What to avoid if you want a Meaningful Tattoo

Cartoon Tattoos

Meaningful tattoos: For years, like the hippies of the 60’s, people with tattoos have been seen as bucking convention. They have been passed over for jobs, promotions, and entrance into elite social groups. Tattooing is more mainstream than ever before, and the tide is turning. People are beginning to see the artwork, creativity, and originality tattoos portray. If you want to get tattooed you will most likely want something meaningful. Here are some tips to get started.

Imagine you had some horrible disease and you were given one week to live (morbid I know but work with me here). Where would you go? Who would you go with? Another mind game is if your house was on fire. What would you take out with you? Playing this game is an excellent way to strip down all the crap in our lives. All of the stuff that is just noise in our lives can get in the way of getting a meaningful tattoo. Looking at everything in your life decide for yourself about what has lasting significant meaning, and find a way to incorporate that into a great tattoo. This is not as easy as it seems especially when you take the lasting part of that sentence into consideration.

We have all heard the saying that good things come to those who wait. This is especially true for something that you carry with you for the rest of your life. It is practically impossible to get wild hair one day and decide to get a tattoo and go that night and get one that has a significant meaning. Most of the time the only exception to this is extraordinary life events i.e. you lose a child, your mother passes, etc. Slow down. Think about where you want the tattoo, and what size you want it to be, and then check out some simple designs to get the ideas flowing.

Do A Tattoo Test Drive

Tattoo test

If you really are not sold on how you will feel about a specific design or location, try test-driving it. Print it out, use markers and recreate it where you think you want your tattoo. If you are like me, a 3-year-old could draw better, so ask someone who has a passing amount of artistic talent to do it for you. If you are sure about the design but not the location, try temporary tattoos. This can be helpful as well if you want to make sure that you will be able to cover the tattoo for work and other special events.

Lay Off the Bottle

Skull drinking tattoo

Everyone loves to get a little crazy once in a while. I have been known to jump in swimming pools at 2 a.m. and not know whose idea it was. After a shot or three, it is easy to mistake horrible ideas for the best thought you ever had. Remember Bald Brittany? Not her finest hour. We all do impulsive stuff sometimes, it is part of what makes life worth the ride right? But do you really want to explain to your mother why you have a naked man on your neck? If not, it is probably a good idea to stay out of the tattoo parlor when you’re drinking.

No Celebrity Head Shots Thanks

Rosanne Tattoo

I still remember a tattoo I saw about eight years ago. It was a headshot of Rosanne Barr. Do you remember her? Her sitcom went off the air in 1997! And as far as I can tell from TMZ and all the other gossip sites, she has done little else since. So please tell me why someone would want her face on their body. Did she impart some gem of unparalleled wisdom in her half-hour sitcom that I missed as I looked over my New Kids on the Block sticker book? This is a classic case of someone forgetting the simple fact that tattoos are forever.

Avoid Cartoon Characters

Cartoon Tattoos

Just like sitcom actresses, cartoon characters will probably only be meaningful in your life for a short time. Imagine this. You are 30 years old, driving a minivan full of screaming kids, reaching out the window to pay for Mcdonald’s to shut them up. Suddenly the cashier looks at your wrist and says, “That is the most awesome Minnie Mouse I have ever seen!” Yeah, no. It was much cooler at 18 when ole Minnie was the code word for the guy you and your best friends drooled over.

*Note: Ignore this if you plan on people calling you Daffy Duck until you kick the bucket.

No Tattoo Brand Promotion

Nike Tattoo

Okay, so you wear Nike every day of your life. You have tried other shoes and they just don’t cuddle your little toes the way you like. So you stick with Nikes and you think Hey I should get a Nike swoop tattoo’! Um, maybe not. Are you getting paid to advertise? If someone isn’t paying you – and even if they are – promotional tattoos for someone else’s dream are probably not meaningful to you. Feel free to ignore this if you invented Nike’s or their infamous swoop.

Declare No One

Unless you conceived them or they conceived you stay away from names. Parents or children are the only people in life that cannot change their relationship with you. Siblings fall into that category as well, but Angelina Jolie aside I am not sure anyone would want to go there. With a divorce rate that is out of this world why gamble when you don’t have to? Remember this is something that will stay with you until you are worm food. Spouses, partners, boyfriends, and girlfriends don’t always stick around. Ask Liz Taylor if you don’t believe me.

Which meaningful tattoo will you get?

There is no 1,2,3 formula for figuring out how to get meaningful tattoos. What has meaning for one person is meaningless to someone else. The crazy part is you could do the exact opposite of everything I have said here and come out with a piece that you love and wouldn’t change for anything. Find what has meaning for you and then go for it!

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