The Basic Truths about Tattoo Culture
Some people wonder why certain other people want their skins “vandalized” permanently with ink. The answers vary. For some, it’s a form of self expression. For others, it’s a means of showing appreciation for body art. Yet, some also see it as a symbol for something sentimental or personal – love, philosophy, religion, experiences.
No matter how one sees them, tattoos have been around for so long a time, approximately thousands of years ago. Back then, tattoos serve different purposes for different cultures. For some groups, tattoos indicated social or warrior status – wherein the more inked you are, the more battles you have fought and won. There are also cultures that considered these markings as a canon of beauty, or as a way of identifying a tribe’s members. Whatever the purpose or relevance, tattoos have undeniably played a role in ancient societies.
There have been years – not too long ago – when most people had associated tattoos with bikers, sailors, sideshow artists, and even with gangsters and prisoners. However, in very recent years – more specifically in the last decade, tattoos have had a certain kind of revival and have become greatly popular again. This time, the people who get themselves inked permanently are just as diverse as the tattoo designs and styles they choose.
People who want to get a tattoo work with tattoo artists to come up with custom or personalized tattoo designs. Otherwise, they simply choose from the sample tattoo works or images usually displayed in the shop. Because the skin has the ability to stretch while the artist is using the tattoo equipment, he first needs to stencil or maps out the design on his client’s skin. The artist also needs to know how deeply the needle should pierce into a person’s skin throughout the main tattoo process. Punctures that are way too deep may cause excessive bleeding and pain, while those that are too shallow may cause lines that are uneven.
There are people who have, at one time or another, entertained getting this kind of body art, but always gets turned off by the thought of pain. People who have experienced the process describe the sensation as akin to being stung by a bee, getting pinched, or getting sunburn. However, there are also others who merely say it’s like experiencing a slight tickling. One thing is definite: different people have different levels of tolerance for pain. The size and design of the tattoo, the skill of the tattoo artist doing it, and the location contributes greatly to the pain factor, too.
Selecting the appropriate design for a tattoo is a process that needs utmost care and a whole lot of thinking over. You wouldn’t want a design that you’re not sure you would still like five or ten years down the road. You would not want the name of a lover imprinted in huge letters all over your arm, then find yourself breaking up with that tattoo’s namesake a couple of months after. Remember that tattoos are permanent, and laser removal can be really costly. Get a design that speaks about you as a person, that represents the one thing you hold most dear to your heart, or that symbolizes your affinity to something. Choose a design that’s not based out of impulse or spontaneity, lest you might regret it sooner than you had hoped for.