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Making First Time Tattoos More Comfortable

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It doesn’t matter if you’re a teen or a senior, always and in every case the first tattoo is essentially a rite of passage. This bold step outside your comfort zone can be very intoxicating. And self expression is addictive. Today, tattoos aren’t just for sailors and bikers anymore; it’s now a way of self-actualization like never before. If you’re a tattoo artist dealing with a first time tattooee, their nervousness quickly becomes apparent. In order to make the newbie more comfortable, walk them through the process. Even if they’ve come prepared, they need to know that their artist understands what they’re going through. Cover the following aspects: Choose Body-Art carefully It’s just a statement of fact: many, many first timers make poor choices when it comes to their first tattoo, and nobody really knows it until years later, in hindsight. It’s important to make the effort implore those new to tattoo to carefully consider the body art they choose as it is going to be a part of them for many years to come, therefore QUALITY is their primary consideration. It doesn’t matter if it’s an epic tattoo or a piece of flash, quality of application is the key to happiness (when it comes to tattoo art;). In addition, a good starting point for the uninitiated is choosing a tattoo that represents something they value deeply, a statement to the world, or simply to show support for a cause. Proper Diet the Night Before When an appointment is set ... Read More »

Painful Tattoos! Let’s Explain How Bad Tattoos Hurt

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You’ve probably heard all the horror stories about the pain associated with tattoos. About people fainting, having to quit with a tattoo only partially done or going through dozens of small sessions to get through the process. Despite what you’ve heard, tattoos really aren’t as painful as you may have been led to believe. We’re going to walk you through what makes a tattoo hurt and how you can better manage the pain when getting your first, second or fiftieth tattoo. What Makes a Tattoo Hurt? There are a few factors that determine how much pain you’re going to feel while getting tattooed, but the most important factor is where the tattoo is located. Areas of the body with more nerve endings, which tend to be more sensitive to pain of any kind, are going to be the most painful to get tattooed. This includes most joint areas, such as the armpits and back of the knee, and of course genital regions. The most surprisingly painful region is around the ribs. While it may seem relatively numb, the upper area of your mid-section is made up of soft tissue that is incredibly sensitive – hence people who are ticklish and why poking someone in the side is an especially effective way to get their attention. The first picture in our gallery below, which is made up of particularly painful tattoo examples, is a pain chart that’ll show you the relative pain level of each body region. Beginners should definitely look ... Read More »

10 Really Bad Tattoos: How to Avoid Tattoo Regrets

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“Think before you ink” isn’t a well-known proverb, but it should be. When it comes to awesome body art, regret is simply the flip side. Whether or not you regret your decision to get a tattoo depends on your attitude towards it at the outset. The underlying issue is that most people that regret their tats are the ones who failed to find a quality artist OR who got inked on a whim in the first place. Lack of thoughtfulness will lead to regret. There are a variety of reasons why people choose to get inked and, more often than not, it’s all about the aesthetics. The only way not to regret your tattoos is to first change how you perceive tattoos and then learn to seek out (and PAY) for quality work. Key to No Regrets Th-ink About It Think about why you want to get inked in the first place. What are your motivations? If you have selected a particular design, ask yourself why. There are a great many things to consider before you opt for this life altering decision. Will it affect your career? Is it acceptable in your work place? If you are the type of person who wants to give everything meaning, don’t end up getting a tattoo on a whim. If you do, despite whatever reason you may have at the time, it will quickly lose meaning and you’ll begin to hate it as you sober up. Location If you have made up your ... Read More »

The History of the Mom and Heart Tattoo

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These tattoos are one of the most personal ways to express the love you have for your mother and the gratitude you feel towards her. Apart from giving birth to a child, mothers nurture, protect and make sacrifices for their children throughout their lives. This natural attachment is felt by everyone, regardless of nationality, race, status or religion, and some people make the highly personal decision to ink it permanently on their body as a permanent reminder of gratitude. These tattoos vary greatly in design and style, and sometimes are tattooed with other meaningful symbols to add to the aesthetics. The most common Mom-Heart tattoo incorporates some sort of symbol (normally a heart design), with the words, Mom, Mum, or Mother written on a ribbon across the heart. Other symbols this tattoo design may accompany depends on the personal experience of the one getting the tattoo and what they find meaningful. The most common choices are diamonds, pearls, wings and fire. Some even choose to go with butterflies or work their mothers’ favorite flowers into the tattoo design. The History of the Mother and Heart Tattoo It’s believed the first person to tattoo his mother’s name across the chest was an old Irish Sailor. He started this cherished tattooed design with a heart and saber, as well as the memory of a sailor’s song that he sung, “Kissed me darling mother”. This classic heart and mom banner is now, perhaps the most famous and widely loved tribute tattoo. Honor your Mom When ... Read More »

Medical Tattoos and Health Emergencies

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The decision to get drastic and permanent body modification is usually tied to what’s going on in an individual’s life. Significant experiences and events of a person’s life, no matter how good or bad, can change a person forever. The most commonly desired modifications in this regard are tattoos, and the range of events that can inspire body art is unending. However, when it comes to medical tattooing, there are several connections that can be made. There are some medical procedures that require tattoos in order to be done safely and effectively. For example, cancer patients that undergo radiation treatment are tattooed with marks on the area that is the target of treatment, allowing the doctors to easily find the spot and avoid zapping the surrounding healthy tissue. Tattooing has become an alternative option to medical bracelets, which traditionally serve to inform medical professionals of a patient’s condition in an event where they are unconscious or otherwise unable to communicate. A report by American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists in 2009 stated that more patients prefer medical-alerts to be tattooed on their skin, especially in patients that suffer from chronic conditions like diabetes. Tattoos for Post-medical Conditions Post treatment medical tattoos are also in abundance. Individuals that suffer from illness, medical treatment, or a mishap that disfigures them in any way tend to opt for tattoos to hide the scars in order to feel whole and attractive again. The trend is becoming so popular that many tattoo artists nowadays have added post-medical ... Read More »

What are Trash Polka Tattoos?

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With tattoos becoming more popular each year, it’s only natural that designs would begin to change and evolve. As more people get tattoos, it becomes increasingly likely that two or more people will wind up with the same design. For many, that’s simply unacceptable, which is where designs like Trash Polka tattoos come into play. The Trash Polka tattoo art style originates from the Buena Vista Tattoo Club in Würzburg, Germany. Tattoo artists Simone Pfaff and Volko Merschky are credited as the originators of the style, calling it a blend of “realism and trash; the nature and the abstract; technology and humanity; past, present, and future; opposites that they are trying to urge into a creative dance to harmony and rhythm in tune with the body.” The two distinct aspects every Trash Polka tattoo features are its chaotic blend of real and abstract imagery, which often utilizes words or writing of some kind, and its sole use of red and black ink. Trash Polka tattoos are made to attract attention and appear fresh, bringing up concerns that they may not hold up well on their own over time. Although the style is so new that there’s no way of knowing just how much touch-up work may be required to keep its stark appearance over the years. It may be difficult to find an artist who can mimic the Trash Polka style if you’re unable to fly to Germany and have it done by Pfaff or Merschky. The purposeful chaotic style ... Read More »

The Art of Watercolor Tattoos

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Have you ever seen a watercolor tattoo in person? You’d certainly known if you had. Watercolor tattoos stand apart from their traditional counterparts in a variety ways, from their vibrant color schemes to the special techniques artists employ to create them. While the term watercolors may cause you to think of the Crayola trays parents give children to paint with in an attempt to limit post painting destruction, they’ve actually been used for centuries to capture the colorful essence of nature. The art style was utilized during the Italian Renaissance by many famous painters and was often used to depict wildlife and landscapes. The art style uses paint in which pigments are suspended within a water-based solution, hence the name. While it can be supported on a wide variety of different materials, it’s most commonly applied to paper that’s either partially or entirely made of cotton in order to reduce the painting’s distortion when wet. Watercolor tattoo artists obtain the same sort of visual effect by lessening the overall ink saturation through subtle shading. They often achieve the brushstroke-esque design by forgoing the typical black outline seen in more traditional tattoos. If you do a bit of research into watercolor tattoos you’ll find a lot of people calling into question the art style’s longevity due to the lack of outline and lessened amounts of ink saturation. It’s true that watercolor tattoos don’t last quite as long as their traditional counterparts and tend to require more touch-ups to maintain, but the ... Read More »

Biker Tattoos: A Historic Example of Meaning

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Those new to tattoos are often cautioned by veterans to get something that represents a strong symbolic message or meaning unique to their personality or life experience. For more than seventy-five years biker tattoos have served as a prime example of the intense meaningfulness of the art. Anyone who’s watched Sons of Anarchy at least has a functioning understanding of how important tattoos are within the biker subculture. Most fans still vividly remember the scene where Kyle gets his tattoo burned off to signify his lack of association with the gang during season one. The history of biker tattoos started back in the 1940s and 50s right alongside the beginning of motorcycle gangs. Many of the first biker gangs consisted of ex-soldiers and served primarily as a means to continue the same sense of brotherhood and companionship many soldiers lost after coming back home from war. Even today many soldiers get tattoos to signify their devotion to their unit and position in the military, so it only made sense that the trend would continue among biker gangs as well. That being said, the historic significance is pretty much where Sons of Anarchy stops paralleling the real world nature of motorcycle gangs and biker tattoos. The outlaw connotations drawn by people outside of biker gangs came from an early assumption that biker tattoos were similar in nature to prison tattoos. While there have been a number of unlawful biker gangs over the decades, the vast majority are actually law abiding organizations ... Read More »

On the Topic of Hip Tattoos

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Even the most basic tattoo can be an incredibly sensual piece of art when strategically placed. The hip is often used as one such location, particularly by women who enjoy showing off their midriffs at the beach and during the warmer times of year. People who exercise to extreme degrees often use tattoos as a way to accentuate and draw attention to particular parts of their body. Men tend to focus on their biceps, hence the popularity of bicep tattoos. Women tend to focus on their core, which is why the fairer sex tend to sport hip tattoos more than their testosterone-fueled counterparts. The hips is also a prime locations for people who work in industries that frown upon the practice. It’s an easy location to cover up, making it simple for people to deny their existence during an interview process if need be. That being said, tattoos are starting to become commonplace and more accepted year after year. This trend has caused many people to feel comfortable getting more extensive and detailed designs, and the hip is the perfect place for these larger pieces of art. As you can see from many of the designs in the gallery below, hip tattoos tend to be quite large in nature, spanning the entire region above and below the waist. If a small picture’s worth a thousand words then a hip tattoo can be likened to a novel; an easy-to-read novel visible without the need of a mirror. Hip tattoos are also ... Read More »

20 Brand Tattoos: Just How Brand Loyal ARE You?

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Brand tattoos are some of the most noticeable images you can get on your body today. They’re instantly recognizable with a large group of people and are often synonymous with particular lifestyle philosophies, like Nike’s athletic-centric “Just Do It” or Harley’s love of the open road. Getting a brand tattoo is a great way to instantly let the world know your own particular life views and ideologies. They’re a natural choice for people who are either highly sociable or otherwise looking to increase their social interactivity. A visible tattoo of your favorite brand is a great way to find people who have similar interests, either in the brand in particular or the industry it’s associated with. They work so well to bring people together that it’s entirely possible a brand tattoo could open relationships you otherwise never would’ve known existed. Having a potential conversation starter isn’t the only reason to get a brand tattoo though. Many people often advise tattoo beginners to start with something meaningful, which is more often than not what many brand logos represent. A brand’s effectiveness hinges on its ability to evoke positive emotions and memories, which is why brands like Coke create so many advertisements about happiness and joy. To be clear, we’re not saying you should get a lower back Wal-Mart tattoo like the guy pictured left. In all fairness, to each his own, but you don’t necessarily have to get the actual logo of the brand you like. Brand tattoos can be as creative and ... Read More »

You Decide, Trick or Treat? 13 Halloween Tattoos

Darcy Nutt of Chalice Tattoo in Boise, Idaho

Halloween, also known as All Hallows’ Eve, has its roots  in a pre-Christian festival from about 2,000 years ago which was held in the beginning of November. The festival was called Samhain (pronounced “sah-win”). Samhain, means “summer’s end” in Gaelic. Now, the opposite of that is, Samhainophobia, which is the fear of Halloween or the fear of the festival of the dead. Hard to imagine someone fearing the Festival of the Dead, after all, what could be more normal than dead people having a festival?  While there remains some debate with folklorist and historians about the exact origins of Halloween, one thing is for sure, if is started some 2,000 years ago and we are still celebrating it, All Hallow’s Eve deserves some special attention! Check out the collection below of some spooky and whimsical Halloween Tattoos. FOLLOW US and Submit your Halloween or other Holiday Tattoos Instagram@tattooartistmagazine Ans Pham Matt @inkedtat2 Lindsay  @Skin Decor Tattoo   By Richard Guy in the U.K. @richardartistguy Cory Stanfield @cory_ink3d Laura Murphy @lmurphytattoos Mark Duhan @markduhan Mae La Roux @missmaelaroux Christopher Fernandez @chrisfernandez_8p Sunny Buick Brad Stevens Dark Circle Tattoo Matt Houston Darcy Nutt Adam Gibson *To see MORE and learn about some of the MOST AMAZING tattoo artists of our age, check out these deals from Tattoo Artist Magazine! There’s a reason tattooers themselves consider TAM the most informative and important tattoo magazine ever –   *Be sure to check out the digital issues of Tattoo Artist Magazine ON SALE NOW– JUST $2.99 – $7.99. TAM DIGITAL ISSUES ... Read More »

10 Grimmest Skull and Skeleton Tattoos

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All the PHOTOS in this GALLERY of Skulls & Skeletons are from professional tattooers in the TAM community who have shared their work with us on instaGram! When it comes to the design you want for your tattoo, sky is the limit. The array of designs you can find in each category is endless, not to mention that every individual owns creativity! The type of tattoo one decides to put on their skin is essentially a message they give to the world. A Skull and/or Skeleton tattoo, is it a symbol of death or life? To quite a lot of people when they see a skull tattoo, the word that immediately comes to their mind is death and danger. Yet, before tattooing was even a thing, the sign of a skull was always associated with life and even a symbol to celebrate it. In ancient societies, skulls and skeleton were meant to bring great change, and the greatest of all changes in one’s life is death. People who opt for skull tattoos each have their own motivations, meanings, and reason for getting them. To each individual personally, it can mean anything from celebration of life to recognition of the inevitability of death. While the symbolism of a skull tattoo holds significance, nowadays, it has become a display only, rather than holding its inherent meaning, and if you really want to find out the message that a person is trying to convey, you will have to ask them that directly. There ... Read More »

Jeremy Sutton on the opening of Electric Anvil Tattoo

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By Nicki Kasper Tell us a little bit about your history in the tattoo industry… How long have you been tattooing?  What shops did you call home before opening Electric Anvil? Etc… I have been tattooing for 18 years. Josh Egnew has been tattooing for 10 years. We both came from Three Kings Tattoo. Josh has tattooed in Brooklyn his whole career. He started out at Hand of Glory. Before Three Kings I worked at Guru Tattoo in San Diego and before that with Russ Abbott at Ink and Dagger. Who do you credit for teaching you the trade, and what was that experience like?  I learned to tattoo in Toccoa, Georgia from an old biker named Ole Roy. He taught me all the foundations of tattooing. But I really accredit the crew at Alien Arts Tattoo (now the crew of Anonymous Tattoo) in Savannah, Georgia for really helping me understand the craft of tattooing. They are also incredible artists so the envelope was always being pushed. Josh never had a formal apprenticeship, but was fortunate to have some great people looking out for him. Regino Gonzales and Marco Serio being at the top of that list. Between those guys and all of the amazing people he’s worked with over the years at Hand of Glory, Three Kings and on the road, I’d say the experience has been pretty fantastic. What made you decide to open a shop?  Well it’s been a long time coming. Just turning the key to ... Read More »

Tattoos Based on a Special Moment

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Tattoo design has expanded greatly in the past few years and influences now come from all corners of the globe, ranging from British street art to Pacific Islander tribal patterns and all points in between. While most tattoos are based on a love of the image or art, a new trend in tattoos is using the medium to commemorate a specific moment in time, whether it’s an important event, marriage, birth of a child, or something else equally momentous. Here are a few examples of tattoos based on a special moment.  Wedding Tattoos  They’ve been a thing for a while now, but wedding tattoos are really starting to take off. While the usual version is just a single line band, plenty of couples are putting their own spin on things, with intricate designs, images of diamonds, and tons of other creative ideas. Why get a wedding tattoo? Well, it makes perfect sense. A tattoo lasts forever and a marriage is the same (at least that’s the idea). As with writing your own vows, the wedding tattoo trend seems to have taken hold and is showing up on more and more fingers. Even though there are countless wedding tattoos out there, there is definitely one more famous than all others. When Jay-Z and Beyonce Knowles tied the knot in 2008, it may have been a quiet wedding, but news quickly spread that in addition to a ring costing a reported $5 million, Beyonce and her hubby also exchanged wedding tattoos. Instead of a traditional ... Read More »

Trippy Eyeball Tattoos that are looking back!

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EYE CAN SEE YOU! – Eyeball Tattoos are all the rage these days – BAM!! “LOOK AT ME!”, they seem to say, but there’s also an eerie sense that they are looking back at US! A well executed tattoo of any sort commands our attention and Eyeball Tattoos are flipping freaky to look at…when done well. They SNAP us into the moment. In many philosophical circles this is THE defining characteristic of ‘Art’. To cause us to pause, however briefly, from the endless, running commentary in our heads and in the midst of that momentary ‘confusion’, remind us again of the Mystery of life and our place in it. Art is powerful. And it can change us. It effectively slaps us OUT of our wandering thoughts and forces us to take notice of something other than ourselves (& our own inner dialog); something that has this sort of visual power opens us again to the wonders of the universe. Hand made tattoos by artists who want to help us ‘see’… Thanks to all the artists and Instagram submissions we’ve been getting! MORE COMING SOON! — ARTISTS: tag us and use # tattooartistmagazine on IG to submit YOUR best work! 1) tattoo by @gordonptattooist 2) tattoo by @paulsmithtattoo 3) tattoo by @otzistattoostudio 4) tattoo by @eduardolascano 5) tattoo by @mikeylotattoos 6) tattoo by @john_laurent 7) tattoo by @jessem_tattoos 8) tattoo by @nesotattoo 9) tattoo by @xecutionstyle 10) tattoo by @pedrotattoovz 11) tattoo by @tomas_garcia   12) tattoo by @ [we lost this ... Read More »