Tattoos and Tattoo Art Go Mainstream As Tattoo Designs And Practices Grow In Quality And Safety
Let me start with some history and terminology: the word Tattoo comes from the Samoan term tatau, literally meaning “two handed drawing”, but actually meaning “drawing in two layers” (probably referring to traditional tattooing practices in the Pacific). Tattoos have been present among the tribes of Southeast Asia and the Pacific forever, it seems – but tattoos were present in other parts of the world as well – in fact, the frozen mummy of a man (nicknamed “Frozen Fritz” or “Otzi the Iceman”) found in 1991 in the Austrian Alps, which dates back to 3300BC, had dot and line tattoos on various body parts.
Now, in 2008AD – more than 5000 years later – it’s evident that tattoo art has gone through a transformation over the past several years. As far as public opinion goes, tattoos have become a trendy, hip sort of thing, and have been enjoying a major surge in pop culture and popularity among the general public. As far as regulation and safety goes, new rules are enforced to ensure safety and hygiene in the process of engraving the tattoo. From the technological point of view, tattooing equipment has improved, and so have the color pigments used for the tattoos.
Wait, I left something out: the artistic side of tattoo designs. The huge surge in popularity tattooing has had over the past years has been causing a boom in the tattooing industry. The amount of people in the tattoo business has increased substantially, and so have their skills – A good tattooist today is an artist and a designer, in the true meaning of the words. According to the US News & World Report, there are more than 20000 tattoo parlors in the United States alone, and the intricacy and diversity of tattoo art and tattoo designs has grown exponentially.
So it would be fair to say that the tattoo industry has been revolutionized in every aspect – quality and safety alike.
According to a 2006 survey by the American Academy of Dermatology, 24% of Americans aged 18 to 50 are tattooed – almost one of every four!
Another 2006 survey held by the Pew Research Center reveals that 36% of people aged 18 to 25 and 40% of people aged 26 to 40 have at least one tattoo.
That’s how common tattoos have become, and the tattoo rush is only growing stronger. By now, the percents must higher already.
Furthermore, digging deeper also reveals how people with tattoos feel about themselves: a 2003 Harris Poll showed that 34% of tattooed people said that having a tattoo makes them feel sexier – particularly women (42%).
That poll also shows that only 17% of people with tattoos ever regret having them – and even among them, the most common reason is not the presence of the tattoo itself, but its having the wrong name in it (most commonly, the name of the other half of a relationship gone sour).
Now that tattoos are so commonplace, the problem people seek a solution to is originality. From tribal tattoos to cross tattoos, from butterfly tattoos to star tattoos, from lower back tattoos to full body art tattoos, everyone wants a tattoo that not only fits their taste and personality, but also stands out. And it’s becoming more and more difficult.
That’s why tattoo artists must always stride for more. tattoo designs must always have their bars raised as far as artistic quality and originality are concerned, with new ideas and new designs brought up on a regular basis and conveyed effectively to potential customers.