Contemporary tattooing first came about during the hippy 1970s when anti-establishment youths began to wear tattoos as a symbol of resistance to law-abiding, middle-class values. Coincidentally, at the same time new tattoo artists appeared equipped with different types of training.
Before, it was typical for new tattooists to apprentice with an experienced tattooist, learning the ropes the slow way. But with this slew of counter-cultural sentiments, many new and young tattooists simply ordered a machine and some basic supplies and got started on their own.
With their presence, new tattoo images began to emerge which appealed very much to this younger, rowdier audience. These tattoo designs were mostly inspired by "exotic" cultures such as Japan, Borneo, Samoa and North America rather than stemming from traditional sources like North American and European designs.
The rise of contemporary tattooing is turning unstoppable. Long unpopular and stigmatized in the West, tattooing has been given a new positive spin that is more associated with well-respected cultural traditions.