Sunday, May 31, 2009
Saturday, May 30, 2009
Friday, May 29, 2009
The people of the Polynesian islands have evolved their own distinct culture over hundreds, even thousands of years. Though there are many islands in this area, the people all came from a common homeland – though no one is exactly sure where this might have been, or when they came or how.
Later they are tattooed again when they reach sexual maturity. When they desired a man, they would show their tattoos by lifting their skirts. The Marquesa Islands: a group of islands in French Polynesia with a deeply rooted tattoo tradition. The people of the Marquesa islands were the most heavily tattooed of all the Polynesian tribes. Several other islands which now house distinct ethnic groups. Though they are distinct, a lot of cultural similarities remain. For example, practically all of these people practice the art of tattooing, and they do so in startlingly similar ways. Tattoo art was very important in the Polynesian culture.
Thursday, May 28, 2009
The tattoos of an older Indian woman There's a lot of black ink in tribal tattoos, which has the advantage that it holds up very well, black tattoo ink doesn't fade as fast as other colors.Tribal tattoo designs are very popular, so as long as you don't want a specific or traditional tribal, you shouldn't have a hard time finding a good tattoo artist that can design your custom tattoo. It's easier to design your own tattoo or at least a mockup of your own tribal than it is with other tattoo designs. Tribal tattoos have a bold visual appeal: their thick, black curving lines and interlocking patterns lend themselves well to many of the standard tattoo locations, such as the upper arm (in the form of a tribal armband for example) , the back or the lower back.
The tribal styles we see today originate from various old tribes like those from Borneo, the Haida, the Native Americans, the Celtic tribes, the Maori and other Polynesian tribes. The shapes and motifs of these tribal tattoos are deeply rooted in the tribe's mythology and view of the world. The traditional tattoo artist aims to reflect the social and religious values of the tribe in his tattoo designs. Recurring themes are the rituals of the tribe, the ancestors, the origins of the world and the relationship with the gods.
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Sun and Moon Foot Tattoo There are some good reasons why foot tattoos are rarer than other tattoos, though. In fact, there are some tattoo artists who won’t even undertake them (just like hand and face tattoos). For a start, tattoos on the foot and hand tend to be more painful than other tattoos. The general rule is this: if a tattoo is right over bone, it will hurt more. If it’s on a fleshy part of your body, it’ll hurt a lot less. That’s why a shoulder or upper arm might be a better place for a first tattoo – if you’re a little worried about the pain and not sure what to expect.
For another thing, though there are many tattoo designs that look great on a foot, there is also a greater incidence of ink migration with foot tattoos. This means, simply, that the ink is likely to spread over time, blurring your tattoo design. This is possible with any tattoo, on any part of the body – but it’s more common with foot tattoos. If you get a foot tattoo, be prepared to go back and have it re-inked if need be. The top of your foot is the best place with the least blurring, avoid other places like the sides or the toes.
Then there’s the little issue of healing. In general, a new tattoo should not be allowed to rub against clothing while it heals, which usually takes two to three weeks. For most tattoos, this is a pretty simple matter, but not for foot tattoos! Basically, depending on the placement of your tattoo designs, this may mean that you can’t wear shoes or socks for the whole time your tattoo is healing!
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
To sum it up: butterfly tattoos are among the most versatile tattoo images, which helps explain their popularity with women. They are inherently feminine, but not necessarily ‘girly’ and you can make either a bold or subtle statement with butterfly tattoo art. All of this means that we are likely to see even more butterfly tattoos in the years to come.
Monday, May 25, 2009
The Celtic trinity knot is a very simple, but powerful symbol and very suitable for a tattoo. It is a triangle knot, the 3 corners have various meanings: Celtic Trinity Knot Tattoo
- Christian: Father, Son and Holy Spirit
- Pagan: Mother, Crone and Maiden
- New age: Mind, body and spirit
Sunday, May 24, 2009
The butterfly is a symbol for rebirth and transformation. Just like a beautiful butterfly comes out of his cocoon, the person who wears a butterfly tattoo has gone through some difficult times and is ready to face the world again. In some cultures the butterfly is the personification of someone's soul. The Celtic butterfly tattoo is often quite small and feminine looking, making it appropriate for the ankle or shoulder. The butterfly is also often seen as a lower back tattoo, adorned with Celtic swirls.
Saturday, May 23, 2009
The legend goes that the Celtic cross was "designed" by Saint Patrick who was trying to convert the pagan Irish people. The Celtic cross is a combination of the Christian cross and the sun, which was worshipped by the druids.
The Celtic cross is also used by neo-fascist movements, albeit in a very simple design and without ornamentations.
- For Catholic people the circle is a symbol of eternity, for them the Celtic cross symbolizes the infinity of God's love.
- In the ancient world of the druids, the Celtic cross was a phallic symbol.
- For neo pagans the Celtic cross is the symbol for the sun.
A Celtic cross is a popular choice for the upper arm – a great spot in general to put a tattoo, as that location makes it easy to hide it and show it, as you wish.
Friday, May 22, 2009
Actually, butterfly tattoos lend themselves very well to this location. The butterfly image is very symmetrical, so the middle can easily be lined up with the spine, the wings extending on either side. This makes the butterfly wings longer and more stretched out than they would be in nature, but the image can be very attractive.
Thursday, May 21, 2009
The butterfly tattoo is pretty and feminine without being overly flowery or sentimental. Butterflies have always been an inspiration for visual arts, such as the hieroglyphics of Ancient Egypt a couple of thousand years ago. Butterfly tattoos are a good choice for a first tattoo because the design doesn't need to be big to be striking. A small butterfly tattoo (life sized or smaller) on an ankle or shoulder can be a pretty and graceful accent to your natural beauty. Butterfly tattoos can have a lot of meanings, depending on the person or culture. Here's an overview: Often a butterfly tattoo is a symbol of rebirth and transformation: the "ugly" and slow caterpillar transforms inside its cocoon to the beautiful creature that a butterfly is.
Having a tattoo of a butterfly symbolizes a new life, a new beginning after having gone through some rough times. Delicate beauty: a butterfly is small and very delicate, but also very colorful and full of beautiful details. On the other hand, it is not so delicate like most people think: contrary to the widespread belief, you can't kill a butterfly by touching its wings.A butterfly tattoo can be a symbol of freedom.In some cultures, like the Christian, the butterfly symbolizes a person's soul. The Greek word for butterfly for example, also means soul. In Japan they believe that if a butterfly flies into your guestroom, the person you love the most will come to you soon.Also in Japan, a large swarm of butterflies is seen as a bad omen.T
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
For the first fifty or sixty years after tattooing became commonplace and even mainstream in modern society, few women got tattoos – in fact, those that did were the exception and usually a touch eccentric or rebellious.
All that changed about twenty years ago when tattooing became more socially acceptable, largely due to the many celebrities who publicly sported tattoos. Some of these were women, and so the female tattoo became more common and acceptable. Nowadays most people find female tattoos sexy and attractive, they certainly aren't offensive anymore.
That having been said it’s still true that more men than women get tattoos and it’s even true that there is a little element of social rebellion inherent in a woman’s decision to get a tattoo, although this is less and less the case, tattoos are more like a fashion item these days.
However, female ink is no longer shocking, and we no longer jump to conclusions about a woman’s moral character based on whether or not she has a few tattoos!
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
You have decided that you want a tattoo, and are ready to pick out a design. Before you do this though, you need to figure out where you are putting your tattoo, as it will affect the size and context of your design. Most women like to place their tattoos somewhere sexy so they can attract attention from the opposite sex. And why not, that’s pretty much what tattoos are for right?
Here are some of the sexiest places to put a tattoo:
1.Lower back: with low-rise jeans still in style, this is the perfect place for a tattoo. Most designs in this area use somewhat of a triangular shape with the point facing down, so the eye is drawn to your lower half. This is also a great surface to put a large, sprawling tattoo, and is easy to cover up if you are going to work.
2.Upper breast: since most guys are looking there anyways, why not give them something to look at? Tattoos in this area are generally smaller, with symbols such as flowers, bees, dragonflies and butterflies being very popular.
3.Ankle: if you have great legs then an ankle tattoo is perfect, it will draw the eye to that narrow part of you and then go on from there. Again you will probably want to stick to a smaller tattoo in this area.
4.Wrist: slender, soft, and usually lightly scented, the wrist is an overlooked sexy place on our bodies. Place a small tattoo on the inside of your wrist and notice the attention you get!
5.Shoulder: show off your inner Playboy Bunny with a sexy tattoo on the back of your shoulder, and then go buy some strappy tank tops. You have a great surface where you can place a nice-sized tattoo and get noticed.
6.Back of Neck: As long as you stick with something small, this is a great location for an Asian symbol or something unique. Of course the neck is supremely sexy, and having a cute or interesting tattoo there is a great conversation starter.
There are other, more risqué place where you can put a tattoo, it just depends on who you want to see it. Here are a few suggestions:
1.Above pubic area: perfect for a small, sexy tattoo that your special someone can see.
2.Hip: low rise jeans or a bathing suit can let you show off your little friend.
3.Underneath a bra strap: there’s nothing like finding a cute tattoo on your girlfriend while she’s stripping down.
4.Inner thigh: this is definitely a members-only area, so get a symbol that he’ll really like.
5.Around belly button: there are some great tattoo patterns for this area, and it is a perfect spot if you are sporting a flat belly.
6.Tailbone: again, this spot is reserved for your special someone, so choose carefully.
A tattoo is forever, so you will want to spend a lot of time choosing your spot and your design, and then talk to a qualified tattoo artist to see if they have any suggestions or pointers.
Monday, May 18, 2009
Celtic designs include spirals, interlacing lines, complex knots, and some animals, both real and mythical. A cross featuring traditional patterns is another popular design.
Armbands formed from the geometric shapes of Celtic designs work well because the design looks good from any angle. The style can represent your own Celtic heritage or an admiration of Celtic art and culture.
Saturday, May 16, 2009
One may think the art of tattooing has its history mainly with men. Not so. Women from various cultures tattooed their bodies for a variety of reasons. Take the women from Borneo. They would mark themselves to show what they were skilled at, such as weaving or the gatherer of medicinal herbs. This communicated their rank as marriage material. In western Asia, girls were marked in such a way as to show their place in society.
In the last 100 years tattooing was common among criminals, motorcyclists and gang members but in the last 20 years this has drastically changed, so much so that approximately 50% of all tattoos are done on women. And who are these women? These are the soccer moms, and professional women, the women from ages of 18 to 40.
Tattooing has gone through its ups and downs over the centuries, and has even been banned many times in different cultures for periods of time. It appears though that tattooing will never really go away. During periods of a ban it seems to go underground until such time it is free to resurface.
Tattooing, (which is a Tahitian word meaning “to be marked”) in some cultures, has only the women being allowed to do the markings.
Today’s women are free to make their own choices in regards to tattooing. It is becoming more and more popular to have artistic designs placed just about anywhere on the body. You commonly see tattoos adorning an ankle, or husbands or boyfriends names on a forearm. Some women like to have a private tattoo for their spouse only.
Even celebrities are getting them such as Pamela Anderson and Christina Applegate.
As little as twenty years ago, you did not see tattoos on women very much. Now you can go to any beach and see a design on the lower back of many young girls tanning in the sun.
There are many types of tattoos to choose from such as gothic or Celtic design, Polynesian or Tahitian. Our current day artists are becoming more creative in their custom patterns.
Friday, May 15, 2009
A: Simply put, yes. There is some degree of pain involved and the amount really depends on your level of tolerance. If you are scared or have a fear of needles, it’s fair to say that some of the pain will come from your fear of the process.
Q: Can the tattoo artist use any type of cream that will numb my skin?
A: Generally speaking, these products are not recommended. You can ask your tattoo artist for specific reasons.
Q: Are tattoos expensive?
A: If it is quality work, yes. Anyone can offer you a deal on a cheap tattoo, but this is going to be a permanent part of your body and you want the work to be something that you are proud of. In a nutshell, you will get what you pay for. When it comes to tattoos, don’t cut any corners when it comes to cost and never ask the artist to lower his/her price.
Q: When should I get a tattoo?
A: Many do not realize this, but the sunny months of summer can reek havoc on a tattoo. Therefore, it is often recommended that individuals get tattooed during the winter months when the sun’s rays are not as powerful and, therefore, not as damaging to the work itself.
Q: If I am sick, is it still OK for me to get a tattoo?
A: If your immune system is not 100%, getting a tattoo is probably not a good idea. You will need the full strength of your immune system to help with the healing process of your skin, so avoid the process if you are under the weather. Instead, call to reschedule your appointment for a later date when you will be feeling better.
Q: If I have tattoos, is it still OK to get a natural suntan or visit the tanning bed?
A: Even though everyone desires the perfect sunkissed tan, especially in the summer, exposing your tattoo to UV rays/light is not a good idea. This can cause the color in your tattoo, or the artwork itself, to fade. When you are outside in the sun, you can wear sunblock to help protect your tattoo from the sun’s damaging rays.
A: Because each individual’s healing process is unique, there is no universal answer to this question. Your tattoo is a wound and, like all wounds, it needs to heal before you can safely resume shaving. Otherwise, you will continually aggravate the scab or any raised areas that are present on almost every tattoo. Some can resume shaving within 5-10 days, which is often when the new protective layer of skin has surfaced after the final peeling stage. It is best to ask the tattoo artist about the exact stages of the healing process and what to watch for as an indicator of when you can begin shaving again.
Q: I have a friend who recently purchased a tattoo kit and they promised me a really good deal. Is this safe?
A: Absolutely not. Your friend could very well be endangering your health by ‘practicing’ their skill on you. In order to become a professional tattoo artist, an individual needs to get the proper apprenticeship through a tattoo studio, observe the process and begin practicing on material objects before tattooing people. The apprenticeship usually takes 3-5 years, so there is no way that this type of knowledge can be learned in a kit.
Q: Can I remove the bandage after I get a tattoo so that I can show my friends?
A: This is not a good idea. The bandage is there because the tattoo artist realized the potential for infection if the wound were to be exposed to open air. Leave the bandage on according to the instructions from the tattoo artist.
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Captain James Cook introduced this word to the English during his voyage around the world in 1769. Captain Cook and his crew of the ship, The Endeavour, were welcomed with open arms by the friendly and uninhibited Tahitians (yeah, that means many of them were naked.) Since the weather was very warm on the island, clothing was optional.
The Tahitians tried to look their best by decorating their bodies. But the fact of the matter was the application of tattoos, which was painful. It was done by dipping a sharp-pointed comb into lampblack and then hammering it into the skin. Nonetheless, everybody did it.
As word of tattooing in Tahiti and other Polynesian islands spread, the European sailors began to get tattooed themselves. This probably illustrated why tattoos were looked upon with such a lack of credibility in the early days and were considered as a kind of thing suitable for drunkards, sailors and criminals.
Modern archeology has uncovered the practice of tattoos in many ancient cultures all over the world.
In 1992, in the Alps between the border of Austria and Italy, a perfectly preserved body of a man was found. He was estimated to have lived 5,000 years ago! And he had 58 tattoos all over his body.
Mummies from the ancient Egyptians had tattoos.
Clay figurines found in Japan dated 3,000 years ago were engraved with tattoo marks.
But tattooing has only become acceptable in the mainstream society recently. Tattoo shops and parlors were nothing more than wretched hives of scum and villainy, located in the seediest parts of most towns have undergone significant changes.
Tattooing has really become popular with sports athletes. No one can forget the now-retired flamboyant NBA forward, Dennis Rodman, whose body was a tattooing canvas. A more current example is Allen Iverson of the Philly 76'ers. The tattooing trend is getting really popular in college basketball. And the trickle-down effect is appearing on high school athletes. Some old-fashion coaches forbidden any display of tattoos which meant some basketball players has to play with a t-shirt under their game jersey.
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
The tribal style of tattoos comes from the older tribes such as the Celtics (Ireland, Scotland, & Wales), Maori Tribe (indigenous people of New Zealand), The Haida Tribe (indigenous people along the west coast of North America), the Marquesan (Polynesian inhabitants of the Marquises Islands) and the tribes of Borneo. Native Americans also used tattoos to denote rank, wealth, tribe affiliation, family, role in society and deeds of bravery.
The Celts were a proud, warrior class who inhabited the English Isles before the Roman invasion 55 B.C. under Julius Caesar. The Celts were such a pain in the rear that the Romans built the Hadrian Wall to keep them away. But I digress; the endless knots inside and out of the outlines identify the Tribal tattoos of the Celtics.
The Maori tribes migrated from Eastern Polynesia around 800 to 1300 AD and were the first settlers in New Zealand. They developed their own language. The Maori were described as a fierce and proud warrior race. Inter-tribal warfare was a way of life, with the conquered being enslaved or in some cases eaten! The British exempted the Maori from conscription in WW2. But over 17,000 Maori Natives volunteered! The traditional Maori tribal tattoos are known as ta moko, and consisted of bold spiral designs covering the face. The tattooing process was a tribal ritual that made the use of bone chisels for tattooing. All I can say is this has got to hurt!
The Haida are North American Indians who were expert fishermen and seafarers who lived along the coast of British Columbia and Alaska. These people are well known as skilled artisans of wood, metal and design. They were also known as fearsome warriors who kidnapped slaves as far south in California. The Tribal tattoos of the Haida resembled pictures of the Indian astrology, thunderbirds, beavers, bears, and fish. The tattoo style of the Haida is forceful and masculine.
Sea-faring Polynesians from Samoa colonized the Marquises Islands as early as 300 A.D. They were warring tribes who sometimes cannibalized their enemies. The devastation of the native Marquesan occurred with the introduction of diseases from the European explorers. These islanders covered their bodies completely with tattoos. The Marquesan Islanders used their bodies as a living canvas that told picture stories.
Borneo is the third largest island in the world. The rainforest of the Borneo Island is very rich in biodiversity. The tribes of Borneo used tattoos for protection and proof of their achievements. Needless to say, they were notorious as headhunters. Their tattoos usually took the form of scorpions, flowers, dogs, dragons and spirals.
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
A: They all have Japanese tattoos!
Japanese tattoos are cool. Of course, if you have money to burn like any of these ladies, you can afford to hire a professional translator to pick out the perfect character combination. But if personal translation is out of your league how can you avoid becoming a kanji fashion victim and get stuck with a tattoo you will really regret?
1. Know the difference ? hiragana, katakana and kanji
Before you talk to your tattoo artist, make sure you know what you are talking about. You say you want a Japanese tattoo, but what do you know about Japanese characters? You need a quick stint in 2-minute Japanese boot camp.
First off, let’s be clear that there is no Japanese “alphabet”. There are three sets of Japanese characters ? hiragana, katakana and kanji ? and each group has its own history, function and style. Get your head around these facts and you will already know more than 99% of the people walking around with Japanese tattoos right now:
These simple, rounded characters represent sounds, but have no independent meaning. They were developed by women in the Heian period and are still considered feminine by Japanese people.
Developed by Buddhist monks around the same time as hiragana, these are simple, angular characters that also represent sounds and have no meaning of their own. You saw them cascading down the screen in Matrix (although they were backwards!)
Originally from China, these characters are like pictures, representing a meaning and also several different sounds depending on the situation.
Just reading this has probably given you an idea of which style you might like for your tattoo ? but don’t stop just yet! Now you know what kinds of Japanese characters there are, let’s move on to…
2. Writing styles
Come a bit closer. Lean forward towards the screen. That’s right. Now, look at the words in front of you. Take a good, close look at the shapes of these letters. OK? Now tell me honestly: Would you want a tattoo in Times New Roman? How about Tahoma? What’s that? You don’t want a tattoo by Canon or Epson? Sure you don’t. And in the same way, you don’t want to have your Japanese tattoo looking like a printout either!
So, now we move on to writing styles. Just like there are three kinds of Japanese characters, there are also three ways they can be written. Don’t worry. This is easy! I know, you are thinking that you can’t even read Japanese, so how on earth will you be able to recognize these different styles? Well, try this:
Remember I mentioned Mel C at the beginning? Well guess what kanji she got tattooed on her arm? That’s right ? “Girl Power”: Great in English, but show this kanji combincation to most Japanese people and you’ll get a blank look at best. Want a worse example? Try “big daddy”. Now, you know what it means in English, but put it into kanji and you end up with “large father”! It just doesn’t work.
I’m sure you remember that kanji are the only characters that have meaning as well as sound. And their beauty means that they are what most people want for their tattoos. But watch out: As well as being popular, they can also be the most dangerous!
Let’s see if we can find a pattern here: Look carefully at the examples above. What are they communicating - concrete concepts or abstract ideas? Can you see the difficulty the translators had? The kanji for “dragon”, “samurai”, “love” or any other concrete ideas are pretty easy to discover. But go for anything with an idiomatic meaning and whoever is trying to help you translate it is going to get a major headache!
Just an idea, but how about this suggestion: Rather than trying to force a round English peg into a square Japanese hole, why not find a real Japanese phrase that you like and get that instead? Bushidou (the Way of the Warrior) and Ninjutsu (The Art of Stealth) are two good examples of real Japanese terms that would make great tattoos.
4. Your name in Japanese
As I’m sure you remember from 2-minute Japanese boot camp, katakana are the characters usually used to write foreign words and names. So, if you want to get a tattoo of your name, technically these would be the characters you would choose. But I am guessing that, like most people, you want your name written in kanji.
Do a quick search on Google and you can find a number of sites that specialize in translating names into kanji. Basically there are two different methods that these sites use, so let’s look at them here.
Translating the meaning ? This method involves finding out the original meaning of the English name, and then researching the kanji equivalent.
For example, my name has its origins in Greek and means “crowned one”. The one who is crowned is the king, so I could translate my name into the kanji for king and call myself ohsama. (Perhaps a little pretentious ? and disturbingly similar to Mr. Bin Laden’s first name!)
Translating the sound ? This is a lot more difficult! Flick through a dictionary and you will find a bunch of kanji that can be combined to sound like your name. But sound isn’t everything: Remember that kanji have meaning as well. In fact, it is even more complex than this! Be sure to check each of the following factors with anyone who translates your name like using this method:
- Sound ? Does it sound like your name or not? I have seen my name “translated” on certain websites to sound like Stefan. Shame my name (Stephen) is actually said the same as Steven!
- On-yomi and kun-yomi ? Yes, more technical words! But don’t panic ? they are easy to understand: Basically, kanji have two kinds of reading. One kind, on-yomi, is their original Chinese sound. The other, kun-yomi, is their Japanese-only sound. What to watch is that (like oil and water) on-yomi and kun-yomi don’t mix. Use either all on-yomi reading or all kun-yomi readings to make the sound of your name.
- Meaning ? Do the kanji have a good meaning together? Now, it can be very difficult to find kanji that sound right and have a good meaning, so you may need to compromise a little on one of these.
- Masculine or feminine ? I guess this is more like a sub-category of meaning, but it is something you need to check out to avoid embarrassment. For example, while “Asian Beauty” may be a great combination for a woman, I get the feeling most men would not be too happy about having that permanently written into their skin!
5. If in doubt, check!
First, use your new-found knowledge of Japanese to ask a few difficult questions to your tattoo artist or kanji “specialist”. If you get the feeling they don’t know what they are talking about, you probably want to look elsewhere.
Monday, May 11, 2009
Tattooing, the process of embedding ink under the skin to produce a permanent design, has been around since virtually the dawn of man. Many indiginious cultures practiced tattooing for both adornment, status and spiritual renderings. Though there has been a recent resurgence in native and tribal tattooing, most tattoos today are done strictly as a way of decorating one's self in an artistically expressive manner.
Do you have a tattoo? Are you wondering if you should get one? Of course there is no such answer that can be given that fit everyone, but regardless of who you are there are a few things to consider. Answering these questions honestly and openly will help you realize whether or not tattooing is right for you. Remember, short of getting expensive and painful laser removal, they will be with you forever.
First of all, are there any images that holds significant meaning in your life? If so then be sure if this will be something that is important to you in the years to come. Most people who are satisfied with their tattoos years on down the road are happy because they have chosen images or text that is meaningful to them and that they will be attatched to for the rest of their lives.
By the same token, many of the people that want to get them removed are the ones that put very little thought into getting them in the first place and now are stuck with tattoos that they do not like and no longer want. Before you get something inked on your skin permanently, think about if you’ll still like the image ten, twenty, or thirty years down the road. Can you see yourself with the same tattoo when your seventy-five years old? I hope so because you will own it forever.
Since a tattoo is permanent, don’t just waltz into the nearest tattoo parlor, take a quick look at their offerings and decided what you like. Though this can be a good technique for getting ideas for you tattoo, there’s no rush to get inked. But some serious thought into it. Choose an image you like and think about it for a few weeks or perhaps even months before making your final decision.
Now you need to make the decision of where on your body you want your tattoo to go. Most people who get tattooed, even those with large tattoos covering their arms, legs, or back, will avoid getting tattoos on their hands, neck, or face, due to the fact that many employers frown on tattooing and because tattoos which are always visible can make it tougher to get hired at certain jobs. You may want to give serious consideration of placing your tattoo of a place that can easily be covered up.
Finally, make sure you get tattooed at a respectable tattoo parlor. Disease and infection are very real risks of getting a tattoo. All of the needles should be sterile, as should the general working conditions. When you choose your tattoo artist be sure to choose one that you have seen their work. Take a good luck at their portfolio and see a sketch of your design before getting inked, because you want to be completely satisfied with your tattoo and not take any unnecessary chances.
Sunday, May 10, 2009
Ideally, they are applied in an attractive way, by a knowledgeable artist, fitting the body and personality of the wearer, with an enduring personal significance and a timeless style that will not go out with the current trend. Tattoos of this type are seldom regretted and can be empowering points of pride for their owners. I don’t know one person with a good quality, appropriately sized, and personally significant tattoo they wish they hadn’t gotten.
For many, however, this is an impulsive act, one eventually regretted for that very reason. Often, not much thought is put into the design’s significance or its overall effect on one’s self-image. Too many times, tattoos are gotten because they are fashionable. The problem is, fashions change, and unlike other fashion accessories, you have to keep your tattoo.
This is why it’s important to know HOW to get tattooed. For many, this is a daunting and confusing endeavor, especially the first time. After all, it’s permanent. This idea alone can be nerve-racking enough. Most people never do anything permanent. Half of marriages nowadays are far less than that, and the idea of committing to an aesthetic seems far tougher than committing to a soul mate.
The first step is to know your self. What are you into? What do you hold dear? What do you desire? What do you believe? What types of imagery do you find pleasing, and what part of your body would you like to accentuate with a tattoo? These are good places to start.
Placement, scale, and flow, are paramount in importance. Good tattoos, in my opinion, should look like clothing or jewelry from a respectable viewing distance. A prime example is traditional Japanese tattooing. Another would be Pacific islander. Optimally, they should read well from across the street. If so, they will age well. Badgy, small, isolated tattoos look like melanomas and only get worse with time. These should be avoided.
Then you need to decide on the imagery. Good design reference can be found anywhere; the internet, library, magazines, comic books, greeting cards, even wallpaper. This part is subjective. Look for TYPES of imagery you like, not necessarily specific tattoo designs. A good tattooist can then help you develop a basic idea in a beautiful finished piece, but he or she needs direction from you.
Next you need to find that artist… the one who can do the mental math for you, adding up your expectations and ideas to give you exactly what you never knew you wanted. Word of mouth is invaluable. If you see a tattoo you like on someone, ask who did it. Look a tattoo magazines and on the internet to find out about local tattooists. Once you’ve found a few prospects and located their studios, take some time to visit them and view their studios and portfolios.
The portfolio is key. How artists present their work speaks volumes about them professionally. Look for HEALED pictures of quality work a style that speaks to you. Look for consistent line work, smooth shading, and solid color. A tattooist will most often put their favorite work in their book, so you can see what they prefer to do or specialize in. Do not bypass this step. If you neglect to look at a portfolio, you deserve what you get. If you ask and they say “Portfolio?”… run like hell!
So there you are. You've brainstormed for weeks, gone into all the local tattoo shops, perused portfolios, chosen the "perfect" artist, AND decided on a design (WHEW!). Now you're ready to sign the waiver form and have your skin art dreams come true...right? Not just yet, there, Turbo! One very necessary part of the overall picture should be looked at before you should have ANY kind of invasive procedure done. It's always a good idea to look at the practices of your chosen artist to make sure that this isn't a decision you'll regret. If you'd be so kind as to read on, I'll tell you what you should know and look for to insure you're getting a safe tattoo.
First of all, let's discuss the risks inherent to this kind of procedure. Like any other activity that involves needles and blood, there is always the possibility of transmitting disease if proper standards are not met. Blood borne pathogens such as HIV and hepatitis are of greatest popular concern, with most people believing their biggest risk is "getting AIDS". In fact, HIV is hardly a concern in tattooing, mostly because of the sheer volume of blood that has to be transmitted to infect someone with the virus. HIV is also relatively weak and survives for only short time when exposed to the environment. Hepatitis, a desease that attacks the liver, is of a lot more concern, being a much heartier pathogen that requires a much smaller amount of body fluid transfer, though it should be mentioned that , according to the Centers for Disease Control, there has NEVER been a documented case of Hepatitis OR AIDS caused by a tattoo. However, there's always a first time for everything, and nobody wants to be it, so it's always a good idea to take universal precautions. Remember, too, that there are many other diseases out there that you can receive through contact with infected blood, such as tuberculosis. That's not all, though. We also have to take into account the plethora of different bacterial and fungal infections that that are just waiting for the opportunity to fester inside your brand new tattoo. So be careful...the hide you save could be your own.
The first step in this process is to ask about the studio's universal precautions...a set of practices used with each and every client to prevent infection and disease transmission (hence the term "universal"). Do they use new needles? Do they wear latex or comparable exam gloves while working? Do they use an acceptable hard surface disinfectant on all their tools and work surface in between tattoos after doing away with all disposable items (razor blades, ink, ink cups, Vaseline, plastic barriers, rubber bands, etc)? How do they sterilize their non-disposable equipment? These are the questions that you should have answered BEFORE getting tattooed or pierced...as well as any others that come to mind. Remember, it's YOUR health, and it's your responsibility. Do it for yourself as well as for your friends and loved ones. You don't want to end up an amputee Typhoid Mary, do you?
Saturday, May 9, 2009
Body piercing also poses a risk of hepatitis C transmission since it involves the use of needles and possible exposure to blood. If needles and other piercing equipment are not adequately sterilized between customers, they could be a source of hepatitis C infection.
Don't let anyone use homemade or reused equipment (including needles, ink or jewelry) on you. Insist on fresh, single-use, disposable needles and fresh ink in new disposable containers, and make sure that all equipment is disinfected and sterilized with an autoclave. Be aware that cleaning with bleach or any other disinfectant doesn't always kill the hepatitis C virus.
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Historically, the lower back area emerged as a popular place to show off tattoos, as it was believed the tattooing in this region of the body would assist in the release and subsequent harnessing of a person’s internal energy. Regrettably much of the history supporting the lower back tattoo has been lost to all but the most knowledgeable scholars of the subject.
Many of the women wearing a lower back tattoo design today are not necessarily familiar with the origins and the unique history and significance of this type of tattoo. It is not imperative to understand the complete history behind the lower back tattoo, however, some knowledge of its origins may well add a unique aspect and significance to the tattoo as well as helping to explain to others why you chose this particular style of tattoo.
Within Hinduism and Buddhism the lotus flower has become a symbol for awakening to the spiritual reality of life. The meaning varies slightly between the two religions of course but essentially both religious traditions place importance on the lotus flower. In modern times the meaning of a lotus flower tattoo ties into it's religious symbolism and meaning. Most tattoo enthusiast feel that the a lotus tattoo represent life in general. As the lotus flower grows up from the mud into a object of great beauty people also grow and change into something more beautiful (hopefully!). So the symbol represent the struggle of life at its most basic form.
Lotus flower tattoos are also popular for people who have gone through a hard time and are now coming out of it. Like the flower they have been at the bottom in the muddy, yucky dirty bottom of the pond but have risen above this to display an object of beauty or a life of beauty as the case might be. Thus a lotus flower tattoo or blossom can also represent a hard time in life that has been overcome.
Lotus flower and peonies are also two flowers that are very popular among Japanese tattoo artists and they make a great compliment to Koi Fish tattoos. Ironically enough the two koi fish and lotus flowers can often be found in the same pond in front of a temple. The Koi fish is a symbol typically for strength and individualism.
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
The great thing about buying a Tattoo kit, if you are a beginner is that pretty much everything you need to get started SHOULD be included with your kit, that means a machine, power supply, tubes, tips, a few sets of needles, a decent variety of inks, sets of gloves and ink caps.
A quick search on Google shows that there are plenty of tattoo kits out there these days at an affordable price for the newbie who wants to get started.
You will find super low priced kits (from China) to kits well over $200 , there is an old saying “you get what you pay for” so don‘t just buy the lowest priced one you find, to start with you don’t have to go out and spend $500 but at least try and aim for the best you can afford. You are looking to start a career here and you want to start off on the right foot and not cutting costs on quality of your “work tools”.
Talk to other tattoo artists in the area and find out from them what Tattoo kits they purchased when they were starting off, nearly all artists have a personal favorite and a company they prefer to use.
Check Tattoo magazines. These days pretty much every newsstand has a decent selection of Tattoo magazines, check the ads in the magazines, often they have product reviews too that are helpful in helping you make the right choice.
On of the key things to remember with Tattooing is like anything in life you get out what you put in , a weak effort will bring weak results , buying a complete tattoo kit is a great way to get started .
If you read my previous article on Find the Right Tattoo Design, you may now be ready for the next step. Before you head out to the tattoo parlor, let’s take a close look at what to look for in a tattoo parlor, and ultimately the tattoo artist you choose to work with.
Here are some guidelines for choosing a tattoo parlor. Follow these key points, and you are well on your way to making a wise decision.
1. The tattoo studio should be clean (floors and interior).
2. Autoclave is recommended for sterilizing equipment.
3. Single-use needles must be used prior to expiration date.
4. A separate room for keeping sterilized implements.
5. Good standing with the Better Business Bureau.
6. References should be made available.
Look at the tattoo artist as not only good at his/her artistic skills, but also as a consultant. A good tattoo consultant will make you feel comfortable by explaining shop rules and health guidelines taken to protect you from risks. You have the right to be concerned about your personal health. If safety health procedures are not given prior to the work being started, you need to ask what precautions are taken for your own well being.
Here is why sanitation guidelines by the tattoo shop and artist are so important for your health. Your skin protects you from infections, and when the skin is pierced, it gives pathogens a chance to enter the body. A pathogen is a biological agent that causes disease or illness.
Your greatest risk at the tattoo parlor would be from contaminated needles. Pathogens can also enter your body through breathing. If the shop is not clean, there is a chance that the tattoo equipment and other items are also dirty, and pathogens can be in the air.
Find out what type of needles will be used for your tattoo. Single use needles come in sterilized pouches and should always be taken out of the pouch with you looking on. All needles should be used only once, and discarded in a sharps container after use. Make sure you see the needles come out of a sterilized pouch, and check the expiration date on the pouch.
In addition, every item being used on your body should be sterilized. This includes the needles, wound care products, latex gloves, ink tubes and grips (stainless steel tube that holds the needle bar). If it touches your body it must be sanitized. Any professional tattoo artist will make sanitation a top priority, not only for your good, but also for his own.
The needles protruding from the grip are dipped into tattoo pigment inks. The inks are either in individual caps or cups for each client. Pigments should be prepared in a sanitary manner, and used for one client only. Excess ink is discarded just like the needles after use on one client.
If you are satisfied, that the tattoo parlor and artist meet your qualifications, go ahead and start the consultation. The tattoo artist should be friendly and a good communicator. A good communicator is one who listens as well as talks. If you have any feeling of uncertainty, back off and give it some more thought.
Monday, May 4, 2009
The problem with using search engines to find printable designs on the internet is that most of the search results are generic sites with the same old tattoo designs that all of us have seen a thousand times before. While it may appear that the internet suffers from a dearth of sites featuring original tattoo designs, the fact is that such sites are out there; they just need to be pinpointed using methods other than the familiar search engine. Anyone interested in fresh, new printable tattoo designs should take the extra time and effort to educate themselves on these methods.
The best way to find quality designs online is through discussion forums and internet message boards devoted to tattoos. Populated by a core audience of tattoo enthusiasts, online forums are a perfect resource of information about everything to do with tattoos. The sites and galleries linked on such forums are far superior to anything a search engine can come with up. Many of these forums have been around for a while and have prodigious archives going back several years. Browsing through their archives will yield a treasure trove of original tattoo designs that a search engine will rarely find.
All online discussion forums have easy to use search features so new users can quickly locate their topics of interest without having to wade through pages and pages of unrelated topics. Since so many people have trouble finding original tattoo designs, a lot of the discussion taking place revolves around locating online sources for great printable tattoo designs. These sources range from niche sites that are overlooked by search engines to little known galleries of tattoo art or even original design creations by fellow forum members - most people who are active in online forums are more than willing to share their findings. Many online forums require little more than going through a quick and FREE registration process to sign up. It is always a good idea for new members to take a few days and "lurk" before jumping into the fray or asking questions that have no doubt been answered many times before. Always remember to read the rules and the FAQs.
A large majority of the people searching for Celtic tattoos end up using popular search engines for finding designs - this has become the predominant for finding tattoo artwork of all kinds. The major drawback with this method is that search engines are not really suited for finding niche tattoo websites that feature unique, one-of-a-kind Celtic designs; instead the kinds of sites that tend to dominate the first few pages of results are cookie cutter websites featuring unoriginal generic designs.
The problem with these sites is that they are designed to appeal to the largest possible online audience to generate hits and become popular with search engines. They usually feature the same old designs that are at least a few years old. Such Celtic designs have been inked on so many bodies over the past few years that they border on being cliché. Chances are that the same tattoo designs that show up on such highly ranked pages have already popped up on hundreds of other sites on the internet as well as on thousands of people around the world.
Another huge problem with picking Celtic tattoo artwork off these sites is that they are not specifically designed to be used as actual tattoos. While most of the artwork may look good to the casual viewer, they will not look as nice inked on the body. Looking good on a computer monitor or on a printout and looking good on a human body are two very different things. The people who run most these popular sites throw in any random Celtic artwork and designs without giving much thought to their suitability as tattoos. Individuals who use these designs often end up getting inked with tattoos they are not completely satisfied with - a fatal blunder when dealing with something as permanent as tattoos.
There is hope, however. Internet discussion forums and message boards have risen to be a viable replacement for search engines when it comes to finding niche content like original Celtic tattoo designs. Tattoo forums provide a wealth of information first-hand from tattoo aficionados who have been through it all and are eager to share their experiences, good or bad, with others. Forums are a great place to find links to lesser known websites and galleries of original and fresh Celtic artwork that are perfect for tattoos.