During
the turn of the 16th century, roses were tattooed on those who were sentenced
to death. If they were to escape from the gallows, the rose tattoo would serve
as a symbol to easily recognize them. These days, roses symbolize both love and
passion. Roses have long been known as a romantic flower, popular for special
occasions with the ones we love.

In the western regions, rose tattoos are a symbol of love and purity. In the
Eastern regions however, love and purity are symbolized by a lotus flower.
Tattoos that feature lotus flowers also bring a little more meaning to the
table. Lotus tattoos are also known to symbolize fortune, peace, beauty, and
goodness. Even though roses are the most popular tattoos in North America,
Lotus flower tattoos are more common in other regions.

Other examples include the acacia flower tattoo which is the symbol for love
and friendship. There are some people with Irish heritage who choose to get
tattoos with the flower known as the Bells of Ireland. This flower is well
known throughout Ireland, with the tattoo symbolizing good luck. Irish who have
this tattoo are known to be lucky, or have an insane trend with luck.

Those who think of themselves as being the perfect lover may want to get a
tulip tattooed on their arm. Tattoos with tulips represent passionate love and
fame for being a great lover. If you happen to be shy and timid, you may want
to go with a violet flower tattoo instead. Violets are common tattoos for those
who are shy and timid, and enjoy taking things slow. Those wanting to symbolize
wisdom and virtue on the other hand, would be well to get an Iris. Magnolias
are also common with flower tattoos, as they symbolize an individual's love for
nature.

Flower tattoos are very common and popular designs these days, giving plenty of
meaning behind their beauty. The flowers can be large or small and as bold as
you wish them to be. No matter which flower you have decided to use with your
tattoo, you can ensure that the flower says the meaning you are looking for.

Information To Known Before Getting A Tattoo

Before you decide to get a tattoo, you should always take a little bit of time
to talk to your tattoo artist. When you speak to him, you should be sure to ask
questions and find out anything you can about your new tattoo. You should also
find out information about his background, and other important bits of
information that will assist you in moving forward with your decision.

The first thing you should find out is how long the parlor has been in
business. This will let you know just how professional the quality of tattoo
work is and the overall reputation for the business. If the tattoo parlor
belongs to the Better Business Bureau you can always check their record and see
if any complaints have been files about the business in the last few years.

You should also find out about his qualifications as well. Experience is a must
here, as infections and other diseases can easily be contracted if the equipment
isn't clean. Tattoo artists deal with needles on a daily basis, making
experience very important. Finding out how much experience and qualifications a
tattoo artists has will tell you quite a bit about what you can expect from them.

You'll also want to find out if the tattoo studio guarantees their work. In the
unlikely event that you don't like the outcome of the tattoo, you'll obviously
want it to be fixed. The better studios will fix it without requiring any
money. Refund policies are also important, especially if you don't like the
quality or the workmanship of the tattoo.

The cost is also very important. Before you decide to get a tattoo or agree to
anything, you'll obviously want to know the full cost. The bigger tattoos can
be quite expensive, although even the smallest of tattoos can be expensive as
well, especially if you're on a budget. You can save yourself a lot of time and
prevent any type of surprises by knowing the costs upfront.

Infection is also something you'll want to find out about. The better tattoo
artists can provide information about infections, and tell you how to prevent
them. They will also tell you about their services, and how they can prevent
you from getting an infection. When you ask infections, he should also be able
to tell you exactly what to do if you think you are developing an infection as
well.

If you suffer from a fear of needles, you should always ask if there is a way
to help you. You should never feel bad about asking, as many people are deathly
afraid of needles. Needles are used with tattoos, as there is no other way to
put the ink in the skin. If you are afraid of getting a tattoo due to the
needles, you should make sure that you let your tattoo artist know. Chances
are, he may be able to take extra steps to make the process go as smoothly as
possible.

Asking questions is never a bad thing when it comes to getting a tattoo. If a
tattoo artist hesitates to answer any question you ask or acts hasty towards
you, you should always leave and find another tattoo artist. Tattoos always
have risks and concern, which is why tattoo artists should be more than willing
to answer any questions that you may have. Asking questions can help to ease
your concern and make you feel better about the artist -- which is why you
should always make sure you write a list of questions before you visit the
tattoo parlor.

How to Find a Good Tattoo Artist

Let's say that you've considered all the effects of having tattoo. It's been
considered that it'll be a lifelong commitment and is a permanent mark on the
body, aside from having it surgically removed. You know what type of design
you'd like to have created. You know exactly where on the body you'd like it
imprinted. Now, you've got to find a good place to have it done.

The first thing to do is some research. Ask friends and family members who
currently have tattoos where they got theirs done. Find out what their
experiences were like. Ask if it was a clean environment, if it was comfortable
and if the designs turned out to their satisfaction. Many times, tattoo parlors
will be able to refer names of customers who can recommend their services.

While word of mouth is typically the best advertisement, you can also simply
try opening the phone book. Locate local tattoo parlors and give them a call.
They should be more than willing to answer any questions you might have. At
best they should allow you to come and visit the facility to become comfortable
with the surroundings prior to committing to becoming tattooed.

During a tattoo parlor visit, first determine the cleanliness of the facility.
Make sure tools are sterilized between each customer and disposable and single
use needles are indeed disposed of after each use. General cleanliness is just
as important; if care isn't taken with building upkeep, then it can be believed
that care won't be taken elsewhere in the business.

Chat with the tattoo artists and the staff members. If you don't feel
comfortable asking any questions or expressing concerns with them, chances are
you won't feel comfortable having them put a permanent mark on your body. You
should feel completely at ease as it's possible that a large amount of time may
be spent with them.

Check the designs of particular tattoo parlors. One very helpful tip is to
compare art with an actual tattoo to compare how closely the tattoo resembles
the tattoo itself. It's wise to inspect what kind of design range the tattoo
artist is capable of. One might have a hundred different photos of skulls and
crosses but it can be very different than having a butterfly, rose or a name
tattooed on. Be sure the artist is very flexible.

The Internet can be a very useful too when it comes to business searching.
Simply type in "tattoos" and the name of your geographical location into any
search engine and you should be given a list of choices for places to check
out. The Internet can also prove helpful to get opinions on certain tattoo
parlors through blogs, forums and chat rooms. Information obtained from the
Internet should always be double checked and checked again for confirmation as
opinions will widely vary.

When finding a tattoo artist in your area, it's important to always be
comfortable with your decision. While it is understood that the tattoo will be
a permanent mark on the body and great thought should be put into the design
and the location on the body in which it will be placed, it is also imperative
to be sure you are completely comfortable with the tattoo artist. After all,
you'll want to be positive that this lifelong design will be done accurately
and correctly.

How Tattoos Are Made

Many times when we think of tattoos, we think of a very long and painful
process. This is often a very frightening thought. A lot of people wouldn't
even think of getting a tattoo simply because of their idea of what the process
involves.

To understand what getting a tattoo means, we have to first take a quick look
at a small part of the human anatomy. The skin is made up of two layers; the
epidermis and the dermis. The epidermis is the outer layer of skin; the part we
can see and touch. The dermis is the deeper layer, or secondary layer.

When a tattoo is applied, the ink is injected deep into the dermis. As the
epidermis sheds an enormous amount of cells every day, the dermis is a much
more appropriate place to inject ink. Otherwise, shedding occurs causing the
tattoo to be only temporary. When injected into the dermis, the tattoo ink
lasts a lifetime.

The method of creating a tattoo has not changed much since the beginning. It is
believed that designs were created in the skin using sharp pieces of bone in the
distant past. Today, needles deliver the ink into the dermis. These needles can
produce up to 30,000 punctures per minute.

Tattoos are made by a process similar to stippling. A series of dots creates
the image of the design. More dots closer together creates a darker or more
solid in appearance picture. Spread apart, the dots make a lighter image or a
shading effect.

The tattoo machine that the artist uses to create the design consists of three
main parts. An ink source that contains the special ink of the chosen color is
typically connected to the machine. A tube connects the ink source to the
machine. The needle is the part of the machine that pierces the skin
administering the ink.

Most tattoo artists use single use or disposable needles. Sterilization is one
of the most important things with tattoo art. These needles should always be
completely sterilized prior to being used on a person. Needles are then
discarded after use.

The tattoo ink comes in a wide array of colors. Virtually any design with any
color combination can be created. Tattoo artists and parlors have samples on
display but can always change aspects of a design to fit an individual's
preference.

With the chosen design and color choice, the tattoo machine with selected
needle type and the decided location on the body, the tattoo is administered by
puncturing the skin while the ink is injected. The time frame that it takes to
get a tattoo varies depending on the intricacy and size of the design.

Pain can be a part of the experience. However, it isn't often as bad as
expected. Many people with tattoos describe the procedure as annoying more than
painful. Many times the most uncomfortable part is having to sit still in the
same position for the given length of time.

After care is an important part of the tattoo process. Bandaging will be
necessary, some bleeding may occur and care will need to be taken to reduce
exposure to sunlight and excessive water. Rubbing and scratching the newly
created tattoo can cause scaring. It can also cause the image to distort
permanently.

Pain can vary depending on the individual's pain tolerance. Where the tattoo
will be applied on the body can also be a variable in the amount of pain.
Overall, the process is fairly quick and painless when compared to the end
result.

Free Tattoo Designs

Each and every one of us is always on the lookout for great deals and any way
to save money that we can find. With the Internet being so popular these days,
many people often turn to the Internet for free tattoo designs. For most of us,
free is always the way to go. When you stop and think about it, a free tattoo
design sounds a lot better than paying as much as $150.00 for one at a tattoo
studio. The fact about it is simple -- someone could just as easily draw their
tattoo design themselves and then pay the tattoo artist to put the tattoo on
them.

If you give it some thought, you may begin to wonder if free tattoo designs are
actually worth it in the end. The fact of them being free is always great,
although you may wonder if the design is something you would like to display
permanently on your body. When you show your new tattoo to friends, they may
think negative thoughts when you tell them that you got the design free off the
Internet. Each and every time you show your tattoo people will want to know
about the message and the design, which you'll probably need to think about.

All of us are familiar with the old saying "you get what you pay for", and it's
truly no different in this scenario. Although there are hundreds and hundreds of
websites on the Internet that provide free tattoo designs, few of them are
really worth the interest. Most of the free designs out there on the Internet
are very poor quality. Therefore, it would be in your best interest to wait and
have a professional tattoo artist make the design for you.

Those who choose to go with free tattoo designs will tell you that tattoos are
very expensive and they can't afford to have a professional tattoo artists draw
up the design. Some people, when dealing with custom tattoo designs, will say
that their tattoo artist doesn't do custom designs or that he just don't want
to do theirs. Although most of this may be true to an extent, there truly is no
better way to get a tattoo than using a design made by a professional tattoo
artist.

As most already know, free tattoo designs are normally made by those who know
next to nothing about tattoo designing. In most cases, these designs are made
by someone who is looking to make a quick profit instead of a true professional
tattoo artist. You can easily tell that they aren't professional quality simply
by looking at them. Most free designs have poor quality, poor lines, and often
times the work appears to be made on a personal computer. You certainly
wouldn't want to use something like this with your tattoo -- simply because you
will be showing it the rest of your life.

If you spend a lot of time searching on the Internet for free tattoo designs,
you may be able to find a few with good quality. There are some good quality
designs out there, although you'll probably have to search quite a bit to find
them. It's best to have an idea in mind about the tattoo you want then look for
it that way. Although it may take you some time, you could very well find it. If
you do come across it as a free tattoo design -- you should always triple check
the quality before you decide to have it done.

The Costs Of Tattoos

Once you have made the decision to get a tattoo, you'll find yourself facing a
very important task -- the budget. Tattoos have long been known to be very
expensive, with the bigger ones costing up in the thousands. Although you may
be able to find some designs and studios that are within your budget, you'll
still face some very important decisions.

The cost of a tattoo is the most common question people ponder before they get
a tattoo. Although they can be very expensive, they are still within your
reach. Most people who know they are getting a tattoo will save their money up.
Even though you may have an average job and don't make a lot of money, a tattoo
can still be well within your reach if you save your money up for a few months.
This way, you'll have more than enough to spare when you finally get the tattoo
you have been saving up for.

In the world of tattoos, you get what you pay for. If you've got your own
design that you want tattooed, tattoo artists will normally charge you anywhere
from 30 -- 250 dollars an hour. If you want the tattoo artist to design a tattoo
for you, you'll probably end up paying more. Depending on the size and location
of the tattoo, you can easily spend thousands. Tattoos that cover the entire
back for example, can cost you as much as fifteen thousand dollars!

The best thing to do is to find a studio and design that you like, and then
look into how much it will cost you. You should always look for the cleanest
and most sanitary studio first. Once you have found a sanitary tattoo studio,
you should meet the tattoo artists and talk to them a bit to see how friendly
they are. When you look at the prices of the tattoos, you should never
sacrifice quality for price. Even though a studio may cost you more, the
quality will normally be better than other tattoo studios in the area.

Although you may be able to find a tattoo studio that will do their work for a
cheap price, you should never rush into getting a tattoo strictly for the
price. Even though a cheap price may sound good, the quality of the work could
be lacking. Tattoo studios that charge expensive prices normally do so because
they have the best artists and the best quality work.

Once you have chosen a studio and had your tattoo done, you should always make
sure to tip your artist. If he does exceptional work, you should make it well
worth his time and give him a nice tip. Tattoo artists who do high quality work
love to get tips -- and they will always appreciate your business if you treat
them as good as they treat you.

Temporary Tattoos

This day and age, more and more people are deciding to get permanent tattoos,
leaving their mark of choice on their skin. If the tattoo is applied by an
experienced artist, the risk involved will be minimal. As sad as it is however,
many people who get tattoos end up going to studios that use unsanitary
equipment -- resulting in infections or other serious problems.

Years ago, temporary tattoos were found in quarter machines, bubble gum
wrappers, and even toy sections of the local store. Children loved to get these
temporary tattoos, as they presented a way for children to have a tattoo -- one
that was completely safe and would wash off. Now days, even adults are
beginning to think that this is the right idea. The temporary tattoos of today
are no longer just for children, as most last a long time -- making them
perfect for adults.

The best thing about temporary tattoos, is the fact that they are indeed
temporary. With temporary tattoos, you don't have to worry about infections or
unsanitary equipment, as there is no piercing of the skin involved. Temporary
tattoos are safe, and remove easily with soap and water. This is very cost
friendly as well -- as permanent tattoos require surgery to remove.

If you have been thinking about getting a permanent tattoo, you should first
give a temporary tattoo a try. Tattoos that are temporary provide an excellent
way to test out designs, and see if a tattoo is right for you. If you don't
like it, all you have to do is wash it off. Then, you can purchase another one
and see if you like it better. There are literally thousands of temporary
tattoos out there, with designs that are sure to please everyone.

If you decide to get a permanent tattoo instead, you are pretty much stuck with
it. To get rid of a permanent tattoo, you'll need to have it surgically removed,
which can cost you thousands of dollars. You'll also face the risk of infection,
along with a permanent scar. Permanent tattoos are great though -- providing you
are happy with the tattoo.

In most cases, temporary tattoos look just like a permanent tattoo. To use
them, simply lick the tattoo or use water and apply to your skin. When you have
it where you want it, simply apply pressure for a few seconds. They are easy to
apply, and last until you wash them off. If you decide to get a longer lasting
temporary tattoo, it will last for a longer period of time. This way, you can
decide if a permanent tattoo is going to be worth the investment.

You can find temporary tattoos in local stores or on the Internet. They are
very affordable as well, even cheaper if you buy them in bulk. Tattoo artists
also sell them, and normally have a large selection on hand. This way, you can
look through the available selections and find the tattoo that best fits your
style.

All in all, temporary tattoos are easier to apply than permanent tattoos and
they pose no risk to your skin or your health. Those that are afraid of needles
tend to like them as well, as they give you the chance to have a tattoo without
going under the needle. Before you rush out and get a tattoo, you should
instead give permanent tattoos a try. They won't cost you a lot of money -- yet
they will give you the chance to see how you look with a tattoo -- and decide if
a permanent tattoo is really something you want.




Tattoos: Not Just For Bikers Anymore

In the distant past, tattoos had the smallest modicum of acceptance, primarily
based on the people who wore them. When military men came back to the States
after serving overseas, it was difficult to express too much negativity about
the names of their sweethearts or "Mom and Dad" emblazoned on their arms. It's
likely that the acceptance was more for the wearer than the tattoo, though, for
tattoos had not attained a degree of respectability with the American public in
general. As syphilis became more widespread, and with the less-than-sanitary
tattooing procedures adding to its increase, New York City eventually banned
tattooing, and did not make the practice legal again until 1997.

As disdain for the military began to spread across the United States, so did a
new counter-culture. To most Americans during that time-period, the word
"tattoo" was synonymous for those who were outside of the mainstream of
America, thumbing their noses at society. It brought to mind the fringe-element
of undesirables, from the widely-movie "Easy Rider" to the infamous Hell's
Angels. Greasy individuals who rode motorcycles and displayed obnoxious artwork
on various parts of their bodies-- bikers were only "cool" amongst their own
kind, and thought of in a very unfavorable light by most of the American
population. In general, tattoos were limited to that range of individuals; and
both the bikers and their "sleeves" was something the population at large
preferred to do without.

Although in some locales, especially those with Navy bases, tattoos continued
to enjoy a moderate degree of acceptance throughout the 'seventies, they still
were not considered a respectable means of personal expression within the
mainstream population. The younger generation who lived in these areas, with
the usual curiosity of youth, often frequented tattoo parlors and began to make
tattoos a part of their lifestyle. As these were usually young adults whose
lifestyle included drug use and too much alcohol, their embracing the practice
of tattoos did not assist in convincing the older generation that there was
anything positive about it. One tattoo artist who practiced in the Navy town of
Port Hueneme, California, remarked that the types of individuals whose lifestyle
included tattoos were the kind of people who "don't usually make it to forty
years old."

Also commenting that tattoos are "a fever," he shed some light on the most
negative aspects of this practice. Even though by law artists were not supposed
to do such artwork on individuals who were in any state of intoxication, his
clients were usually in either of two categories: those who requested tattoos
while seriously under-the-influence, and the fainters. His tattoo studio had a
large couch for the benefit of the latter. Young drug users and Navy men made
up the majority of his customers.

It was not until the early eighties that tattoos began to gain positive
exposure. With the Long Island based band "The Stray Cats" appearing on the
cover of the music magazine Rolling Stone, not only did this bring the
rockabilly music style back into popularity it was also one of the first steps
in helping tattoos gain widespread appeal. In stepping away from the coarse
music of that particular time-period, the Stray Cats' scope was that of good
clean music and good clean fun; and tattoos were a part of that image. Suddenly
everybody wanted to be a part of it all, including the tattoos; and although it
was often to the chagrin of the older generation, tattoos began to have less
negativity attached to them.

As tattoos ceased to be solely connected to the counter-culture, they started
to appear on everybody. In the following years they started showing up on
average Americans all across the United States. Tattoo studios sprung up in
cities that had colleges and universities, making tattoos an accepted part of
life for students. As the people in that age group became older, their tattoos
remained, as well as the interest in tattoos developing amongst the newer
younger generation. In most parts of the United States they are now
commonplace, and considered to be just a basic form of self-expression.

Tattoos In History

What did President Theodore Roosevelt and Winston Churchill's mother have in
common? They both had tattoos. While Jennie Churchill's tattoo was allegedly
covered for the sake of reputation, and Teddy Roosevelt's was simply in a
location which was not readily visible, this information caused a stir amongst
many of their day as well as modern-day history buffs. President Roosevelt's
daughter Alice also had a tattoo which was in a concealed location. Neither
Mrs. Churchill's nor President Roosevelt's artwork, however, lent itself to
gaining a sense of respectability amongst the average citizens. Even when such
notable figures possessed tattoos, they were still considered to be socially
unacceptable for most people.

Going as far back as any studies have been on the subject, it is claimed that
the "Ice Man" who lived some 3300 years B.C., had some form of tattoos. Upon
discovering the remains, researchers have been able to do little but guess that
this most primitive form of tattoo was for the purpose of warding off evil
spirits, or that it may have been some type of rite-of-passage. Combined on his
spine and behind one knee and on one ankle, the Ice Man had approximately
fifty-seven tattoos. While it is impossible to do more than speculate as to the
actual reason for them, it certainly shows that tattoos are not unique to
current eras nor to the people in the modern-day world. As the Ice Man was the
oldest mummified human remains found in Europe, today's tattoo fans have
history on their side-- there's nothing "modern" about tattoos.

In the distant past, tattoos were connected to an entirely different nature
than they have been during the last few decades. There was nothing notorious or
rebellious about them. It used to be that tattoos were reserved for those of
high social standing, and were not available to average people. Tattoos were
only available to-- and a sign of-- those who were wealthy, important, and
usually in some high position of government or royalty. Sweden's King Oscar had
tattoos; so did England's King George the fifth. In that era, tattoos were a
status symbol.

In other time-periods, tattoos also served specific purposes. Going the
furthest back in American history, many Native American tribes utilized the
practice of tattoos; it was primarily for the purpose of showing one's
connection to one's specific tribe. For the Polynesians, tattooing was a method
of relating family history; each individual person had his own individual
tattoos to show the story of his family. Some of the earliest explorers on the
American continent have been said to have acquired this practice from the
Polynesians' forms of tattoos.

Two of the oldest Egyptian mummies were discovered to have had tattoos. These
tattoos, which have only been found on female mummies, consist of patterns of
lines, dots and dashes. As the women themselves were connected to ritualistic
practices, it is assumed that the tattoos they had in common were in some way
representative of that fact. It is only speculation on the parts of the
researchers, of course, based on their knowledge of the lifestyles of that
period in time.

Although Oriental symbols are quite popular for tattoos in America, it is not
widely known that both the Japanese and Chinese cultures have held a strong
opposition to the practice of tattooing throughout history. With both societal
and religious viewpoints agreeing that tattooing is something which should not
be done, it is still considered to be a means of contaminating one's body. For
the ancient Chinese, tattooing was used as a punishment for criminal activity,
putting such visible marks on a person to forever brand him as a criminal.

Physchology And Tattoos

In today's society a lot of people tend to misjudge tattoos. A lot of people
who see someone with a lot of tattoos will automatically think negative
thoughts. Those who have tattoos are just like anyone else -- except for the
fact that they wish to stand out and broadcast who they are, simply because
they have a strong sense of who they are. Those with tattoos aren't afraid to
show them, as they put them on their body to let others know who they are and
what they are about.

Most who decide to look into the psychology of those with tattoos seem to
associate them as criminals and study them like they are common rats in the
cage. Contrary to this opinion that many experts have, those who have tattoos
aren't in any type of cage. Instead, they are out there expressing their
freedom. Whether they are going by what they believe, showing that they belong
to a certain group or clan, or paying homage to the dearly departed -- there
are always meanings behind tattoos.

The psychologist who studies those with tattoos will normally try to get into
their frame of mind, which is hard to do. For hundreds of years tattoos have
always been a question from a psychological standpoint, with most people
associating tattoos in the past with criminals. Even though criminals may have
tattoos, there are just as many if not more people out there who are some of
the friendliest people in the world who have them as well.

To look at tattoos from a psychological standpoint can sometimes be
hypocritical. Although those who don't have tattoos will try and figure out why
someone would want them, it can still be considered a psychological point of
view. Those who have tattoos had a reason for getting them, or they wouldn't
have got them in the first place.

No matter where you look these days it's a common thing to see someone with at
least one tattoo. This doesn't mean that society is dwindling in any way, nor
does it mean that mankind is becoming a bunch of clones following after one
leader. Tattoos have built there own reputation over the years, gaining in
popularity. Over the years more and more people have decided to get them --
which only goes to show the phenomenon that is tattoos.

When you decide to look at the psychology of tattoos, you must first understand
some of the meanings. A tattoo can tell you a lot about the individual and his
past. Although some tattoos may be a bit frightening, that individual may have
got the tattoos in his past and turn out to be nothing like that now. Like
others out there -- the tattoos that were obtained in the past may be left as a
reminder for the future.

Pros And Cons Of Tattoos

These days' tattoos are more common than ever. Tattoos have gained quite a bit
in popularity over the years, giving people a chance to stand out and broadcast
who they really are. Men and women alike have tattoos, some covering their
entire body. The choice is entirely up to you though, as you can get a tattoo
in virtually any size you want.

Even though there are many good things about tattoos, there are bad things as
well. Among the good things about tattoos include the chance to broadcast who
you are, the chance to be you, and the chance to stand out. Most people who get
tattoos get them for the symbolic meaning. Although there are some who get
tattoos strictly for the look, many end up regretting getting the tattoo later
on in life.

Tattoos are great for show, although the design itself should hold some
meaning. There are a variety of designs and colors to choose from, which helps
to add to the positive benefits of tattoos. You can check out many designs at
your local tattoo studio, in books and magazines, and on the Internet. The
Internet is a great resource for tattoo designs, as there are literally
thousands to look at. You can also look at pictures of those who have tattoos
so you can get an idea as to what a certain style will look like once it has
been finished.

The cons of tattoos are pretty straight forward. Tattoos work by piercing the
skin with a needle and injecting little gobs of ink. With that being said the
risk of infection when getting a tattoo is always there. If the tattoo artist
isn't sanitary and doesn't clean his equipment after every use, the risk of
infection will be much higher.

Another thing to worry about with tattoos is removal. If you later decide that
you don't want the tattoo, you'll have to pay an expensive price to have it
surgically removed. Surgery carries risks and complications as well. In some
cases, those who have got tattoos have had to have the tattoo removed due to
infection. In these cases the infection has gotten so bad that there really is
no other choice than to get the tattoo removed.

No matter how you look at it, there will always be both pros and cons with
tattoos. Before you decide to get a tattoo, you should make sure that the
design you have picked out is something that you can see yourself with for
years to come. If there is any doubt in your mind about the tattoo, you
shouldn't get it. Even though it may seem cool at the time -- the price for
removal and the complications with surgery may not be worth it in the long run.

Tattoos Around The World

As tattoos are slowly but surely gaining acceptance and popularity amongst most
of the American population, it is interesting to note how widespread the appeal
of this practice is becoming in other countries around the world. It is also
interesting to consider how various other cultures view this practice, and
whether those views have changed over time as has been the case with the United
States.

Although it may be surprising to Americans whose main source of familiarity
with Oriental symbols and other artwork comes from viewing this lovely,
traditional art in tattoo studios all across the United States, due to the
significant influence of Buddhist and Confucianist religions both the Japanese
and Chinese societies take a very negative view of tattoos. In these societies,
tattooing was a means of branding criminals; it was not acceptable for citizens
to engage in the process.

In today's society, tattoos are still unacceptable. Although their younger
generation usually takes a more liberal view of tattooing, the youngsters who
have them generally keep them covered.

Tattoos have long been a part of life for royalty in Great Britain. Following
in the footsteps of his predecessors King George the fifth and King Edward the
seventh, one of today's most well-known royal figures, Prince Charles, also
sports a tattoo. Unlike in the distant past, however, tattoos in Great Britain
are no longer limited to the class of royalty; during the past few decades,
tattoos showing up on their rock stars has brought the practice to the
mainstream population. What was once a status symbol for wealthy public figures
has become a widespread part of everyday life for the younger generations.

In Mexico, tattoos were originally thought of as a symbol of courage. The early
explorers who arrived in Mexico in 1519 believed the practice to be the
influence of Satan. In a recent survey, more than half of those polled who were
over age thirteen stated that they would consider getting a tattoo. While most
expressed a preference for designs such as flowers, religious symbols, or
names, some said they would like a tattoo of their favorite brands of soda or
beer. This is assisting in marketing to some degree, as many people in Mexico
City now consider tattoos to be a fashion accessory, not only widely acceptable
but in style.

In Vietnam, tattooing is still currently illegal, and is rarely done except in
prisons. For those who insist on having some type of body modification in light
of the laws against tattooing, cigarette burns are used instead. It is rare that
anyone other than gang members utilize this practice.

Considering both the Biblical prohibitions against tattooing and the
still-present memories of the Holocaust, it is not surprising that most of the
older generation in Israel continues to hold a negative view of tattoos. It is
a little surprising, though, that the younger generation not only does not
always share this viewpoint, and actually considers the practice of getting
tattoos of religious symbols to be a visible sign of pride in their Jewish
heritage and identity.

In assessing both the historical aspects and present-day points of view, it's
not difficult to see that for many countries around the world culture plays a
significant role in whether or not tattoos are thought of as an acceptable form
of self-expression. In most cases it is also clear that with or without cultural
influences, times change and with the changing times comes different ways of
looking at the subject of tattoos. What took a very long time to gain
widespread popularity in the United States has proceeded in a similar fashion
in most other countries also.

Tattoo Safety

The process of tattooing involves needles that move at very fast speeds to
penetrate the outer layers of the skin. The needles break the skin, and inject
dots of ink into the third layer, creating the image of the tattoo design in
the skin. Whenever you are getting a tattoo, common sense and a bit of safety
are always the most important considerations.

When getting a tattoo, most people fear getting the virus known as HIV, which
can lead to the dreaded AIDS virus. Although many fear HIV, it is just one of
the many viruses that can result from tattoos. Staph, syphilis, tuberculosis,
and hepatitis are all but a few of the other diseases that can result from
tattoos. All it takes is a dirty or unsanitary needle and you could wind up
contracting one of the deadly viruses listed above.

Just like other activities, tattooing can be very dangerous. Although tattooing
is indeed dangerous, there are ways that you can minimize or eliminate the
potential dangers. Each and everyday, tattoo artists have to adhere to a strict
code of safety to ensure that the risk of contracting HIV or any other diseases
is little to none.

Professional tattoo artists will sterilize their equipment after each use. They
use steam pressure autoclave when disinfecting their tattoo guns and needles.
Bleach and alcohol don't sterilize the equipment; they are instead used to prep
the equipment. Once the bleach and alcohol have been used on the instruments,
they will then be autoclaved, which will sterilize them.

When the tattoo artist does the tattoo, he should always wear rubber gloves
that can easily be disposed of. The ointment spreaders and any type of rags
that are used should also be disposable. When you walk into the tattoo studio,
the floors should be spotless. In the rooms where the tattoos are done, the
working area should always be clean and sanitary.

Before the tattooist starts the tattoo, he should always give each customer a
brand new set of fresh needles. Then, he should always dip the needle in a
small cap of pigment that he just took out of a large squeezable bottle. If the
artist dips the needle into the big bottle, you may very well be sharing fluids
with those who have had tattoos from that same big bottle.

Whenever you decide to get a tattoo you should always put safety first. Safety
is very important with tattoos, as you could otherwise get a disease or a
serious infection. Before you decide on a tattoo studio, you should always make
sure that they are clean and sanitary. If you get a tattoo from a studio that is
dirty or unsanitary, you could wind up on a never ending spiral of infections
and viruses.

Problems Associated With Tattoos

Although getting a tattoo is generally safe, there are a few risk factors and
potential problems which one should be aware of. The largest risk factor is
that of acquiring a communicable disease. While more strict health regulations
and most tattoo artists' compliance with these regulations has significantly
reduced these risks, it is still important to be aware of them. In the distant
past, lack of appropriate sanitary conditions in some tattoo parlors led to an
uprise in communicable diseases, primarily syphilis, which in turn led to some
locations banning tattoo parlors and making the practice illegal.

These days, tattoo artists are required to be licensed, and the cleanliness of
their studios must be maintained. In the interest of keeping both the artist
and the customer safe from contracting disease, ever since AIDS began to be
well-known and feared, most artists have taken on the practice of wearing
sterile gloves while tattooing their customers. As acquiring a tattoo does
involve some degree of bleeding, wearing these gloves is an important
safety-precaution for both the customer and artist alike. Preventing the spread
of AIDS and other diseases is also why reputable artists use disposable
tattooing needles, as well as disposing of any leftover ink which has been
taken from the original tube; whatever was not used on the specific customer
must be thrown away.

One risk which is always present is that of infection. Having a tattoo done
only by a licensed artist is the most important way to reduce this risk.
Unfortunately, the so-called "jailhouse tattoos" popular with inmates has
become common amongst other people also. People who cannot afford the high cost
of having a tattoo done at a studio frequently attempt to tattoo themselves.
Regardless of whether they know what they're doing or not, they do not have the
same sterile conditions as a licensed studio. Even more distressing is that this
is also in practice amongst the younger generation-- kids who are not old enough
to have a tattoo done legally at a studio attempt their own artwork, not only
without appropriate sterile conditions but also without the necessary
professional equipment. This practice significantly increases one's risk of
serious infection, and can also lead to blood poisoning.

Not knowing the facts about proper care of a new tattoo can also cause
problems. Reputable artists caution their customers to not allow a new tattoo
to be saturated with water from bathing or swimming, nor to expose it to direct
sunlight for a certain number of days. Many either provide their customers with
special skin-care solutions or advise them to purchase and use it. Although
there are products specifically designed to promote the healing of tattoos, the
triple-antibiotic topical cream called Bacitracin is still one of the most
widely used and effective means of protecting and healing skin which has been
damaged by receiving a tattoo. The proper care of a new tattoo is not
difficult, but neglecting to do so can increase one's risk of infection and
permanent damage to the skin.

Although health complications would generally be considered the most important
risk, many people who decide to get tattoos do not think about the potential
impact on one's everyday life. Regardless of one's personal opinion on the
subject and how affected one may be by it, it is a fact that having tattoos can
be detrimental to a person's success in the business world, and also have an
effect on one's personal or social life. In most areas, and in most lines of
work, having visible tattoos can be a barrier to getting hired for a job. The
common sense way of dealing with this is to simply adopt a professional
attitude and wear clothing which covers the tattoos. In some locations, where
tattoos are thought to be something favored only by particular groups of
people, for others to have tattoos may cause them to be wrongly judged or
categorized. Keeping a positive attitude is the key.

Possible Side Effects of Getting a Tattoo

We've all heard stories of people getting a communicable disease from an
infected needle at a tattoo shop. People have been reported for becoming very
sick from unsanitary tattoo parlor practice. Many people get tattoos every day;
however the news only reports those incidents that go wrong.

So how can we know what are the real potential effects of getting a tattoo? We
do some research. Talk to the tattoo artist about your concerns. Make sure the
parlor you are going too practices sanitary measures, sterilizes equipment and
uses new needles for each and every customer.

The CDC, or Center for Disease Control reports that if cleanliness and
sanitation are maintained, then the transmission of communicable diseases isn't
likely to be widespread. Many specialists have determined that commercial tattoo
parlors are quite safe but prison tattoos are where the problems are occurred.
Another problem is encountered with amateurs and those who do their own tattoos.

The Food and Drug Administration has said that the colored ink used in tattoos
technically isn't legal as it hasn't been approved by them for use. However,
problems have not been reported with the colored inks aside from minor cases.

One type of minor case may include a reaction to the ink. These theoretically
can occur in anyone with any tattoo, but does occur more with the colored ink.
Delayed reactions are possible and may not happen right away. Some dyes in the
ink are created with cosmetics and other chemicals that are not approved for
being injected into the skin, creating a reaction.

Infections at the tattoo site are rare but do happen. Tattoo parlors that are
unclean and do not practice good sanitation measures are reported to have the
highest incidents of reported infections. The FDA does not regular tattoo shops
so it's easy for these places to get away with these practices.

Because of unsanitary shops, the APT, or Alliance for Professional Tattooists
formed in 1992. Membership isn't required but is encouraged among tattoo
artists. Seminars are provided throughout the year for continuing education for
the tattooists. Sanitary measures are regulated and encouraged to members of
APT. Tattoo parlors that can prove membership are more likely to have a reduced
risk for tattoo site infection.

Hepatitis C is a scare to many who are considering a tattoo. This is a disease
carried through the blood and is transmitted through infected needles. Tattoo
shops that reuse needles put the customer at a higher risk. These are become
few and far between, however as most parlors today use disposable or single use
needles.

Overall, tattoos are relatively safe. As mentioned before, we only hear about
the bad news on television when someone has contracted a disease or infection
for a poorly taken care of tattoo facility. If the parlor practices proper
sanitary measures, risks are diminished. All equipment should be sterilized
between each customer. Needles should be used once before disposing of them.
General cleanliness of the facility itself is always a key aspect to watch for
as well.

Positive Attributes Of Tattoos

Considering how widespread the negative reputation is of tattoos and people who
have them, one might wonder if there is anything positive about tattoos, and if
it is reason enough to get one. You undoubtedly have heard plenty about the
problems, attitudes, risk factors, etc., so perhaps you would also like to
consider the opposite point of view in order to help you make the best decision
regarding whether or not getting this type of artwork is right for you.

First, let's examine some of the reasons why getting a tattoo may not be a good
idea. If you're the type of person who tends to do things impulsively; or if
you're considering a tattoo based primarily on someone else wanting you to get
one or not wanting you to get one; these factors will very likely result in you
regretting your decision at some point in time. If getting a tattoo is not
solely your own decision for your own sake, and a decision which you have put
careful thought into making, you will probably end up wanting to get it removed
later on.

If none of those situations fit you, and you're considering getting a tattoo,
hearing some things which are good about tattoos may assist in your decision.

Some people simply like art; if you are one of them, a tattoo may be the type
of art you are looking for. In that there are essentially no limits to what
kinds of artwork can be made into tattoos, you're sure to find something which
will suit your tastes. You can consult a tattoo artist to assist you in making
the best choice for the artwork which you will like the most. Tattoo studios
routinely have huge selections of tattoo art on posters and books; your artist
can tell you which forms he is most familiar with and practiced in creating. If
you have a unique design in mind, all it usually takes is a rough sketch or even
a description, and most artists will be happy to create a custom-made design for
you. Tattoo artists are almost always very skilled artists in general; you will
be happily surprised at how intricate and professional their work can be. If
you want beautiful, unique art which is both yours alone and permanent, a
tattoo is the way to go!

Do you have something to say, something you wish to share with the world? If
so, a tattoo may be the answer you're looking for! Whether you opt for wording,
or a design which has some type of special meaning to you, a tattoo can be one
of the greatest forms of self-expression. You can choose something that is very
clear to everyone who sees it, or, in contrast, can have something which is
purely symbolic. We not longer have to settle for temporary expression on
t-shirts, tattoos are permanent; and they are available to almost everyone
everywhere.

A tattoo can also be a permanent memorial. If there is someone or someplace
that you wish to honor, a tattoo can be a wonderful way to do this. Contrary to
occasional opinion, memorializing a person or a place with a tattoo is generally
not morbid, and is not usually sad; instead, it focuses on one's subject in a
positive light. In addition, a tattoo of memory does not necessarily have to be
about a person, it can also be a unique symbol of a place, a time, a situation,
that you wish to always keep in your memory.

If you have decided to get a tattoo, and have positive reasons for wishing to
do so, all you need to do is visit a nearby tattoo studio and allow your vision
to be turned into a reality.

Popular Tattoo Designs

Tattoos are a common thing these days. They are more popular than ever before.
Research has shown that nearly 1 in 4 people have at least one tattoo. There
are many designs to choose from, giving people a chance to be creative. Below,
we will take a look at some of the most popular tattoo designs.

Tribal tattoos are among the most popular designs. They have been around for
hundreds and hundreds of years and they are always evolving and becoming more
and more complex with their designs and styles. Tribal tattoos can either be
the traditional black style that cover the arms and the legs or the more
colorful styles that can cover every area of the body. The colorful, more
modern look is becoming more and more popular when compared to other styles.

The "old school" styles of tattoos are also popular. Anchors and things like
that are making a great comeback these days and not just with sailors. These
styles were very common and very popular back in the 60s. They are rapidly
gaining their popularity back, as females and males are getting anchors and
swallow designs tattooed on them more and more.

Lower back tattoos are the most common for women. The lower back is one of the
most sexual and sensual areas on a women, making the ideal spot for a tattoo.
Tribal designs are the most popular, although flowers, dragons, and other
symbols make great tattoos as well. The lower back offers plenty of natural
curves as well, which can make for an innovative tattoo. Often times, women
tend to include tribal that spreads, covering the base of their hips as well.

Dragon designs are another popular type style of tattoos. They were popular in
the past, and are now starting to get their popularity back. There are a lot of
different dragons to choose from, including the mythical dragon and ancient
Chinese dragon. Dragons are great on the chest for males and the back for
females. Dragon tattoos can be virtually any size, although most males tend to
have them cover one side of their chest or the upper region of their arms.

Celtic tattoos are also popular as well. They are mostly seen with those who
have a Celtic heritage, although some with no Celtic heritage have them as
well. They offer a variety of symbols and designs, providing universal meanings
for everyone. Often times they are mixed with tribal tattoos to create a more
innovative tattoo.

There are several other types of tattoos out there, although the above are the
most common. Tattoos can be very creative and innovative; it all depends on
what you want. If you're looking to stand out and be truly creative -- you can
always have a professional tattoo artist design one for you.

Picking Your Dream Design

Tattoos are very common these days, with nearly 1 in 4 people having at least
one. Tattoos represent an art form, and allow people to broadcast who they are.
Even though they are popular, most people will end up regretting them. In most
cases, those who regret tattoos didn't think about their design or take the
time to choose the best tattoo for them. Even though it is possible to get a
tattoo removed, the process is expensive and quite painful. To prevent this
from happening, you should always take some time and find the perfect tattoo --
your dream design.

Instead of trying to save some money, you should never choose a studio or
artist based on how cheap they are. Cheaper artists and studios normally lack
in work quality, which is why they are able to charge cheaper prices. Instead,
you should look for the best studio and artist that you can find close to your
area. Even though it may be expensive -- the quality and design will be well
worth it.

For some, their dream design is a person. This can be a loved one or someone
who has passed on. You can always use a design or symbol that means something
to you and reminds you of them or you can always use their face. Good tattoo
artists can make magical tattoos with meaning, whether it is someone's face or
a symbol that brings out meaning.

Sometimes, it can be hard picking out your dream design. If you have an idea in
mind but are still not sure what you want, you can always research. You can get
tattoo books, theme books, magazines, or just research online. By looking at
designs you may find something similar to what you are interested in. Once you
have found it, all you need to do is sit down with your tattoo artists and come
up with your dream tattoo design.

If you have a basic idea for something small in mind, you can always have it
tattooed then come back later and have more added on. The best thing about
tattoos is the fact that they can always be added to later. This can be a great
thing if you want to try a smaller tattoo first, and then decide whether or not
you want to get it bigger. If you start with a fraction of your dream design,
you can always finish it up later on.

Whenever you get your dream tattoo you should always take time selecting the
design. Tattoos will stay with you forever, which is why you should pick them
carefully. If you put the necessary time and thought into it now, you won't
regret it later. Your dream design should be very important, and hold meaning.
This way, every time you look at it -- you'll be reminded of that special
moment in time and you'll never forget about it.

Minimizing The Pain Of Tattoos

No matter what you may hear, there really is no way to predict the amount of
pain that you'll experience when getting a tattoo. If you arrive with
determination and the right frame of mind, it may not hurt you as much as you
thought. On the other hand, if you arrive at the studio scared half to death --
it will more than likely hurt you more than you thought possible.

Tattoos involve piercing into skin, which almost always involves pain. No
matter how big or how small the tattoo may be or where it is located, you can
expect to feel some pain. The overall amount of pain you experience though, all
depends on your tolerance. If you have a high pain tolerance, you may feel next
to nothing during the entire process.

When you get a tattoo, the needles will puncture your skin at very fast rates
and variable depths. The outline of the tattoo is easily the most painful, as
the needles will be used to create a black line that will stand out on the
tattoo. This part need to be inserted fairly deeply and carefully to ensure
that it's done correctly. The shading of the tattoo normally isn't painful,
although it depends on the penetration depth and effect that you desire.

Normally, the pain you feel is a slight burn or scratching feeling. If the
tattoo is going to be on an area where there is less bone and tissue such as
the wrist or chest, the pain will be a bit more intense. Areas like the arms
and legs however, normally aren't that painful. Areas such as these have more
tissue and muscle, which will lessen the amount of pain you feel.

Even though some pain is to be expected, there are ways that you can minimize
the pain. Below are some tips that will help you deal with the pain. 1.  Never
show up to a get a tattoo on drugs or drunk. This will thin out your blood,
causing you to bleed more. 2.  Always choose a tattoo artist that you are
comfortable around. If you have confidence in your artist you can minimize the
pain a great deal. 3.  Show up at the studio with sheer determination. You
should accept the fact that the tattoo will take time. Quality work is an art
-- and should never be rushed. 4.  If the pain becomes too much to bear, you
should let your tattoo artist know immediately. He will allow you to take a
break, or stop and come back later. You can always break up your sessions, as
tattoos don't need to be finished immediately. 5.  To ease your mind, listen to
music. This way, you can take your mind to a different place and focus on
something other than the tattoo.

Tattoo Removal Options

The removal of a tattoo is often thought of as being a very painful process.
Although the process may have been very painful in the past, the technology of
today offers methods of removing tattoos. Currently, there are two options to
remove tattoos that are rapidly becoming more and more popular -- laser
technology and light based technology.

Both surgeries used light energy to destroy the ink in the tattoo. The ink in
the tattoo will absorb the energy of the light, breaking it up. Once the ink
starts to break up, it can easily be passed through and out of your body
through filtering. In most cases this is extremely safe, as the ink is broken
down into micro size to where it can easily pass through the body with no
complications.

The process is actually similar to the surgery in which hair is removed. The
surgeon or doctor who performs the surgery will hold a wand to the skin that is
being treated. As he does this, the pulses of light are aimed at the tattoo,
breaking up the ink. The wand is normally held right up against the tattoo, as
this makes the pulses of light much more effective.

Normally, the feeling that you'll experience is best described as an elastic or
rubber band flicking constantly against your skin. If the tattoo is big, the
pain could certainly be a bit more intense. The area where the tattoo is at is
also important, as sensitive areas may cause you quite a bit of pain and
discomfort. If the area in which you have the tattoo doesn't have a lot of
muscle or tissue, you'll more than likely want to be numbed as much as possible
before starting the procedure.

Both laser and light based treatments are somewhat similar. With both tattoo
removal procedures, the doctor that is doing the procedure will always apply a
cooling gel to the tattoo area that is being treated to cool the skin and
conduct the energy of the light. This cooling gel helps to draw the light, and
at the same time protect your skin. The gel will feel cool to the touch,
although it will help your skin when the light pulses start to break the ink
apart.

If you've been thinking about having a tattoo removed you should consider both
light and laser based procedures. Keep in mind that they are both expensive,
and both impose risks. Depending on how big your tattoo is and what the
procedure involves, you may need to spend a night or two in the hospital. Even
though both procedures do offer ways to have your tattoo removed, you'll need
to think long and hard before you make a final decision.

Tattoo Removal

Tattoos are desirable for many reasons. Often times it's for decorative
purposes. Other times the designs represent an important person, time or event
in one's lifetime. On the other hand there are many reasons why one would want
to have the tattoo removed. Reasons may include that the art was bad, the
tattoo itself came out wrong or it is simply no longer wanted.

Tattoos are permanent things. The ink is injected deep into the skin, into the
secondary layer of skin called the dermis. The repeated injections deposit the
ink in this part of the skin for the purpose of lasting a lifetime. Having
tattoos removed can prove to be quite an involved process.

One key to keep in mind is that some scarring is likely to occur when having a
tattoo removed. After care will be necessary as well and may include bandage
changes or a suture removal. Even with tattoo removal, some individuals will
still experience some colored areas on the skin that have simply been lightened.

Many factors influence the success rate of a tattoo removal. The tattoo size
and color have a great effect on how and if the tattoo can be completely
removed. The tattoo's location on the body also affects removal.

There are several methods for tattoo removal. Very small tattoos can be removed
with excision. This is the procedure when a small tattoo is simply cut away. An
incision is made, that tattoo is removed and the skin is then sutured closed.

Larger tattoos may be removed by excision as well; however it may take several
attempts to remove the entire art. Many times, the middle portion of the tattoo
is removed and allowed to heal before attempts are made to excise the outer
portions. Another technique for excising larger tattoos is to take a skin graft
from another area on the body to make it possible to close the incision.

Another technique is called dermabrasion. This method for tattoo removal
involves the use of a special chemical that is applied to the tattoo. The
tattoo and skin around it are frozen, providing a local anesthetic effect. A
rough surfaced tool is then used to rub down the tattoo in the same fashion one
would use sandpaper.

Lasers have recently grown in popularity in the medical field and tattoo
removal has certainly benefited from them as well. For the purpose of removing
a tattoo, the laser is used to break up the ink and coloration of the design.
Cells in the body are then able to attack and eliminate these colored cells
naturally. When lasers are used, repeat visits are often needed to continue the
break down of the ink that was used.

Tattoo removal can be done with one of a variety of methods. A physician is
needed for this type of procedure. The physician should be consulted with any
concerns regarding the size of the tattoo to be removed, the coloration, the
location on the body and the required after care that will be needed once it
has been removed.

A tattoo is thought of something that lasts a lifetime. Although they can be
removed with surgery, lasers or dermabrasion, some scarring is likely to be
encountered. Getting a tattoo should be seriously considered first as it will
always be a permanent mark in the skin.

Tattoo Designs

If you walk into a tattoo studio, you can easily see that there are virtually
no limits to tattoo designs. Most studios have a plethora of books, posters,
and stencil samples; and, as the work of a tattoo artist is much more than
simply putting designs on a person's skin, most are very skilled and very
talented artists in general. Nearly anything you can visualize, either by
description or in a sketch, can be made into a unique creation by those who
practice this form of art.
While many customers prefer a tattoo which is either quite simple and basic,
such as one's name or initials, or a design which is totally unique and special
to them, there are a number of styles which are widely popular.

Tattoos of Native American designs is one of the most popular. While most
people who do not have direct information about tribal significance may simply
select a design which looks good and appeals to them, traditional Native
American artwork is by far the most often chosen in this category, as it
symbolizes the Native American culture in general. However, for those who are
knowledgeable, designs can be produced which symbolize tribal affiliation. If
this is what a person prefers, it is a good idea to first do a bit of research
to learn the difference between the tribes and which ones use which symbols.
For people who have Native American ancestry, this is an excellent way to both
learn about and display pride in one's heritage. One's name can also be made
into a tribal design if you or your artist has the knowledge to do so.

Oriental designs are also quite popular. Most tattoo studios have a large
variety of these, ranging from intricate artwork to smaller symbols. Some of
those which are chosen most frequently include the Chinese symbols for luck,
prosperity, eternity, harmony, and love; the zodiac signs are also popular.
Although these designs may appear simple, and do have a rather unobtrusive
effect, it takes a considerable amount of skill to draw them properly, as the
thickness and thinness of the characters is very important. If you are looking
for something which is stylish and tasteful, an Oriental design will have that
effect.

For those whose religious beliefs are an important part of their lives, a
tattoo of a religious symbol can be a permanently-displayed expression of this.
Religious tattoos range from the most basic small crosses to large artwork
depicting Saints and Jesus to nearly everything in-between. While most
religions tend to frown on the subject of tattoos, they are represented in
large varieties nonetheless. You will probably see crucifix tattoos and
Star-of-David tattoos, despite the fact that the traditional religious belief
is that one should not get tattoos. For most modern people, even those who take
their religious beliefs very seriously, getting such a tattoo is not seen as
violating religious standards, but a matter of pride in what they believe.

Celtic designs often appear in tattoos, also. From the most basic designs which
everyone understands, such as shamrocks, to the intricate Celtic cross which
fewer recognize the original meaning of, this culture has produced a wide array
of beautiful artwork that can be used in tattoos.

Most people have some idea what they like, and each person's individual
preference is no more difficult than finding it or having your artist create
it. Whatever your background, interests, lifestyle, you are sure to find a
tattoo design that appeals to you and is special to you.

Tattoo Cover Ups

Much thought should be put into getting a tattoo as it is a mark for life. The
design should be something that will not be outgrown or outdated. Regardless of
how much thought is actually put into it, sometimes the tattoo ends up needing a
cover up.

Cover ups are done for several reasons. One of the most common reasons is to
give the tattoo a fresh, new look. Tattoos that have faded over time can be
touched up to make it look as if it is brand new. Newly applied crisp lines can
clean up any blurring around the edges. Additional color can be put on to
brighten up the design.

At times, the original tattoo needs brightened up due to fading but can be
achieved with the addition of more color and design aspects. A black tattoo can
be brightened up by adding more detail as a background in color. Many colors can
be applied over the old black ink with a nice effect as well.

Tattoo cover ups are often done when the previous design is no longer accurate
for the customer. For example, a woman may have a tattoo applied sporting the
name of her boyfriend. Years later, the relationship no longer exists but the
tattoo remains for life. Cover ups can completely change the look of the tattoo
making parts of it that are no longer desirable appear to have disappeared.

Tattoo cover ups are needed when the original tattoo is of poor quality. Prison
tattoos are often presented for cover ups. Tattoos that were done by amateurs
are also commonly covered up. These old tattoos are often small or done with
thin lines that are easily covered.

Even when there isn't a previous tattoo, a cover up is still needed at times.
These are the cases when scars are to be covered with art. Millions have
tattoos applied to cover scars that they no longer wish to see or feel they
aren't very pleasing to look at. Unless the scars are large and have caused
extensive damage to the skin, typically a cover up can be done. Even on very
large scars, many good tattoo artists can still design something to work with.

When a tattoo cover up is required, it is most important to search for an
excellent and talented tattoo artist. A tattoo artist who can design a great
picture for the original tattoo is good. A tattoo artist who can design a
tattoo to cover up an existing tattoo with a new and different design is the
kind of talented artist you need for a successful cover up.

Most tattoo artists do not have samples of cover ups they have done on display.
To see these you'll often have to ask specifically for them. Pay close attention
to the detail of the cover ups and compare the old tattoo to the new. A large
solid tattoo should not be applied over a smaller tattoo as the old one will
easily show through.

Although tattoos are permanent, they can be covered up and touched up. Touch
ups have been reported as being a slight bit more painful and often repeat
visits are needed to fully complete the design. The option is there, however
and if an excellent artist is found the end result should be stunning.

Lower Back Tattoos

On a woman's body there are a few places that can be thought of as sensual.
Although this varies from culture to culture, many consider the most sensitive
areas to be the nape of the neck and the infamous lower back. With that being
said, it's really not hard to see why lower back tattoos have become so popular
over the years.

Although women have several areas for tattoos, the lower back is one of the
most erotic and sensual areas women can get tattooed. Lower back tattoos are
easy to cover up as well, which is great for those who aren't allowed to have
tattoos at work. Unlike other areas of the body, the lower back is completely
covered up by a shirt. With the lower back -- you only show the tattoo off when
you want.

The ease to show or hide lower back tattoos has helped to increase popularity,
as well as the desire, or sensuality. When a woman tells someone, especially a
man, that she has a lower back tattoo -- the mind often wonders. Lower back
tattoos create a sensual and tantalizing appeal. Normally, these tattoos are
done around the waist line. While part of it may be hidden by a women's
birthday suit -- there may very well be a part of it showing as well. For
lovers, a lower back tattoo can be very sensual and sexual, a secret that is
shared only between the two.

The various designs and shape of the tattoo will often times enhance both the
look and the appeal of the entire lower back area. The design of the tattoo is
normally a small and shallow curvature that enables it to fit perfectly to the
curves of the female back and natural curves of her hips. The lower back tattoo
helps to accentuate an already breathtaking part of the female anatomy and
enhance an area that is well known for its sensuality.

Popular designs for lower back tattoos include flowers, vines, and stars.
Winged creature designs work good as well, as the wings of the monster can
stretch his wings across the entire lower back region. Angels, dragonflies, and
birds also seem to work quite well. You can add natural designs to the creatures
as well, including plants and flowers. The lower back is a great area for
tattoos -- giving you unlimited possibility to use your imagination.

Although there are a lot of options and designs available, you should always
choose one that you can enjoy for the rest of your life. You should always give
thought to a design, and not pick something just because it's appealing at the
time. Instead, you should look into the thought and meaning of the tattoo and
decide if it's something you can see yourself with for the rest of your life.
The meaning behind a tattoo is important, both now and later on in life. When
you look at designs, you should always pick the one that literally calls out to
you.

Before you decide to get a lower back tattoo, you should always look at several
designs first, and then decide the best one for you. If you can't find a design
that you like, you can always have a professional tattoo artist design one for
you.

This way, you can have a tattoo design based on what you want. Although a
custom design may cost a bit more money -- it's truly worth it if you want a
unique and creative design that enhances the look of your lower back.

Laser Tattoo Removal

Research has shown that nearly half of those between the ages of 18 and 40 have
a tattoo or several tattoos. The problem here is that a majority of those who
have tattoos have later decided that they don't want them anymore. The biggest
complaint to tattoos is dissatisfaction, which has led to a recent increase in
tattoo removal. It's been proven in the past that women research their removal
options more than men -- due to the fact that men have less of a stigma when it
comes to tattoos.

Often times, the ink that is used during tattoos can lead to infection, simply
because the type of ink being used isn't regulation for tattoo parlors. Clean
equipment is also essential with tattoo parlors; otherwise someone can end up
with hepatitis B, C, and various other infections. There are many serious
diseases and other sicknesses that can occur if a tattoo parlor doesn't keep
their materials and parlor clean.

In the event of infection or if someone just doesn't like their tattoo, there
are ways to get them removed. Skin grafting and dermabrasion are good examples
of tattoo removal, although the most popular and most common these days is
laser removal. Laser removal is the fastest and by far the most preferred. With
this surgery, the laser being used will zap the metal ions that are found in the
pigment of the tattoo, fracturing the ink into very small pieces that the body
can easily dispose of.

There are several great things about laser tattoo removal, although there are
some bad things as well. In some cases, where infection is involved, the
surgery will be a bit different. First, you'll need to get the infection out of
the area before the tattoo can be removed. Depending on how bad the infection
is, you may end up staying in the hospital for a few days. For this very reason
-- you should always make sure that the equipment is clean and sterile before
you ever get a tattoo.

Laser tattoo removal can be very painful, depending on the area that you have
the tattoo on. Almost all surgeons will use numbing ointment and local
anesthetics before they do the removal, so you experience little to no pain.
Even though you may think that you have a high tolerance for pain and can deal
with the treatment, you may still want to take any type of numbing that you can
get.

Before you decide to get a tattoo removed with laser removal, you should always
make sure that you choose a surgeon you can trust. Lasers can be very dangerous,
and there are always side effects and risks involved. Although laser tattoo
removal is certainly an option for getting rid of a tattoo -- the best thing to
do is think long and hard before you get one to begin with.

Innovative Tribal Designs

In the world of tattoo designs there are thousands of potential tattoos to
choose from. Each and every day, there are new designs added to studios and
online tattoo websites. Tattoos are becoming more and more popular these days,
making the designs all the more important. Although flowers and other designs
are popular, tribal designs seem to be among the most common.

The one thing that sticks out with tribal tattoos is the innovation. Tribal
tattoos feature unique artwork, with most being more or less solid black with
no other colors. Tribal can have several different meanings as well, as it all
depends on the image that the artist is trying to bring to life. Tribal can
either be a design that the artist already had or the artist can take your
feedback and do the entire tattoo freehand as he goes along. Experienced tattoo
artists can normally do great work freehand -- as it gives you the ability to
make changes as he goes along.

Some of the most popular designs with tribal tattoos include skulls and
letters. Unique designs are also very popular, especially those that wrap
around the arms or the back. Tribal can be put virtually anywhere on the body,
just like any other tattoo. Depending on the tattoo design you have in mind, it
may take quite a few hours before the artist has finished. With the larger
tattoos, you may need to come back to have the work finished.

Before you decide to get a tribal tattoo, you'll first need to decide on the
design. If you don't have an idea in mind, this can take you quite a bit of
time. You can look online for some ideas, or look at some of the already made
designs at your local tattoo studio. If you see something that you like but you
want to be a bit more creative, you can always add to the design. For example if
you see a tribal skull design that you like, you can make it bigger or change
just about anything in the tattoo design that would make it unique for you.

If you want the entire tattoo to be unique and creative, you can always have
your tattoo artist draw the entire tattoo from scratch. You can give input as
well if you want, to ensure that the design matches what you have in mind.
Drawing a custom tattoo can take anywhere from an hour to several hours,
depending on the size and detail of the tattoo. Tribal tattoos that have a lot
of detail can be a bit complex, both to draw and to tattoo. No matter what you
have in mind for your design -- you can rest assured that it can be
accomplished with tribal design tattoos.

Time And Tattoos

Throughout the course of time, tattoos have been used to personify and
represent someone's affiliations, personal preferences, and their creative
outlook on life. Tattoos are gaining in popularity these days as well with both
men and women. Research has shown that nearly 1 in 4 people have at least one
tattoo on their body.

By definition, a tattoo is a permanent marking on the skin. The ink is injected
by needle under the skin, creating the image of the tattoo. The needle moves
very fast, puncturing the skin and depositing the ink into the epidermis. As
the ink is depositing into the epidermis, the skin captures the color of the
ink. The artist will continue to clean the tattoo as he works on it, wiping it
off with antiseptic and disinfecting the wound.

Over time tattoos will chance with the skin on a constant basis due to the
wind, sun, regeneration, water, and other things. The way a tattoo looks and
the design must also chance with the skin as it shrinks, stretches, and ages.
The pigment that makes up the tattoo must remain the way it is over time,
although tanning and wrinkles can affect the color and clarity of the tattoo.

The overall length of time that a tattoo styles healthy and vibrant in color
all depends on how well it was taking care of after it was completed and how
the skin is taking care of. Even though infection is always a concern with
tattoos, you must also promote healing in the sense of retaining as much ink as
you possibly can. Most tattoos will heal completely within a few short weeks,
although they must be kept moist to prevent scabbing. If allowed to scab, the
scab that forms will remove some of the color from the tattoo.

The number one enemy of tattoos is the sun. Just like other colors that are
exposed to sunlight, the pigments found in tattoos will fade. Yellow and red
are the hardest colors to maintain over time, blue and black are the easiest
and most stable to maintain. Tattoos are considered to be part of the organism
of living skin and need to be maintained to keep the color alive and fresh. If
you are going to be out in the sun, you should always cover your tattoos and
wear a quality sunscreen as well, just to be on the safe side.

Tattoos that have been properly applied, properly healed, and protected from
the rays of the sun can remain their best for years and years. Although the
colors will remain vibrant as well, time and the sun are definite enemies for
tattoos. No matter how well you take care of your tattoos and protect them,
there really is no escape from changes that come as a result of time itself.

Things To Know About Tattoos

Tattoos are created by injecting ink through into the skin. Tattoo artists
accomplish this by using an electric powered tattoo gun that almost sounds like
the drill a dentist uses. The tattoo gun has a needle that moves up and down,
putting the ink into the skin around 2,000 times a minute. The needle in the
gun punctures the skin and deposits a small drop of ink with each puncture.

The tattoo machines of today have several basic components. The sterilized
needle, tube system, electric motor, and foot pedal are all fine examples. The
foot pedal is extremely important to the tattoo gun, as it controls the
vertical movement that the needle will make. It resembles a pedal used with a
sewing machine, except for the fact that it determines how the needle will work.

One of the biggest concerns regarding tattoos has always been safety. Tattoo
machines work by puncturing the skin and injecting ink into the tattoo site.
Whenever you are dealing with puncture wounds, there is always a risk of
infection and disease. Because of these risks, tattoo applications are always
focused on safety. Tattoo artists always use sterile equipment, disposable
materials, and proper sanitation to ensure protection for themselves and their
customers.

To help prevent the risk of contamination, almost all tattoo materials such as
ink, ink cups, needles, and gloves are for single use only. Needles should
never be used a second time, as they can almost always lead to infection. Most
of the single use products will arrive at the tattoo studio in sterile
packaging where the artist can open it up in front of you before he starts his
work.

Before they start the tattoo, tattoo artists will always wash their hands with
soap and water and check themselves for abrasions and cuts. After doing so,
they will clean and disinfect their work area with the appropriate
disinfectants. As they do this, they will normally explain to you what they are
doing and how the sterilization process works. Once they have cleaned the area,
they will then start to open their equipment from the sterile boxes. After the
artist has opened everything, he will shave the area for the tattoo and
disinfect it with water and soap.

Once he starts the tattoo, the pain will all depend on your tolerance. Some
people say that it feels like being pinched, while others describe it as a
slight poking with needles. Your overall pain tolerance, the location and size
of the tattoo and the experience of the tattoo artist will all be contributing
factors to how much pain you will feel. The location is extremely important. If
you are getting a tattoo in a sensitive area -- it will probably hurt a bit more.

The tattoo artist will clean the tattoo throughout the process, and again once
he has finished. Once he has finished, he will put some ointment on the tattoo
and cover it. He will also explain how you should take care of it and what you
can and can't do. Most tattoo artists will give you a sheet to take home that
contains detailed instructions on caring for your new tattoo. If you have any
questions, you shouldn't hesitate to ask when he is going over your care
instructions.

When you get home, you should always follow those instructions. Taking care of
your new tattoo is very important and may very well determine your risk of
infection. Tattoos can be a great thing to have, providing you take care of
them. Keep in mind that the tattoo may be sore for a while -- although it will
heal in a few short days.

Variations in Tattoos

A simple search on the Internet will show a vast array of all different kinds,
sizes and colors of tattoos. Sometimes the mere decision on the final design is
a big enough task in and of itself. Even if a sample is copied, it can be
altered in just about any way giving even more options.

The biggest variation among tattoos is size. Tattoos can be very tiny or very
large. Tattoos might be as tiny as a single small letter, a minuscule flower or
a dinky symbol. Tiny tattoos aren't always the easiest, however as they can
prove quite difficult if more detail is involved in such a small space.

Large tattoos are very commonly seen. Tattoos stretching down the entire back,
all the way across the chest and even full sleeves are regularly found among
tattoo enthusiasts. Perhaps the biggest of them all are the full body tattoos,
which aren't uncommon.

Another variation in tattoos is color. Many people prefer the look of a tattoo
in a single color. Typically, this color is black. Tribal, symbolic and word
tattoos are often found as a solid black. These are often more commonly
encountered than colorful tattoos.

Colored tattoos aren't rare, however. Just about any color imaginable can be
used on a tattoo. Inks can even be mixed to create a specific color. Brightly
colored tattoos can be made in as many designs as black tattoos. Certain colors
may be used resembling something sentimental, important or simply a favorite
color.

Shading can be a variation in tattoos as well. Shading differs from color
variances. A black tattoo can be made more intricate by creating a shading
effect. Shading can also be done with colored tattoos. As the tattoo is created
by a series of dots, the more spread apart the dots are, the lighter the ink
will appear, creating a shading effect.

Many times, a tattoo artist will offer advice for decisions on the design of
the tattoo. Shading may be recommended in the place of color, at times. It can
be one way to provide more effect within the design without adding a bunch of,
or any, color.

Style is an excellent variation in tattoos. They can be found in just about any
style imaginable, and if an example cannot be located on paper or in the tattoo
parlor, your tattoo artist may be able to create something for you. Symbols can
easily be created. Characters can resemble cartoons or animated creatures.
Realistic drawings of people can also be created as a tattoo.

For example, if you want a cartoon of an elephant, the tattoo artist can create
it. If you want a tattoo resembling a real elephant, in the Savannah in Africa,
he or she can most likely do that as well. If you want a tribal-influenced
design representing the sign of an elephant, you're likely to find it.

Tattoos can be created to resemble anything that can be drawn, painted or
photographed. Creating tattoos is an art. Tattoo artists are just that:
creative artists with their own method of providing designs that help others
express themselves on their own bodies.

Tongue Tattoos

Tattoos are a hot commodity these days, becoming more and more popular than
they have ever been in the past. There are hundreds and thousands of different
designs and styles of tattoos to choose from, giving you the chance to express
yourself.

Although tattoos are very popular, the new trend that is rapidly taking effect
in the world of tattoos is known as tongue tattoos.

Although many aren't familiar with tongue tattoos yet, they are just now
starting to take shape. They resemble other designs and styles, although they
cover the muscle known as the tongue. There are tattoos that cover the entire
tongue, or just a single area. In most cases, those who already have them,
chose to have their tongue tattooed a certain color. Whether it be purple,
orange, black, or blue, the tongue can be tattooed a variety of different
colors.

The designs that are poplar with tongue tattoos include stars, tribal work, and
other shapes and designs that cover a region of the tongue. Stars are popular
with the lower area of the tongue, near the tip. There are also designs that
can be tattooed farther back on the tongue, near the middle of it. As tongue
tattoos become more and more popular, more and more designs are implemented.

As far as the procedure goes, it's very similar to getting a tattoo on any
other part of your body. A tattoo involved needles puncturing the skin,
depositing ink into the epidermis. The needles move extremely fast, breaking
the skin and leaving the pigments of ink. The tongue, just like the skin, will
swallow the pigments once the surface has been punctured by the needle. Once
the pigments of ink are absorbed by the tongue, the color will remain there
forever.

Those who have had tongue tattoos in the past say that they aren't very
painful. Unlike tattoos on the skin, the tongue is a giant muscle. A tattoo on
the tongue is often described as a tickling sensation or the feeling of
numbness in your mouth. When the tattoo artist does the tattoo, he will
normally use a tool to hold the tongue out. If you've ever had a tongue
piercing, you'll know what it looks like. Once the tongue is out, the artist
will begin work. The process normally does take very long, as long you hold
still and don't move around.

If a tongue tattoo sounds interesting to you, the first thing to do is find a
tattoo artist in your area who is experienced with doing them. Not a lot of
tattoo artists are familiar with tongue tattoos, as they are just now beginning
to surface. A tongue tattoo is a bit on the creative side -- something that you
just don't see in public everyday.

The History Of Tattoos

Tattoos have a rich history of tradition, dating back thousands and thousands
of years. Throughout the course of time, there has always been an important
role of tradition and ritual behind tattoos. In the past, women in Borneo used
tattoos as a way to mark their skills. Tattoos were also used in the past as a
way to ward away illnesses and disease by placing the tattoo around the fingers
and on the wrist. Throughout history, tattoos have also been used to symbolize a
clan or society as well.

The purpose of tattoos has differed from culture to culture throughout the
course of time. Research has shown that the earliest tattoos come from Egypt
during the time of the pyramids, although most believe they started much
earlier. Egyptians at this time were believed to use tattoos as a way to mark
the slaves and the peasants. Around 2,000 BC, tattoos spread to China and then
on to Greece, where the Greeks used tattoos as a way to communicate among spies.

Along the way, Japan also incorporated the use of tattoos as well. The Japanese
people used tattoos for religious and ceremonial rites. During this era, Borneo
women were the artists. They produced the designs that indicated the
individuals point in life and the tribe that he was affiliated with. Tattoos
were very popular during these days, although infections were quite common.
Tattoos were a long way from being perfected -- which showed in the way they
were done.

Tattoos were shown in the western regions as well, although they weren't well
accepted at first. William Dampher, who was once an explorer, was the man who
re-introduced tattoos to the western areas. During the year 1961, he brought a
heavily tattooed Prince to the area, showing off his tattoos with exhibitions.
He made quite a bit of money with these attractions, which in turn made tattoos
very popular and well desired throughout London and surrounding areas. Before
then, it was nearly 600 years since tattoos had been witnessed in the area.

Chatham Square, which is located in New York City, was the first place to
feature American styled tattoos. During the turn of the century, Chatham Square
attracted people from all over the United States, especially those with money. A
man by the name of Samuel O-Reily set up shop in Chatham Square, becoming the
first man to use an electric tattoo gun. In the beginning, the now popular
tattoo gun was based on Thomas Edison's electric pin that used a needle point
to puncture paper.

The electric tattoo gun features moving coils, a needle bar and tube, which are
common components of today's guns. The electric gun was very popular, allowing
those who wanted a tattoo to get one at a great price. These guns helped to
revolutionize tattoos and allowed the tattoo artists to give tattoos fairly
fast as well. People took to this new technology in flocks, making it by far
the best and most efficient ways to get tattoos.

During the late 1960s, tattoos really began to take off. They were featured in
magazines, television, and talked about everywhere. These days, tattoos are
very common, with nearly 1/2 of the population in the United States having at
least one tattoo. They are still common with bikers and clans, symbolizing that
one is a member. There are millions of designs out there for tattoos --
including different color combinations that have helped to make tattoos the
phenomenon they are today.

The History of Tattoos - 2

Tattoos are a hot topic today. People get tattoos for many reasons. Millions of
styles have been applied and continue to be created. But tattoos aren't a new
thing. They've been around for ages.

No one can really say when the history of tattoos began. The oldest known
tattoo was discovered in 1991. It was found on a mummy known as Oetzi, an
Iceman dated to be at least 5300 years old. His tattoos consist of horizontal
and vertical lines. There is some debate as to why the tattoos are there.

The most common idea is that the tattoos were done for medicinal purposes.
Oetzi's fifty-seven tattoos are located over various joints on the body. The
thought is that the tattoos were made while a form of acupuncture was
administered to relieve painful joints. Today, the same sites are used for
acupuncture. Other ideas range from social status and ritual markings to tribal
marks or simple preference.

Prior to finding Oetzi, the Russians excavated bodies that were determined to
be over 2400 years of age. These mummies were found in the Altai Mountains of
Siberia. Instead of lines, their tattoos are in the form of animals both real
and imaginary. Many of these tattoos are thought to be decorative only while
others appear to be a symbol of status rank.

The Egyptians have one of the most well known cultures for tattoos. Dating back
to 2100 BC, discovered mummies have been found to be covered in various tattoos.
Women flaunted tattoo designs that were restricted to women only. These designs
were mostly a series of lines and dots around the body. Tattoos among the
Egyptians are thought to have been forms of ritual markings.

In Japan, tattoos were first used on clay figures. These human shaped figures
represented a deceased individual and were found in the tombs of the person
they resembled. The tattoos were carved or painted on the faces of the figures.
It is thought that these markings have religious or magical significance. The
figures have been found in tombs that have been dated from 3,000 BC.

Japan's first documented tattoo is from 297 AD and has been shown to be for
decorative purposes only. Tattoo artists were known as the "Horis" in Japan.
The Horis were acknowledged as masters and eventually created the full body
suit tattoo.

Many years later, tattoos were made widely popular by the circus. Acts are
performed by people completely covered in tattoos. Individuals are renowned
simply for their number of tattoos. Patrons of the circus are enamored by the
extravagant and colorful tattoos of circus performers resulting in an increased
number of tattoos across the world.

Tattoos have been found in history all over the world. They have been
determined to be a representation of a variety of things such as social status,
religion and many times just for decoration. Found on men and women alike,
tattoos are discovered in every shape, size and color pattern imaginable.
Whether they've been found to be something that was once held sacred or they're
for decoration only, tattoos have been around for ages and will continue to be
around for ages to come.





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