Tattoos are a great way for people to express themselves through an art form that becomes part of their body. People get tattoos for various reasons, but most of the time it is to say something about their personality, honor a loved one, create an image for themselves or honor a commitment to a group or gang, according to About.com.
If the purpose of a tattoo is meant to represent a specific trait or interest of the person getting it, the tattoo should be a symbol or drawing of something that person enjoys. Some people get artwork of an album they like, a motto or symbol from a movie series, or a character's face.
If the tattoo is meant to honor a loved one, then usually people get a realistic drawing of the person they are honoring. However, they may also get a tattoo of something the person they are honoring had. For example, a husband may get his wedding song tattooed on his arm to honor his love for his wife.
Certain people get tattoos as a way of expressing their devotion to an idea or group. If a person is a strong believer in a religion or set of beliefs, he may get a tattoo to show it.
In gang culture, it is common for the gang to all have similar tattoos to show their connection.