Aug 19

Over the past decade or so, tattoos have become mainstream to say the least. Our culture has finally advanced to a point where anyone can get ink, not just inmates and sailors. Your mother will still hate it, but overall you probably aren’t going to be browbeat for your body art by society. Hell it’s so acceptable now TV is flooded with tattoo reality shows: Miami Ink, Inked, Tattoo Wars, LA Ink… Pretty much anyone and everyone is getting some kind of tattoo of all sorts of things. PLEASE consider a few things before you get a tattoo of your own.

First thing’s first: making the choice. I don’t mean making the choice to get one or not – either you get one or you don’t. The critical choice is subject matter. Tattoos are a very personal matter, and I would be wrong to try and tell people they’re doing it wrong, but there’s some things you may want to consider.

In order to avoid ending up on, I’d say the first pitfall to avoid is pop culture references. I know you really love Insane Clown Posse and their music is your life soundtrack, but for the love of god they’re temporary. Toy Story really touched your heart? Yeah it touched all of our hearts, that’s why we bought the dvd. Horde and Alliance don’t need your support that bad.

Another thing that I beg you to avoid is names. Oh Cadillac, what about my grandpa who just died? Consider, instead of getting his name, going with a symbol that best reminds you of him. But Cadillac, my spouse is the love of my life, their name belongs on me! Wrong you are! Being married to them and sharing the best of times should be enough. Having their name stained on your arm is just one more thing to remind you of bad decisions if it all goes sour.

My advice, if you want to prove those people wrong when they say “Oh wow you’re gonna regret that someday” is to stick with ink that defines who you are. An outward display of who you are as a person will always win the day. For some people it may be a religious symbol, for others it may be a musical instrument. It may even be a DNA strand or a math equation.

Color of skin is also something to consider before you ink it up. I was at a tattoo shop once, getting my very first one, and there was a black kid sitting across from me getting inked at the same time. After he was finished he showed everybody. It was an abnormally tall Stewie Griffin from Family Guy playing basketball, and the tattoo was in color. I’ll never forget that image. Unfortunately nature dictates colored ink is going to show up better on lighter canvas, so if you’re concerned, this may be something to discuss with your artist.

Ok well I think that about covers it. Get ink that’s timeless and you should be good to go.

See some words or phrases that you don't understand? Check out The Dragon's Lexicon.
  • Tattoos are very useful at times especially for people who have had an outwardly physical bit of scarring. A good example of this is a guy from my gym who damaged his shoulder and had massive surgery on it. His skin showed the signs of the fix so he had a shoulder tattoo done of the skin melting from the bones revealing the interior organs. Even from a distance it looks cool because it’s done in a nice red/black color. I love art like that but I am not a fan of the random stickers all over someone’s body in no particular order.