Thinking of Inking?
Anyone who watches sports, music videos or even A&E knows that tattoos have gone mainstream; Studies have found that as many as two out of five adults younger than 40 have one. Health experts agree that getting one is less risky than ever, and tattooists trained in the arts offer more options. But before you rush to go under the needle, avoid regret (and possibly a pricey removal) by considering these questions:
What will it look like?
- Photo-realist: Thanks to modern inks and techniques, portraits and images get far closer to the idea of “realism” than one from decades pasts.
- Biochemical: Credit the “Allen” movies with inspiring this branch of surrealism, which depicts a combination of human and robot-like parts.
- Surrealist: Just like the 20th century arts movement, this style covers everything from Salvador Dali to fantasy monsters and incoherent nightmares.
- Fine line black and gray: This technique, pioneered in the mid-1970’s in Los Angeles, involves study shaded, intricate designs and portraits rendered without color.
- Tribal: A modern U.S trend spring up in the mid-1980’s imitating the bold geometric tattoos common in many ancient tribal cultures.
- Asian: Large symbolic designs, particularly Japanese are considered timeless. Japanese koi morphing into dragons are a popular theme for arm “sleeves.”
- Traditional American: Think Betty boop, an anchor, or “mom” in a heart. Before the 1970’s, this was the only true style in the united states, when people collected tattoos like stamps. Designs were usually small with crisp lines, few colors and little subtlety, the style is enjoying the revival.
- Flash: Not a style, but a name given to the printed designs on the walls of a tattoo shop. Beware as flash designs are often trendy, then outdated. Remember Tasmanian devils in the 1980s?
- Ancient:This design was found on a 2500 years old mummy in Siberia. The oldest known tattoos were black tribal designs found on the “Iceman,” a European mummy estimated to be 5200 years old.
How will it get there?
- Epidermis, the skins color layer, acts like a limited window over the tattoo.
- Each needle injects ink, a drop at a time 1-2 millimeters below the skin’s surface.
- Dermis is the target area. Here antibodies surround the ink and trap it in place.
- If the needle reaches the subcutaneous fat, the ink will immediately spread and blur.
- Machine: Using the basic technology of a doorbell, the gizmo was first patented in 1891 and has changed little since 1929.
- Needle: A needle can puncture the skin up to 3,000 times per minute
- Lines: Small groupings of needles (often three, but sometimes just one) draw the sharp, distinct outlines.
- Shading Coloring: Larger groups of up to 32 needles are splayed like the bristles of a paintbrush
How will it feel?
Pain tolerance varies by person, but in general:
- The fewer the needles the more it hurts
- Bony areas don’t necessarily hurt more. A better and torso are often extremely tender.
- Artist say women tend to handle the pain better than men
- Tattoos in areas with soft skin tend to be more painted.
- Reputable artists use sterile needles disposable gloves and antiseptic creams
Were should it go?
- Sun exposure: sun fades tattoos plan to use strong sunblock all the time or get the tattoo in a well covered place.
- Aging: Tattoos in squishier areas such as the midsection will lose their shape much more quickly than those in bonier areas.
- Trendiness: arm bands and lower back “tramp stamps” are no longer popular in many areas.
- Durability: Tattoos on feet and hands tend to fade or become uneven quickly because those parts
How tattooing went mainstream
It’s 1945, and you want a tattoo, you drive to the part of town your mom warned you about, past scruffy bars and burlesque shows, and arrive at a tiny shop offering maybe 200 designs in three or four colors. An ex-sailor who just clocked out of his day job rinses off his tattoo machine. Five minutes and $2 later, your arms bears a patriotic eagle – a nifty example of traditional american artwork, although no one will call it that for decades.
Now it’s 2011 and you want a tattoo you comb through online portfolios to choose an artist the design and book an appointment. When the day arrives, you drive to the funky-hip part of town. in a private room, the gloved artists unwrap sanitized equipment and chooses from dozens of colors and $1000 later, you’re wearing a custom piece of art – possibly in the retro- cool style of traditional American.
While getting a tattoo can still feel like a walk on the wild side, it’s a pretty safe one these days. Few government entitles police tattooing because it is considered to be cosmetic procedures rather than a medical one. But tattooist have largely cleaned up their own. –Bonnie Berkowitz