These days everyone wants to get ink. Growing up in Southern California it was a normal thing to do, everyone I knew had at least one tattoo it seemed. In fact, many of my friends had quite a few. But when I moved to another state I realized that tattoos were rare in most places. People looked at my tattoo as if it were taboo!
In the past Tattoos were considered a sign of a bad person. For instance, California has always been known for Gangs of just about every race. Tattoos are the norm for gang members because it allowed them to have a permanent mark for everyone to know who they "ran" with. But these days things have changed. People all over the United States have been flocking to get tatted up over the past 5-6 years and it's mostly coming from the MMA craze. Some will disagree, but I would love for someone to prove me wrong. I'm not talking about girls with tramp stamps. Those have been popular for a bit longer, and for decades in California, unfortunately.
The main thing to remember about tattoos is that they're permanent. Duh, I know. But a lot of people don't think this through, especially younger adults and teenagers. When you get older and you have a kid you will have to explain what that is. Why did you get a corny tattoo that everyone else has? Which brings up another point:
Why? Why do you really want a tattoo? Do you really think your mom or dad or grandparents really wanted you to get their name or image on your body after they passed? I highly doubt it, esepcially if you hardly visited them before they passed. Do you really believe that a tribal tattoo is going to be meaningful to you, the white guy who doesn't have a clue about what it means? Or how about the Chinese symbols that you think means "respect"? Seriously, you need to really think your tattoo through so you don't embarass yourself down the road.
Would you want your daughter to get that tramp stamp that says "hey, look at me, I'm not a good girl!"? I doubt you will in the future, so try to remember that when you go in for your tattoo.
If you do decided to get inked up you need to at least think of something truly meaningful to you. Let's put it this way: if you have to look through pre-made templates, you're not thinking it through and you're just getting ink to fit in. That's going to come back and haunt you later down the road.
There's a lot of great tattoo artists in this world, but there's a lot of bad ones, too. Make sure you look at their work and check them out long before you actually go in to get a tattoo. You might regret it if you don't. They don't make jokes about bad tattoos for no reason. They happen!
Just be sure that the tattoo you want is for you. They're definitely not for everyone and you will most likely regret it later in life if you don't think everything through for a while.