AMoonHawk saidTattoos were originally magical incantations and symbols you place strategically on your body. They were never meant for body art. What sort of magical incantation do you think the deathly hallows tattooed on you ass is?
Yea, in about 300 BC. Tattoos have been used as body art since modern man.
For the OP, here is some advice from a tattoo collector with good and bad stories...
1. Take your time
2. FIND A GOOD ARTIST!!!
3. FIND A GOOD ARTIST!!!
4. You get what you pay for
a good tattoo artist is worth traveling for. They usually have a waiting list (even just decent ones). They typically charge by the hour.. good artist charge $120-150/hr maybe more for the elite.
Pick your artist based on their style. Every tattoo artist has their own style (color, blackwork, cartoonish, realistic, black&white etc.) Find one that fits what you are looking for. Example, don't go to a portrait guy for lettering or vice versa.
I get compliments on my tatts all the time. But yea, keep it classy. Try to get it in a place/way it matches the contours of your body, if you choose to get one.