M-art Tattoo Studio


    Animal tattoos

    Flower tattoos

    Color in tattoos if used right, can add extra layers of depth to the tattoo design. Color tattoos can not only look amazing but also have deeper meaning to them and add to the overall theme of the tattoo.

    Color Meanings:

    Red: Think fire and blood — Red rushes to us with messages of passion, primal urges, action, pleasure, vibrance, radiance, and love.

    Celestial: Mars

    Zodiac:Aries. Boosts energy, protection, enhances libido I am ignited


    Orange: A nice subdued blend between the aggressive red and the high-pitch of yellow — Orange is about harmony, aspiration, sociability, contentment, and intelligence.

    Celestial: Mercury

    Zodiac:Gemini. Aids decision making, enhances cheer, confidence and assurance I am satisfied


    Yellow: Worshipped in the form of the sun — Yellow is all about radiating creativity, protection, intellect, positivity and clarity.

    Celestial: Sun

    Zodiac:Leo. Helps vision, enhances confidence and communication I am centered


    Green: The fresh start of spring brings waves of Green and with it comes attributes of youth, sentimentality, nature, adventure, growth and health.

    Celestial: Venus and Earth

    Zodiac:Libra and Taurus. Promotes compassion and overall physical health I am accepted


    Blue: Look to the sky for the meanings of Blue — open spaces, freedom, imagination, expansiveness, inspiration, and sensitivity.


    Zodiac:Sagittarius. Heals the sense organs, aids in balance and self-expression I am expansive


    Indigo: Similar to the attributes of blue, but Indigo’s energy runs very deep — consider the unknown depths of the sea along with emotion, strength, fluidity, persuasiveness, expressiveness, and pervasiveness. Saturn and


    Zodiac:Capricorn and Pisces. Provides clarity of purpose, aids spiritual healing I am deep


    Violet: The hue of fragile flowers and sleepy sunsets, Violet reminds us of spirituality, communion, grandeur, high-ideals, devotion, and peace.

    Celestial:Uranus and Moon

    Zodiac:Aquarius and Cancer. Enhances nurturing, balances sensitivity I am revolutionary


    Black: Black is required for all other colors to have depth and variation of hue — it’s a forceful feature and represents formality, dignity, force, convention, stability, and zero-tolerance.

    Celestial:Saturn and Pluto

    Zodiac:Capricorn and Scorpio. Promotes stability and protection, heals misunderstanding I am endless


    White: Contemplate the brilliance of a new white snow and how it pulls a blanket of peace over everthing it touches — White stands for peace, cleansing, illumination, purity, innocence and the highest kind of understanding.

    Celestial:Mercury and Moon

    Zodiac:Virgo. Promotes cleansing, order and establishes clarity I am illumined

    Japanese tattoos are one of the most popular styles in tattoo art, but were you aware that every image used in Japanese tattoos has a meaning and purpose? This is one of the reasons that the Japanese tattooing tradition has persisted for so long and has appealed to so many outside of Japanese culture. If you’re thinking about getting a Japanese tattoo, then we recommend reading this guide to get acquainted with the meaning of traditional Japanese tattoos and their meaning. There’s a lot to learn and if you’re going to put something on your body that lasts forever, you should at least understand its meaning.

    Japanese Tattoos: History and Culture

    Traditionally, Japanese tattoos began as a means of conveying societal status as well as serving as spiritual symbols that were often used as a sort of charm for protection as well as symbolizing devotion, not unlike modern religious tattoos. Over time, tattoos in Japanese culture developed as a form of punishment similar to what was seen in Rome where it was common practice to tattoo prisoners of war, criminals, and slaves as a means of making their status in society instantly recognizable. Eventually the practice faded and tattoos returned as a status symbol among the merchant class who were, interestingly enough, banned from flaunting their wealth.

    Following World War II, tattoos were outlawed by the Emperor of Japan in an effort to improve Japan’s image in the west. Tattoos in Japan then took on a criminal element, but this didn’t stop foreigners from being so intrigued as to seek out the skills of Japanese tattoo artists–a practice that helped keep Japanese style tattoos alive. The modern association between Japanese traditional tattoos and the criminal element is said to have led to the adoption of tattoos by the Yakuza, the Japanese mafia. This has also served to promote the «cool» aesthetic of Japanese traditional tattoos.

    Today many people proudly wear Japanese style tattoos for their beautiful artistic merits, flowing composition, and the deep meaning associated with the many aspects of Japanese tattoo designs.

    The Meaning of Traditional Japanese Tattoos

    There are a number of images and symbols used in the Japanese style of tattooing to convey specific meanings. These images are used to convey a person’s beliefs, aspirations, or character traits. Called«motifs», these design elements are intended to have the same meaning wherever they are used so that meaning is not unique to the individual. That means that anyone that sees the tattoo can instantly recognize the meaning and what they wearer wants to have conveyed, be it personality traits, character attributes, or association with a criminal organization.

    Japanese Dragon Tattoos:

    Tattoo Meaning: wisdom, strength, force for good, wind/water

    Dragons in the West traditionally symbolize strength, ferocity, and wealth. They are a destructive force, but are also considered guardians. The Japanese, and the East in general, see dragons differently. In Japanese traditional tattoo art, dragons are generous, benevolent forces that use their strength to do good for mankind. Wisdom is another trait attributed to dragons. These positive connotations have made dragon tattoos among the most popular of Japanese style tattoos.

    Koi Tattoos:

    Tattoo Meaning: determination, strength, courage, desire for success, water

    Japanese tattoos of koi fish are another of the most popular tattoo designs in traditional Japanese tattoo art. Koi are a specially bred type of carp, a fish native to China, where the Koi actually originates. Koi are given masculine qualities in traditional Eastern folklore such as strength and bravery. The Koi in China were known to attempt to swim upstream in the Yellow River, but very few could swim past a point known as «Dragon’s Gate». Koi who did were said to be rewarded by turning into dragons. For this reason, Koi also symbolize determination and a strong desire to succeed and become «something more».

    Phoenix Tattoos:

    Tattoo Meaning: rebirth, triumph, fire

    This tattoo, like many other Japanese tattoos, has a shared background with other cultures. Most of us are familiar with the story of the Phoenix, a bird that is consumed by fire and then rises from its own ashes. Many are not aware that the story exists in many cultures and at many times throughout history including Greek and Roman mythology, Middle Eastern folklore, and even the Americas. The Japanese phoenix story draws its source from the story that’s indigenous to mainland China. Regardless of origin, phoenix tattoos are meant to symbolize rebirth and triumph, as well a renewal and rebuilding of one’s self.

    Tiger Tattoos:

    Tattoo Meaning: strength, courage, protector against bad luck, evil spirits, and disease, wind

    The Japanese tiger tattoo carries with it the same traits we attribute to the real animal–strength and courage, but also long life. The tiger tattoo is also used to ward off evil spirits and bad luck, as well as disease. The tiger is a symbol for both the North and for autumn, they are said to control the wind, and they are one of the four sacred animals.

    Lion or Fu-Dog tattoos:

    Tattoo Meaning: protective, strong, courageous, good luck, heroism

    This tattoo resembles both a lion and a dog. More specifically, it looks like a lion with pointed ears. They are said to be protective, strong, and courageous. As statues they serve to keep evil out, as tattoos they serve as protectors and often indicate a courageous person with heroic aspirations.

    Japanese Snake Tattoo:

    Tattoo Meaning: protection, wisdom, good luck, strength, and change

    In traditional Japanese tattoos, the snake holds a wide range of meanings and performs a number of important functions. Among its many attributes are protection from illness, disaster, and bad fortune. Snake tattoos also represent wisdom and protection, particularly from the results of bad decisions. The snake can also embody regeneration, healing, and medicine as it was revered in Japanese culture in association with medicinal rites and remedies. As a symbol of good luck, it was also though to bring good health.

    The Japanese snake tattoo also represents the Divine Feminine, or the holy female attributes. It was thought that much in the same way a snake sheds its skin, a woman could take on the positive attributes of a man. Seems a little sexist, but it was ancient Japan, after all.

    Japanese Skull Tattoos:

    Tattoo Meaning: life, death, change, reverence for dead/ ancestors

    Though the image of the human skull in much of tattoo culture and art in general has come to have a negative connotation (such as death, danger, and an ill fate), the skull used in Japanese tattoos was intended to be a positive representation of the natural life cycle.

    Traditionally, the Japanese skull tattoo represents change, which makes sense as death is the greatest change man can experience.

    Japanese Flower Tattoos:

    Japanese flower tattoos have a wide variety of meaning and are a very important and highly valued design in traditional Japanese tattoo art.

    Oni/ Oni Mask/ Demon Mask Tattoo:

    Tattoo Meaning: good and evil, protectors, tricksters, demons

    The Oni Mask tattoo in Japanese tattoos is extremely common and refers to the belief in a spirit world in which demons carry out their roles of punishing the unjust and evil, as well as spreading disease (seems like a random thing to be responsible for, but I guess it fits in with the whole evil-doing business).

    While Oni are known for being evil, some Oni are good and are seen as protectors. One instance of this would include a monk who becomes an Oni after death to protect his temple. In English, the word Oni is best translated as ogre or troll (theJapanese word for «demon» is actually «yokai»). Oni, in traditional Japanese folklore, we marauding ogres known for terrorizing villages and tormenting villagers. Their association with demons in Japanese tattoo art has more to do with ogres being grouped into the realm of supernatural creatures(along with yokai) than anything else. Still, the symbolism holds as the imagery of the marauding ogre isn’t far from the idea of the evil spirit which the tattoo aims to convey.

    Water/ Wave Tattoos:

    Tattoo Meaning: movement, strength, fluidity, life

    Many Japanese tattoos feature water. Specifically, waves are an element of Japanese tattoo art that are perhaps among the most recognizable (Think traditional Japanese artists, like Hokusai). The image of water in Japanese traditional tattoos is often combined with Koi, Dragons, or Oni. In addition to symbolizing strength and life, water tattoos convey the belief that life, like water, ebbs and flows. It is strong and swift when necessary, but can be gentle and calm as well.

    Basic shapes can have great value when designing a tattoo. Your tattoo will have more meaning when the use of shapes is used right. Find below the different shape tattoo meanings and symbols.

    Circle Symbol Tattoo Meaning

    Depending upon era, culture, region and your perspective circles may represent:

    • Life
    • Motion
    • Female
    • Beginning
    • Potential
    • Cosmos

    Cross Symbol Tattoo Meaning Cross Symbolism

    Cross symbolism offers us a powerful union of major faith-based concepts. Here are a few keywords for this symbol’s meaning:

    • Honor
    • Balance
    • Structure
    • Sacred
    • Unification
    • Choice

    Spiral Symbol Tattoo Meaning Spiral Symbolism

    Spirals can offer tremendous fun and insight. They can also expand our awareness on a grand plane. Here are a few spiral keywords that might whirl into your awareness.

    • Expansion
    • Contraction
    • Creativity
    • Femininity
    • Journeying

    Square Symbol Tattoo Meaning Square Symbolism

    Some conceptual insights into the stabilizing energy of the square include:

    • Earth
    • Security
    • Structure
    • Masculine
    • Order

    Triangle Symbol Meaning Triangle Symbolism

    Triangle symbolism speaks to us of magic, and creativity. Here are some other attributes for this symbol

    • Combination
    • Creation
    • Manifestation
    • Illumination

    As soon as someone says «tribal tattoos» odds are most of you already have an image of that person in your mind. It’s also very likely that you don’t think highly of the mental image you’ve conjured at the mention of a tribal tattoo. There’s a reason for that and we’ll get into that shortly, but first we’d like to encourage you to take a moment and learn about the one of the oldest most misunderstood art forms in the tattoo world.

    Tribal Tattoos and Their History

    Tribal tattoos get their bad reputation due to their resurgence in popular culture thanks to the «back to nature» mindset that began in the late 80’s and became a trademark of Generation X. Gen X-ers, particularly in the late 80’s and early 90’s, delved deep into indigenous cultures around the world. They co-opted a number of cultural assets ranging from clothing styles to food and, eventually, body modification which included tattoos and «gauged» earrings or «plugs». The most important aspect of this cross-cultural adoption was the introduction of tribal tattooing to the modern American counter-culture that ultimately eliminated the historical and cultural ties between traditional tribal tattoos and the people choosing to have these designs tattooed on them.

    The Origin and Tradition of Tattooing in Island Cultures

    The style of tattooing commonly referred to as «tribal tattoos» has an incredibly long tradition reaching back over thousands of years. Many of the tattoo styles we are familiar with today were rooted in tribal tattooing in one form or another. Tribal tattooing began as a style of tattooing that is (or was, at least) unique to a particular culture or sub-culture, typically as a means of differentiating themselves from other local tribes or cultural groups.

    The purpose of the tattoo in tribal culture

    Of all the remaining primitive tribal tattoos left in the modern world, the styles we associate with the term are really a bastardized blend of traditional Maori, Polynesian, and Samoan tattoo styles. In their respective cultures, these tattoos were used to identify wearers as members of a specific tribe, displayed their social status, and in some cases were employed in medicinal and religious rituals. The figures and shapes used in these tribal tattoo styles were often representative of animals or other elements of nature and tribal life. Depending on the design elements used, these tattoos told a story. The tattoos of warriors often included animal and other nature-inspired designs that illustrated the warrior’s strength and prowess in battle. Images that represent the sea were also common as all of the cultures associated with tribal tattooing have traditionally lived near the ocean.

    Tattoos before there were tattoo «guns»

    The tattoos of indigenous cultures were typically created using only black ink and were implemented using a hollow needle made from local objects including bamboo, bone, porcupine quill, and other natural materials. Some cultures expanded their palates according to the availability of local pigments, often including red or yellow pigments, though most tribal decoration was done in black.

    Traditional tribal tattoos: distinct styles

    Most of us are familiar with the modern tribal tattoo, but you might be surprised to see how little the modern tattoo style resembles the traditional artwork. While modern tribal tattoos adhere to a barbed, flowing, and often«tangled» looking design, traditional artwork in the tribal style was incredibly varied. The variety of styles from one tribe to another and from culture to culture were necessary to serve their original intended purpose: to help give the wearer a distinct physical appearance that could quickly and easily associate them to a specific tribe.

    Tribal styles often included short line elements, circles, patterns utilizing lines and/or chevrons, and in some cases large sections of solid black bands akin to the modern tattoo style called «blackwork». All of these elements could be employed or just a single element depending on the tribe. Placement on the body was also of importance and could symbolize the wearer’s status within the tribe. It was very common to see patterns that formed a sort of «woven» look using a combination of patterns that set wearers apart not unlike the tartan plaids of Scottish clans.

    Modern tribal tattoo designs

    By and large, the tribal tattoo in modern culture is purely aesthetic. In addition to losing their original symbolism, modern tribal tattoos often incorporate modern images, designs, and subject matter, but employ the flowing shapes common to the traditional tribal tattoo style. There are a growing number of people who choose to wear these tattoos to celebrate their own cultural heritage, as well. The wearing of these tattoos by people who are not culturally or historically tied to them has tainted the art in the eyes of the general public, though those within tribal communities still respect them for their original purposes. In tattoo cultural at large, the modern tribal tattoo is mostly considered trite, a tired trope for the artistically ignorant or unimaginative. It’s not necessarily true for all tribal tattoo wearers, but its a common enough occurrence to warrant its widespread belief.

    Tattoo is not only an art, not only a great way of self-expression, it is sometimes the only one possibility to hide a variety of skin imperfections from prying eyes: scars, stretches and burns. Unfortunately, large scars are very visible and their complete removal is often not possible, as well as many scars from burns, and a tattoo on them looks organically and does not harm the skin.

    Of course, the tattoo on the scars — it is a way to solve the problem for strong and confident individuals. Everyone can be stylish and attractive, even one who has quite not beautiful scars. The main thing is not to do self-abasement, but solve this problem.

    If you want to mask defect by beautiful picture, you will need to wait for the complete healing of the scar. Completely healed scar becomes white and non-convex. Practice shows that you can get a tattoo on the scar only after at least one year since its formation. If the scar is too wide or deep, you may need to pre-grinding.

    Before making a final decision on getting a tattoo on the scar, discuss everything with tattoo master and with your doctor. Don’t be upset if your doctor will not allow you to get a tattoo on the scar — in such cases tattoo master usually draws an individual sketch and tattoo is located around the scar; in this case, a scar or burn is a part of the tattoo and almost not visible.

    Don’t worry about the pain — it is exactly the same as during getting a tattoo on a perfectly healthy part of the skin.

    The tattoo on scars will be organic and will look like a work of art if you will be patient and go through several sessions. First, tattoo master will make black contours of future tattoo, and when the skin will be completely restored he will add a desired colors. Professional tattoo master will make a tattoo that scar or burn will become a part of the composition and gracefully complete the whole picture.

    The etymological origin of the word ‘tattoo’ is believed to have two major derivations; the first is from the Polynesian word ta which means striking something and the second is the Tahitian word tatau which means ‘to mark something’. The use of tattoos is recorded to have begun thousands of years ago and its history is as varied, colorful and diverse as the people who carry them. From a simple scientific standpoint – tattoos are created the insertion of colored materials beneath the skins’ surface or epidermis. The first tattoos were most likely created unintentionally. Someone with a small wound or gash happened to rub it with a dirty hand that was covered with soot or ash. Once the wound had healed, they realized that the skin had healed over the ash and that the mark became a permanent addition.

    Our knowledge of tattooing in Europe really begins with the Ancient Greek and Roman historians. The only sources of information before this are archeological finds which are scare and, above all, open to interpretations. It is possible that tattooing cultures already existed in Europe before the last Great Ice Ace, 12,000 years ago. Bowls with traces of black and red pigments along with sharpened flint instruments were discovered in the Grotte des Fees  (Fairy Grotto) in Chatelperron – France, 1867, and in caves in Portugal and Scandinavia. The shape and size of the tools suggest that they have been used for tattooing.

    Images of people decorated with what appear to be four tattooed horizontal lines on both sides of their noses have been found on prehistoric stone pillars in Aveyron and Tarn, France. Clay Cucuteni figures dating from 5,000 BC showing traces of tattoos have been found in the Romanian Danube region. Drawings and figurines discovered in a Thracian burial mound near Philippopolis may depict tattooed people, but considering the complexity of the decorations it is more likely that these represent body painting or finely worked figurines.

    The main reason for the disappearance of ancient traditions in many places was the ending of their almost total isolation. After centuries of living as more or less equivalent cultures indigenous populations were overwhelmed by the dominant European seafaring nations. The technological and militarily superior Europeans introduced their own value systems based on Christian beliefs. Like the Greeks and the Chinese before them the Europeans disdained the practices of the inhabitants of the newly discovered regions. It could not have escaped the notice of the natives that many of the mainly male adventurers found the permanent body decorations of the ‘otherwise so attractive’ women disdainful. Similarly, many Greenland Inuit women rejected the traditional facial tattoos, fearing that mainland men would find them unattractive.

    Bronze Age

    In 1991, ‘Otzi the Ice Man’ made the headlines of newspapers all over the world when his frozen body was discovered on a mountain between Austria and Italy. This is the best preserved corpse of that period ever found. The skin bears 57 tattoos: a cross on the inside of the left knee, six straight lines 15 centimeters long above the kidneys and numerous parallel lines on the ankles. For centuries the Berbers in mountainous regions of North Africa used this kind of therapeutic tattoo to treat rheumatic pains. Anthropologists believe a traditional healer made incisions in Otzi’s skin on the afflicted areas, placing medicinal herbs in the wound which were burnede with the point of a heated metal instrument. The charred residue was incorporated in the resulting scar. An examination of Otzi’s tattooed skin tissue revealed that the scares to contain carbon particles. Probably a shepherd or hunter, he was middle aged at the time of his death. The copper ace found with him suggests he was a man of some distinction. Otzi, named after the Oztal where he was found, lived 5,300 years ago. He was probably murdered as an arrowhead was found in his back and his body shows traces of cuts and deep bruising. Encased in ice for thousands of years, Otzi and the objext found with him are remarkably well preserved.

    Pazyryk Culture

    In 1948 – just over 200 kilometers North of the borders between Russia and China – Russian archeologist Sergei Rudenko began excavating a group of tombs, or Kurgans, in the high Altai mountains. At this site mummies, that date from around 2,400 years ago, were excavated. On their bodies were a wide array of tattoos said to represent various indigenous and mythological animals. Amongst them were griffins and monsters that were thought to have a magical significance yet some of these kinds of elements are believed to be purely aesthetic, decorative or ornamental. The tattoos of these mummies, when viewed together or as a whole piece, were believed to reflect the status of the individual bearing them.


    Various written manuscripts, actual physical remains and works of tattoo art pertaining to the Egyptian period had mostly been ignored by earlier Egyptologyists. Today however, we know that there were numerous bodies recovered dating back to as early Xi era that exhibited tattoos. In 1891, archaeologists discovered the mummified remains of Amunet, a priestess of the goddess Hathor, at Thebes who lived some time between 2160 BCE and 1994 BCE. This female mummy displayed several lines and dots tattooed about her body. The arrangement of these dots or dashes were aligned into abstract geometric patterns. This particular art form is believed to have been restricted to females and usually these women were associated with some kind of ritualistic practice. The Egyptians then carried the practice of tattooing throughout the then known world. The pyramid-building Third and Fourth dynasties of Egypt developed international nations with Crete, Greece, Persia, and Arabia. And by 2,000 BCE the art of tattooing had been extended all the way to Southeast Asia. The Ainu (Western Asian nomads) brought the practice of tattooing with them as they moved over to Japan. It is a sad fact that many tattoos’ original meaning are lost, not least due to the new generation’s lack of interest in their own traditions, a result of the advance of Western influences.


    The earliest evidence of tattooing in Japan is found in clay figurines with painted or engraved faces representing tattoos. The oldest of these clay figurines have been recovered from tombs dated to 3,000 BCE or indeed before this time. Numerous other such figurines have been found in various tombs dating from the 2nd and 3rd millennia BCE. These figurines served as ‘stand-ins’ or substitutes for living individuals who symbolically accompanied the dead on their journey into the afterlife. It is commonly held that these tattooed marking held strong spiritual significance. The very first written record of the Japanese practicing the art of tattooing is found within a Chinese dynastic history compiled around 297 CE. The Japanese were interested in he art mostly for aesthetic or decorative uses – in contrast to their earlier spiritual significance. The Horis – the Japanese tattoo masters – were the undisputed experts of tattooing in their time. Their use of colors, perspective and imaginative designs moved the practice in a completely different direction. The classic Japanese tattoo is a full body suit.


    From Southern China the practice spread along the silk-route. There have been a few periods in the history of the Far East when tattoos were accepted. Tattooing was mostly associated with the lower classes or the underworld. Though practiced in China for thousands of years, civilized and sophisticated Chinese showed nothing but disdain for it throughout this period. The practice become completely discredited after the Communist takeover in 1949. It was also held in contempt in Japan then greatly influenced by China in this regard.

    This changed in the 18’th century when artists became interested in the art of tattooing. For a period tattoos were very fashionable particularly among workers. The Japanese tattoo style even became the international trendsetter. Prominent Westerners were attracted to the Japanese style and even traveled to Japan to receive the artwork. The introduction of the Japanese style to the west contributed greatly to the short-lived vogue of tattooing among the Western elite at the end of the 19’th century.

    There are many parallels in the histories of tattooing in China and Japan. Firstly, both countries included peoples with rich tattoo traditions living beyond the direct influence of the center of power. In the 3’rd century CE, Chinese sources mentioned the Wa people who tattooed their bodies to ward off evil dragons.

    Until recently, the women of the Ainu people who still live on the island of Hokkaido in northern Japan, had remarkable mouth tattoos. Tribes with their own tattoo culture have also long been a feature on the margins of the Chinese empire. Secondly, the practice of punitive tattooing, the public humiliation of offenders, occurred both in China and Japan. This punishment was essentially a life sentence as people marked in this way were condemned to a life on the margins of society. Thus a vigourous tattoo culture gradually developed within society’s underbelly. The third common factor was the boost that the art of tattooing received in both countries generated by the immense popularity of the novel Suikoden, in which the most important characters are tattooed.

    In ancient China people lived according to strict Confucian moral codes. 500 years before the birth of Christ, Confucius preached that civilized people should honor and respect their parents and ancestors. Any mutilation of the body, a parental gift, conflicted with these basic tenets and brought shame upon the family and the community. Cultivated Chinese viewed tattooing, like eating raw meat and shaving body hair, as barbarous. These activities characterized wild, uncivilized tribes living beyond or on the borders of the Chinese empire. The first report of a tattooing culture appears in Chinese writings dating from around 200 BCE. It describes the Yue people who decorated themselves with mythical figures to protect themselves from dragons and sea monsters when fishing.


    In pacific cultures tattooing has a huge historic significance. Polynesian tattooing is considered the most intricate and skillful tattooing of the ancient world. Polynesian peoples, believe that a person’s mana, their spiritual power or life force, is displayed through their tattoo. The vast majority of what we know today about these ancient arts has been passed down through legends, songs, and ritual ceremonies. Elaborate geometrical designs which were often added to, renewed, and embellished throughout the life of the individual until they covered the entire body. In Samoa, the tradition of applying tattoo, or ‘tatau’, by hand, has long been defined by rank and title, with chiefs and their assistants, descending from notable families in the proper birth order. The tattooing ceremonies for young chiefs, typically conducted at the onset of puberty, were elaborate affairs and were a key part of their ascendance to a leadership role. The permanent marks left by the tattoo artists would forever celebrate their endurance and dedication to cultural traditions. The first Europeans who set foot on Samoan soil were members of a 1787 French expedition. They got a closer look at the natives and reported that ‘the men have their thighs painted or tattooed in such a way that one would think them clothed, although they are almost naked’. the mythological origins of Samoan tattooing and the extraordinary cross-cultural history of tatau has been transported to the migrant communities of New Zealand, and later disseminated into various international subcultures from Auckland to the Netherlands. The Hawaiian people had their traditional tattoo art, known as ‘kakau’. it served them not only for ornamentation and distinction, but to guard their health and spiritual well-being. Intricate patterns, mimicking woven reeds or other natural forms, graced mens arms, legs, torso and faces. Women were generally tattooed on the hand, fingers, wrists and sometimes on their tongue. The arrival of western missionaries forced this unique art form into decline as tattooing has been discouraged or forbidden by most Christian churches throughout history.

    New Zealand

    The Maori of New Zealand had created one of the most impressive tattoo cultures of all those in Polynesia. Their distinctive style of tattooing, known as moko, reflected a refined artistry. The Maori tattoos used their woodcarving skills to transfer this craft into the carving of skin. The full-face moko was amongst the highest marks of distinction and communicated their status, lines of descent and tribal affiliations. The tattoos also recalled the wearer’s exploits in war and other major life events.


    Borneo is a rare example of where traditional tribal tattooing is still practiced in just the same way as it has been for thousands of years. Indeed up until modern times, many of the inland tribes had little to no contact with the outside world. As a result, many aspects of their traditional way of life, including tattooing, have been exquisitely preserved. Borneo designs have seen an enormous surge in popularity – today they are most commonly referred to as ‘tribal’ and assimilated into a staggering array of tattoo designs.

    India / Thailand

    Hanuman in India was a popular symbol of strength on arms and legs. The mythical monk is still today one of the most popular creations in Thailand and Myanmar. They are put on the human body by monks who incorporate magical powers to the design while tattooing. Women are excluded because monks are not allowed to be touched by them and because Thais believe women do not need the extra boost as they are already strong enough on their own.


    In Africa, where people have dark skin, it is difficult to make coloured tattoos as we know them. But they want to be tattooed anyway, so they have developed another technique – they make scarifications(this is not really tattooing, but it is related to tattooing) made by lifting the skin a little, and making a cut with a knife or some other sharp thing special sands or ashes were rubbed in to make raised scars in patterns on the body, it can be felt like braille lettering… These patterns often follow local traditions.

    Ancient Greece & Rome

    The Roman tattoo culture derived from that of the Greeks, a pattern common to many aspects of Roman culture. Despite the widespread decorative tattooing among neighboring peoples, the Greeks did not adopt the practice. They viewed their neighbors as barbarians whose customs were to be eschewed. However the Persians introduced the Greeks to an alternative use for tattoos. In 512 BCE King Darius led the Persians into Thrace. Herodotus informs us that the Persians marked their slaves, convicts and prisoners of war by tattooing letters onto their foreheads. We can assume that the Greeks adopted this practice from them since they also tattooed their slaves’ faces, making it impossible for a runaway to go unnoticed. In his dialogue on Greek law, Plato refers to the marking of desecrators caught plundering treasure from the temples. In their writings, the Greeks use the word stigma for tattoos.

    Roman writers such as Virgil, Seneca, and Galenus reported that many slaves and criminals were tattooed. Tattooing specific groups with clearly visible signs made monitoring their movements easier. A legal inscription from Ephesus indicates that during the early Roman empire all slaves exported to Asia were tattooed with the words ‘tax paid’. Greeks and Romans also used tattooing as a punishment. Early in the fourth century, when Constantine became roman emperor and rescinded the prohibition on Christianity, he also banned tattooing on face, which was common for convicts, soldiers, and gladiators. Constantine believed that the human face was a representation of the image of god and should not be disfigured or defiled.

    The Celts

    Were a tribal people who moved across Western Europe in times around 1200 and 700 B.C. They reached the British Isles around 400 B.C. and most of what has survived from their culture is in the areas now known as Ireland, Wales and Scotland. Celtic culture had a long history of body art. Permanent body painting was done with woad, which left a blue design on the skin. spirals are very common, and they can be single, doubled or tripled. Knotwork is probably the most recognized form of Celtic art, with lines forming complex braids which then weave across themselves. These symbolize the connection of all life. Step or key patterns, like those found in early labyrinth designs, are seen both in simple borders and full complex mazes. Much in the way that labyrinths are walked, these designs are symbolic of the various paths that life’s journey can take.

    When Julias Caesar invaded southern Britannia in 55 BCE he wrote that the Britons colored their bodies blue in order to appear more fearsome on the battlefield. Based on this story, the 19’th century Irish historian William Betham has concluded that the name Britannia was actually derived from an ancient Celtic word meaning ‘land of the painted people’.

    After Caeser landed on British soil the Romans conducted many campaigns against the northern tribes that raided their empire in the ensuing centuries.

    With ancient roots, tattooing in Europe has a fascinating history. It is a tale of uneven development. The continent was repeatedly affected by influences that washed like waves over the land and then retreated, sometimes leaving pools behind. From a social perspective the meaning of tattoos has varied. At times a decorative tattoo was a status symbol of the upper classes while at others, it was a stigma associated with convicts and deserters.

    Christianity deplored the decorative tattoo as bodily mutilation and prohibited it. Yet the Middle Ages saw the emergence of the pilgrim tattoo that proudly proclaimed the completion of a pilgrimage. These polarized reactions are doubtlessly related to the severity of the act of tattooing itself. Europe has always been influenced by cultures beyond its borders.

    Central & South America

    In Peru, tattooed Inca mummies dating to the 11th century have been found. 16th century Spanish accounts of Mayan tattooing in Mexico and Central America reveal tattoos to be a sign of courage. When Cortez and his conquistadors arrived on the coast of Mexico in 1519 they were horrified to discover that the natives not only worshipped devils in the form of statues and idols, but had somehow managed to imprint indelible images of these idols on their skin. The Spaniards, who had never heard of tattooing, recognized it at once as the work of satan. The sixteenth century Spanish historians who chronicled the adventures of Cortez and his conquistadors reported that tattooing was widely practiced by the natives of Central America.

    North America

    Early Jesuit accounts testify to the widespread practice of tattooing among Native Americans. Among the Chickasaw, outstanding warriors were recognised by their tattoos. among the Ontario Iroquoians, elaborate tattoos reflected high status. In North-West America, Inuit women’s chins were tattooed to indicate marital status and group identity. The first permanent tattoo shop in new york city was settled up in 1846 and began a tradition by tattooing military servicemen from both sides of the civil war. Samuel O’reilly invented the electric tattooing machine in 1891.

    Middle East

    During the time of the old testament, much of the Pagan world was practicing the art of tattooing as a means of deity worship. A passage in Leviticus reads: ‘ye shall not make any cuttings on your flesh for the dead nor print any marks upon you’. (19:28) This has been cited as biblical authority to support the church’s position. Biblical scholar M.W. Thomson suggests, however, that Moses favored tattoos. Moses introduced tattoos as a way to commemorate the deliverance of the jews from slavery in Egypt.


    It is very likely that the vikings were tattooed. At around year 1100 the Arab Ibn Fadlan described a meeting with some vikings. He thought them very rude, dirty – and covered with pictures.


    Explorers returned home with tattooed Polynesians to exhibit at fairs, in lecture halls and in dime museums, to demonstrate the height of European civilization compared to the ‘primitive natives’. After Captain Cook returned from his voyage to Polynesia tattooing became a tradition in the British navy. By the middle of the 18th century most British ports had at least one professional tattoo artist in residence. In 1862, the Prince of Wales, later to become King Edward VII, received his first tattoo – a Jerusalem cross – on his arm. He started a tattoo fad among the aristocracy when he was tattooed before ascending to the throne. In 1882, his sons, the Duke of Clarence and the Duke of York were tattooed by the Japanese Master tattooist, Hori Chiyo.


    In the 18’th century, many French sailors returning from travels to the South Pacific often arrived back in port tattooed. By 1861 a French naval surgeon, Maurice Berchon, published a study on the medical / health complications said to arise from the receipt of a tattoo. After this paper, the navy and army temporarily banned tattooing.


    Stereotypical and Sensationalized Association of Tattoo Design:


    Sailors often returned to port with tattoos they received during their voyage. These usually consisted of a extremely basic or primitive styles that used minimum amounts of detail thus making the tattoos look 2 dimensional or ‘flat’. These flat tattoos, today known as ‘flash tattoos’ often give a cartoon feel. The typical motifs would consist of flowers, hearts, mermaids, ships, anchors, snakes, birds, and names or script


    For hundreds of years the practice of tattooing was believed to be reserved for sailors, cultural outcasts, the marginalized and criminals. Prison tattoos can be quite professionally done with homemade or improvised materials. These convey an inmates autonomy and, in many cases, identity. A commonly known symbol for gang members are their tattoos. Receiving permanent markings on the body is a sign of absolute loyalty. These gang tattoos often speak volumes about the wearer, what gang they are in, what their ideologies or beliefs might be, what they have done, where they have been incarcerated or lived as well as details up to and including how many individuals the member is said to have killed. Known Western gang tattoo symbols include teardrops under the eye as well as spider webs on the elbows – these are said to symbolize that the wearer has killed. Japanese yakuza tattoos often have a body suit with varied iconography being used. Whereas the Chinese triads use a specific set of archetypal images in varying arrangements.


    The prevalence of tattooing during the late 19’th and early 20’th century owed much to the once popular circus. When these traveling carnivals were prevalent tattooing, in turn, prospered. For nearly 100 years all major circus acts hired numerous individuals who were completely covered in tattoos. Some of these tattooed men and women were exhibited in ‘sideshows’ whilst others performed in traditional circus acts like juggling and sword-swallowing.

    tattoo flash

    As with other artistic mediums and cultural developments, vocabulary continually evolves. The term ‘tattoo flash’ is commonly used to juxtapose it’s position against tattoo art. This comparison is reflective if the depth and potential of body art as well as the contemporary imagination. In recent years tattooing has emerged to the forefront of popular consciousness. Today tattoo ‘flash’, is a folder of tattoo designs completed by tattoo artists. For those who receive a tattoo based on flash it is much like the selection of a sticker from an album. The individual simply chooses a pre-made design from a book of stencils and has a tattooist trace it onto their body. Tattoo art today is defined as the commissioning of a tattoo artist for the creation of a unique, single use piece.

    What is Permanent Makeup?

    Permanent makeup, also known as Intradermal Pigmentation, is a revolutionary method of applying natural pigments into the dermal layer of skin. This state-of-the-art technique is medically proven and specifically designed to be completely safe.

    Permanent makeup is used for a variety of cosmetic enhancements such as permanent eyebrows, eye liner, and lip liner/color. Other permanent makeup procedures include vitiligo, scar camouflage, areola restoration, hairline enhancement, and more. Permanent makeup has also been used to cover-up stretchmarks, birthmarks, freckles/age spots, and uneven skin discolorations.

    Let’s explain a few popular procedures.

    Lip Liner/Color

    The Intradermal Pigmentation procedure for lip color is beautiful. It can appear to change the size and shape of the lips as well as the color. This procedure helps prevent lipstick from bleeding into the surrounding skin. Many people request a soft pink, similar to the lip color to that of an infant, for those who want a natural look. Others may desire a dramatic effect.


    The Intradermal Pigmentation procedure for eyebrows can mimic the appearance of hair in the brow line. Anyone who desires more fullness of the brows will love the procedure (and the time saved not applying makeup!) Those who used to apply pencil can go swimming, play tennis, or wipe their forehead without the embarrassment of losing their eyebrows. Those suffering from alopecia (hair loss) are pleasantly surprised at how natural it looks.


    A subtle, natural look, mimicking thousands of tiny eyelashes with the implantation of pigments in the lash line is popular with both male and female clients. Additional shadowing of color can be added for a soft natural liner or a more bold, definite line can be achieved. Ophthalmologists recommend Intradermal Cosmetic procedures for those who are allergic to conventional makeup and for those wearing contact lenses.

    Who Benefits from Permanent Makeup?

    • Men as well as women
    • Busy people with little time to apply makeup
    • People with allergies to conventional makeup
    • Anyone who desires freedom from daily makeup application
    • Those who are physically incapable of applying makeup
    • Those who are active in sports
    • Those with oily skin who tend to shed makeup easily
    • Burn survivors and people with flaws in their skin
    • Those suffering from alopecia and vitiligo
    • Men and women who seek correction of asymmetrical facial features
    • Entertainers, actresses, and models – such as Elizabeth Taylor, Dolly Parton, Raquel Welch, Cher, and others
    • Men and women who wish to look their best all of the time!

    Common FAQs

    – Whats the difference between the Tradional Tattooing process and Permanent Makeup?
    Where both procedures involve tattooing the skin, in traditional tattooing, pigment is added to the third layer of the skin, where in permanent makeup pigment is added to the second layer of the skin, called the Dermis, creating a final result of a soft blend of color to the tattooed area.

    – Is this procedure painful?

    Topical anesthetics are used to minimize discomfort.

    – Do I have a choice of colors?
    Definitely! There’s a wide spectrum of colors you may choose from.

    – Do I have a choice in the placement of pigments?
    Of course. During your consultation, design and pigment placement will be determined.

    – What is involved in recovery?
    There will be slight swelling and redness in the skin, which will subside quickly. You may resume normal activities immediately after the procedure. Complete healing takes one to six weeks while the pigmentation matures and reaches its final color.