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Tattoo Designs & Your First Tattoo: What's Right For You, What To Avoid

That awesome Chinese character on your girlfriend's hip doesn't mean "peace and love." Read on to avoid making the same mistake and having "I love egg rolls" permanently inked into your body.

There are so many different options when choosing a tattoo design, it's often overwhelming at first. You know you're ready to get your first tattoo. Fortunately for the current younger generations, getting a tattoo isn't as taboo as it used to be. You no longer have people staring at you like you're an old sailor or are fresh out of prison. In fact, tattoos have become quite socially acceptable - after all, all your friends have them, models have them, movie stars have them, rock stars have them.

Tattoos are a great way of self expression, but how do you stand out from everyone else's "I love Sheila" or "I heart Mom" tattoos? There's nothing better than a unique design, but a design that is still very meaningful to you, even though it might not be totally unique can be perfect. Why is it so important to have a unique design? Well, other than the fact that you'll have the ink permanently (important to remember at all times before deciding to get a tattoo - laser removal isn't perfect yet) it's always great to have a unique story.

 Here's an example - a friend of this author got one of those copy-and-paste "tribal" tattoos. He's pretty popular with the ladies, and the first thing they always ask is, "Oh wow, this is really neat, what does it mean?" So he has to sit there and explain that it doesn't really mean anything, he just thought it looked neat. Not very smooth.

A different friend has an amazing sleeve (two, actually), all the images intertwined and coalescing in a very artistic way. They were custom drawings, drawings from his favorite artists, and so on - whenever a person asks him why he got the tattoos or what the designs mean, he has great stories to tell.

So there's the difference between your run of the mill tattoo design, and a tattoo design that has plenty of meaning behind it. You've got that part down, so what should you avoid?

Well, unless you actually know a person that speaks Mandarin, Cantonese, Japanese, or any other Asian language and can confirm the character you're having stamped on your butt doesn't say "more ketchup please," the best advice is to just avoid that style of tattoo all together. In this author's opinion, it's no longer uniqueFree Articles, it's very played out.

Don't be afraid when getting "inked" for the first time. It's not quite as painful as you might have heard. Some people even enjoy the experience. Just make sure it's not one that you'll regret - you'll have that tattoo design for quite a long while.

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Craig Thornburrow is an acknowledged expert in his field. You can get more free advice on tattoo designs and tattoo pictures at

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