No doubt about it—body art is in fashion. In fact, according to the Washington-based Pew Research, four-in-10 millennials (those 18 to 29) have at least one tattoo.
Aren’t we rebels?
Actually, we’re not inventing anything new. Tattoos have been deeply ingrained in the fabric of history, discovered on the bodies of Egyptian mummies and on Ötzi, the famously well-preserved natural mummy of a man who lived between 3400 and 3100 BC.
In those times, thousands of years ago, tattooing was used therapeutically, a kind of early form of acupuncture; today, it’s mostly popular for creating decorative body art.
So: it turns out tattoos aren’t just a passing fancy, but a constantly evolving art form. In the West, a burst of popularity in the 1960s, with the mainstreaming of biker and hippie culture, meant that by the 1990s, the leading tattooed demographic was the white suburban female.
Tattoos are also not inherently “trendy”—but the kind of techniques, needlework, ink used and body placement can be. In early 2018, for example, there was a spike in wrist tattoos; last fall, it was all about the fingers.
2019 has brought with it a whole new wave of ways to get a tattoo, from unique body placements to bold, fresh colour palettes. Expect more of the same for 2020.
If you’re not willing to commit to the exaggerated large ‘sleeve’, shoulder and back tats that come to mind when you think of tattoos, you can choose small, intricately beautiful tattoos—think a string of letters in the clavicle, a moon or stars in the hollow of the shoulder and neck or a tiny blossom behind the ear.
Today, most smallish tattoos cost between $80 and $120, and if you’re going to a sought-after artist, you can be paying up to $500 per hour. But you’re also getting more for your money: safer, longer lasting and more vibrant colours (and more vegan-friendly pigments) as well as improved needle technology that results in less trauma to the skin.
If done well, tattoos are stunning, unique and permanent works of art. Luckily, an influx of skilled artists from GTA fine arts, graphic design and animation graces Mississauga’s tattoo scene. World-class tattoo artists can be found in some of the smallest, most unlikely shops here in our city.
Still, do your research before you commit. Go for a visit and ‘interview’ your artist before you decide to bare your skin.
Below are a few of the best places in our city to grit your teeth and go for it.
Tatoo Trends, Tips And Fun Facts:
• Tips: If you thought finger tattoos looked painful, try getting a hand tattoo. As a general rule, the more bones there are in the area, the more painful the tattoo will be. But tattoos are expensive, so you’re going to want to see your artwork in your daily life more and more.
• Facts: While black-lined tattoos will never go out of style, some artists recently reimagined their best art in a range of coloured ink, including red. Expect the bright trend to get even bigger this year.
• Gregory Paul McLaren holds the Guinness World Record for being the most tattooed person. He is 99.9 per cent covered, including inside his eyelids, ears and mouth.
• The most tattooed body part among women is the ankle. For men, it’s the upper arm.
• 23 per cent of people regret their tattoo. The biggest regret? Someone else’s name.
• If you don’t want your tattoos to die with you, you can have them preserved, skin and all. After you’re gone, family can frame them and keep a piece of you to treasure. “Bequeath your tattoo just like a house, wedding ring, or any other cherished possession, so that your loved ones can experience your legacy,” explains the National Association for the Preservation of Skin Art (NAPSA) in their promotional video.
• You’re never too old for a little ink! In 2016, great-granddad Jack Reynolds set a new Guinness world record for ‘Oldest Person to Receive Their First Tattoo’, after going under the needle on his 104th birthday.
By Kristy Elik
Playhouse Tattoo Studio
245 Lakeshore Rd. E.
Artistic Integrity Tattoos
Pleasure and Pain Ink
Street City Tattoos
Too Fast To Live