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WWHI Research Proposal


The research be will focused on psychological activity during the tattoo process. The generating of ideas before tattooing is the way to draw out the abstract interior elements (emotions, memory, thoughts) and visualise them on the body through the painful process.

The question I am asking is: How to mentally prepare for the permanent mark on your body?


As a professional tattooist, I want to research deeper into this area. My passion for tattooing started from the positive energy that my own tattoo brought to me. My tattoo was a commitment with myself and closure of my past. It is a reminder that I will never lose or run out of power. I become a tattooist because I enjoy helping people to accomplish their dream and be a part of their journey to a better self.

The tattooed community is growing rapidly in recent years according to statistics from Ipsos (

Getting a tattoo is much easier not just because of the increasing number of tattoo parlours, but also because tattoos are increasingly becoming more socially acceptable in contemporary culture and workplaces. The tattooing industry needs more regulations to deal with these changes.

From my practice, I found that people approach the decision to get a tattoo in a variety of ways. In my research, I found that a large group of people get tattooed in their early life stage without considering the potential consequences. Some of these consequences are personal whereas others affect the reputation of the tattoo industry. As people create negative connotations to tattooing rather than to their choices.


To increase the public awareness of serious tattooing, I plan to focus on two directions.

For individual awareness, I will design workshops with psychological information and interactive activities to raise understanding of their inner-self and its connection to tattooing. This would make the resulting designs less generic and more of a representation of the client. Using creative skills, I will help individuals to visualise their true requirements and convert those to tattoo designs.

For public awareness, I am going to use a phycological assessment process commonly used in plastic surgery. This method can be applied to the tattoo industry to avoid later consequences for the client such as feelings of regret, self-rejection, and physical repercussions such as laser removal or a compromised cover-up.


If the workshops are successful people can understand the importance of the tattoo design and decision process. As a result, tattooing can be used as a tool to acquire psychological well-being.

It may also start a trend of spiritual tattooing and people making their own design for their permanent art pieces.

If people recognise tattooing as a path to inner peace and use it as an artistic form of self-branding or self-identification, it could neutralise the negative social impression of tattooing and make the tattoo industry healthier and sustainable.

Reading List:

Baggs, M. (2020) Tattoos: 'The more I have, the more confident I feel', BBC Newsbeat

Fox, B. (Director). (2012). The Skin I'm In [Video file]. Broderick Fox. Retrieved April 12, 2020, from Kanopy.

Lemma, A. (2010) Under the Skin, A Psychoanalytic Study of Body Modification, London:

Perraudin, F. (2018) How tattoos went from subculture to pop culture, The Guardian

Routledge; Alice Snape (2018) Tattoo Street Style, Ebury Press

Swami, V. (2012) Personality differences between tattooed and nontattooed individuals, Psychological Reports · August 2012

Margo D.; Gayle S. R. (2000) Bodies of Inscription: A cultural history of the modern tattoo community, Durham: Duke University Press

Gillie E J B. (2010) Reflective Practice, SAGE Publications

Belsky S. (2010) Make Ideas Happen, the Penguin Group

Caplan J. (2000) Written On the Body, The Tattoo in European and American History, Reaktion Books

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