The eternal question: What kind of tattoo should I get?

So I’ve decided once again to get a tattoo. I’ve resolved to get one before, but just never followed through. I’m currently an empty canvas, so I’m looking for good ideas on my first one.

I’ve been thinking about a small blazing sun like this one (but just a single color, nothing fancy) or a simple ankh and having it put on the left pec, just left of the sternum (where you place your hand over your heart when saying the Pledge of Allegiance).

My other thought was a colorful orange/red/green/blue/whatever chinese dragon curled up around itself in a circle about 3-4 inches and on my left shoulder blade on my back. Or maybe a colored Marvin the Martian head and helmet, only smaller than the dragon.

FTR, my heritage is Norse, German, and a bit of American Indian. I like computers, fantasy/sci-fi books, dragons are my favorite mythological creatures, and I enjoy abstract computer art. My favorite artist is Dali, I love cats, and enjoy unspoiled nature. (No, that’s not a personals ad, just giving some background info for ideas.)

I’d also entertain an “out there” tattoo idea. I almost got a barcode tattoo on my shoulder, but the guy said he couldn’t make it good enough to be read by a scan gun, so I dropped the idea. Or maybe a colored fractal? A melting clock? A fingerprint (I also like CSI)?

Anybody seen or think of any nifty smallish tattoos that I might like? Any interesting places to put them?

Well I don’t have any tattoos, and will never get one, but I’ve always found the personal ones more interesting.

I would suggest find an obscure symbol (possible native american or a norse rune) that you think applies to you and get that.

If nothing else, it’ll be a conversation starter.

I think they look best on the back, although you’ll never get to see it except in a mirror.

Are you good at art? Do you know someone who is?

Get one that is either dawn by you, or for you, something totally original and personal. Stick it up on your wall for a few months, and make sure you still love it, then go and get it inked on permanently.

Don’t just get something from the flash book, and don’t choose just before you get it done.

If it’s right, it won’t matter where you put it, but lower back, shoulder blade and upper arm are all good.
I don’t have any, because I don’t think I could ever find something I’d like enough to want permanently on me…I’m very fickle.

I am in the mood for another tattoo! I was thinking either on my lower neck, my shoulder or my hip.
I am still looking for the perfect art.
Keep us informed on what you decide, take a picture so I can see it!

You could always look through a book by M.C. Escher…

The eternal answer should be: If you can’t find / design one on your own, don’t bother.

A lifelike rendering of the invisible man.
I have a very detailed one on my face.
Everybody notices it and compliments me.

Choose a favorite constellation. Have it done it in small brown dots. Freckles never go out of style.

After a lot of personal struggle and deep thought, i deceided to get one with ink in it.

Walked away happy.

Good for you R-Con, its always good to walk away happy.

Havn’t tattoo’s been done to death?

Just my humble opinion.

But, if you’re asking for others for suggestions on tattoo’s, isn’t that sort of missing the point of having a tattoo?

I guess it’s lost on me. Having been in and out of the Navy where it’s almost required, I never went that route.

I think it detracts from a persons looks. Again, just my opinion.

I agree that you should stay away from flash. All three of mine are personal and meaningful, not really picked from a book at the parlor.

A burning viking-skeleton driving a Harley-Davidson through barbed wire, wielding a battleaxe.
Under it, “bad too the bone” [sic]

Chiming in with “don’t get the flash off the walls.”

My last two were drawn for me and compliment each other. They’re the two of eight that I’m most satisfied with.


Thanks for everyone’s input so far. I realize that everyone has their reasons for wanting/not wanting a tattoo. I also realize that tattoos have private or public meanings for everybody. I don’t have any experience with tattoos, and I wished to solicit the opinions, knowledge, and imagination of the teeming millions.

Forgive my ignorance, but “flash” refers to… what? The pre-made designs that they display in the shops? I’m no artist myself, how would I get my own design made for the tattoo guy to follow?

Considering the very recent situation in my life, a heart & dagger or a teardrop might be more likely candidates.


Across your forehead.

In black ink.

Yup. Here’s the BMEzine glossary definition.

If you don’t have any artistic friends who can draw it for you, most good tattoo artists are willing to work with you to come up with a design. If you can come up with a basic sketch or a good description of what you’re going for, the artist can take that and flesh it out and make it nice and pretty for you, maybe come up with several versions of it and have you pick the one you like the best. A really good artist won’t settle until you’re completely satisfied, and then you get it inked on ya. This usually requires a couple of appointments, the first to bring in the concept and discuss it, maybe get a sketch or two, and then at least one more a few days or more later, so the artist has time to get your concept laid out, to finalize the artwork and do the tattooing.

(Note: I don’t have any tattoos – yet, but this what I’ve heard and how I’ve seen it work with some friends… if I’m wrong, someone please feel free to correct me.)

Personally, I’m holding out for hologram tattoos. Those will be so cool, once scientists get around to inventing them.

If I had to get a traditional ink one I’d get one like Steve-O’s from Jackass. Of course, I’d get my picture, not his. Yeah dude, I rock!

How about a stylized Celtic version of the biohazard symbol?