Complete Idiot’s Guide to Getting a Tattoo

 No need to be a biker. Wearing a tattoo is now thoroughly mainstream. Millions of people of all ages get inked each year. But we know that many who want to get their first piece of skin art are a little bit scared and have a lot of questions. Does it hurt? A little bit? A lot? Is it safe? How much does it cost? Written for the novice and aficionado alike, the author, a very reputable tattoo artist, walks the reader through every step of the process.  How to make the big decision? Which part of my body? Which art? Will I regret? Handling the physical event and finally taking proper care of your own personal piece of art. In this book, you get advice from John Reardon, a high-profile professional, get 30 original designs exclusive to this book and an 8-page full-color insert. If you are thinking of getting your 1st tattoo, read these 256 pages of advice. Complete Idiot’s Guide To Getting A Tattoo.  

29 Responses to “Complete Idiot’s Guide to Getting a Tattoo”

  1. 1 DJ CHOPPER GOD Mar 1st, 2008 at 10:56 am

    Avoid the TAZ!!!

  2. 2 goldiron Mar 1st, 2008 at 2:29 pm

    Remember that tattoos are used for profiling by the police and were used by the Third Reich for identification purposes.

  3. 3 Dave Conrey Mar 1st, 2008 at 2:49 pm

    When I first read the summary in my feed reader, I thought this post was dripping with sarcasm, but you’re serious about this book. That’s just nuts. I can’t imagine picking out a tattoo design from a book with the word Idiot in the title.

  4. 4 Rodent Mar 2nd, 2008 at 9:27 am

    yes, the book is for idiots. go talk to tattooers and their clients for advise….

  5. 5 Nicker Mar 2nd, 2008 at 6:12 pm


    “…a tattoo is now thoroughly mainstream…”

    Ya-may need to calibrate “mainstream.”

    A friend’s a sun-in-law (160lb “biker”), who’s daytime job is a corporate SF accountant, has a full and a half sleeve. Don’t know what he wears to work, but when introduced as a “fellow biker” he was wearing a cutoff tee shirt, jeans, chained wallet….. etc.

    Turns out, the ink ended his career path, not to mention his family’s opportunities. I was told later, he never got another promotion. But, that outcome shouldn’t have been a surprise.

    My wife has been in the HR business for 30 years. Don’t think she ever hired a person with ink showing.

    The reality of the world is that getting a tattoo, like a wardrobe, makes a statement, one which can either open or close opportunities. It’s a choice. But clothes are easier to change.

    I’m thinking that “mainstream” (regardless of what’s on TV) may mean different things to different people. Hope the book covers that issue.

    IMHO and experience, anyway.


  6. 6 Damien Mar 3rd, 2008 at 2:43 pm

    I prefer the dumbass series myself.

  7. 7 gustian Mar 5th, 2008 at 6:27 pm

    My opinion…, a tattoo is something for yourself. I don’t like “showing off”.

    Re :
    ” The reality of the world is that getting a tattoo, like a wardrobe, makes a statement, one which can either open or close opportunities. Itโ€™s a choice. But clothes are easier to change.”

    I’m with you Nicker, really couldn’t explain it better than this. Me also, I have tattoo’s, but they are hidden, even with short sleeves, you don’t notice them. As you already know, I’m a police-man and are well aware off the different opinions and reactions people may have.
    I got my first at the age of 46. All of them, I designed them myself and they are personal.
    The only thing I could advice is, don’t get a tattoo to young, and if you want to have one, consider it well.
    Like Nicker said, clothes are easier to change.


  8. 8 Nicker Mar 6th, 2008 at 3:37 am

    Right Gustian;

    Can’t recall anyone at work even knowing i had a tattoo.
    Not in 35 years.


  9. 9 gustian Mar 6th, 2008 at 6:29 pm


    it’s a damned shame we ‘re living with the big blue between us. I’m sure we have many things in commun.
    So, if I ever come to the States, I’ll let you know, I’m sure we have much to talk about. (with a drink or two, lol)


  10. 10 Nicker Mar 6th, 2008 at 10:45 pm


    “… sure we have many things in commun…”

    Quite possibly.
    I’m also European originally.


  11. 11 gustian Mar 8th, 2008 at 6:48 pm


    I know it’s off topic, but you made me curious.
    Where are you from original??


  12. 12 Nicker Mar 9th, 2008 at 1:00 am

    Originally from Darmstadt Germany.
    Immigrated to Australia first, then to the US.

    That might help the clueless understand why i’m anty Socialist.
    (but then, since their clueless, it probably won’t..,, a pointless exercise by definition…. ๐Ÿ™ )


  13. 13 gustian Mar 11th, 2008 at 10:29 pm

    Belgium – Germany, we were neighbours.
    You sure can say, you did a long trip around the globe !

    Socialists, hmmmm…don ‘t like them so much myself. Back in 2001, they made disappear my original police-force “Rijkswacht” (Gendarmerie in French)for their own (political)profit. (But, since this is not about bikes,…….not worth to dicuss much )

    See you…


  14. 14 Nicker Mar 12th, 2008 at 12:01 am

    “… Socialists… don โ€˜t like them so much myself…..but …this is not about bikes…”

    I agree, but some earlier posts in this blog stated that the US National Health care proposed by our Liberal Party would help the Motorcycle industry out of it’s depressed state. Naturally i take exception to such a proposition.

    Since England’s national health care system killed 5 times more people than their traffic fatalities, one would think that would put a damper on the zeal that many young Americans have for for Socialism . But, many of the current generation have been lead to believe to that government can and should fix every thing. Some even believe more laws will stop motorcycle crashes.

    But, the younger ones don’t know much about world history. Most don’t even know or believe that Hitler was a National Socialist. So when such issues come up they provide an opportunity for a fact-based reality check.

    Like the American Pioneers, Bikers have inherited a legacy of rugged individualism. One that is diametrically opposed to Socialism. The only question is, what will the next generation of Bikers does with that legacy?


  15. 15 gustian Mar 13th, 2008 at 5:19 am

    RE : Bikers have inherited a legacy of rugged individualism”

    I remember back in time,(I think you recogn this) as young biker, having a break somewhere, and people looked at us as “rebels without a cause”. Wearing leather and grease-suits (remember the black Belstaff grease pants and vests)was synonimous to outlaw, scum and other nice names…..

    Governement over here has never done much for “biking-world”, untill….. suddenly the motorcycle was discovred by Doctor No, Lawyer Phil and PDG John.. (the fact that our new King Albert II himself is a biker… really, also helped !!)
    Now motorcycling is COOOOOOOOOOL.

    As result of that, we have some tax-profits using a motorcycle for home-work-home traffic. As well for the sell of the bike as for the equipement and maintenance.

    RE : “since Englands National health care system kille 5 times more people than their traffic fatalities”

    Over here, the Insurance-system rises the yearly cost every time you have an accident, except in case of motorcyclists(strange but true.)This is because bikers are less involved in traffic accidents than car-drivers. (but of course in case they do, it’s in big head-lines in the newspapers)
    It seems the Insurance-agents are the only-ones that doesn’t consider us as “the-ones-who-always-are-causing-accidents”.

    RE : “what will the next generation of Bikers does with that legacy?”

    I don’t think that “new generation” is thinking much about that inherited legacy. They are born in a world (its like that, over here in Europe)where every high-society-man needs a bike to be accepted.
    As you said, the younger-ones don’t know much about world history, neither about the history of the “pioneer-biker” and his evolution…..


  16. 16 Paul Mar 14th, 2008 at 6:16 pm

    Hey Nicker, which part of OZ did you live in on the way through? I’m a Gold Coast boy myself. And yep, have some skin art, am CEO (President)of a multi-million-dollar corporation, build custom bikes for a hobby and as a small business – and for soul food. My wife rides her own Softail Sportster hot-rod (she’s only 5’2″) and I have no problem moving between the two “worlds”. Guess I’m lucky in many ways. But my career is what I do, not who I am.

    Interesting thing is, the bikes I build run to the $70,000 price range and guess who buys them? Yep, it’s those same attorney/banker/accountant guys in business suits I deal with week in week out. They’re the younger guys who are just starting to make their mark in the corporate world. Scratch the surface, and just below you find a different beast altogether – skin art and all! There’s a lot of discussion on Cyril’s blog here about where the future of the bike industry lies. It’s these guys, GEN X. The industry just needs to figure out how to connect with them.

  17. 17 Nicker Mar 14th, 2008 at 11:59 pm


    “… which part of OZ did you live in on the way through …”

    I’ve been living in the East SF Bay since 1962.
    And worked as an Engineering Data Systems Analyst for over 35 years.
    Ten of those years i spent traveling all over the US developing and testing Engineering data standards under contract to the DoD/OSD (CALS Test Network).

    So, my perspective has been developed, based on the demographics i’ve encountered in the places i’ve traveled and where i’ve lived. With one disclaimer, absolutely none of this applies in “silly-cone” valley or the LA basin.

    All i’m saying is that getting inked from “nose-to-toes” is a personal choice. It is obviously intended to attract attention. And that attention is not always advantages.

    “… my career is what I do, not who I am …”

    So, as “…President)of a multi-million-dollar corporation….” you don’t care who you hire?

    Well, i don’t know what your HR people look for in a perspective employee, but my experience has been the first thing they do is try to figure out “who you are” because it speaks to what type of employee you’re gonna make. If ya pass that litmus test, then they wanna know what you know.

    Disassociating who you are from what you do for a living is about as realistic as requiring the “jury to disregard the last statement.” It ain’t gonna happen.

    IMHO anyway.

  18. 18 Nicker Mar 15th, 2008 at 12:06 am


    “…because bikers are less involved in traffic accidents …”

    Since two wheel transportation in Europe is main stream, one would expect that.

    In Germany we never owned a car, only a motor bike.
    In the contemporary US Biking has been more a hobby that necessity.

    That could be the difference. How about driver testing…?


  19. 19 gustian Mar 15th, 2008 at 2:06 am


    RE: “How about driver testing…?”

    There you made a point…………


  20. 20 burnout Mar 15th, 2008 at 11:08 am

    Forgive me butting in but I strongly agree with you 2 guys. I have been riding on the road since before I was legal to do so. Too many drivers totally disregard the rules of the road. I like this blog because no matter the topic (ink in this case and I choose to have none) we always get around to rider freedom and safety. Thanks guys and thank you Cyril! peace

  21. 21 Nicker Mar 15th, 2008 at 10:45 pm

    But-in, Hell, that’s what it’s all about…… ๐Ÿ™‚

    “… Too many drivers totally disregard the rules of the road…”

    Ya, but why?
    Maybe it’s a cultural thing or just laziness, or stupidity… (or all)?
    Ya-know hat i’m saying?
    It’s that “too many rules” attitude or the “i don’t give a shit” syndrome.
    Sort-a like getting a buzz-on and going for a drive/ride anyway, “cause i want to”….?

    Progressive do-gooders can snivel all they want about how many people are locked up in this country. But there’s a perfectly logical reason for it (IMHO, anyway).

    As you say, much of what we all have to deal with boils down to “freedom and safety.”
    And that’s a damn difficult balancing act…. which many simply can’t handle.
    Hay, a “free life” is full of choices and short on guarantees.
    (buy a book -vs- buy a beer)

    But that always leads us to the big question:
    How much is an individual expected to give up “for the common good?”
    And in my humble opinion that should be “NOT F—G MUCH.”

    Basically, most of what you do should be “no skin off my nose.”
    Unfortunately that doesn’t translate well into driving on public roads (ask Bill).

    But then, that’s just MHO ……….. ๐Ÿ™‚



  22. 22 Paul Mar 16th, 2008 at 10:04 am

    Hey Nicker;

    Sounds like an interesting journey you’ve had. Actually I agree with most of what you say in this whole thread. As for whether or not I “care about who I hire”; duh! But I’ve never judged – as in hired or not hired – someone on the basis of whether they have tattoos or not. Seems to me if they add value to the business and fit the culture, they’re the right person. As for “disassociating” who you are from what you do being “unrealistic”, that means you’re a Systems Engineer. Nothing more nothing less?

  23. 23 Nicker Mar 16th, 2008 at 4:46 pm


    Ya, it was one hell of a ride… and paid well to boot.

    “… and fit the culture …”

    Couldn’t agree more.
    Cause if they don’t fit., nothing they know or do will “…add value to the business…”

    “… youโ€™re a Systems Engineer. Nothing more nothing less …”

    Spot on!
    Every thing in the Universe operates in some system (people included…).
    And clowns like me spend a lifetime Analyzing that stuff.
    Once ya start, ya can’t stop.

    But more to the point…….. One of the first lessons in Systems Analysis is:
    -1- The best system ever devised will fail if the end-user doesn’t support it.
    -2- A bad system can always be made to work if it is supported by the end- user.

    Great comments…thanks much!


  24. 24 gustian Mar 17th, 2008 at 5:09 pm

    RE: Burnout “forgive me butting – in”

    Yeah, like Nicker said, that’s what it’s all about.

    RE: Nicker “Great comments”

    Hmmm, more like this…………

    Bikers are not, opposit to what some people may think, a bunch of “Neanthertals on wheels” with their brains in their a*s.
    They also have some interesting things to say. Liked this topic. From ink , over history – geography – politics – biker attitude – traffic behavior – system engineering to humor and understanding…

    I Like it ! !

  25. 25 Paul Mar 17th, 2008 at 7:01 pm

    Hey Nicker, I gotta say at the end of the day, without you guys we’d still be living in caves. I suspect that while after 20 years I still haven’t figured out that Rubick’s cube thing, you probably nailed it in the first hour!! Now that I admire! Keep it up brother. The world’s full of things that need to be analysed and understood for the greater good. But if everything in the Universe works on a system (including people), maybe you could give us some understanding of that great paradoxical enigma…women. If ever there was an example of the end user not supporting the system, there it is!!! Cheers…

  26. 26 Nicker Mar 18th, 2008 at 1:04 am

    You guys are what makes Bikers special.
    I sorta gave up on it in the early 80’s, too many idiots, no reason to continue.
    Then stumbled into this blog by accident. Don’t even know how it happened….?
    Can’t thank Cyril enough.
    Here are the people that once made Biking fun and interesting.
    Must be a redemption, of sorts from the bad old days.

    Thanks Gustian & Paul.

    “… great paradoxical enigmaโ€ฆwomen…”

    Well, ya got me there.
    But then, some stuff –like God and infinity– ya simply have to take on faith….. ๐Ÿ™‚

  27. 27 gustian Mar 20th, 2008 at 9:39 am


    Thank you Nicker ! !
    Stumbled into this blog by the French magazine “Freeway” where Cyril used to write a monthly column.
    Me also, I’m glad I did. Just got to pick up my English again. My wife is French and so I’m glad freshin’ it up a little bit.

    See you guys…..

  28. 28 Chandler Originals Apr 10th, 2008 at 8:35 pm

    Tattoos are not a biker thing, I am tattooed from head to ass….neck, hands etc.

    Its a choice, a lifestyle….choose wisley…lol….

    Adam Chandler

  29. 29 Nicker Apr 18th, 2008 at 12:10 am


    “….choose wisely…”
    Ya, i hear ya. That’s exactly the issue.

    It’s not about who gets tattooed, it’s more about why they get tattooed.
    Seems half the people ya run into these days can’t give a coherent reason for getting tattooed.
    It’s like it isn’t “their tattoo”…… its just “some tattoo.”

    Sorta like they just get inked to “be somebody.”
    The same reason some people buy scooters.

    I guess you’re right, in a way, it’s not about a “biker thing” ………. ๐Ÿ™
    It’s a “choose wisely” thing ……………. ๐Ÿ™‚


    issue was more about why ya get tattooed, not

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