The Reason for Ink

There’s no questioning that tattoos aren’t just a passing fade. They have a rich history not just in the Western culture, but also all around the world. In this modern age, not just “rebels” are getting them. There are many reasons people are getting ink these days, and the number of people who have them is constantly growing!

As of 2017 –

Tattoo by Drain, Modesto location

    • Approximately 45 Million Americans have at least 1 tattoo
    • The tattoo industry brings in approximately 2.3 billion a year
    • 23% of women have a tattoo
    • 19% of men have a tattoo
    • Laser removal sessions are about $200 per session and can take 10-15 sessions
    • Removals have increased 32 percent over the last year
    • The average cost of a large tattoo: $150/hr
    • Americans spend approximately $1,650,500,000 a year on tattoos
    • 32% of people with tattoos claim they’re “addicted to ink”


Most people with tattoos have a reason behind some of their ink. Sometimes it can represent a time in their lives that they overcame something hard, like defeating cancer, leaving an abusive relationship, or moving on after the death of a loved one. Perhaps it’s a tribute to a friendship or a family relative that they’re close to. Whatever the significance, it affected that person enough to want to immortalize on their skin.


Another motive to get a tattoo is for self-expression. There’s no better way to express ones self by marking your skin with your self-identity. It can be to make a statement, or to show off who you are. It’s also another technique people use to empower themselves. Many people feel their tattoos help with their self-esteem and it boosts their confidence.


Tattoo by Nick, Modesto location

Tattoos make a statement, and if you have a cause, movement, or an organization you want to bring attention to, this could help! It’s also easy to tie in a memorial piece with a tattoo like this. If you had a loved one pass from cancer, you can honor his or her memory with a cancer ribbon, and it can also open a line of conversation with someone. The semi-colon is a popular tattoo right now that helps bring awareness to mental health. It encourages people to have an open dialog about something that’s normally shunned in every day conversation. (Read more about the Semi Colon project here!)


Tattoos are art, there’s no questioning that. There are people out there who make it their life’s mission to “collect” tattoos from artists that they admire. Some people want to make their bodies into living canvases. The ones who collect their tattoos take time and research some of the industry’s big names, and work on custom pieces together. Instead of getting fine art and hanging it on walls, tattoo collectors wear theirs.


While there are those who have deep, meaningful tattoos, those who have taken years on deciding what exactly to get permanently inked onto their bodies, there are also those who are bored on a Friday night and go out and get tattoos! Nothing is wrong with this at all, and sometimes some of your favorite work can be from a spur of the moment trip into a shop.


No matter the reason behind your ink, tattoos are here to stay. With every passing year, the industry grows more and more, and more people are getting them. Tattoos have been around for centuries, adding and enriching cultures and history around the globe. We all get them for different reasons, and we will continue to do so for the unseen future.

Add Your Comment