Tattoos provide students with a creative outlet Getting inked is a valuable act of self expression, as well as a form of art Share Tweet Email Print People have used tattoos to express themselves for generations. Many tattoos hold special meanings or memories that someone has chosen to have permanently etched onto their skin. For many students, getting a tattoo is a way of expressing their creativity and emotions. Tattoos are a form of art. Having a tattoo can mean different things to different people. For some, tattoos can provide a sense of comfort and familiarity. People get a sense of relief knowing that they chose the art that will be on them and that the art will be there forever. Tattoos also represent rebellion and free speech. Tattoos are slowly gaining approval in today’s society, and having multiple only draws more attention, wanted or not. With so many people trying to undermine millennials, it is important that students stick together and support one another with how they choose to express themselves. With Tattooed Planet being basically on the ASU Tempe campus, it is not surprising that many of its customers are part of a younger crowd. Jamone Wright has worked at Tattooed Planet for about two years, with close to eight years of tattoo experience total. He said a fun part of the job is meeting new people. “You get to learn so much about people from all over the world,” Wright said. "There’s been a lot of opportunity to learn something new when I’m tattooing someone.” Though I don’t personally have a tattoo, I think it is important for people, especially today’s youth, to find ways to express themselves. Tattoos are also a way for artists to express their own creativity. “It’s a gift, it’s a craft, it’s a trade that someone has handed down to me," Wright said. "I don’t care if you’re the greatest artist in the world, tattooing is not the same as drawing on paper, or painting, or anything like that. It’s its own craft." People may come in with ideas or renditions of the work they want, but it is important to let the artist also add his or her input. Wright said it is important for those getting tattoos to trust the artist and be open to ideas. “If they’re walking into a professional place, trust that they know they’re in a professional atmosphere and that anything that the artist is trying to recommend to them or any advice that the artist is trying to give them, that they should really take in to that,” Wright said. “We specialize in leaving permanent marks on people, so we’re definitely going to try to help you get the best permanent mark that you’re going to have for the rest of your life.” Despite the effort and patience artists devote to their clients, as well as the value of expression that comes with getting inked, tattoos still have a mixed reputation. As time goes on, I can only hope people will grow to appreciate tattoos for the art that they are. The amount of creativity and freedom of expression involved in the process should be enough for all people to at least respect tattoos and what they represent. Reach the columnist at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow @thedominiquez on Twitter. Editor’s note: The opinions presented in this column are the author’s and do not imply any endorsement from The State Press or its editors. Want to join the conversation? Send an email to email@example.com. Keep letters under 500 words and be sure to include your university affiliation. Anonymity will not be granted. Like The State Press on Facebook and follow @statepress on Twitter. Subscribe to Pressing Matters Get the best of State Press delivered straight to your inbox. Related Stories Poor leadership, unresolved claims taint an ASU theatre program ASU announces external investigation into economics department practices Opinion: No test? No sex!