Under The Needle

Mac's picture
Looking for new tattoo ideas short guide on choosing a tattoo.

So it's that time of the year again, you have had the summer months to soak up the sun, party and let your tattoos show.  Now with the summer over, it seems to be time to start thinking about which new tattoo to get now that the cold months are starting, not so many parties are happening and its generally a good time to rest your brain.  Now that things have quietened down, you'll have much more time to think about ideas for that special tattoo.

Surprisingly, it seems that winter time gives the skin time to get a bit more supple and more enjoyable to work on.  Sounds sick but that's our canvas, and as artists we would like you to prepare your canvas and your body for tattoos.  I am not sure how many people know how important this is to the entire process of tattooing, but believe me, when your body is healthy and you are fit, you can get the skin on your body back to a healthy state.  If you take this into consideration, your tattoos will go into the skin better, you will deal with the pain better and your healing time will be so short, you won't believe it.  Like the instructions on the back of the chocolate brownie mixture, it's just a serving suggestion.

Now the difficult part, what tattoo to get, well that depends on many things. Did you have a memorable summer?  Was it something worth tattooing, are you a trend person?, does it really matter what type of tattoo you get and does it have to have such a special meaning?  Well that's the beauty of it, it's all up to you and your Artist, if you have one.  If you have found an Artist, then you're half way there but only half way.   It can be a lot to think of.  Ahhh......what do I want.

Here are a few things to consider.

  1. Where do you want it.
  2. What style do you want.
  3. What size should it be.
  4. When can you get an appointment .

Things not to do - top mistakes when choosing a tattoo.

  1. Not too small, this is a killer in the tattoo decision.
  2. Good tattoos aren't cheap and cheap tattoos are substandard.  That should be the last priority on your list when it comes to getting a tattoo .
  3. Don't be romantic and get the current boyfriend's name.  Tattoos last forever, some things don't last unfortunately.
  4. Impulse decisions, now you decided to get a tattoo and you want it as soon as possible, take your time.  I have seen this so many times.  It is not like shopping, if you aren't happy with it you can't return it.
  5. Don't take control over the design and process.  If you have chosen an artist, then let them do their job.  We have seen so much in the industry you can't imagine...  So when you say: "no!, it's what I want", this makes it hard for us when trying to make the best decision for you.  We need freedom to create, otherwise it's not art.

Well, now it's time to get searching for your tattoo. Here are some different styles and links you can look for to begin the process.  Japanese Tattoos are of course for me one of the best forms of tattooing, and I think it is one of the most difficult style's to tattoo.   You have to consider the main design, the incorporation of the body form, background integration and the main tattoo image, combined with color and a large scale approach.  All of these things make this form of tattooing extremely challenging.  Just some artists to name are Shige and from the opposite side of the continent Chris CrooksOld School and Neo Traditional are another form entirely.  They look for bold lines and heavy shading with almost no limit on what motif can be integrated in to the design.

Back in the old days tattoo equipment was rather primitive, so hence the styling, but still many artists strive to achieve this look with whip shading 4 colors, one third black, one third color and one third skin will leave you with a tattoo that can stand the test of time. No small feat by any measure. Biomechanical (also called Biomech) is a  combination of surrealism blended with modern mechanical and organic forms.  Rendered together with distinct realism, secondary lighting and a full understanding of complementary colour, biomechanical art expresses the realm of the internal fantasy world.  Photo Realistic art also collides in to this world with much focus on an extreme level of detail and an understanding of color, technique and artistic ability that bring tattooing to an unbelievable new level.  Black work, Dot work,  Māori, are other styles of ancient tradition from across continents with a different approach to design.

The designs are placed on the body in a flat type style with not so much focus on levels or layers of tattooing.  The motifs are more simplified because they have history that relates to a practice since Neolithic times.   Ötzi the Iceman had tattoos dating from 3,300 BC.  There is a lot of association with symbolism and references to nature and animals.  As we move into a more modern age the Black Work from old tradition has been merged, sort of fused with traditional ways and newer forms of tattooing using levels and dots to create details and large black patterns of an esoteric nature.  Buddhism, Hinduism, Thai ( Buddhists of the Theravada tradition) would have a strong influence on the designs used for the new black work tattoos.

There are many subdivisions and New styles which would take some time to account for, but hopefully on your search you will come across something that will inspire your next idea. Feel free to leave comments or links that can add to this post.  Happy hunting Have fun Mac.   Also I would like to include the full Tattoo documentary about Sailor Jerry, a must watch for any tattoo enthusiast,

 it gives a detailed account of the life of Sailor Jerry, a renowned tattooist .