Thursday, November 15, 2007

Cross Tattoo Galleries - How to Create Your Own Tattoo from Cross Tattoo Galleries

Crosses are, without a doubt, the most popular type of tattoo you can get. Just about everyone likes to employ a cross, whether they use it in their own designs or as just a standalone tattoo. Perhaps it is because the cross can symbolize so many things, or maybe it is just because the cross is one of the most basic, easiest shapes for tattoo artists to create. Whatever the reason, whenever you get a tattoo of a cross on your body, you want to make sure that it stands out from the thousands of other tattoos of the same design.

When getting a cross tattoo, the worst possible thing you can do is take a tattoo design right out of one of the cross tattoo galleries and tell the artist that is what you want on your body. Do you really want some boring, used up design that hundreds of other people have already used, on your body? Why not get something original? Something you can call your own. Even if you have no design skill whatsoever, there are countless ways to create a unique cross design.

The best way for non artistic types to create their own unique cross tattoo is to start with a template of some sort. A basic foundation that you can build on with your own unique taste. And that's where the cross tattoo galleries come in. Although you should never get a tattoo straight from a gallery, you should certainly use the gallery to your advantage as a starting point for what you create yourself.

So, the first step to finding your own unique cross tattoo is to look through gallery after gallery to find a design that is fitting. Do you want a Celtic cross? A Roman cross? One of the other countless types of crosses? There are hundreds of examples of crosses in any given tattoo gallery, so find the four or five designs that you like the best and go from there.

If you have some drawing skill, you can take the cross tattoo templates that you have gathered and add your own sketches to them to make the designs your own. Otherwise, just make a list of some things you would like changed and tell the tattoo artist about the changes you want when you go in for your tattoo. The artist will create a quick sketch which should match what you are looking for.

Cross tattoo galleries can be a great resource for finding incredible designs. For more ideas and designs, please visit our site: Tattoo Ideas

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Tattoo Safety 101

The process involves needles tattoo that move at great speed to penetrate the layers of the skin. The needles break in the skin, and to inject ink points in the third layer, creating the image of the tattoo design in the skin. Whenever you get a tattoo, common sense and a bit of security are always the most important.

While obtaining a tattoo, most people will be afraid of the virus known as HIV, which can lead to the dreaded AIDS virus. Although many fear HIV, it is one of many viruses that may result from tattoos. Staph, syphilis, tuberculosis, hepatitis and are all but a small number of other diseases that may result from tattoos. All it takes is a dirty needle or unhealthy and you could wind up contracting a deadly virus listed above.

Like other activities, tattooing can be very dangerous. Although tattooing is indeed dangerous, there are ways that you can reduce or eliminate potential hazards. Each and everyday, tattoo artists have to adhere to a security code to ensure that the risk of contracting HIV or other diseases is little to none.

Professional tattoo artists sterilize their equipment after each use. They use the vapor pressure at the disinfection of the autoclave tattoo their guns and needles. Bleach and alcohol are not sterilize equipment; Rather, they are used in the preparation of equipment. Once bleach and alcohol were used on the instruments, they are then autoclave, which will be sterilized.

When the tattoo artist does tattooing, always wear rubber gloves that can be easily eliminated. The ointment spreaders, as well as any form of rags, which are used should also be available. When you enter the tattoo studio, the floors must be flawless. In the rooms where tattoos are made, the work area must always be clean and healthy.

Before the tattooist began tattooing, it is always necessary to give each customer a brand new series of fresh needles. Secondly, we must always dip needles in a small hat pigment he has done just a great flexible bottle. If artist of the hollow needle into the large bottle, you may very well be fluid sharing with those who have tattoos as well as the big bottle.

Whenever you decide to get a tattoo you should always put safety first. Security is very important with tattoos, as you could otherwise have an illness or a serious infection. Before you decide on a tattoo studio, you should always ensure that they are clean and sanitary. If you get a tattoo of a studio that is dirty or unhealthy, you may wind on an endless spiral of infections and viruses.

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Tattoo Gallery - Where To Find Your Tattoo!

Finding the right tattoo is obviously very important since you'll be wearing it for life. Finding that tattoo can be challenging, and exhausting if you don't look in the right places. A tattoo gallery can actually take many forms. From print, to online, to outdoors. Here are three forms of a tattoo gallery where you can find your ideal tattoo.

1. The Parlor. Naturally there is going to be a decent tattoo gallery in a tattoo parlor. Here you can go through books of various designs and photos. The walls should also be covered with various tattoo design ideas. The disadvantage is you're not in a library where you can sit down and scour through the books for hours or check them out to bring home. You may need numerous visits to a tattoo parlor to look at your favorite designs over and over before making that important decision.

2. The Outdoors. Here's a tattoo gallery one doesn't generally think of. But the outdoors provides a vast assortment of tattoo ideas and if you can develop your eyes to see in tattoo imagery, the outdoors can be a great tattoo gallery. Areas of specific interest are graffiti areas where you can view not only potential tattoo images, but murals as well. I personally have a whole graffiti mural picked out which has inspired a tattoo design. Be sure to bring a camera and photograph any ideas.

3. Print books or Online Catalogues. Perhaps the best place to see a tattoo gallery is in the comfort of your own dwelling, alone, sifting through a printed book or an online catalogue. Here you can really feel out your tattoo design, let it sit with you for a few weeks and then come back to it and see if it's personally the real deal for you. Many guides or books can cut to the chase and show you the latest and best designs available as well as older, classic, tattoo designs.

Finding The Right Tribal Back Tattoo - Lower to Upper Back Art

Trying to select the right art for a tribal back tattoo can be a daunting task. It can even be a pain in the, well, back. Whether you are a girl looking for a tribal back tattoo for your lower half, or you are a guy looking for an upper back tribal tattoo that will stand out around your shoulders, you have no doubt scoured the web looking for the perfect designs.

The tribal back tattoo has become mainstream, so a lot of the generic artwork that you happen to see has been all over the internet, and God know how many other people's body. Also, most of the artwork you have seen won't look good on your body, because they are drawn as an art piece, not as a tattoo piece. Tribal back tattoo designs can look amazing, but in this day and age, you will definitely need an experienced artist for this.

First and foremost, there are just so many different tribal back tattoo designs around that you should never have to settle for the random drawings that you see on the internet or parlor wall. While the internet is a great place to find the perfect tribal back tattoo, but as I have said, they are pretty generic and even the good ones are not really drawn for implementation as a tattoo. There are quite a few websites that have tons of original artwork for you to browse, though. You probably just haven't found them yet. You should always use the talents of your favorite local artist to render any design you choose. This way you know it will be 100% original.

Quite a big majority of the tribal back tattoo art is under copy write from various artists around the web. Because of this, their art is not released all over the internet. The designers do this on purpose. Why would an artist want their hard work spread all over the internet and beyond

If you want a truly amazing, original tribal back tattoo, please, do not settle for the first thing you see. Hopefully, very soon, you will find the art for a tribal back tattoo that you have always dreamed of for your lower or upper back.

Want to know where to find the largest, most original websites to browse Tribal Back Tattoo Styles?

Adam Woodham is the author of this article and runs the blog Tribal Art Tattoo which features the 3 top websites with the absolute largest gallery of tribal tattoo art you will ever see. Finding the perfect tribal has never been easier.

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Skull Tattoo Design - Misunderstood Symbolism

When selecting a tattoo design it is extremely important that the design you are going to have etched on to your body is one that you will be satisfied with for the rest of your life. Don't make a hasty decision that you may end up regretting, as the cost of having an unwanted tattoo removed is extremely expensive. Think long and hard before you visit the parlor and commit to a specific design.

Many people make the critical mistake of selecting a tattoo design on the spot, often because they are pressured by friends or influenced by the artist. It is very important that, when choosing a particular design, you consider the reactions that the design will provoke from friends, family and the public in general. So, before you go ahead and choose a particular one, take the time to research the meaning or symbolism behind your particular selection. These days the internet is a fabulous source for investigating the true meanings behind the many tattoo designs that are now available.

A very popular tattoo design is, for example, the skull tattoo design. There are many reasons why people, particularly guys, select this particular design, including the fact that it invokes a degree of masculinity in the wearer. This is because of the implication that the skull tattoo design relates to fear, danger and death. Are the people who choose this design actually aware of the true meaning behind the design?

The true meaning of a skull tattoo design

There is actually a more in-depth meaning to the skull tattoo designs than just fear, danger and death - and in fact it was not originally conceived as a symbol to represent any of these things. It was instead originally used to represent the symbol of 'great change'. In analyzing what them traditionally meant in ancient society we discover that it was related to the happening of great changes and it is highly probable that its association with death grew because of the fact that death is the greatest change that we will experience.

Today it is extremely unfortunate that the majority of the general public does not understand the true meaning of them, and when they see it they automatically relate the symbol to fear, danger and death. A lot of conservative people loathe the design because of its perceived meaning; however, if they were aware of the true meaning behind the design their views may be totally different.

If you decide that this type of design is the one for you, then your next step is to choose which genre you would like to go with. As the designs have been around for centuries the styles have somewhat evolved over time. The styles range from the old fashioned Jolly Roger, the pirate's flag with the skull and cross bones or perhaps you would prefer the bio-mechanical style of skull - the choices are extensive and totally dependent on your personal taste.

So if you are interested in the skull design, or any other particular design, just take a little time to research the meaning symbolized by the design and if they are in alignment with your own true views then go ahead and adorn your body with this fantastic art work.

For more information about Skull Tattoo Designs and ideas about a whole range of tattoo designs, visit Tattoos Amour - Tattoo Gallery of Tattoo Designs.

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Tattoo Designs - Rites Of Past Has Become The Fashion Statement Of Present

Tattoos have served as customs in the past in some indigenous people around the world, symbols of religious and spiritual devotion, decorations for bravery, marks of status and rank, pledges of love, punishment, protection, and as the marks of outcasts, slaves and convicts. The symbolism and impact of tattoos varies from place to place and also varies in cultures. But presently there has been a twist in the concept of being tattooed. Maximum people choose to be tattooed for cosmetic, sentimental/memorial, religious, and magical reasons, and to symbolize their belonging to or identification with particular groups, including criminal gangs or law-abiding subculture. Yantra Tattoo in Laos, Cambodia, and Thailand, is common and popular and is used for protection against evil.

Tattooing has become popular these days thus adding extra bonus to your fashion statement. It is really difficult to assort the tattoo design that appeals your senses from the different types tattoos available. You can even create your own to stand out from the crowd. There are some very brilliant styles and designs assorted according to their popularity, usage and designs for your convenience that you can go for and they are Rose Tattoos, Dragon Tattoos, Tribal Tattoos, Celtic Tattoos and Lower Back Tattoos are to be the few to be mention.

Let us find out what is the reason behind the popularity behind these tattoos. Beginning with:

1. Rose Tattoos: It comes in various colors that depict different emotions. For instance white rose represents purity of soul and innocence, where a red rose symbolizes passion and blooming love and a pink rose portrays profound love. Therefore these tattoos will go well with romantic people portraying their emotions in the form of tattoo.

2. Dragon Tattoos: These tattoos designs are generally used on the arms and whole of the back area symbolizing the strength of the wearer.

3. Tribal Tattoos: Tribal tattoo designs are one of the most famous since hundreds of years undergoing several changes meet the expectations and requirements of the people. The changes could be seen in the colors and equipments used. Modern tattooing machines and guns have replaced the bone needles, styluses and sticks and the black work designs on arms and legs have been replaced by colorful designs on the entire body.

4. Celtic Tattoos: the craze for this type of tattoos has broke the boundaries Celtic Heritage creating more interesting tattoo design by mixing it with other the famous tribal tattoos.

5. Lower Back Tattoos: Lower back tattoo designs dragon, lotus, winged hearts, tribal symbols and butterfly in the waist region of the females tattoos are powerful enough to incite sensuality and interest in the minds of the onlookers.

Selection of tattoo design depends on how portray your emotions and style.

Angel Tattoos - An Expression Of Masculinity Of Men And Divinity Of Female

An angel, literally in any culture or age, represents good-hearted temporality. The word ‘Angel’ evolves from the Greek word for "messenger," and angels are most frequently described as intermediaries between the supernatural world and the world of mankind. Throughout biblical times it was generally believed that the angels are the carriers of messenger from ‘God’. Angels are thought to be the guardians of souls and are godly beings but have been often shown to be weak and prone to sin. Satan could be cited as one of the best known examples of a 'fallen angel.’ Guardian angels are believed to be intelligent spiritual creatures assigned to take care and protect every person on earth according to in Catholicism. It is also believed that each person has a guardian angel assigned to them to assist the person in attaining his eternal redemption. Some refer these guardian angels as guiding spirits who control or guide and particularly help in personal safety.

An angel tattoo is popular tattoos for females and usually takes on the appearance of the stereotypical cherubs sitting on a cloud or as an avenging angel but often they are exemplified as gentle guardians, guides, and personal protectors. Such tattoo emphasizes her search for purity within the soul, her divinity, patience and her presence as a gift to the world and implies that she regards self-confidence as a significant part of beauty and believes in protecting herself and others and will not compromise for anything but the best.

Angel tattoos are also symbolic to men and are believed that men who wear angels are extremely fond of women and a means of an expression of their masculinity and their love and respect for an angelic woman in their life. Men those who are madly in love prefer to have angel tattoos on their body. However, there are several men who wear these tattoos to simply exhibit them as a symbol of personal style.

Generally the most common place to get angel tattoos is on the upper arm or chest for men and on the shoulder or abdomen for females. It can even be seen on the inner wrist or even on the foot! Angel tattoo wings are another common impressive form of tattoo that can be tattooed full size on the back in black ink. Some people depict expired family or friends as guardian angels in their tattoos in order to immortalize them. This is completely a new concept to remember your dear ones. But the most common and reliable reason why people get angel tattoos is probably because angels symbolize protection.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Tattoo Studio - Shop & Equipment Hygi

Basic Shop Hygiene
A tattoo shop should be completely cleaned and disinfected every day, with special attention being given to the sterilization room and tattoo area. All sterilization equipment should be cleaned down with alcohol and once a week stripped and cleaned from top to bottom.

Sterilization Equipment
The autoclave is one of the most important pieces of hardware in a tattoo shop, and it is vital to possess this machine before tattooing professionally. All tattoo and piercing equipment that is not disposable must go through the autoclave after having gone through a series of pre autoclave processes. You can find autoclaves in places like dental clinics and hospitals. What is an autoclave? Basically an autoclave sterilizes materials with pressurized steam at very high temperatures. Depending on the type of autoclave, the sterilizing cycles can vary in the duration, but on average can take between 15 - 30 minutes or so. All autoclaves must be inspected regularly and periodically spore tested. According to the Alliance of Professional Tattooists, USA, the autoclave is the only acceptable means of equipment sterilization in the tattoo shop. If the shop does not use an autoclave, do not get tattooed there. Shops should keep regular records of their autoclave use and testing. Ask to see them if you feel uncertain
The ultrasound machine is a pre autoclave process and is used to finely clean down the specific equipment like tubes and newly soldered needles and bars. Immediately after a tattoo, the disposables like needles, ink caps, unused inks etc are carefully packed and disposed. Other equipment like needle tubes and tips are put into the ultrasound machine and cleaned and disinfected with an antibacterial / cleaning agent. Then they are thoroughly rinsed and dried, and packed into autoclave bags and put into the autoclave for its sterilization cycle.

Tattoo Equipment
Tattoo Machines
All tattoo artists and tattooists normally have 3 or more machines. After used they are cleaned down with alcohol or with some kind of anti-bacteria or virus product.
Needle Tubes & Grips
Tubes & grips are what the needle and bar run through and come into direct contact with blood, plasma and penetrated skin. This piece of equipment is either made of surgical or stainless steel and is always reused due to the cost. However since blood and pathogens can get lodged in the hollow of the needle tips, it must be put through strict sterilization processes including the autoclave. The tubes are first cleaned and disinfected with the ultrasound machine, then packed into autoclave bags, sealed and sterilized using the autoclave. Look for the little colored indicator marks on the autoclave bags that confirms that the equipment is actually sterilized.
Needles and bars
New needles are soldered to bars and then put through the sterilization process before being used. Used needles are burnt off the bars and disposed of in a toxic waste bin immediately after the realization of a tattoo. The bars should then be sterilized to be made ready for the soldering of new needles. After soldering the needles to the bars, the needle set should again be packed into autoclave bags and processed in the autoclave again. The needles, once opened from their autoclave bags, must not be placed on non sanitized surfaces. The artist should NOT set the needle down on the table, or, heaven forbid, DROP THE NEEDLE ON THE FLOOR!!! If this happens, insist they open a new needle.
Work tables
After each tattoo, the artist's work tables should be disinfected with an antibacterial and virus product before a new tattoo.
Ink & Ink Caps
Every client gets their own pot(s) of ink and all used pots and unused ink are disposed of after the tattoo.
Gloves are very important in a tattoo studio. Normally 2 types are gloves are used, i.e. natural latex gloves and nitrile gloves. The color of the gloves is immaterial. However they must be the right size so that the artist does not risk puncturing the gloves. The artist must wash their hands prior to putting on their gloves, preferably with an anti-bacterial / antiseptic hand wash. Once they put their gloves on, they should not touch anything other than your skin, the needles, and the tattoo equipment. They should not be filling out receipts beforehand, or answering the phone--unless these have been wiped clean beforehand.
If the artist needs to shave your skin before applying the stencil, check and make sure that he is using disposable razors. A risk of serious disease infection can occur whenever a razor is used because of the skin abrasion that occurs during shaving.
Spray bottles
The spray bottle the artist uses on your skin should be disinfected between customers, or some kind of protective film such as Saran Wrap should be used.

Tattoo Aftercare Guide

How well a tattoo ages and how long the colors remain vibrant are most affected by the first three weeks of aftercare given a new tattoo. That statement implies what often goes unstated in the world of tattooing but what is tacitly understood by all—that tattoos do change over time. Because we know that the skin is constantly changing, we know that the appearance of a tattoo must also change. As skin stretches or shrinks, becomes injured, or simply ages, tattoos also stretch, shrink, and age. In addition, certain colors (red) are more likely to fade than others (blue) and will change more quickly. This articles describes the changes that the tattooed can expect and how they can help to mitigate unwanted changes with detailed aftercare information and also preventative measures that can be taken during the lifetime of the tattoo.


It's natural to keep looking at your new tattoo in the mirror at this point, so don't feel too narcissistic. People in the shop will no doubt be looking also. Now that the tattoo is complete, your artist will dispose of all the single-use items and remove the tattoo machine for later disassembly so that the tubes and needles can be cleaned and sterilized. The work area will have the Saran wrap removed, if it was used, and then he wiped down, just as when the whole process started.

The healing process begins almost immediately but your best and first layer of protection, your skin, has been penetrated. Your tattoo artist will take immediate steps to address that situation. Your tattoo will be cleaned with alcohol one last time—the cool feeling is a relief to the hot sensation caused by the swelling. A final coat of Vaseline (or other topical ointment of choice) will be applied, and then a bandage. That's right, your brand-new tattoo is going to be hidden for its first several hours. The bandages vary from shop to shop, even from tattoo to tattoo. Sometimes a sterile pad with medical tape is used. Other tattoos, however, like a very large back piece, are impossible to bandage in that way. Instead, Saran wrap alone, held down by medical tape, might be used. The purpose of the bandage is to prevent infection and promote healing. Any sterile bandage material that accomplishes those goals is good for the task. Other options include a nonstick Telfa pad, and even a diaper for an awkward position on the body.

Your tattooist will tell you what to do to care for your new tattoo. These do's and don'ts are the all-important aftercare instructions. The burden of infection prevention now shifts to you. Despite all efforts made on your behalf by the tattoo your artist, assuming that you're happy with your new tattoo and you can afford it. Tip or not, though, if you're happy with your tattoo, you might want to say so before you leave.

Also at this point, tattoo artists sometimes like to snap a quick photo of the piece before you leave. Ideally, they'd like to get a nice photograph for their portfolio or Web site when the tattoo is completely healed. But that would mean that clients would have to come back for the express purpose of providing a photo op—which rarely happens. Instead, most tattoo photos are taken right after the tattoo is done. Occasionally, clients return for more tattoos, providing an opportunity to photograph the healed piece.

Aftercare Calendar

The next couple of weeks are a critical time for you and your new tattoo, which is why tattoo shops will go to the trouble of providing written aftercare instructions for their clients. If you've looked into aftercare at all, though, you quickly realize that these instructions vary from shop to shop, and they have also changed over time. There are a few reasons for that variation. Different products for aftercare are available in different places, even on the same continent. Tattoo artists may he apprenticed using certain products and may keep using them even when they move off and set up their own shop. Experience and a history with these aftercare products is important in the same way that experience is important for the choice of tattoo inks. Confidence in a product or technique builds over years of working with hundreds if not thousands of clients.

But with all the variation of time, place, and tattooist, there still remain some broad and common themes that run through aftercare instructions. The common denominator is twofold: preventing infection and promoting healing. Add to that a third goal of trying to retain as much ink as possible in the tattoo and you begin to understand the reasoning behind all aftercare instructions. The following is a generic aftercare calendar of what you can expect during the first few weeks with your new tattoo and what you need to do to take care of it.

DAY 1: This is the big day—the day you're tattooed. Although most tattoo artists will instruct you to leave your bandage on for a minimum of two hours and hopefully somewhere between two and twelve hours, what they're really shooting for is that you'll leave it on overnight. You want the tattoo to remain moist and protected for as long as possible. Don't go overboard with this, though. Leaving the bandage on overnight prevents the new tattoo from sticking to your pajamas or sheets on that first night, but the next morning should be considered the upper limit on how long the bandage should stay in place. Ideally then, on Day 1, you will not see, let alone touch, your new tattoo.

DAY 2: Wash your hands! Always, before touching your tattoo, including removing the bandage, wash your hands with an antibacterial soap. Let this become your new ritual, much like the tattoo artists before they put on their gloves. Remove the bandage, slowly, in case it has stuck to the tattoo. If that's happened, then moisten the bandage with warm water (in the shower might be the easiest way) until it comes free without pulling. Gently, oh so gently, wash your new tattoo with a mild soap and warm water. Your goal is to remove any blood, lymph fluid, ink, or Vaseline that was left on the surface of the skin. You don't want to scrub or even use a washcloth. Instead, use your clean hands and gently work off anything that is on the surface. Don't soak your tattoo for the sake of soaking it, though. Once it's clean, stop washing it. Pat it dry with a clean towel, taking care never to rub it. This is probably your first long look at it, all clean and new in its pristine glory. You will not be applying a new bandage.

Exception #1 in the aftercare game: The vast majority of people will not need a second bandage, but occasionally the double bandage is the best course for some people. Folks who are prone to scabbing or thick scabs or who have an impaired ability for the skin to heal itself or whose ink just doesn't seem to stay (which you would only know from past tattoo experi- ence) might try a second bandage—but probably for not more than another twelve hours. After washing as above, apply another clean coat of Vaseline (or whatever product was used) and rebandage (with the same type of dressing as was used initially, or perhaps just Saran wrap and medical tape).

As the skin of the new tattoo heals, you want to keep it moist. How to prevent scabbing, which removes color from the tattoo and which would also create itching and the temptation to touch the tattoo, even scratch it. In order to prevent drying, you'll use a cream to moisturize the tattoo. How often and how much? You want to use enough so that the tattoo doesn't feel tight, dry, or itchy, and you want to achieve a thin coating, since you don't want to clog the pores. What type of cream or lotion should you use? There are many from which to choose, and every tattooee and artist will recommend something different. What it amounts to, though, is label reading. You want to avoid alcohol since it will dry the skin. At this point, you also want to avoid oil, grease, petrolatum (which is in Vaseline), and lanolin (animal oil extracted from wool) since these will clog pores. You want to avoid fragrance since it doesn't do anything for you and could prove to be an irritant to freshly tattooed skin. What are your choices? They fall into two main categories: products made just for tattoo aftercare and products you can buy at any drugstore, grocery store, or pharmacy.

Specialized tattoo products (Tattoo Goo, Black Cat Super Healing Salve, THC Tattoo Aftercare, etc.) may be no better or worse than regular moisturizers at the supermarket. Again, it amounts to label reading. Some of these specialized products, typically sold in tattoo parlors, contain beeswax or dyes and fragrance. Some contain mixtures of homeopathic herbs, vitamins, and oils. Regular moisturizers and lotions (Curd, Lubriderm, A and D Ointment) are much the same, without the cool packaging and the word "tattoo" in the name. Again, these may contain petrolatum or lanolin and dyes and fragrances. You ideally want something as moist and neutral in terms of its chemical composition as possible.

An antibiotic cream perhaps? Well, here's the deal with that. Many, many, many people use antibiotic creams in the aftercare of their new tattoo (like Neosporin, Polysporin, Bacitracin, Bepanthen, etc.). An antibiotic, however, is for killing bacteria and these may not, hopefully will not, be present. Antibiotic creams do not necessarily promote healing. in addition, in a very small percentage of people who are allergic to certain antibiotics, a relatively high dose through all those punctures in the skin can lead to the ultimate in allergic reactions, anaphylactic shock—a full-body allergic reaction that is characterized by breathing difficulty and plummeting blood pressure. So, while an antibiotic isn't really necessary unless an infection develops, it will do no harm unless you just happen to be allergic to it.

Avoid wearing tight, restrictive clothes—including shoes if your new tattoo is on your foot—right over the top of the new tattoo. Wear clothing that breathes, allowing fresh air to reach the tattoo, cotton being ideal. No nylon stockings, for example, or polyester shirts. They don't breathe, and they can also stick to a new tattoo.

You might also want to avoid hard workouts that flex the new tattoo or cause excessive sweating. Remember that your skin is healing, and these first few weeks are critical to the final look and longevity of your tattoo. A small amount of prevention now is worth untold rewards later.

So, on Day 2, remember to wear appropriate clothing and take your moisturizer with you, along with some antibacterial hand wipes or liquid to wash your hands before you moisturize your tattoo.
DAY 3: Take your shower as normal and do your best not to soak your tattoo, although you can gently wash it as on Day 2. Wash your hands and apply your moisturizer as often as necessary to keep the tattoo from getting dry.

DAYS 4 To 14: Unless you notice signs of an infection or allergic reaction, your tattoo will go through a couple of different phases in this two-week time period. Ideally, your tattoo will not actually scab in the sense that we normally think of it. Instead, the colored and damaged epidermis may simply peel, just like a sunburn, becoming flaky and falling off. Like a sunburn, you don't want to help it. Never scratch or pick at the skin (or scab) of your new tattoo. Never, never, never. The thinner the scab, if there is one, the better, even paper thin. Thick scabs delay healing and can remove color from the new tattoo. Adhere strictly to the "NOs" in the first two weeks. If itching is driving you crazy, you might resort to an antihistamine, but check with your doctor first.

DAYS 15 TO 21: In general, tattoos will he completely healed somewhere between two and three weeks, although most will take only two weeks. Until your tattoo has completely peeled or the scab has completely fallen away, your tattoo is not complete. Even if the peeling has finished or the scab is gone, the new epidermal layer that forms over your tattoo is going to be quite sensitive. By week three, if your tattoo is completely healed, you should still avoid sun, although you can go back to all your other vices—swimming, sauna, etc.

Just as when you sat down for your tattoo and signed your contract, remember that tattoo artists are not medical doctors. The guidelines that they give you and the guidelines given above are just that: generic guidelines which work for the majority of the populace. Only a medical doctor can give you medical advice and he or she is the only person that you should be consulting for such advice. Don't rely on what your friends say or have done. Don't rely on word of mouth. Your primary sources of information are your tattoo artist, in the form of aftercare instructions and based on experience, and your doctor, based on training.

Public Enemy Number One

Once your tattoo has completely healed, feel free to frolic in the hot tub and splash in chlorinated beverages all you like. When it comes to the sun, though, from here on out it is your tattoo's number one enemy--Destroyer of Pigment, Vanquisher of Color, Fader of All Things Once Bright. It's ironic, of course. You want nothing more than for your friends to see your new tattoo. Hell, for strangers to see it too. But tattoo viewings are best left to the great indoors, no matter what the beach at spring break looks like.
You're used to the sun having an effect on your skin. In response to the radiation of the sun, it gets darker. You get a tan. That happens to all skin types, from white to black and everything in between. The pigment is called melanin and it's produced by melanocytes in the epidermis. In darker skin, melanin is in a constant state of production. However, melanin is not produced in response to all radiation; it is specifically counteracting ultraviolet (UV) radiation. The skin produces melanin in response to UV light as a protective mechanism so that the melanin can absorb the UV radiation and protect other cells from UV damage. That's all well and good and right. But consider how a darker epidermis affects the look of your tattoo. In order to see your tattoo, remember, you are looking through the epidermis. The darker the window, the darker the tattoo will look.

Fade Out

Tattoos fade just like all other color that comes under the rays of the sun. The technical term is photodegradation. Like the snapshot that you left on your dashboard for months or the red heart in bumper stickers that say "I [heart symbol] Pain" or whatever it is you love, all pigments fade when exposed to the sun. Both CV and visible sunlight contribute to the process of fading colors, but it's that nasty old UV that is also the culprit in a lot of skin problems. When it comes to color, radiation from the sun attacks the chemical bonds that absorb light. All pigments absorb light as part of their normal function. When you're looking at a red heart, the reason you see red is because the blue and the yellow are being absorbed and only the red reflected. All pigments work this way, including those used for tattoos. They absorb some colors while reflecting others. When the chemical bonds are broken down at the molecular level by the nasty UV radiation (which they also absorb, to their detriment), they lose their ability to absorb and reflect different colors. Less red is reflected and possibly also more blue anti yellow, which used to he absorbed. What we see in the end product is a less intense red. Since tattoos are generally composed of darker colors (outlines of black as just a start), they are clearly absorbing more light than not (since they are reflecting less—this is why black clothes in the summer sun make you feel much more hot than white). If you want to preserve color, then keep it in the dark, like the wall paintings in the tombs of the pharaohs.

Tattoos battle another fading mechanism as well, since they are impregnated in a living organism, also known as our skin. We already know that if the tattoo pigment has not penetrated to the dermis and has instead ended up primarily in the epidermis, then the tattoo will seem to fade as the epidermis routinely sloughs off and rejuvenates itself. The process of forming new epidermal cells that push their way up from the bottom to the top of the epidermis where they are shed, carrying tattoo pigment right along with them, is some thirty-five to forty-five days. In the truest sense, this is not a faded tattoo per se. It's an inferior one, since it never reached the dermis.

Even for pigment that reaches the dermis, however, there are still some obstacles to overcome.Until your tattoo pigment has taken up permanent residence within the dermis in a fibroblast (a stringy type of cell that makes up connective tissue), your body will treat it like the foreign body that it is, attempting to capture it for escort out. The immune system tries to engulf the pigment molecule with a type of white blood cell, the largest of which is a macrophage. Sometimes the pigment molecule is ust too big, however (size does count), so the immune system may try to break it down into smaller parts by dissolving i Tattoo pigment doesn't generally just dissolve but nevertheless, over time, your immune system will capture what it can and then transport it away in the lymph system. If you've been tattooed, the lymph nodes closest to your tattoo likely carry tattoo pigment. After all is said and done, however, the immune system carries away only a small percentage and the remainder is captured in fibroblasts.

Which colors fade the fastest? It depends on the particular molecular composition of the pigment used. Some of the chemical bonds are less stable than others. We've already seen that the ingredients in tattoo pigment are largely unknown and, if known, their composition is sometimes held like a secret. The overwhelming anecdotal evidence for tattoos, however, is that red seems to fade the fastest. In tattoos that are twenty to fifty years old, sometimes the red is completely gone.

Best Defense

The best defense in the skin game is not necessarily a good offense. The best defense in the battle of fading tattoos is to combat tattoo enemy number one, the sun, by running away. The easiest and the most effective thing to do is cover the tattoo with clothing. A tattoo that is done well in the first place, healed properly, and protected from light can remain vibrant for many decades. Ironically, of course, this isn't why many people get a tattoo. They get it to show it. So if you gotta show it, then show it indoors. If you gotta show it outdoors, do it in the winter on a cloudy day. If you gotta show it outdoors in the summer, do it in the early morning or late afternoon. And if you show it outdoors at all, use sunblock, always, always, always, even in winter on a cloudy day.

Sunblock and sunscreen are not created equal. A sunscreen chemically absorbs the UV radiation, not unlike the melanin naturally present in your skin, attempting to prevent as many of the rays from reaching your skin as possible. Sunscreens are generally transparent after they've been rubbed in. A sunhlock actually physically blocks the sun from hitting your skin. You're probably familiar with the white nose treatment that lifeguards and sailing competitors wear. Those are examples of sunblocks, probably white zinc oxide. However, sunblocks don't necessarily need to look like geisha makeup. 'Today they are available in a microbead form that is also transparent. The American Cancer Society recommends a sunscreen or sunblock rated at least SPF 15 in order to protect your skin from the damaging rays of the sun. Applying it correctly is also a must as long as you're going to use it: apply twenty minutes before being in the sun, twenty minutes after (think of it as the second coat of paint that gets the thin spots), and every two hours after that. As you may recall, your tattoo resides in your dennis while the cells that create a suntan and natural skin color reside in your epidermis. That means that your tattoo will not protect you from a sunburn in that spot. What's good for your skin is good for your tattoo. Neither is maintenance free when treated right.

Stretch and Shrink

Tattoos will stretch and shrink, but only within limits. Moderate and gradual weight gain or loss will have little effect on a tattoo except to stretch and shrink it accordingly. Think of birthday balloons that are slightly overinflated and underinflated. You can still read "Happy Birthday" pretty easily and the letters maintain their relative spacing and composition. However, other types of rapid weight gain or loss could be another matter. For example, women who are considering having children might want to think twice about an abdominal tattoo placement. Similarly, men who are planning on getting seriously into bodybuilding might want to reconsider their upper armband. Stretch marks (often associated with pregnancy but which can also afflict all women as well as men) can also appear on the arms, thighs, and buttocks and even the hips and lower back.


Tattoos will blur for some of the same reasons that they fade. As the chemical bonds are broken and the molecules begin to break down as a result of exposure to the sun, the body's immune system, always on the prowl, will attempt to take the smaller molecules away. In addition, tattoos on areas of the body that stretch constantly (the elbows, knees, ankles, feet, and even hands) will also blur more easily over time, for all the masons that we've discussed above. Tattoos done in skin that has already been damaged by overexposure to the sun also seem to he more susceptible to blurring, with the skin less able to hold the ink securely in position.


Tattoos change over time but there are simple and commonsense steps that can mitigate unwanted changes, perhaps even preventing them completely. Tattoo artists are loath to give a number on how many years a tattoo will last (which is essentially forever) or how long it will look good (which is so variable that there's no good answer). The way a tattoo holds up over time is so dependent on its initial quality, the healing period, its maintenance, and the variations of people's skins that it is impossible to predict. Even a well-executed, simple, lettered word, for example, placed on the knuckles and never covered in the sun, might begin to blur and fade in its first summer, especially given the stretching of the skin over the joints. The same exact lettering, however, on the back of the shoulder, which healed properly, never saw the light of day, and never suffered excessive stretching or shrinking, might remain nearly as crisp and legible in its second decade as it did in its second week.

Finally, though, let us acknowledge that as the skin naturally ages, the look of our tattoos changes as well. Age spots and wrinkles take their toll on the clarity and pristine color of our tattoos. Given enough time, even the boldest and darkest outline softens, inevitably blurring to a minute extent. The lines appear to grow ever so slightly thicker and the gaps between them seem to narrow, sometimes even disappearing. Shading that was once bright and solid becomes a touch less immediate and vibrant. Pigment is moving imperceptibly over time on a cellular level as the elasticity and resilience of our skin naturally declines. For these changes that come simply as a result of time, there is no escape—for our skins, our tattoos, or ourselves. Instead, only our attitudes toward that process count and dictate whether we see an aging tattoo as attractive or not.

Tattoo Changes

Not all tattoo changes can be fixed with a touch-up, though. Stretch marks are a good example, depending on the color of the stretch marks and the effect that the lack of elasticity in the skin has meant to the overall design of the tattoo. Only a visit to a tattoo artist will let you know. Likewise, a tattoo that has blurred may not be a good candidate for a touch-up. Ironically, though, if the tattoo continues to blur at an accelerated rate (for whatever reason) it may enter into touch-up territory sooner rather than later.In a perfect world, everybody who wants a tattoo gets one and everybody who gets one likes it forever. Tattoos and people change, though, and not all tattoos are created equal. In some instances, people, their tattoos, and their tattoo design choices change to the extent that removing the tattoo entirely is the most desirable choice. This article acknowledges the obvious fact that some people will want their tattoos touched up, fixed, covered, removed, and even some combination of these. It offers information on all of these different approaches to changing a tattoo, including which approach is best suited to the different types of tattoos and the typical scenarios where tattoo changes are wanted.


Tattoo touch-up is part of the course of business, and some tattooists are constantly getting their own tattoos touched up in order to keep them looking fresh and great, sort of like hairdressers constantly doing each other's hair. A touch-up can take care of a variety of issues that may arise in a tattoo, although holidays (see chapter 3) spring to mind as the obvious candidate for this type of fix. Because small holidays am generally such a minor touch-up, many tattoo artists won't charge for them. It's always best to go back to the same tattooist who did your tattoo for the touch-up. You'll be assured of the same inks (composition and color) and workmanship. If you chose your tattoo artist wisely, then you have some amount of rapport with him or her as well.

Although tattooees may find it hard to believe, tattooists are aware of the amount of pain that their clients experience. First, of course. most tattoo artists are heavily tattooed themselves. They know firsthand what being tattooed is all about, much more so than the vast majority of their clients. Second, experienced tattooists can gauge the level of the tattooee's anxiety or pain by the way their skin acccepts the ink. Without your knowing it, your body is reacting to your psychological and emotional state and creating real effects such as tightening in your skin. Tattoo artists are also aware of your breathing and, of course, the expression on your face. At some point, for a small percentage of tattoo clients, the better part of valor is to call the tattoo done—for the day. Minor touch-ups that can be done later, perhaps minor gradations in shading, a more solid line in a sensitive area, or maybe just a bit more ink in a spot that had been glossed over, are sometimes best left to a second visit. Then again, if you never came back, these aren't necessarily the kinds of touch-ups that make or break a great tattoo.

A touch-up is something that can sometimes help a faded tattoo. Because different tattoo inks break down at different rates, not all colors fade at the same speed. If the rest of a tattoo is still fairly fresh and only the red needs to be darker in small areas, maybe the red in a snake's eyes, for example, a tattoo artist can put new red over the old, doing his or her best to blend the red colors. The same goes for any color, of course, including the outline. If your entire tattoo has faded, it's not a touch-up; it's a complete redo.


For people who've exposed their tattoos to the ravages of the sun or who simply have had their tattoos for decades, there comes a time when a redo might be the most attractive alternative. Once skin has been tattooed, however, it is never the same. To tattoo over it again will likely be more difficult, and it is also likely to produce a different result, even if that difference is barely discernible. Even so. one effect of a complete redo for a tattoo is not only that the vibrancy of a new tattoo is achieved, but occasionally the tattoo also takes on a unique sense of depth and shading that only conies from the presence of all those different pigment molecules in close proximity to one another, old and new. They don't mix per se, but the old tattoo still exists in the background.

Mr. Fix-It

Nobody wants to hear that there are some less-than-competent tattooists out there doing tattoos, but there it is. Lines in the outline may cross where they're not supposed to, or may not meet. Uneven color may abound. Straight lines aren't straight and curved lines don't have a perfect curve. Most people on the street couldn't draw a perfect star to save their lives, but that's exactly what we want from a tattoo artist. And although we may not be able to draw one ourselves, we know immediately when one doesn't look right. In the case of tattoo fixes (need I really say this?) you probably shouldn't return to the same tattooist. A competent tattoo artist should be able to tell you exactly what he'd be able to do for you when he sees your tattoo fix candidate. Experienced tattooists can do a lot with shading and solid lines to improve a bad tattoo.

Let's go briefly back to the blurrier. A blurred tattoo can happen for different reasons (see the last chapter). Can it be fixed? In most cases, not until the tattoo has blurred so much that a new color on top will stand out as separate from the old (and generally we're talking about the black outline). Tattooing white ink over the old tattoo doesn't work for several reasons. The old pigment doesn't go away, for the most part. it's already captured in fibroblasts in the dermis. Some of the pigment may become dislodged and be taken away by the immune system, but very little. It's not like painting over an old layer. Instead, the white pigment will enter the dermas right alongside the black and the end effect will be a mingling of the two. Secondly, in the case of white, it never comes out white—and you know why by now. White pigment will end up in the dermis in order to be a tattoo. The epidermis will slough off and eventually replace itself entirely, creating a window of skin that you look through in order to see the tattoo. No skin is clear, not even close. Remember the old "flesh-colored" crayon in the box that never got used? It's not a fabulous color. Whatever the color of your skin, that's the color that you'd see in white tattoo pigment. So don't consider white an option for correcting a blurry outline. Your best bet there is time, a cover-up, removal, or a combination of these Crayola.


Ali, the cover-up, where the ingenuity and artistry of the tattoo artist is probably most harshly challenged and where the results can sometimes be nothing less than phenomenal. Cover-ups range from the small and simple to the large and ornate. According to a Harris poll conducted in 2002, the number one reason that people regretted their tattoo was the name in it. I've come down from my chapter 2 soapbox of preaching to the masses (or dozens anyway) that you should never get your significant other's name tattooed on your body. There was probably no point to such preaching anyway judging from the number of couples who flood tattoo shops on Valentine's Day. While Jude Law and Angelina Jobe took the removal route with their name tattoos, others took the cover-up route—Billy Bob Thornton ("Angelina" covered by an angel) and Johnny Depp ("Winona Forever- became "Wino Forever"). The name cover-up is probably the most common and simple one done.

Larger and more complex tattoos are another story. Reasons for covering a larger tattoo are as complicated as the reasons for getting one in the first place, plus the added issues of tattoo quality and changes in the circumstances of people's lives. However, as time goes by, dissatisfaction becomes action and although the tattooee still wants a tattoo. they don't want the one that they have. Perhaps their artistic taste changed and when the tribal rage of the nineties subsided they decided they wanted to have a portrait of Jesus done in a more conventional fashion. Perhaps the symbol that was chosen is simply no longer relevant: it's a prison tattoo, a gang tattoo, or they simply got tired of it. Any of these reasons, or a combination of them, can result in having one tattoo covered with another. In general, tattoos are covered with larger tattoos that have dark areas in the design that correspond to the dark areas of the old design. That doesn't mean they have to be giant black squares, though. Far from it. Successful tattoo cover-ups give few clues that there was ever another design below them, instead drawing your attention to some eye-catching part of the new tattoo. On the best cover-ups, you'd really have to know what was there previously in order to be able to pick it out.

We'll leave cosmetic tattooing out of this since this type of tattooing is increasingly being performed by people licensed specifically for this type of work and is generally not done in tattoo studios. But aside from the cosmetic tattooing of vertiglio, eyebrows, eyeliner, and lip liner that make up the hulk of cosmetic tattooing, there is also the tattooing of scars. Undoubtedly people with tattoos may eventually suffer some sort of trauma to their tattoo from an accident or surgery that creates a scar. 'That totally bites, especially when it ruins a great tattoo. But a scar can sometimes be covered and integrated back into the overall tattoo design. Oilier times, people who have never been tattooed choose to have a scar tattooed. A bit screwball and grim at the same time is the familiar "cut along the dotted line" instruction with an arrow pointing to a dashed line on the surgery scar. Women who have had a mastectomy have been known to have their scar covered with flowing vines and flowers to add something positive to a reminder of something negative in the past. Scar tissue, however, is different from undamaged skin and may or may not tattoo well. Consult with both an experienced tattooist and your doctor if you're considering having a scar tattooed. By the way, aftercare procedures for any type of touch-up, redo, fix, or cover-up are exactly like those for a virgin tattoo.

Tattoo Process

When the big day arrives, surprises are not welcome. From the moment a customer enters the tattoo shop to the moment he or she leaves, there is a typical process that is virtually scripted in the minds of many tattoo artists, and it helps a prospective tattooee to know in advance what that script involves. Several steps of preparation involving the workstation, equipment, and pigments take place and may mean some waiting time spent idly gazing at flash or watching somebody else get tattooed. The design is prepared with either a transfer or a stencil.

The skin, no matter the part of the body involved, is shaved and given an alcohol wipe. A temporary ink outline of the design is placed on the surface of the skin and checked in a mirror. And all of these steps take place before a single part of actual tattooing begins. This article is designed to relieve the natural anxiety that any new experience brings, by demystifying it and laying it bare. Knowing exactly what to expect, in the order it will likely happen, and the amount of time it will likely last, can mean the difference between a nerve-racking experience and an enriching one. This article advises tattooees of some of the potential regulations involved, their responsibilities, the responsibilities of the tattoo shop or artist, and the requirements of payment up front and signing contracts. In addition, the prospective tattooee will learn that tattoo artists also have their own expectations, and that fulfilling these can make for an even better experience and better tattoo.

Before You Get There

You've done all your research, made all your decisions, and have your appointment ... what, no appointment? Part of the decision-making process was picking your tattooist someone in whose technical and artistic skill you have confidence, with whom you have some rapport—someone that you trust. Will he or she be at the shop that day or not? Assuming so, will he or she he busy when you arrive? If that is the case, are you going to wait? How long? But why leave any of this to chance? The first thing, then, that you need to do before you actually arrive for your tattoo is to have made an appointment beforehand. (It's not as spur-of-the-moment as some tattoos, hut the perfect tattoo rarely is.) The second thing to do is to take a bath or shower. Whether you've had your bath for the week already or not, be clean and presentable. Don't come directly from the gym in your workout clothes or after you've been digging trenches in the hot sun. Your tattoo artist is going to sit close to you and work with your skin. Don't give him or her a reason to hurry.

On your checklist of things not to do before your tattoo appointment is taking any aspirin or drinking alcohol. In both cases, the blood is thinned, which makes for more bleeding and possibly impaired healing. In the second case, though, it's simply poor form to show up faced. You are entering a tattoo artist's place of work and creativity. Is that how you'd wad somebody to come to your place of work? Save the drinking for later, when your friends take you out. Besides, you wouldn't want to miss out on a single part of your tattoo experience. When you look back on it, you'll know that you earned your tattoo the way millions of people have for thousands of years.

Dress appropriately for the placement of your tattoo, which you have already discussed with the tattoo artist. If you know you're getting a tattoo on your upper arm, then wear something sleeveless or with sleeves that can be rolled up high enough. If you're getting something on your lower leg, then wear shorts. If you're getting something on your lower back, then wear a shirt that you can lift and pants that are low enough or which can be lowered enough. If you're getting something on your back, girls, consider wearing a button-up shirt which you can then wear backwards and leave open in the hack. All tattoo shops will have at least a bathroom where you can change your clothes. Tattoo shops also have areas with more and less privacy. The front of the shop will almost always have a chair or two but also, usually there will be an area that is screened off from the view people in the front and the general public who are looking at flash. If you have questions about what would be good to wear, ask your tattoo artist. You don't want to wear clothing (like briefs or a bra) that will leave an impression in your skin in the exact place where you're planning on having a tattoo.

With all of that in mind, do your best to dress comfortably. There's no point in complicating matters by wearing something in which you can't breathe. Keep in mind the possibility that some stray ink might get on your clothes. It doesn't happen all the time, but it does happen. Some people who are in the process of getting a very large tattoo, over the course of several sessions, may even have a certain set of clothes that they wear for tattooing and may even bring their own towel or pillow for extra comfort. For most people getting their first tattoo, though, this would probably be completely unnecessary. Don't even think about bringing your teddy hear.

What to Bring

Make sure that you bring some form of identification with you, no matter your age. Depending on local regulations, many tattoo shops will have a contract for you to sign. As with any contract, you should read it. Unlike most, it'll probably be pretty brief. You can expect issues of responsibility to come up (for example, allergic reactions to inks aren't the responsibility of the tattoo artist) or the legal age limit for tattooing (different in different areas). In essence, the tattoo shop and tattoo artist are going to limit the amount of responsibility that they are willing to accept to things that they can control: a sterile environment, satisfaction with the work, and the like. They are not going to take responsibility for things that they can't control: your allergic reactions, the particulars and peculiarities of how your skin heals. In order to sign a contract with you, they have to know who you are. The identification that you bring will be used to that end, and to verify your age if you look close to the legal limit.

Bring your money. You've already discussed your design in detail with the tattoo artist. Once the artist has seen the design, and knows how big it will be and where on your body it will go, he or she can give you a price. Body location will change the price since some parts of the body simply mean more work and time for the artist than others. You know what forms of money they'll take: cash, maybe checks (but you should ask), and credit cards. Make sure to bring enough with you for the tattoo and your tip, if you're thinking of giving one after being pleased with the final product. You may he asked for the fee up front, so that they can be sure you've got the money.
Be on time for your appointment. Not only is it courteous and good business practice—it also helps to have as much time as possible for your tattoo. There may be more appointments after you. Even if you're on time, though, prepare yourself to wait anyway. Tattooing is a people business and people can be unpredictable. Some tattoo clients may need more breaks during their tattoo process than others or may simply need to take the whole thing a little more slowly. Others simply sit down, sit like a rock, and get up when it's done. Of course, even if everything is on time, waiting during preparations is part of the normal process.


The following scenario can only be a general guideline since it will most definitely vary from place to place and artist to artist. But in its broad outlines, this is pretty much what you can expect.
When you arrive and are greeted by your tattoo artist, he or she will confirm the tattoo with you (design, placement, colors), see your ID, have you sign the contract, take your money, and then make the preparations. You can watch, you can look at Rash, or you can probably watch somebody else getting tattooed. You might have seen all of this before when you made your grand tour of local tattoo shops or when you looked at your artist's portfolio. Your artist will now create the artwork for the outline of your tattoo design, if it hasn't already been done. A simple, clean, black-and-white version of the outline of your tattoo will be drawn or traced. This paper version might be held up against your body for position and placement, helping with that final visualization process of how your finished tattoo will look. Don't have any ink or temporary tattoos at all in the area where you'll be getting your tattoo. Once the outline is finalized, the tattoo artist will make a transfer, essentially xeroxing the outline onto special transfer paper.

At this point, tattoo artists prepare the work area by wiping the chair or table down with a disinfectant. They may also use Saran wrap to cover these same areas. Then they'll do the same for the surface on which their equipment rests, again wiping it down with a disinfectant and putting down Saran wrap, especially over anything in the area that might be particularly sensitive (like the power supply for the tattoo machine, for example, if it happens to be located on the worktable—you wouldn't want to get any liquid on that sucker). At some point your artist will don sterile latex gloves. These are worn at all times when touching your skin or anything that will be touching your skin. If your artist has to answer the phone or fetch more ink or whatever, he or she will need to put on new gloves each time before sitting down to tattoo you.

Next, the equipment is brought out to the work area. The tattoo machine itself, unopened packages of sterilized tubes and needles, and a disposable razor are placed on the disinfected worktable. You'll be invited to assume the position—take a seat or lie down, whichever is appropriate for your tattoo placement. Before the transfer can go On, your skin will be cleaned with alcohol, using new tissues or cotton balls, and then it will be shaved. No matter if you're a guy or a girl or what part of the body we're talking about (since there is body hair everywhere, even though it's hard to see), your skin will be prepared by removing as much body hair as possible with a single gentle shave. The artist will wipe (town the area with alcohol and place the outline of your tattoo, now on the special transfer paper into contact with your wet skin. When the transfer paper is removed, it leaves behind a purple outline on the skin that your artist will use as a guide to create the outline of the tattoo. You should check this in a mirror, using a handheld mirror along with the ones on the wall if it's on your back. What you're seeing is a very close approximation of how your finished tattoo will appear in the context of the rest of your body—although it's a far cry from the black outline and shading that will obliterate the transfer ink. Also, don't worry if the transfer seems messy. It's not permanent ink and it only serves as a guideline. If, at this point, you want something changed about location, size, or design, now is the time to say so.

If the transfer looks good to you both, you'll be asked to resume your position. The artist will then set up a palette of inks. Generally a new paper plate or a sterile tray serves to hold the inks that will be used for your tattoo. Inks are stored in sterile plastic bottles with conical tips. The inks for your tattoo will be dispensed from these bottles into new and disposable plastic caps. A mound of Vaseline can be placed on the plate with a sterile wooden tongue depressor and the caps may be dabbed in it so that they stick to the palette. The cap of an ink bottle is removed and wiped with a tissue, and then ink is squeezed directly into the small cup on the palette. Although this process might be repeated later, generally an artist will put down enough cups to hold enough ink for the entire tattoo if it's a small one. Then the tip is wiped again and the cap and bottle replaced. The palette with Vaseline and inks will be placed close at hand at the worktable.

Once the palette is in place, it's time to load the needles into the tattoo machine. While you may not see the inks dispensed the most important part of the sterilization procedure should he done in front of you: opening the autoclave bags. The tubes are first removed from their autoclave bags and fitted into the opening in the tattoo machine. Many artists have particular favorites among tube styles and they likely own their tubes, matched to their machines, and they may purchase and manufacture their own needles as well (soldering needles to the bars). The needles are removed from the autoclave bag and inspected by the artist with a loupe. They are inserted into the tubes and attached to the machine. Finally, the machine is hooked up to the power cord, which generally has a foot switch in it for the artist to turn the tattoo machine on and off, hands free. Once the machine is turned on, the artist may fiddle with it or the power supply, and you'll hear it make a distinct buzzing sound—not so loud that a normal conversation voice is easily heard above it. though. When the machine is running to the artist's satisfaction, he or she will dip the running machine into the first ink cup (generally black to create the outline) and let you know that things are about to start and that you'll be feeling a brisk sensation.

The style of different tattoo artists when interacting with customer varies greasily, but this is why you spent some amount of time considering them in the first place. In addition, many tattoo artists will modify their approach or style and tailor it to their clients' needs (a first-time customer may need much more time than a repeat "offender"). They may offer you a moment to reconsider the tattoo before they begin ... or not. They may ask you if you're ready to begin ... or not. At this point, or at any time really, if you feel nervous or anxious, that's perfectly natural. Just let your artist know. Artists help hundreds if not thousands of people through the process of getting their first tattoo. Because you're embarking on something that will permanently be displayed on your skin for the rest of your life, it's not uncommon for that realization to come to you in that moment. Rather than worrying about pain, you're worrying about your decision. However, the point of this book is to make sure that you've done everything that you can to be prepared for this moment. Anxiety and nervousness are just a part of the tattoo process, part of the ritual in a sense, and part of every important ritual in the most universal sense. If, however, you're having serious second thoughts, say so.

If your gut instinct is that you're making a mistake, then stop. Tattoo artists have seen that happen as well. You need to feel good about what you're doing in the big picture, even if you're nervous at the time. If you need to cancel, then do it, before the outline begins. There's always another day.
Let's assume that all systems are go. Your tattooist may begin with a small line, just a little bit of the outline, and then check on you. Do your best riot to move, but don't hold your breath either. At this point, after that first bit of outline, you've felt and now have experience with the pain level. This is the pain, whether you experience it as a stinging sensation or a rubber band snapping against your skin, that you will likely be experiencing for the rest of the tattoo process depending on the size and complexity of your design. It is a pain that the majority of tattoo clients would describe as manageable or moderate. Many first-time tattoo clients are actually relieved at this point to know that this whole tattoo thing is definitely doable. A smaller percentage grit their teeth and start a breathing exercise. If, however, you decide that the pain is manageable, then your tattoo artist will proceed, taking the tattoo machine away only briefly for more ink. Longer breaks will come as the needles need to be changed (different needle configurations are used for different parts of the design) and also to change ink colors (generally achieved by rinsing the needles in clean water in a small disposable cup set aside for that purpose).

Your job now is to sit like a rock, without flinching or squirming. Go ahead and talk if you like, but don't whine. Most tattoo artists are quite used to chatting with their clients during the process. If they need you to be quiet, like when they're doing the eyes on your pinup cutie, they'll let you know. Generally your tattoo artist will also let you know when the outline is done. Most people find the outlining more painful than the shading which follows. As the tattoo process proceeds, however, you may find that you need to take a break, maybe because of the discomfort, maybe to switch positions, or just to have a cigarette. Perhaps your tattooist will need a break as well, to take a phone call or see a client who has stopped by the shop. If you want a break, then ask for one. It's part of the routine. Your artist will wipe off the excess ink and body fluids, smooth on some Vaseline, and you can get up and check out the work in progress and have some water or your smoke. The position in which you sit or lie for your tattoo may not be the most comfortable. But your tattooist needs to get the right angle on your skin to do the tattoo well. Be as understanding as possible when it conies to being in an uncomfortable position. Tattooists battle repetitive motion injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome like everybody else.

The Party's Over

Well, despite how much you'd like the hot needle massage to continue, eventually your tattooist announces that your tattoo is finished, just when you were getting into the Zen of the whole thing. Finally you get up and look at your finished tattoo in the mirror. Don't be surprised if your skin is red and a little puffy. Lymph fluid and blood may bead up, ever so slightly. The colors often look darker and have more contrast at this early stage than when the tattoo is completely healed. The reddish swelling of the skin is one contributor to that darker effect. Also, the epidermis is full of ink as well, but we know that eventually the epidermis layer will be replaced with a new clear one, just as before. As you look in the mirror, though, what you see is pretty much your new tattoo and how it will look for many years to come. If you've done your homework and you've picked your design, body location, and artist well, then you're likely not looking at just any tattoo, but the perfect one—for you. No matter the size of your tattoo, you have joined the tribe as fully as it can be joined. Welcome and well done.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Temporary Tattoos

This day and age, more and more people are deciding to get permanent tattoos, leaving their mark of choice on their skin. If the tattoo is applied by an experienced artist, the risk involved will be minimal. As sad as it is however, many people who get tattoos end up going to studios that use unsanitary equipment - resulting in infections or other serious problems.

Henna Bridal Temporary Tribal Tattoo Henna Tattoo

Years ago, temporary tattoos were found in quarter machines, bubble gum wrappers, and even toy sections of the local store. Children loved to get these temporary tattoos, as they presented a way for children to have a tattoo - one that was completely safe and would wash off. Now days, even adults are beginning to think that this is the right idea. The temporary tattoos of today are no longer just for children, as most last a long time - making them perfect for adults.

The best thing about temporary tattoos, is the fact that they are indeed temporary. With temporary tattoos, you don’t have to worry about infections or unsanitary equipment, as there is no piercing of the skin involved. Temporary tattoos are safe, and remove easily with soap and water. This is very cost friendly as well - as permanent tattoos require surgery to remove.

If you have been thinking about getting a permanent tattoo, you should first give a temporary tattoo a try. Tattoos that are temporary provide an excellent way to test out designs, and see if a tattoo is right for you. If you don’t like it, all you have to do is wash it off. Then, you can purchase another one and see if you like it better. There are literally thousands of temporary tattoos out there, with designs that are sure to please everyone.

If you decide to get a permanent tattoo instead, you are pretty much stuck with it. To get rid of a permanent tattoo, you’ll need to have it surgically removed, which can cost you thousands of dollars. You’ll also face the risk of infection, along with a permanent scar. Permanent tattoos are great though - providing you are happy with the tattoo.

In most cases, temporary tattoos look just like a permanent tattoo. To use them, simply lick the tattoo or use water and apply to your skin. When you have it where you want it, simply apply pressure for a few seconds. They are easy to apply, and last until you wash them off. If you decide to get a longer lasting temporary tattoo, it will last for a longer period of time. This way, you can decide if a permanent tattoo is going to be worth the investment.

You can find temporary tattoos in local stores or on the Internet. They are very affordable as well, even cheaper if you buy them in bulk. Tattoo artists also sell them, and normally have a large selection on hand. This way, you can look through the available selections and find the tattoo that best fits your style.

All in all, temporary tattoos are easier to apply than permanent tattoos and they pose no risk to your skin or your health. Those that are afraid of needles tend to like them as well, as they give you the chance to have a tattoo without going under the needle. Before you rush out and get a tattoo, you should instead give permanent tattoos a try. They won’t cost you a lot of money - yet they will give you the chance to see how you look with a tattoo - and decide if a permanent tattoo is really something you want.

The Costs Of Tattoos

Once you have made the decision to get a tattoo, you’ll find yourself facing a very important task – the budget. Tattoos have long been known to be very expensive, with the bigger ones costing up in the thousands. Although you may be able to find some designs and studios that are within your budget, you’ll still face some very important decisions.

Tribal Armband

The cost of a tattoo is the most common question people ponder before they get a tattoo. Although they can be very expensive, they are still within your reach. Most people who know they are getting a tattoo will save their money up. Even though you may have an average job and don’t make a lot of money, a tattoo can still be well within your reach if you save your money up for a few months. This way, you’ll have more than enough to spare when you finally get the tattoo you have been saving up for.

In the world of tattoos, you get what you pay for. If you’ve got your own design that you want tattooed, tattoo artists will normally charge you anywhere from 30 – 250 dollars an hour. If you want the tattoo artist to design a tattoo for you, you’ll probably end up paying more. Depending on the size and location of the tattoo, you can easily spend thousands. Tattoos that cover the entire back for example, can cost you as much as fifteen thousand dollars!

The best thing to do is to find a studio and design that you like, and then look into how much it will cost you. You should always look for the cleanest and most sanitary studio first. Once you have found a sanitary tattoo studio, you should meet the tattoo artists and talk to them a bit to see how friendly they are. When you look at the prices of the tattoos, you should never sacrifice quality for price. Even though a studio may cost you more, the quality will normally be better than other tattoo studios in the area.

Although you may be able to find a tattoo studio that will do their work for a cheap price, you should never rush into getting a tattoo strictly for the price. Even though a cheap price may sound good, the quality of the work could be lacking. Tattoo studios that charge expensive prices normally do so because they have the best artists and the best quality work.

Once you have chosen a studio and had your tattoo done, you should always make sure to tip your artist. If he does exceptional work, you should make it well worth his time and give him a nice tip. Tattoo artists who do high quality work love to get tips – and they will always appreciate your business if you treat them as good as they treat you.

The Risks Of Getting Tattoos

Although most tattoos are applied with no problems at all, there are some tattoos that result in a not so good outcome. No matter how safe you may think they are, you simply can’t overlook the risks involved with getting a tattoo. Tattoo artists may tell you that there are no risks involved - although this isn’t the case.

Star Tattoo

The biggest concern you have when getting a tattoo is unsanitary equipment. If the equipment isn’t cleaned and disinfected after each use, the risk for getting a disease is very high. You can also end up with a serious skin disease as well, if the tattoo gun is dirty or if the tattoo artist doesn’t clean his equipment. The tattoo studio should be clean as well. With a lot of visitors, a studio can get dirty quickly - which is why it should be cleaned on a daily basis.

After getting your tattoo, if you notice any swelling or excessive redness around the tattoo, you should visit a doctor immediately, to find out if the tattoo is infected. In most cases, tattoo infections can be treated with medicine. If the infection is severe, you may be admitted to the hospital so they can further treat you. In the more severe cases, you may end up having to get the tattoo removed to prevent further infection. Removing a tattoo requires surgery, which also involves risks as well.

If removal of the tattoo is recommended or requested, the procedure can either be performed as an out patient surgery or one that requires a minimal stay in the hospital. The surgeon or physician will determine the removal, based on your health and overall chances of developing an infection. In most cases, tattoo removal is safe, with most patients given medicine that will treat infections and prevent any type of pain.

Although health risks are a concern, one of the biggest concern for may is the overall appearance of the tattoo. Tattoos that are done by amateurs or not applied well, normally result in the appearance being ruined. Tattoos are something that will stick with you for the rest of your life, which is why the appearance is so important. If you get a tattoo removed, chances are that a scar will always remain. Even though most scars will become less noticeable as years go by, they will never completely go away - and always provide a reminder that a tattoo was once there.

Before you get a tattoo, you should always make it a point to examine the studio and ensure that it’s clean. You should also ask questions, and make sure that the tattoo artists clean the equipment they use. If you stick around for a bit at the studio, you can normally find out a lot about the way they do business and how clean they are. If the studio appears to be clean and tidy, chances are you won’t have to worry about dirty equipment or infections.

As with everything else in life, there are always decision to make. If you are thinking about getting a tattoo, you should first decide your reason for getting it, how you will feel about having it later on in life, and if the tattoo is something you can see yourself with. Before you put a permanent tattoo on your body, you should make sure that you are getting the tattoo for you because you want it. Whatever you do, you should always avoid getting a tattoo simply because someone else suggested it.

Tattoo Removal Cream

Tattoo removal creams - do they work? It would be nice if removal of a tattoo were as simple as applying a cream to the skin to break up the pigments like a wrecking ball. But the intent of a tattoo artist is to create permanent artwork using your skin as the canvas. Tattoo ink is injected deep into the skin, into cell layers that turn over very slowly.
The manufacturers of creams and balms may have Web sites, where you can learn more about the medications. Many are nothing more than 1 percent hydroquinone (a bleaching agent to be used twice daily) and an exfoliating spray to be used as a scrub every third day. Doctors prescribe 4 percent hydroquinone products to lighten skin in conditions like vitiligo.

Do not expect a 1 percent hydroquinone product to be particularly effective against tattoo ink. The best bet for tattoo removal is with a laser that can heat, break up and disintegrate the tattoo pigments. But the process could take a year and cost thousands of dollars — and one may still be left with a "ghost" of the tattoo. If you're light skinned, a product containing TCA (Trichloroacetic acid) might be worth a try. It is the same agent used in chemical peels. Ask a dermatologist whether it's right for you.

Picture Of Celebrity Tattoo

Tattoos are all about expressing yourself in your own way. Its a method of coloring the skin with ink, leaving an image or logo on their skin. Summer time is the perfect time of year to expose a picture of celebrity tattoo.
If you are wanting a celebrity picture to wear on your body, you should consider if it something you want on you long term. Wearing a celebrity tattoo can be fun and may attract attention from the opposite sex. Alternatively a temporary painted on celebrity tattoo might be more appealing, after all if you don't like it you can get a new one later to replace it. Unearth additional picture of celebrity tattoos at our Tattoo Me Now tattoo gallery. You can find many celebrity pictures here. View and download many elegant tattoo outlines from the comfort of your home. Discover some really good celebrity tattoos that you can take pleasure in for life.

Getting a tattoo can be a rather big decision, especially those who don't already have one. All too often people find another one later that they would had preferred and in hind sight would had spent more time selecting their dream tattoo, which is why the Tattoo Me Now tattoo design site will be useful. You can browse the designs in over 40 categories to find celebrity tattoo pictures. Wearing a great looking tattoo, it will enhance your sex appeal, make people lust over you for it, helps others to start interesting conversations with you on it, make you different and get noticed by people around you, and improve your feelings about yourself. After Finding The Tattoo That You Want, You'll Display It In Public All The Time! This celebrity tattoo picture may well be the thing for you. However, when considering having a tattoo done, get a second opinion from friends and take more time out to think before one done for good. We encourage you to bookmark this celebrity design for future visits, or download many more similar designs at Tattoo Me Now, then find the Tattoo you want here. Print out for your local artist.

Having a tattoo done does hurt to a degree, depending on where on you it is done it may not hurt much at all. In most cases discomfort lasts for under an hour. Slight irritation can be expected over the following few days. When correctly and competently done, tattoos have minimal reactions or problems with the skin will recover extremely rapidly. Subject to the way the customer looks after their tattoo, its likely to take between 1-2 weeks to get better.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Big Tattoo or Small Tattoo

The last question concerning your tattoo is usually size. You've picked out your design, you've figured out where to place it, now you are wondering how big or small it should be. Here's some important points on figuring out tattoo size;

1. Lean towards larger. While many people will initially play it safe and go with a smaller size, frequently they will regret not having gotten their tattoo larger. Once the initial shock of having a tattoo wears off, they then realize that they could have gone a with something bigger and been more satisfied. Many tattoo artists can do things to increase the size your tattoo if you feel it's too small.

2. Small is solid too. If you have a small design in mind go for it. Most tattoo artists treat and respect small, simple tattoo's, just as much as larger, more elaborate tattoo's. A tattoo is a tattoo, it's on their for life no matter the size. If your content with a smaller design, then go for it.

3. Base size on body part. A small tattoo on a big arm usually doesn't look that great as it would if it were more proportioned to the size of the arm. Save smaller tattoo's for wrists, ankles, and thinner arms, while being more size lenient on back, big arms, shoulders, and thigh. A small tattoo can get "lost" within a large body part area, sometimes to the point of wondering whether or not its a tattoo or some sort of skin blemish!

Ultimately tattoo size is personal, and should be based on the design, the body part, and the individual.

I've found a great online collection of tattoo designs which are high quality and incredibly unique. See Here you can go through hundreds of designs and find your ideal tattoo which represents you the best. Feel free to visit and thanks for reading.

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Selecting A Tattoo Design For Female Tastes - Artwork That Fits

Selecting the perfect tattoo design for female tastes can be a real pain. You have no doubt scoured the internet, trying to find exactly what you want, or even just an idea of the different designs out there.

Remember, you don't have to settle for the random images that you see all over the web. Selecting a tattoo for female tastes is hard enough, so take your time when selecting artwork, and make sure it is of great quality. These four designs and styles should get you going on your way to finally choosing the right artwork for you. You can easily find great, original tattoos without having to settle for a Google search.

Tattoo designs and styles are constantly changing. This is why selecting a tattoo design for female tastes can be so time consuming. With so much out there, you can never settle on exactly what you want. You are going to have the design on your body for a very long time, so you should not settle on something just because everybody else is doing it. You want your tattoo to be original, right? You should always keep this thought in your mind when selecting a tattoo design for female tastes, especially yours.

Now, on to the tattoo designs...

New School Tattoo Art - As a female, you have no doubt seen a similar style all over the web and even on people you run across on the street. This is the modern version of the old sailor designs. Believe it of not, women have found fantastic ways of implementing this old fashioned designs on their skin. Most of them are on the neck area for females. This style includes anchors and swallows. With new school artists in this day and age, this is a great tattoo design for female tastes.

Japanese Kanji Tattoo Art - A lot of the female tattoo designs in this category seem to be on the "full sleeve" crowd, but more and more people are going the Kanji route without having to get the full sleeve. They are usually huge pieces of art, flowing very nicely on the upper and mid arm and even the shoulder. As you may have known, the most popular Kanji tattoo design for female tastes is the Koi fish.

Floral and Heart Tattoo Styles - These have been around for generations, but it seems as if they are making a strong comeback and are one of the sexiest tattoo styles. Don't settle for the pictures on the wall of a tattoo shop, because those are outdated. You can find all of the new school designs on various tattoo websites.

Tribal Tattoo Art - The tribal tattoo is a timeless piece. It has been around for generations and generations and the designs just keep getting better. When selecting a tattoo design for female tastes, the tribal is usually looked over, but it can be a very nice piece if you get a good artist. A lot of artists are now doing amazing color tribals for females now.

You should always take your time when it comes to choosing a tattoo style for female tastes. Never settle for the first thing that you see, because chances are that it is been plastered all over the place, and even on dozens of other females in your area. While there are so many tattoo design for female bodies, your best bet is to pick four to five of your favorite designs and bring them to an artist that you trust. He or she can then tailor it to fit your body. As a female, you want your tattoo to really stand out and be original. This way, you will be assured that your tattoo styles are original and you will be the only person with that design. Finding the perfect tattoo design for female tastes can be a real chore if you let it, but this should help your search for great artwork.

Want to know where to find the largest, most original website find the perfect tattoo design for female tastes? Keep Reading...

Adam Woodham is the author of this article and runs the blog Art Tattoo which features the 3 top websites with the absolute largest female tattoo gallery you will ever see. Finding the perfect tattoo has never been easier.

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Saturday, November 10, 2007

What Should you Do With your Pictures of Butterfly Tattoos

One of the most popular tattoo designs among women and young girls is a picture of butterfly tattoo. This design can be found in any tattoo shop around the world because it’s such a popular tattoo design. Many tattoo artists have become well known because of their ability to create great butterfly tattoo designs.

Some butterfly designs are small and designed to be placed in smaller areas such as on the side of an ankle or on the wrist. Some larger designs can be placed across the small of the back or on the upper part of the shoulders. If you want to have a design like this on your body you can go online and find the image of a butterfly that you like the most and bring it to an artist at your local tattoo shop. The artist will be able to copy the image and modify it to make it become exactly the sort of design that fits your taste and style.

Some people prefer tattoo designs that are small and understated while others like the colorful and blatant tattoo designs better. Every tattoo shop in the world has a catalog of designs and every one of those catalogs has at least one picture of a butterfly in it for customers to choose from. This is because the design is one of the most popular designs in the world for people who want to get tattoos inked on their bodies. Some tattoo shops do so many butterfly tattoos that they have become known for specializing in that design. This is one of the reasons why some women will go to one tattoo shop and stay with that shop for many years.

These designs can have other elements added to give more uniqueness to the tattoo. Some people add their lover’s name or the names of their children to the areas around the butterfly tattoo design. This is something that’s a very personal thing to have done and many people want to remember certain events or people with this sort of artwork on their body. Once a choice of design has been made, the tattoo artist may create a temporary tattoo imprint that can be moved to various areas of the customer’s body. In this way the customer can see how the actual tattoo will look on different areas of his or her body before the actual inking of the tattoo is started. This will help to save a lot of time, money and aggravation when it comes to having the tattoo put on. No one wants to have a tattoo inked in the wrong place and not be able to make a changes after the first needle begins the ink work.

Kip Goldhammer owns and operates Picture of Butterfly Tattoo A great resource for tattoos online.

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