The popular image of RIP tattoos is limited to what is seen in the media, and it is associated with biker personalities. It is publicly viewed a mark of intimidation. This is not necessarily true, because most tattoos of this nature are actually personal memorials. They do not need to involve violence, although gang members will sometimes ink the names of friends slain in conflicts.
RIP Tattoos can commemorate deceased parents and even children. One of the most memorable tattoo of this fashion was for a premature baby that died after only eight weeks. While tattoos of any sort are potentially associated with deviant lifestyle, they have become mainstream over the years and are used by even doctors and lawyers to express themselves.
Tattoo artists have invented many patterns over the years, and some works of art are genuinely remarkable. Images can be fine, even three-dimensional crosses or facial representations. Wings, reefs, and other common funeral memorabilia are items that many professional ink artists have done over and over again. Images they are familiar with, they can do quickly and in high quality.
Advances in the tools used by tattoo artists also enhances the possibilities. Many temporary tattoo enthusiasts are familiar with using alcohol to push ink into the upper layer of skin. Permanent tattoo artists sometimes use a similar technique as a stencil. Very realistic images are possible, because the artist is following a pattern. They can use existing images or draw something original on a flat surface first.
RIP tattoos can express an incredible variety of attitudes as well as images. Images of crosses and coffins are indeed sometimes shaped to look intimidating or rebellious. This does not mean the person with the tattoo is necessarily violent, only that the bearer wishes to be recognized or to make a commitment to a group. Looking bad or deviant is often just a fad that is popular with otherwise peaceful social circles.
Some of the most avid fans of tattoos are in fact people who identify with the Gothic subculture. These people are seldom aggressive and instead are often reclusive and pacifistic. They are fond of every form of body art, both because of the beauty and because it is a permanent symbol of a lifestyle. Goths are not universally obsessed with death, but enjoy tattoos because of their distinctive identity. Anyone with an alternative lifestyle might see a tattoo as a reasonable way to commemorate the death of a friend.
An expert artist can apply RIP tattoos on any part of the body. This might include the back or chest, but arms are the most common. Some people already have a lot of tattoos, and might apply a commemoration onto an obscure patch because more desirable places on their skin is already occupied. It is not uncommon to have a memorial applied to the stomach, neck, or side.
Having RIP tattoos applied to the arms is probably the most common. Because the arms are exposed more than any other skin aside from the face, it is the most expressive place to put a tattoo. Experienced customers understand it is a visible area, because anyone will see it whenever anything other than a long sleeve shirt is worn. A commemorative tattoo really broadcasts to the world an emotional commitment.
To that end, tattoos must also be chosen carefully. A person who is already deceased has a permanent place in a someone’s heart. It is not like breaking up with a girlfriend after having her name inked. This simplifies the choice but also means that the customer needs to think about the future. A friend might have been close, but that same spot could also be dedicated to a parent or another family member.
Once the customer makes up their mind, the only thing left to decide is what design to choose. It could be a small tattoo or a large one, with larger sizes tending to be more complicated and expensive. A smaller tattoo could be completed in a single session, while a large and complicated pattern would require multiple sessions, over a dozen hours, and possibly thousands of dollars.
A good artist is not necessarily expensive, and typically charges less than $200 per hour. While that might sound like a wild salary, considering that doctors often make less than $100 per hour, this price also factors in the cost of materials and any insurance liability to the shop. Good artists are in high demand, and this can also push the value of their time upwards.
Common images for commemorating females includes roses, a bouquet of flowers, angels and wings, animals, and even anime figures in recent years. Puppies and kitties are appealing to girls, and it suggests something tender and vulnerable. People who are suddenly bereft of a spouse or lover might fill the void with an animal. Above all else, adorable pets have short life spans and are easily injured by cold, accidents, and larger animals. Images of animals suggest the temporary nature of life in the same way as flowers.
Flowers are appropriate for both males and females, and few people will deride an image of a rose for a deceased father. Very strong people have shown emotional weakness at the funerals of close associates, and it is more socially acceptable to show tears for great loss. Having a rose or other commemoration can even make a tough character seem like they have a touch of tenderness.
Commemorations for male friends tend to be more macho, as is a tattoo that is put on a male body. Tombstones and crosses are the most typical, but a tribute can take the form of an entirely worded expression. Skeletal angels are more dramatic, but can be done to great effect. With a professional tattoo artist, anything that comes to imagination is possible.
Since a tattoo is likely to cost at least a few hundred dollars anyway, it pays to go through several sketches before deciding on a pattern. An artist can draw an original pattern based on a description. If this does not please the customer, modifications and a second drawing will be offered by a patient and professional artist. Taking time with this step is intelligent, because only the final product is permanent.