I'm a tattoo artist – the 12 inkings I'm ALWAYS asked for & if you're a bloke called Dave I know exactly what you'll get | The Sun

IT'S little surprise people take their time when it comes to designing the perfect tattoo – after all, it's going to be inked on your body for life.

But did you know that your tattoo of choice can reveal a lot about your personality and the type of person you really are?

From the 'spiritual' compass and the 'fierce' lion to the 'peaceful' flower, tattoo artist Mike Philp, founder of tattoo studio www.cocreateart.com, has spoken exclusively to Fabulous to reveal exactly what your tattoo says about YOU…


According to the tattoo artist, the compass is a very common request and often indicates the individual is "fairly spiritual."

"They love to travel and backpack are non-corporate and non-committal," he says. "They work to live rather than follow the live to work mantra."

Tribal inkings

Mike explains that the tribal tattoo is another popular choice from men – and likely means you're a "lad's lad and a bit of a geezer."



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"This generally tells me that 9 times out of 10, their name is Dave and they love watching England Play football," he says.


"He's loyal to his friends and family and loves sinking a few pints down his local."

Tigers and Lions

Like most inkings, Mike notes that the tiger tattoo can look "absolutely stunning" on the right person.


"For the client it’s about showing they are a fierce individual and powerful in life," he says.

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However, he goes on to note that opting for a lion tattoo suggests something rather different.

"It screams 'the protector,’ Mike explains. "The client sees themselves as caring.

"It's often dads who favour this one as they want to look after their family and be the main provider."


Mike points out that while it's "quite old fashioned" to want a tattoo of your favourite club or player, it's still asked for. 

Speaking of the type of client who requests this inking, he says: "Skinheads, family guys, ideal thing to do is watching the football with their mates and nights out at the pub.

"Spain is their annual holiday destination."

Dwayne Johnson's tattoo

The tattoo artist explains: "When a male client brings in picture of Dwayne Johnson asking 'can I have this?” it’s always a bit of a moment for me as an artist.

"There’s not many guys out there who have the physical attributes of ‘The Rock’ in the nicest way possible, and therefore the art-work is never going to look quite as good."

He goes on to note that these clients are often middle-aged, slightly older dads who are "well-built/heavy" and go to the gym "every now and then."

The Gladiator

If you've got a gladiator tattoo, then chances are you're a male who admires the idea of the "warrior” within, according to Mike.

"They tend to already have multiple tattoos and see themselves as the alpha male."


Mike explains that flower tattoos can look really beautiful when they're done in the right way.

"In the 90’s and Pamela Anderson era it was all about ‘the rose’ which is pretty dated now," he says.

"However, certain flowers can mean a calm demeanour, peace and beauty – and they tend to be more of a female orientated tattoo."

Bottom of the back tat

"This is what us artists humorously label a lower back tattoo," explains Mike.

"It’s pretty old fashioned in terms of requests and was much more a 90’s thing for women which screamed 'we’re going on a two week all- inclusive holiday in Benidorm.'"

David Beckham's religious tattoo

Football legend David Beckham is covered from head to toe in body art, and sports an impressive ink collection.

One of Beckham's most famous tattoos is on his neck, which is a gothic style cross and wings.

It's symbolic of to his religion and acts as a protective guardian of his son Romeo, whose name is tattooed just below the angel wings.

Mike explains that similar to Dwayne Johnson's tattoo, the type of customer who would request Beckham's religious tattoo would be someone who admires celebrities and "aspires to be like them in stature and wealth."

He warns: "Again similar to the Rock’s tattoos, you’ve got to be able to carry it off, and not everyone has Beckham’s look or physicality which makes it look so good."


The tattoo pro notes that the client who asks for a wave tattoo tends to be the spiritual type.

He explains: "It tells us life always moves forward.

"At times the swell is low but it's always followed by high times as the wave grows, eventually it will crash as we all die."

Face tattoos

Mike points out that face tattoos are really popular at the moment.

"The requests are from individuals who are edgy, and huge fans of the 'modern rapper' look," he says.

"They want to be admired, stand-out and looked at."

Pocket watch with time of birth

According to tattooist Mike, this "just in case I forget" tattoo is often requested by mums and dad’s who want the memory of their child’s birth.

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"It will usually appear on the forearm," he says. "Everything is about family."

Lightning bolt

Another popular tattoo request, Mike explains that this individual often wants to show a sign of "strength, capability, passion and loyalty."

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