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Tribal Tattoos - In tattoo reference, the word Tribal encompasses native styles from prehistoric cultures around the world. Tribal tattoos originated in areas such as Hawaii and Samoa. Tribal tattoos are bold with heavy black lines and shading of geometric shapes.

Someone who specializes in these tattoos says their popularity is somewhat due to the wide resurgence and acceptance of Tribal Tattooing, and the increased availability of images of these tattooed people. These tattoos generally have a particular "meaning", connecting the wearer to a past tribal culture, not just something from a book of pictures. Some of the artists that work with tribal styles are some of the most highly respected artists of today.

Old School Tattoos - Many of these designs have been popular for decades, such as ships, anchors, and panthers. Some other types are generally associated with gangs, ex-cons, or white supremacists. Many of the old school tattoos are associated with the military, like anchors, hula girls, mermaids, and eagles. Some tattoo artists have been experimenting with some of these designs by adding some newer techniques and brighter colors.

Memorial Tattoos - Like the old school tattoos, memorial tattoos have a long history, and are still popular today. Most familiar of these is the heart with the "I love mom". Names and initials are still popular as well. Many people today choose to honor loved ones with a portrait, whether it is a spouse, child, or even their black Labrador retriever. These tattoos can usually be done with a single needle in a very realistic way. Many artists discourage customers from having names of sweethearts tattooed on their bodies for obvious reasons.

Prison Tattoos - Tattooing is generally forbidden in prisons, but is still popular among inmates. They find very creative ways to decorate their fellow inmates. As we know, they did not become inmates because they followed the rules. Inmates make tattoos from guitar strings, pen parts, and other things. Books with designs are not available, so the artists there work freehand. They use their bodies like a canvas. The tattoos in prison generally have symbolic meaning unique to the individual wearer.

Temporary Tattoos - As the name suggests, temporary tattoos can be removed. They are popular with kids and adults that do not necessarily want to be permanently marked. These tattoos are generally created on paper and transferred to the skin by removing the wrapping, and wetting the back with a damp washcloth and pressing firmly.

After about 30 seconds, the design is applied; leaving a tattoo that can be removed generally with rubbing alcohol. These tattoos are generally available everywhere from the local quickie mart, to most grocery stores. Children exchange them as gifts, they are used for Halloween, and adults can use them to "try out" having a real tattoo.

If you are planning on a permanent tattoo, just make sure to do your research, and that you trust your artist, and his design before you move forward. Your tattoo will be permanent, and you want to be completely comfortable before you get inked.

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