Preparing For a Tattoo

Preparing For a Tattoo

Preparing For a Tattoo: What You Need to Know

Preparing For a Tattoo: What You Need to Know

Tattoos are fun and an expressive form of art on the body but you should always be prepared for your tattoo appointment. Here is what you need to know about preparing for a tattoo.

So you’re preparing for a tattoo, and aren’t sure what to expect? If that’s the case, we’ve got you covered.

We’ve all heard stories about horror tattoo incidents. While these may be more likely to happen in movies, it’s still a good idea to know what to expect.

But if you’re serious about getting some ink, learning how to prep for a tattoo is important. It will keep you healthy, and ensure that your new artwork looks the best it can!

Let’s take a look at what you need to do before getting a tattoo. We’ll look at tips for care both before and after your session.

To learn about trends and other things tattoo-related, check out our blog.

Preparing For A Tattoo- Before You Go

Preparing For a Tattoo

Wondering what to do before getting a tattoo? Here are 5 tips:

#1. Get hydrated

It’s easier for your tattoo artist to work if you’re hydrated. When preparing for a tattoo your skin can withstand longer sessions and will heal faster.

#2. Work with your tattoo artist

It sounds obvious, but make sure you and the artist are on the same page about the artwork going on your body during pre-tattoo preparation. Don’t leave anything up to assumption or chance.

Ask questions like:

  • Have you done a tattoo like the one I’m asking for before? Can you show pictures?
  • Can I see your portfolio?
  • What do you recommend for aftercare?
  • How do you sanitize your equipment?

A good, professional tattoo artist will have no problem answering general questions and coaching you through more specific questions about the artwork itself. If they do, perhaps you should look for a different shop.

#3. Exercise before you go

Remember that you’re going to be sitting for a while. If you’re the type to fidget around a lot, consider hitting the gym or going for a walk before you go in.

Especially if your tattoo is going to take a few hours, it’s best to have gotten some energy out before you sit on the table. Anything to decrease how much you’ll want to move, such as not drinking much caffeine, is also a good idea.

#4. Yes, it will hurt

This likely isn’t news to you, but getting the tattoo can be painful. Depending on the area you’re getting work done on, the magnitude of pain may be higher or lower.

Here’s a ranked list of the most painful places to get a tattoo, from 15-1. Good news for anyone wanting a chest or back piece, but bad news if you’re thinking your ribs is where you’ll get one.

#5. Print off reference material for the artwork

It’s a good idea to have specific examples of smaller elements of your tattoo on hand, just in case parts of his or her version don’t line up with what you want.

Besides your safety, the most important thing about how to prepare for getting a tattoo is making sure you are comfortable with the art going on your body.

Things To Avoid

Alternatively, here’s what you shouldn’t do before going in:

#1. Drinking heavily

Did you know that it’s actually illegal for tattoo shops to give tattoos to anyone under the influence of alcohol?

Besides the obvious implications of regretting ink selection when you’re tipsy, it’s actually dangerous to get tattooed when you’re drunk.

Alcohol thins your blood, which can lead to excessive bleeding of the tattooed skin. Not only is this a problem after the tattoo is complete, but it can be a nightmare for the tattoo artist, too!

The last thing you want is to make it difficult for someone giving you a permanent tattoo. So lay off the booze before you go.

#2. Using drugs

When preparing for a tattoo, it’s illegal for tattoos to be given while you are under the influence. If other drugs besides alcohol are a part of your routine, you should nix them before scheduling an appointment.

Let’s be honest- you want to get a tattoo from someone with a good reputation for their work. Any good tattoo artist isn’t going to risk getting in trouble for tattooing someone obviously impaired by drugs.

What To Do After Your Tattoo

There’s still some work to be done. Consider these tips after the ink is complete:

#1. Consider a tip for your artist

It is a service-based industry, and tips are encouraged. Even if you’re paying $100/hour, the artist is likely seeing only about half of that go into his or her bank account.

If you feel they did a good job, consider giving them a tip as appropriate. This isn’t required but is always encouraged. And if you want to get more artwork done in the future, they may be more keen to book you take care of them.

#2. Clean your tattoo

After about 3 hours, you should be able to take the bandages off. From there, it is absolutely vital that you clean your new artwork often for the next few days.

The last thing you want is to get an infection, so rinse it with cold water and let it air dry for about 10 minutes.

#3. Apply ointment

Ointment will prevent infection and ensure that your tattoo heals quickly. Tattoos that don’t heal quickly are more susceptible to infection.

#4. Let it heal

Yes, your tattoo will flake, and yes, it will scab, too. That’s part of the healing process. Don’t pick at it, touch it, or do anything other than clean it and apply ointment to it.

If you’re diligent about good hygiene, it should heal up pretty quickly- usually between 3-7 days.

Wrap Up

Getting a new tattoo is an investment in many ways. Make sure you are diligent about preparation before and care after the conclusion of your tattoo to ensure you have a good experience.

Hydrate, don’t drink or take drugs, and print off parts of your tattoo before you go in. Make sure you and the artist are on the same page before you begin.

And never feel weird asking your tattoo artists questions, either.

Once it’s done, be sure to clean your tattoo and apply ointment so that it heals quickly. This way it doesn’t get infected and the artwork isn’t damaged or modified in any way.

You can learn more about tattoos on our blog and contact us if you have any questions. We have tattoo shops in Las Vegas, Henderson and Maui Good luck!

History of Tattoos

History of Tattoos

A Brief History of Tattoos to Get You Excited About Your Ink

A Brief History of Tattoos to Get You Excited About Your Ink

Tattoos are so widely ingrained into our culture we do not stop to think of their origins. Read on to learn about a brief history of tattoos.

The history of tattoos is one that is as long as the story of human civilization itself. Many of us in the modern world might see getting inked as a deeply personal marker of identity. Maybe as an act of defiance in a conformist society or something else entirely. However, tattoos have meant many other things.

The Beginnings

Since the first tattoos started appearing in the Ancient Egyptian era, the act of marking yourself has taken on a wide variety of meanings.

The origin of tattoos was almost certainly noble, if not aristocratic. Markings and portraits from ancient civilizations suggest that once upon a time, only the richest and most respected members of society were permitted to get inked.

Things have changed a lot since then, and the methods and meaning of a tattoo have evolved a lot since the pyramids were first built. From ancient inks all the way up to modern day tattoo trends here’s your brief rundown of the history of tattooing, to get you excited about your ink.

The History of Tattoos: Origins

So where did the tattoo originate?

The vast majority of the earliest tattoos in existence were discovered on the bodies and portraits of ancient Egyptians. However, the practice does go back further than that.

Although disputed, scientists accept that the earliest tattoo belongs to Otzi the Iceman. Otzi is a perfectly preserved body from the 31st century BC.

Otzi was discovered back in 1991 by tourists, in the Alps straddling the Italian and Austrian border. The reason this guy’s ink was still identifiable is that the sub-zero conditions of that part of the Alps kept his body in a remarkable condition.

history of tattoosUpon examination, scientists discovered a number of intricate pattern markings across his body. Although the reason for these markings continues to be disputed, one thing that is agreed on is that they are decidedly aesthetic in nature.

This means that these pre-modern tattoos were almost definitely a statement of some kind, just like modern-day tattoos are. The most widely-accepted conclusion is that Otzi’s tattoos were a tribal marker of some kind.

Beyond this point, a number of ancient civilizations have since been discovered to have had a strong penchant for inking. Like the ancient Egyptians, the ancient Nubian civilizations of modern-day Sudan seemed to have adorned themselves in tattoos are part of a status symbol.

Why this was the case is unknown. It’s plausible that tattoo markings were a reserve of the wealthy simply because the materials required for doing so (ink) were well beyond the budget of your average Nubian farmer.

Early Modern Inking

The meanings of tattoos developed after the collapse of ancient civilizations. One thing we know for certain is that the entire practice of tattooing moved to Europe, particularly in the Northern regions. Tattooing in Northern Africa and the Middle East seems to have completely ceased as a practice by the time the Middle Ages rolled about.

The history of tattooing seems to have taken a more spiritual turn at this point. In Northern Europe and Italy, tattoos seemed largely to have been a marker of religious fervor. Christian sects, in particular, had an affinity for ink. Some smaller sects near the alps have been recorded as having head-to-toe markings as a sign of their religious devotion.

The Pope eventually banned the practice of tattooing altogether in the 9th century. After that point, the practice seemed to have moved eastwards. It also took on different meanings as it did so.

In medieval Japan and China, tattoos were used as a form of punishment. Criminals received tattoos on their face and arms to mark them out as a danger to society. This discovery has led to more questions than answers. It has since been posited that Japanese societies in ancient times actually wore tattoos as a symbol of power and privilege.

Tattoos of the Modern Age

The modern age, from the 18th Century onwards, has seen a return to tattooing as a deeply personal, aesthetic choice. In the world of fashion, it is widely rumored that the taste-makers of 18th C. London brought tattooing back into the Western mainstream.

Throughout the 1700s, the famous British explorer Captain Cook took a series of expeditions to the South Pacific. There he encountered the islanders of Polynesia, who wore distinctive markings of their tribes, hobbies and even their love interests. Once Cook brought his findings back to London, high society was fascinated. Before long, small tattoos in the most discrete of body parts became all the rage with the hip and happening.

After that point, tattooing became more normalized in the Western world again. By the time the Victorian era had rolled about, all spectra of society were getting inked on the regular. In the less reputable neighborhoods of London, Boston, Paris, and Naples, a tattoo signified your gang loyalty. It could also represent the slum you belonged to.

On the more gentle side of the class divide, young Victorian couples were beginning to get couples tattoos as a declaration of love. This is a practice which still persists to this day.

Tattooing didn’t cross into the mainstream until after World War Two. Even as late as the 1930s, tattoos were associated with “criminals, circus freaks and sailors”. However, some of the biggest cultural icons of the wartime period soon began sporting ink. At the same time, the widespread tattooing practices of pinup girls even normalized it for women. After that, the rest is history.

Tattoos Today

Today tattoos are worn by a full 21% of the entire global population. Tattoos are used to declare a love, commemorate an occasion, swear allegiance or just to look cool. Tattoos are a mainstream part of human fashion, with endless possibilities.

Follow in Their Footsteps

Hopefully, this history of tattoos inspired you to take the leap and get your own ink.

If you want to follow in the steps of your forebearers and get your first tattoo, get in touch with us today to arrange a high-quality, affordable piece of body art.

Tattoo Trends

Tattoo Trends

Tattoo Trends Through the Decades: 100 Years of Tattoos

Tattoo Trends Through the Decades: 100 Years of Tattoos

Despite what you might think, tattoos aren’t a modern invention. They’ve actually been around for hundreds of years. Keep reading to look at some of the most popular tattoo trends through the decades.

These days, it’s not unusual to see tattoos pretty much everywhere you go. Everyone from your barista to your doctor to your kid’s preschool teacher likely has some ink. But that wasn’t always the case.

Join us for a fascinating look at tattoo history, as well as the tattoo trends of today.

Tattoo Trends — Then and Now

Although many people think of tattoos as edgy and au courant, humans have been permanently marking their skin for centuries. The Iceman, a mummy whose remains were discovered in 1991, and who scientists believe died sometime around 5,200 B.C. has a total of 61 tattoos!

1900 – 1910s

In the early years of the 20th century, very few people besides sailors, criminals, and circus or carnival performers had tattoos. In fact, tattoos were so taboo that people would pay to see the “tattooed lady” when the circus or freak show came to town.

1920s – 1930s

Two cultural milestones are responsible for an uptick in tattooing in the 1920s and 1930s. The first was the introduction of Social Security numbers. The U.S. government emphasized the importance of remembering this number, and some folks decided that a tattoo was the best way to do so.

The other milestone? Movies. Women across the nation aspired to look like the stars of the silver screen, but makeup was expensive, and its quality generally poor. Tattooing presented a permanent way to achieve dramatic eyebrows or the perfect Cupid’s bow lip.

1940s – 1950s

World War II, and the millions of men and women whose lives changed dramatically as a result of either enlisting or working in factories.  This resulted in another upswing in tattoo popularity.

Patriotic tattoos were understandably in big demand during this era. Many of the designs that we consider classic today. Anchors, hearts, swallows, flowers, skulls, pinup girls, and flags — date back to the 1940s. Norman Keith Collins, aka Sailor Jerry, is also associated with this period in tattoo history. His legacy lives on to this day — and if you’ve ever gotten a flash tattoo, you have Sailor Jerry to thank.

In the 1950s, tattoos continued to be in demand, riding the wave of postwar patriotism. Then the pendulum began to swing in the other direction. A cultural emphasis on family and traditional gender roles meant that tattoos on women weren’t as widely accepted.

Once again, tattoos were relegated to the seedy element of society, the gang members, criminals, and bikers.

1960s – 1970s

An outbreak of hepatitis in New York, linked to poor hygiene practices in tattoo parlors. This scared off many potential customers. But that wasn’t enough to stem the rising tide of countercultural rebellion that was taking place during the ’60s and ’70s.

Singer Janis Joplin gets a lot of credit for helping tattoos become accepted in the mainstream. Her bracelet tattoo became an iconic symbol of self-expression. After her death in 1970, many women flocked to tattoo parlors to get a bracelet of their own.

Skull-and-crossbones imagery peaked in popularity during this era, thanks to biker gangs. Tattoos of all sorts became increasingly visible, although they were still frowned upon in mainstream, polite society.

1980s – 1990s

Abstract tattoos, Japanese and Polynesian influences, tribal designs, Celtic knots, and heavy black inkwork emerged as the tattoo trends of the 1980s. A sense of rebellion against the establishment, which had first begun to emerge in the ’60s and ’70s, took on a different face during this decade of excess.

No longer were tattoos only seen on motorcycle gang members, criminals, and carny folk. The influence of MTV and music videos helped show the world that musicians in all genres enjoyed getting inked.

During this era, tattoos for women also began to gain acceptance. Although they designs were largely small, easy to hide, and feminine in nature. Roses tattooed on hips, fairies on the ankle, dolphins on shoulder blades, and hearts anywhere were among the more common choices for women.

Yet the Riot Grrrl movement and the second wave of feminism also emboldened many women to forego conventional tattoo designs, and to get whatever ink they wanted, wherever they wanted it. By 1996, women accounted for more than half of the people with tattoos in the United States.


With the new millennium came a new era for tattoos. Reality television gave tattoo artists widespread exposure with shows like Miami Ink and LA Ink — which in turn made Kat VonD a household name. So-called “tramp stamps” were born during the early 2000s, as well.

Increased safety practices and regulations helped tattoos gain a foothold in respectable circles. After 9/11, patriotic tattoos saw a huge surge in popularity, with survivors and first responders commemorating the lives lost during the terrorist attacks. Other popular designs included stars, yin-yang symbols, Japanese kanji, and butterflies.

It’s during the early years of the 21st century that tattoo acceptance took a huge leap forward, too. Having ink, and especially visible ink, became more and more mainstream. Employers are increasingly changing their dress codes to allow for tattoos, and celebrities such as Rihanna proudly showed off their body art.

2010 – current

Tattoo TrendsWhat tattoo trends do we see today? Artists cite biomechanical designs (think Alien), trash polka, pointillism, geometric designs, feathers, and white ink tattoos as some of the most popular options for tattoos.

Pew Research reports that some 20% of Americans — but 40% of Millennials — are tattooed.

There’s been much speculation that technology and tattoos will begin to blend together in the coming years. Imagine LED tattoos, tattoos that can deliver information about our bodies (like a built-in fitness tracker), ink made from vegetable dye, “erasable” tattoos, animated tattoos, and much more.

Wrapping Up

Whether you love them or hate them, prefer an old-school pinup girl or the very latest in portraiture. There is no denying that tattoos are here to stay. Over the past 100 years, they have made their way from seedy carnivals and prison cells to Fortune 100 boardrooms.

Are you interested in getting a tattoo? Skin Factory Tattoos and Body Piercing would love to answer any questions you may have about the process or book an appointment. Contact us so we can help turn your tattoo dreams into reality!

Couple Tattoos

Couple Tattoos

Matching Couple Tattoos That’ll Inspire You

Matching Couple Tattoos That’ll Inspire You

Many couples have switched out the rings for matching ink to show their devotion to each other. If you’re looking for some good couple tattoo ideas, make sure you keep reading. Check out these inspirational, matching couple tattoos.

Varsity jackets? Class rings? These common tokens of love are child’s play. If you and your partner want to show off your combined awesomeness, get matching tattoos.

Tattoos are becoming more mainstream. As of 2012, one poll said 1 in 5 Americans has a tattoo.

Who can blame us? The best tattoos are beautiful pieces of art we get to have on our bodies forever. They’re a creative way of showing off the things we love, like shows, animals, and aesthetics.

But there’s nothing you value more than your relationship with your loved one. So why not put that mutual affection on display? Get a set of tattoos with them.

If you and your partner are ready to commit, then check out these ideas for couple tattoos.

Guidelines for Picking Couple Tattoos

If you’re getting a couples tattoo, there are few things to keep in mind.

Choose Something That’s Significant to Both of You

Let’s say you guys met while backpacking in Ireland, and you want a tattoo to commemorate that. Or you bonded over your love of B-movies, and want to get matching Frankenstein tats.

Whatever you choose, make sure it’s something special to both you and your partner.

Talk About Tattoo Placement

The best couple tattoos are ones that are on the same places on your bodies. With that in mind, you’ll need to talk about where you want the tattoo.

Discuss things like work expectations. Do you work at an office and your partner is a dog walker? You’ll have to take that into consideration.

Get Matching Styles

You don’t have to get the same exact tattoo as your partner, but it should match. One way to do this is to get tattoos in matching styles. That way there’s a clear connection between your Neo-Traditional Star Trek tats.

You can also get the same exact tattoo but in different colors. It’s up to you.

Be Creative

Your couple tattoos should be as unique as your relationship. If you see an idea on this list that you like, use it as a starting point. Brainstorm with your partner and your tattoo artist to figure out exactly what you want.

Ideas for Matching Couple Tattoos

Are you ready to get matching tattoos, but need some inspiration? Check out our list of ideas.


Sailors used anchors to keep their ships protected from the tides and storms. If you and your loved one keep each other steady in bad times, matching anchors could be a great tattoo idea.

Color Circles

We’re all unique individuals who bring different things to the table. That’s what makes relationships so great.

Symbolize your colorful personalities with matching color wheels. You could also play with primary and secondary color designs.

Another option is to get matching pieces of a circle, with one-half black and the other half colors. This is a great option if one of you is into monochromatic looks.

Wedding Rings

“Wedding rings” are popular marriage tattoos. They’re cheaper and more permanent than gold, plus you can design something significant.

But do your research about finger tattoos. They look cool, but they’re known to fade.

Stylized Portraits

Instead of a normal portrait tattoo, ask a tattoo artist to draw you two in different styles. This could be cool if you’re into traditional tattoos, or you both love a cartoon style.

Couple Tattoos FROM SPACE

If you guys watch Neil deGrasse Tyson’s Cosmos on repeat, then space tattoos are for you. Tattoo matching star constellations on yourselves, or get your favorite planets.

You can even get matching alien tattoos. That is if you want to believe.

Make Up Your Own Family Crest

This is a cool idea for marriage tattoos, or for anyone who’s been in a long-term relationship. You can work together to come up with your own family crest and get it as matching tattoos. You’ll have a unique piece, plus you’ll have a flag design ready if you decide to invade a small country.

Pop Culture References

Who doesn’t love an iconic pop culture power couple? You can choose Han and Leia, Mickey and Minnie, or Batman and Robin. However you design the tattoo, it’s sure to be a hit.

Nautical Themes

If you both have a love for the sea or traditional styled tattoos, nautical tattoos are a cool option.

Check out matching mermaid and sailor tattoos. Or if you want something more sentimental, how about a boat and lighthouse? You could even get different kinds of sea creatures, like sharks or whales.

Voice Pattern Tattoos

Every time we speak, we emit sound waves. These sound waves show up as visuals using certain machines. The visuals we get from sound waves make great art.

Get a visual sound wave recording of you and your loved one saying a phrase like “I love you.” Then tattoo each other’s visual recordings onto your bodies. It’s a scientific reminder that they’re always with us.

Matching Animals

Do you and your lover have the same spirit animal? Or you more of a fox and she the hound?

Matching tattoos with animals can be a creative way to connect with your loved one. You can even get matching species in the same styles. If he loves the T-Rex but you love the stegosaurus, find an art style you like and get both.

Quotes and Significant Dates

There are some days and words that mean more than others. If a quote or song lyric speaks to both of you, then get it as a tattoo. If you never want to forget your anniversary, get it inked on your bodies. Whatever you do, it will have meaning for both of you.

couple tattoosLooking to Get a Tattoo?

If you’re looking for a place to get couple tattoos and you’re in the area, then contact us. We’re located in Las Vegas, Maui, and Henderson.

For more tattoo information and inspiration, check out our blog. We’re here to help you get the best tattoo for you.

Biomechanical Tattoo

Biomechanical Tattoo

Biomechanical Tattoo Designs and Their History

Biomechanical Tattoo Designs and Their History

Popularized in the late 1970s, the biomechanical tattoo style may be a relatively new one. But it still has quite the interesting history to offer. Learn more here!

Have you seen an intricately detailed tattoo which resembles something along the lines of half forearm, half machine?

This is known as a biomechanical tattoo. It’s one of the most identifiable, statement-making tattoo styles on the market today. It’s also one of the newest tattoo styles with a very unique history and background influence.

If you’re keen to learn more about this influential tattoo style, read on! We’ll outline everything you need to know in this post.

A Brief History of the Biomechanical Tattoo

Biomechanical TattooAlso known as a biomech tattoo, this style of tattoo artistry was actually born in an era where tattoo traditionalism was at its peak.

As you can imagine, this controversial style which combines the human form and mechanics truly made itself known. The style itself was both pioneered and popularized by two well-known tattoo artists of their time: Guy Aitchison and Aaron Cain.

However, the true history of biomechanical tattoo designs is credited to H.R. Giger, the architect of this organic meets mechanic style.

Both Aitchison and Cain’s tattoo style brought with it bold color and an element of luminescence. Conversely, Giger’s original style was described as devoid of color and highly concentrated on his signature airbrushing technique.

Over the past few decades, since the biomechanical trend took off in 1979, both Aitchison and Cain’s original biomech style has fluctuated in popularity.

The Birth of the Biomechanical Aesthetic

The year was 1979. The sci-fi/horror film genre was about to be forever changed with the birth of the cult classic film, Alien.

The artistic genius behind the forms in this graphic film was H.R Giger, the artist credited with developing the biomechanical aesthetic.

Essentially, biomech combines a greasy, visceral form with hard, metal-like structures. Put simply, it’s a combination of both organic matter and mechanics. This artistic style still carries some serious weight throughout the film, music, and art industries today.

As a painter and artist, Giger worked to create a medium that combined human forms with alien shapes and viscera. His work became massively popularized in the 1980s, thanks to his association with outsider art groups in the horror film and punk music scenes.

His signature biomech style was then cultivated into what it is today. We now know it as biomechanical tattoo designs, along with many other artistic variations.

What’s the Meaning Behind Biomech Tattoos?

Most people prefer to view their love for biomechanical design as a love for all things sci-fi and horror related.

Art is always open to interpretation. Therefore there could be any number of reasons a person chooses a biomech tattoo sleeve. It’s been said that many people choose biomechanical design as a representation of something ”dark” or ”alien” living inside them.

This could refer to dealing with inner demons or a dark past. The wearer may even be harboring some sort of ”alien” alter-ego that not many people know about.

This tattoo style has also become popular simply because of its intricate aesthetic that many people want to replicate.

Key Characteristics of Biomechanical Tattoos

Most commonly, biomechanical tattoos will be represented by the following characteristics:

  • Torn flesh or an open, gaping wound on the tattoo wearer.
  • This open wound usually reveals mechanical joints, tubes, and wires which replace muscle and bone.
  • The tattoo may represent something mechanical, technical, or alien in nature.
  • Most tattoos are designed to depict a sinewy appearance using bold color.

This being said, there are two subsets of this tattoo style present today. One subset tends to focus on the mechanical, technical side of biomech design. The other focuses on the alien, organic, visceral aspect.

4 Quickfire Tattoo Facts

How good is your tattoo knowledge? If you’re looking to brush up on a few interesting facts, keep on reading.

1. Tattoo Identification

Tattoos were once used as a simple form of identification by Native Americans and sailors. Due to the fact that many Native Americans were illiterate, they used pictures and tattoos as a way of signing their names.

Likewise, sailors who failed to keep track of identity documents would rely on tattoos to confirm their identity.

In 1936, the social security number was invented. This saw hoards of people having these numbers tattooed on their skin as a form of identification.

2. Thomas Edison Invented the Electric Pen

The electric pen was an incredible invention in the world of tattoo artistry. It was invented by none other Thomas Edison.

The electric pen went on to streamline the tattoo industry, making it quicker, cheaper and more accessible to everyone. Originally, the electric pen was invented to reproduce handwritten manuscripts.

Soon it evolved into the artistic tool it is today.

3. Tattoos Used to Be a Symbol of High-Class America

In 1862, the Prince of Wales visited Jerusalem and got a tattoo. This spurred on a similar trend amongst other European royals.

By the 1890s, the trend had made its way across the ocean to the shores of America. Much of high society was keen to join the trend.

In 1900, up to 75% of New York’s high-class socialites sported a tattoo design. It was a true sign of upper-class indulgences at the time!

4. The Macy’s Logo Is a Tattoo Design

The highly successful department store logo is none other than a simple tattoo design. It’s taken from the hand of Mr. R.H Macy himself.

As a teenager, he had the five-pointed red star tattooed on his hand when aboard a whaling ship in 1837. The star was meant to represent the American flag.

Later, it went on to be used as the popularized logo we know today.

Looking to Get Inked?

Are you going to be in the Las Vegas area and looking to get inked? Make your way to Skin Factory Tattoo & Body Piercing for expert artists.

At Skin Factory, we take pride in offering a truly personalized service. Whether you’re looking for a biomechanical tattoo or something simpler, our artists can do it all.

For a high-quality tattoo experience at affordable rates, we are your Las Vegas go-to! Take a look out our Vegas artistry work here.

Neo-Traditional Tattoos

Neo-Traditional Tattoos

Neo-Traditional Tattoos: History and Design Ideas

Neo-Traditional Tattoos: History and Design Ideas

As the name suggests, neo-traditional tattoos are a take on the earlier traditional style tattoos. Learn more about this unique style here!

Tattoos have long represented the diverse history of humans. The earliest evidence of tattoos date back to around 2,000 BC in ancient Egypt. And they’ve been present across every major time period since.

Although tattoos are much more evolved today, their significance remains the same. Tattoos have always meant something personal to the individual. And today, the possibilities are endless when it comes to design and style.

With that said, there are dozens upon dozens of tattoo styles practiced all over the world.

But if one style stands out most in the modern age, Neo-traditionalism takes the win.

Neo-traditional tattoos have deep historical roots. They’re a distinguished Western style with a strong global presence. And this style on its own is continuing to evolve stylistically every year.

So, what exactly is a Neo-traditional tattoo?

In this article, we’ll explore the history of Neo-traditional tattoo art. We’ll also explore what makes this style so unique and renowned. Let’s begin!

The Roots of Neo-Traditionalism

Have you ever seen a person bearing a tattoo of a skeleton with a sailor hat on their bicep? Perhaps you’ve seen someone with a tattoo of a swallow carrying roses in its mouth?

Did these tattoos incorporate black ink and maybe one or two other colors? Were the lines bold and defined?

Did the tattoos seem 2-dimensional? Perhaps they seemed outdated in comparison to the kinds of tattoos you see today?

The tattoos we’ve described are of the American traditional style. And it’s likely a style that you’ve seen before in movies or photographs, if not in real life.

Senior citizens are likely the only people around today with these kinds of tattoos. After all, traditional tattoos reached their height by the 1940’s and 1950’s.

Though outdated, these tattoos are pertinent to the prominence of Neo-traditionalism.

To understand Neo-traditional tattoos, we first have to understand the American traditional style. So, what exactly is American traditionalism and when did it first develop?

American Traditionalism

The style of traditionalism was first developed by sailors hundreds of years ago.

Sailors were initially inspired by tattoos innovated by the indigenous communities they encountered. To commemorate their voyages, sailors would tattoo sea-related emblems, like ships and fish.

By the 20th century, the traditional style began to stray away from sailor culture. The first electric tattoo machine, patented in 1891 by Samuel O’Reilly, made this evolution possible.

American traditionalism of the 20th century became known for its simplistic style. These tattoos are not only 2-dimensional. They implement well-defined lines, bold shading, with few contrasting colors.

With that said, traditional tattoos incorporate few details. This was likely attributed to the limitations of older tattoo machines.

At the time, however, the traditional style was the most evolved style. And they were certainly popular with not only sailors, but soldiers, blue-collar workers, and people on the fringes of society.

The Rise of Traditional Tattoos

Traditional tattoos were not always representative of sailor voyages.

By the 1970’s, tattoos of birds, American flags, roses, skulls, and panthers tattooed in the traditional style grew in popularity. These types of tattoos are what distinguished traditionalism as a romanticized style.

By older standards, no other style was ever as intricate as American traditionalism. The earliest traditional tattoos were entirely done in black. Other colors, like red, were later introduced later on.

The color palette was still limited up until the middle of the 20th century. But as the years went on, the traditional style evolved.

Defining Neo-Traditionalism

If you were to look up tattoos on Instagram, it’s likely that Neo-traditional tattoos would appear.

So, what categorizes a tattoo as Neo-traditional?

The Qualities of Neo-Traditionalism

In the simplest terms, Neo-Traditionalism is a modern expansion of American traditionalism.

Its techniques involve deeper dimensions and a variety of line widths and colors. Because of modern techniques, Neo-traditional tattoos also take on a more 3-dimensional appearance.

Modern ink and machinery paved the way for the emergence of Neo-Traditional tattoo art. By the 1970’s, tattoo artists not only began to develop a wider array of ink colors. More refined techniques also made it possible to design more intricately.

Neo-Traditional Symbols & Motifs

To recap, a tattoo is Neo-traditional if it includes:

  • Clean lines
  • Bold outlines
  • Use of black ink
  • Shading
  • Use of a few (or less) colors

Yet, it’s not only these qualities that make up the Neo-traditional style.

Neo-Traditional tattoo designs haven’t strayed far from traditional motifs and symbols. Animals, lighthouses, flowers, and skulls are still tattooed today in the Neo-traditional style. The same roses, birds, and panthers that were popular 50 years ago are still tattooed today.

Yet, Neo-traditional tattoo designs have expanded significantly upon these traditional symbols and motifs. Tattoos of owls, foxes, snakes, and portfolios of women are popular. People can tattoo just about any type of flower in the Neo-traditional style, as well.

The Evolution of Neo-Traditional Tattoos

The essence of Neo-traditionalism incorporates the traditional style with modern aesthetics and symbols. This is largely why Neo-traditional tattoo art continues to evolve today.

Sugar skull tattoos are a great example of popular Neo-traditional tattoo designs. Sugar skulls are typically drawn in the 2D, traditional style.

Modern shading techniques give them more dimension, however. Additionally, sugar skulls resemble “Day of the Dead” art made popular in Latin America.

But sugar skulls not only incorporate a variety of colors. The skulls themselves are distinctly outlined in black. These qualities are what makes sugar skulls a popular Neo-traditional tattoo design.

The Future of Neo-Traditionalism

Some tattoo artists have combined Neo-Traditionalism with other tattoo styles.

Watercoloring, for example, is another popular tattoo style. Many Neo-traditional tattoos incorporate watercolor techniques. Still, they uphold the traditional qualities of well-defined, black outlines and shading.

More and more tattoo enthusiasts are finding inspiration from the Neo-traditional style. Many people have full arm and leg Neo-traditional sleeves.

Neo-Traditional TattoosIs a Neo-Traditional Tattoo Right for You?

It’s safe to say that the style of Neo-traditionalism isn’t going anywhere. It will be interesting to see what Neo-traditional tattoos look like 10-20 years from now!

Are you looking to get a tattoo done in the Neo-Traditional style? Not sure if the Neo-Traditional style is right for you?

Skin Factory Tattoos is a collective tattoo experience with locations in Nevada and Hawaii. Our team of tattoo artists provides a diverse array of tattoo styles, including Neo-traditionalism.

To find out more about which tattoo styles are right for you, contact us today!