By Alexis Grimaldo, Staff Writer

For him… for her… for life… for family… for wife…. for husband… for me… for fun…

Body tensed and mind racing a hundred miles an hour keeping almost an exact pace with your thundering heart, you anxiously watch as a needle is dipped into a small jar full of ink and is turned on. The buzzing invades your ear and soon the needle is puncturing your skin sinking ink into your body. Pain envelopes your mind making it almost impossible to remind yourself that you wanted this and that there is no turning back now.  after you see the final product now permanently etched into your skin, you cant ever imagine questioning your decision to get a tattoo.

Tattoos are many things, good or bad, depending on who’s asked. To some, it’s a way of connecting oneself to their body again, a way of feeling whole again.

“I feel it is a way to commit to something. Putting it on your body to stay permanently makes a statement,” Angela Garza said.

A tattoo can also symbolize life, change, the past, or just a feeling. People are passionate about tattoos because it’s a way to express their beliefs, and it’s also a reminder of past things that held meaning and importance to them.

“Tattoos are a great way to express yourself,” Amber Fraught said. “I love the art of it.”

The art is what captures many people’s eye with its beautiful swirls and colors even if it’s as simple as getting it in black and white. There has always been a beauty to tattoos whether it’s the shading that captures a strong emotion in the art or the picture its self.

“Some people have stories behind their tattoos,” Justin Grimaldo explained.

A tattoo artist from the show L.A. Ink, named Kat Von D., inked the arm of a man named Gilbert, with a picture of his late daughter, Vanessa, who died when she was only three years old. The daughter had an extremely rare syndrome called Coffin Siris that prevented her body from growing as she aged. He got a tattoo of his daughter as a tribute to her, a memory of her.

“It’s very meaning full to me,” Gilbert said. “It’s my first tattoo.”

The stories behind the tattoo are some of the things that give tattoos such magic. Tattoo artist are always getting to hear new stories from many different people and, in a way, some of the stories change their views on things, on life.

“It’s always hard for me to tattoo people when they tell me their stories,” Kat Von D. said.

However hard it may be to hear about people struggles in life, Kat Von D. continues to be one of the most sought out tattoo artist especially for portrait tattoos. Her own personal tattoos are an expression of her self and her interests while also marking different times of her life.

“Tattoos are super meaningful and every time you look at them you’re reminded of the reason you got it, which is why I think they’re super cool” Taylor Roth said.

Many people get inked because they believe it’s fun and exciting. They get tattoos to see if they can handle the pain, and when they can’t, their friends get to have the best video for blackmail, since guys especially don’t want a video getting out of them crying like a baby.

There are people, though, that are against tattoos believing that it’s irresponsible and will lead to regret and possibly even disease.

“For me, I’d be worried about getting old because it would get wrinkly, and I feel like it’d be a reminder of how old I am,” Angela Garza said.

Tattoos can also be a reminder of a really bad choice or decision in life that ultimately becomes a permanent shame and disappointment that everyone can now see and remind you of. Some choose to see these types of tattoos, though, as a reminder to never do the mistake again whether its what the tattoo represents or the tattooing itself.

Most people that have tattoos are proud of them and are happy that the tattoos are one of the things they get to take to their grave. Having tattoos doesn’t make you a delinquent. Not all people you see running through the streets causing havoc to the city have tattoos. Tattoos are just another type of art. It just so happens to be a type of art that people can wear forever representing who they are.

“Tattoos have a power and magic all their own. They decorate the body, but they also enhance the soul,” Michelle Delio expressed.