The art of tattooing dates back to 12000 BC when it was used for very different reasons than today. Varying from culture to culture, the purpose of tattooing has changed throughout the years. Permanent designs, tattoos played an important role in ritual and traditional cultures. They have served as amulets, status symbols, declarations of love, status adornments and even forms of punishments. Throughout history, tattoos have also signalled membership in a clan or belonging to a particular society.

In the 21st century, tattoos have become more popular than ever and has brought some amazing designs regardless of your opinion of them. Thanks to recent technology advances, artists can do more with tattoos than ever before. Not only can tattoo artists to use more vibrant colours in a variety of styles and designs, the advances also make tattoos safer and more hygienic than ever before. With the addition of new ink combinations, tattooing has certainly reached a new pinnacle.

Unlike conventional artists, tattoo artists work on a live canvas which stretches and moves. The skin on which tattoo artists work also varies in colour and texture, complicating how the finished product looks. For many people their tattoos are an expression of their personality, so if there are any mistakes it can easily lead to a very unhappy customer and botched design. For those unhappy with their tattoo art, it use to be a complicated process to remove, with intrusive surgeries and procedures.

One of the latest equipment for tattoo removal is the Q-switched laser. Many women will be familiar with an IPL laser machine which permanently reduces unwanted hair, a sister technology, the tattoo removal machines are also based on the technology behind light wavelengths. Effective at getting rid of the tattoo, the laser beam passes through the skin, targeting only the ink particles of the tattoo. The wavelengths then break down the ink particles in the skin which the immune system moves out of the body through the lymphatic system. This type of treatment is less painful and less harmful to the surrounding skin, making it the preferred treatment of choice. This treatment can be safely used on all parts of the body such as neck, chest, back, hands and legs.

Today, tattooing is more popular and accepted than it has ever been with a range of people looking for talented tattoo artists. This rise in popularity of tattoos has placed tattoo artists in the category of fine artists. Tattoo artists combine the tradition of tattooing with their individual style creating unique and phenomenal body art and are always finding innovative ways of making tattoos more interesting than they really are.

A tattoo is an art form which has made its way into galleries, museums and fashion shows. Recently, Guernsey, an auction house sold a collection of 1500 images by some of the world’s leading tattoo artists for between $50 and $50,000. Also, a travelling exhibition features life-sized photographs captured by the photographer Kip Fulbeck of a traditional Japanese tattoo art. Tattoos, which in the past decade were seen as an element of disgrace, are now being embraced by the art world, particularly in areas where art and fashion meet. Growing number of established tattoo artists are sharpening their skills and increasing their marketability at fine art schools.


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