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Tattooing not going anywhere

Submitted by Taylor Hoffard on October 19, 2011 – 7:47 pmOne Comment

Tattoos are popular among students and people as a whole, with more than 45 million Americans having at least one tattoo, according to

Tattoos were first traditional art for American sailors, rebels, and prisoners hundreds of years ago, according to In the ’90s  tattooing in America became popular and continues to be today. The number of tattooed women quadrupled from 1960 to 1980.

Amber Hammond, sophomore nursing major, also has a tattoo on her back. Hammond said she was 21 when she got hers.

“My tattoo is my name, with a halo over it. It also has a pair of eyes under the halo, with angel wings on the sides,” Hammond said.

For some, body art is simply decorative, but often tattoos denote important details in people’s lives. Forty-three percent of people say they get tattoos to resemble something personal, according to
Jeremy Grandison, sophomore mass communications major, designed his own tattoo. “It’s a tribal sign for yin and yang. [It] resembles koi fish swimming around in a pond,” Grandison said. “I got my tattoo because I really liked my design and I thought it would be a good reminder to keep myself balanced.”

Even if you decide to design your own tattoo, there are a few things to keep in mind when looking for a tattoo artist. Every tattoo artist should have a portfolio of their previous work. Look through their book to see if the artistry is good. According to, you should look for clean line work, the lines of the tattoos should not be shaky or uneven. Also make note the proper ink and line density, so the tattoo will look better over time.

Word of mouth can be a reliable source when finding a tattooist, but make sure to check everything out yourself. Listen to what your friends say, but most importantly listen to your instincts. If the shop doesn’t look very clean or you get a bad vibe from being there, don’t do it.

Be comfortable in the hands of your tattooist. An artist should answer any questions you may have and make you feel comfortable. If you find yourself uncomfortable, no matter what the artist says or does to comfort you, you probably aren’t ready for a tattoo.

Communication is key when you are interacting with a tattoo artist, tell them what you want. Ask them any questions and state any concerns you may have. But, be sure to understand what is and isn’t guaranteed. They should guarantee an excellent tattoo and give you instructions on how to take care of the new art; but if you don’t take the time out to clean the tattoo or any other instructions they gave you, chances are the artist won’t have any sympathy for you.

After receiving a tattoo, it is important to care for it properly. Each tattoo shop and artist has different preferences for what type of ointment to use. Some say Neosporin, while others say Lubriderm and other types of ointment. It is also important to not scratch your tattoo while it is healing; that can cause the ink to lift and fade faster. It will also hurt.

Scabbing is completely normal, and some experience mild bleeding while getting the tattoo. The number one thing to remember is that the sun is bad for a healing tattoo. Keeping your tattoo away from the sun is almost crucial. The sun rays will dry out the new tattoo and potentially cause scarring.

Before you decide to get a tattoo, make sure you know what you are in for. It doesn’t tickle; it can be painful depending on where on your body you get the tattoo. And, of course, it is permanent. Removing a tattoo is costly and not guaranteed. So think before you buy.

Laser tattoo removal can cost more than $400 per treatment, and generally requires eight to ten sessions. The procedure is also very painful. If you were nervous about the pain of a tattoo, this is probably not an option for you.

Seventeen percent of people have considered getting their tattoo removed, and five percent have said they had their previous tattoos covered with a design, according to

And there is no guarantee that the tattoo will be removed; typically, the procedure is only 95 percent effective and very few tattoos are ever fully removed. They may look severely faded, but will still be there.






One Comment »

  • I’ve noticed that people who get one tatoo often get another one right after, and it often leads into exaggeration with covering a big part of their bodies with tatoos. I don’t have one, but wouldn’t mind getting a small one.