The increasing popularity of the ancient art of inking a tattoo to the body has been breathtaking! Whilst these colorful images have always been acceptably worn by many cultures to signify rank, feats of strength or clan membership, they were for a long time shunned by mainstream society. Now it appears more and more people are sporting their own unique tattoo - whether it is a tiny butterfly or a huge Celtic tattoo mural!
With such a vast choice of new tattoos, it can be a little daunting when it comes to selecting one that is just right for you. Everyone has their own tattoo ideas, and each one sends a message - from subtle to overt - and it is extremely important to ensure your new tattoo looks awesome AND sends the message you want it to send!
To help you decide which tattoo is right for you, this article will discuss briefly five of the most common categories of tattoo. You may not find your perfect tattoo within these genres, but at least it may give you some ideas fo where to start, and also some of the messages that these tattoos send.
1. Cross Tatttoo Designs - this is a very common genre. Although not necessarily worn to denote religion, it is very hard not to infer a Christian religious message in these images. There are seemingly limitless variations of cross designs available, and they are often blended or super-imposed onto other existing tattoos. Most commonly worn on the shoulder or wrist.
2. Star Tattoo Designs - unless made to look specifically like the 'Star of David' or a pentacle, these tattoo designs are nearly always decorative in nature and enhance the look of the wearer. Like crosses, they are often just one part of a larger tattoo, and are often worn on the back or chest.
3. Chinese Tattoo Designs - these tattoos encompass a wide variety of features, but commonly include lions, dragons and Chinese lettering. These unique tattoos are often larger in size (although they can also be small) and sometimes represent a specific element of chinese myth. Pay specific attention to any chinese symbols you decide to get inked - remember, they can mean different things to different people! These tattoos can be worn anywhere on the body, but the larger ones often cover the chest or back area.
4. Celtic Tattoo Designs - Said with a hard 'c' (as in 'Keltic'), these intricate and beautiful tattoos are really the murals of body art. They seem to flow easily within themselves, with the eye drawn to common elements such as knots, crosses and the number '3'. Applying these tattoos properly requires a highly skilled artist and a reasonable amount of time - make sure you see examples of their work before taking the plunge! These tattoos are often worn on the next or upper arms.
5. Tribal Tattoos - this is the serious end of the tattoo market! Nothing sends a message more powerfully than a large tribal tattoo. These tattoos have been in use for thousands of years, and are still commonly applied by cultures around the world (including American Indians, Polynesians and Ma'ori). These tattoos have significance in that they denote membership of a clan, rank, and sometimes victory in battle. They can be described as the ancient equivalent of our modern military insignia and medals of valor. These tattoos can cover large areas of the body - take care when deciding to get one, as they send an obvious message to both friend & foe!
This, of course, is just a few tattoo ideas, but hopefully it will get you started! Remember to search out tattoo designs from as many sources as possible, and then choose that perfect, unique tattoo that is unique to you!