It depends on whose survey you look at as to the actual figures that you'll see, but after asking over 1000 people AMT Laser suggested that around 20 per cent (or one in five) Australians have at least one tattoo.
The English word for tattoo appears to have come from Polynesian in the mid to late 18th century, stemming from their word tatau or tatu.
The concept of a tattoo however, is known to be well over five thousand years old, and it has been part of many ancient cultures.
A tattoo, in this context, is a permanent insertion of ink under the skin using a needle or needles.
Today we think of them as a sign of personal expression, and in the past as a thing of cultural significance, but they have also been used for various other purposes such as to mark prisoners, slaves or other captives throughout history.
The tattoo guns of today are mechanised units, and artists have a wide variety of choice with regards to whom they use as a supplier.
Cosmetic tattoos are also a thing now.
You can have certain colourings that you might have applied each morning with make-up done permanently. These are usually done by specialist cosmetic tattoo studios though.
In terms of art, these can be incredibly elaborate and the organisers of the Australian Tattoo Expo say to research, research, and research some more.
A tattoo is intended to be a permanent feature so be sure of what it is you want drawn on your body, be sure of where, and be sure about your artist as well.
You also want someone who is as passionate about hygiene as they are about their use of creativity.
The expo organisers also say you shouldn't go bargain hunting. This is because if you want good work, you should expect to pay good money for it. It's only logical. And fair. It takes many years to acquire the skill required for intricate work.
That said, you probably want to start with something small, and in a descreet location that might be hidden by the clothing you normally wear, particularly at work.
Tattoos are more socially accepted these days, but some workplaces do still require people to cover them up so that clients or customers do not see them.
The Australia Tattoo Expo also says to prepare your body properly, since you are the canvas.
They say to avoid alcohol for 24 hours beforehand (because it thins your blood), be fed, well-rested and hydrated when you turn up, and to perhaps bring a friend along for support.
They also say to take your artist's advice with regards to aftercare so that your body heals as intended.
If you later decide to have a tattoo removed, the process takes between six to 12 treatment sessions, each spaced several weeks apart.
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