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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 »

Sexy Sternum Tattoos

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You don’t need see their faces to know these woman are confident and badass. The sternum, or under boob tattoo is trending with thousands of designs, intricate meanings and a body placement that simply accentuates the natural curves. Sternum tattoos offer a ton of room for artists to work with and act as perfect accessories for a variety of outfits and situations. They perfectly accentuate curves and can be used to show off that figure you worked so hard for when bikini and midriff season come around. As you can see from the gallery below, many women opt to get jewelry-like sternum tattoos for just such occasions. The sternum tattoo is a fairly new and bold choice that is becoming more popular each and every year. The area is highly sensitive, making sternum tattoos among the most uncomfortable to bear through, which is why many women choose designs that aren’t colored in or otherwise require minimal work. But a little pain is most certainly worth the gain, as you can see from the women in our gallery. The sternum is one of the best locations for tattoo artists to design on. It’s a wide, flat canvas on which designs are only limited by the imagination. From quotes written along the under boob area to colossal works of are, the possibilities involved in sternum tattoo designs are truly endless. One of the biggest concerns people have about getting sternum tattoos is the amount of upkeep involved in keeping it looking great ... Read More »

All-American, Patriotic Tattoos

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While it’d be easy to say, “There’s nothing more American than tattoos”, the truth is that there’s nothing more human than tattoos. Tattooing is one of the earliest art forms known to man. In 1991, German hikers discovered the remains of a 5,300 year-old mummified man who had 57 tattoos on his body. That being said, there are few things more representative of American patriotism than a tattoo. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Whatever else your tattoo may mean or stand for, it more than likely represents at least one – if not all – of these things. This means that American patriotic tattoos represent the absolute pinnacle of the American Dream to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Patriotic tattoos are among some of the oldest in America’s history. For a long time the art of tattooing was practically exclusive to sailors and military men, who would often choose to get patriotic tattoos as a symbol of what they were fighting for – a practice that is still continued to this day as characterized by a number of the tattoos featured in the gallery below. Before dog tags became a standard form of identification, many parts of the military recommended troops get tattoos as a form of post mortem identification. To put it simply, tattooing is one of the first and oldest ways American citizens could show their love and support for the country they fought for and adored. Getting a patriotic tattoo is a great ... 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 »

10 Colorful Rockabilly Tattoos

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Are you like a little bit of country and rock ‘n’ roll? Then you’re probably already quite familiar with all things rockabilly, even if you don’t recognize the term. Rockabilly, the musical genre tag that denotes the early 50’s style of rock-and-rock, has transcended music to encompass an entire art form and lifestyle. Rockabilly tattoos represent the old timey swinging musical stylings found in music by legendary artists like Elvis Presley and famed featured films like Greased Lightning. The name comes from a combination of rock ‘n’ roll and hillbilly, the latter of which was often used to reference country music back in the 1940s and 50s when the rock ‘n’ roll genre first began to form. Largely originating from the southern regions of the United States, the first rock ‘n’ roll artists were strongly influenced by country music, and thus the rockabilly genre was formed. Rockabilly was used as the soundtrack for rebellious youth spirit during its early years, like many musical genres before and after its inception. It’s survived throughout the years as a characteristic of a time period long passed but not forgotten, where slicked back hair and bow tied hairbands were in fashion among the young men and women of the time. As you can see in our gallery below, many rockabilly tattoos seek to capture this classic look and often mix it with various other common tattoo themes and elements. From milkshakes to microphones, the plethora of iconic imagery that captures the rockabilly time period ... Read More »

10 Steampunk Tattoos to be Inspired By

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The retro-futuristic Victorian setting that characterizes the steampunk style is the primed to inspire creative and unique tattoo designs. The sci-fi art style involved in all things steampunk related is incredibly detailed and vivid, making for exquisite works of art that anyone engrossed in the romantic retro-Victorian era can appreciate and find appealing. Steampunk was born from the scientific romance novels of the 19th century by famous writers of the time, such as Jules Verne, H.G. Wells and Mary Shelley. The term first appeared in the 1980s, drawing inspiration for the cyberpunk genre that was being popularized around the same time too. Over the past 30+ years the steampunk science fiction subgenre has steadily grown in popularity, particularly for the gear-based retro-futuristic art it inspires. As characterized by many of the steampunk designs featured in the gallery below, mixing traditional symbols like the eye and heart with a steampunk theme can make for some incredibly unique and creative one-of-a-kind tattoos. The theme gives tattoo designs a very eclectic feel, representing multiple interests and facets of one’s personality all at once. Steampunk tattoo designs can also create fascinating illusions, transforming human body parts into mechanized prosthetics that’s sure to stun many passersby as you go about your daily routine. The full arm sleeve design featured below is a perfect example of what can be accomplished with the steampunk aesthetic. Are you looking for a tattoo that represents your love of all things science fiction? Have a passion for all things steampunk? ... 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 »

Tatted Up Disney Characters

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We all know the “family-friendly” nature of Disney is a sham, right? From clear racist undertones to the practically blatant phallic imagery, Disney’s roots are hardly as family-friendly as they’d like people to believe. So why shouldn’t Disney characters be depicted with tattoos every once in a while? Disney has been around since 1923 and now has multiple generations of audiences and fans who span a wide range of ages and maturity levels. It only makes sense that fans would choose to depict their favorite Disney characters in a more mature light than their more-often-than-not saintly appearances would have us believe. Tattoos also just fit many Disney characters’ personalities. Just try to see Ariel without having awesome tattoos after looking through the gallery below. You can’t, can you? Of course the historically rebellious mermaid would have tattoos! Ariel looks fantastic with them, and she knows it. If you didn’t already think about what your favorite Disney character would be like in real life, the pictures below will definitely jog your imagination. Although they’ll also raise a few interesting questions too. Like, “How does Tinkerbell get her tattoos? Is there a fairy tattoo artist with a tiny shop just sitting around on Neverland?” or “Would Cinderella have to get all her tattoos after getting married to the prince? She wouldn’t be able to afford them otherwise, right?” A lot of these pictures also spark some interesting fan fiction ideas. What if Belle was more assertive in Beauty and the Beast? Or ... 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 »

The Eternal Artistry of Holiday Tattoos

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The winter months are considered the happiest time of year for a reason. Loved ones get together and create memories that often last a lifetime. Many people get to see friends and family members they don’t ordinarily get to catch up with while feasting like there’s no tomorrow. It’s no wonder why some of the most timeless stories revolve around the holidays. From How the Grinch Stole Christmas to A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, there are hundreds of memorable holiday stories that capture the essence of what the season means to so many people all over the world. The real question isn’t why should you get a holiday tattoo; it’s why shouldn’t you. Chances are there’s a specific holiday themed story or moment in your life that means more to you than almost any other. It could be the first time you ever spoke to Santa as a wide-eyed young child at your local mall or a moment when you watched The Nightmare Before Christmas with your family and/or friends. The biggest argument against getting a holiday tattoo is that it’s only relevant for a limited amount of time each year, but is that really true? Are your memories or the immense joy you feel during the holidays limited to a small stretch of time? Of course not! Why do you think the whole idea of Christmas in July exists? It actually had nothing to do with seasonal differences. The occasion was first celebrated in 1933 by Camp Keystone, a girl’s ... 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 »

25 Ways the Force is with You: Star Wars Tattoos

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We are stoked! Star Wars: The Force Awakens, opened this week! This is the 7th movie in the series. Can you believe that  . . 7?! Once again, we will see the plot unfold with two legendary enemies in a daring battle that is the absolute essence of good vs. evil! On the Dark Side,  the oppressive and tyrannical government known as the First Order will do everything possible to destroy and take over all that is good and pure.  And the Force will be honored with a small band of soldiers known as the Resistance. Star Wars: The Force Awakens buzz has taken social media by storm. So, this blog is for you, the dedicated Star Wars fan . . . . *Share YOUR Star Wars ink with us on Instagram by Tagging @TattooArtistMagazine & Hashtagging #TattooArtistMagazine!! — click, find and follow these amazing artists if you like their work! They will really appreciate your support, and they are, after all, some of the finest tattooers IN THE GALAXY!   This awesome Darth Vader & X-Wing is by the Polish artist Levgen Eugene knysh @levgen_eugeneknysh Gunnar V from Oslo! @gunnar_v_tattoo_artist Jerry Pipkins from Panama City Beach, FL @jerrypipkins J. Bryan Maddix @jbmaddix_tattoos Yoda by Alex Rattray @alex_rattray_ink Jose Guevara Morales @cheeseburgerchampion Dan Stone @scribbly_head Conor Wearn @conorwearn Two Snakes Tattoo @twosnakestattoo Azazel Milanówek @azazelmilanowek Kyle Berg @kvberg Lauren Bartram @laurenalexandralux Suspiria @suspirialand Khail Aitken @khailtattooer     wow – we don’t know who did this one, but the blend of Star Wars with a frickin’ Sailor Jerry girl… YES!     Star Wars ... Read More »