No one known exactly how long the institution of tattooing has been in place, but you can be certain it’s here to stay. While there’s always going to be some sort of stigma attached to permanent body art, its social acceptance has been revolving for decades. Some people have gotten inked to be in and some have done so to settle the fact that they are out. Whether it be out of the closet, out of cash, out of love, out of luck or out of time, one thing is for certain, they are definitely out of mainstream society. Over time, inked outcasts have formed a community of their own, and they’re everywhere. There are numerous chat rooms, forums, discussion groups, books, magazines and Web sites devoted to body art. They’ve even carved a niche into reality TV. If you want to join the club, or just want to voyeur into that word for a bit, here’s a list of places to start:
1. Everytattoo.com – has all things tattoo, including: online forums, links to magazines, flash and other resources. You can read about other people’s tattooing experiences and tell your own. You can even upload pictures of your own ink and share your story with people who get you.
2. TATTOO magazine – is currently the world’s best selling tattoo-related magazine (amazon.com). It features profiles on tattooist and shops all over the world, showcases the work they’ve done and fills you in on the latest trends and what’s new in the industry.
3. Miami Ink – A reality TV show, obviously based in a Miami tattoo parlor, that does a good job of showing the everyday goings on of at tattoo artist’s work. You get to watch them work, see the finished piece and hear the clients’ stories of how they chose their design and what it means to them.
4. Rankmytattoos.com – This site is absolutely addictive. Anyone and everyone can upload a picture of their body art and post it on this site to be graded on a scale of one to 10 by total stranger. It’s a fun way to see the highs and lows of tattooing and the beautiful and sometimes bizarre designs people come up with.
5. Vanishingtattoo.com – Possibly the most comprehensive tattoo site on the Web. It has tons of links, a glossary of related terms, tattoo trivia, a fun quiz to test you tattoo knowledge and a lot more. Definitely set aside some time to check out this site. It’s a great place to start your research if you are thinking about getting inked for the first time.
6. Howstuffworks.com – This is a great site for all kinds of research. Just type “tattoo” into the search box and up comes an article explaining how the process of tattooing works from start to finish. It’s another great resource for those who are considering their first tattoo.
7. Tattoo.com – has a lot of links to equipment suppliers, flash dealers and tattoo aftercare products as well as a very user friendly calendar of tattoo related events.
8. Tattoojohnny.com – This is another one of those sites you’re going to need to set aside some extra time for . You can browse flash by size, color, blackwork, and picture category. They cater to both professionals and individuals with fair prices. They will show you how to print their designs on transfer paper so you can wear it around a while before you decide.
This is just a drop of all the ink-related resources on the Internet. Any one of them is a great place to start if you are thinking about a new tattoo, especially if you’re thinking about getting inked for the very first time. You’ll want to check out all of them, and carve out your own niche in the tattooed community.