We asked Busselton-Dunsborough locals to share the stories behind their tattoos, and got some heart-felt, and hilarious responses.

Are you fascinated by tattoos? Or do they make you uncomfortable?

A 2021 study found that 1 in 4 Australians have a tattoo, and they are becoming more common and accepted in Australia as a form of expression and body art.

Everybody has a story to tell about their tattoo. It may be deeply meaningful and symbolic to some, or maybe was a spur of the moment decision. The people of Busselton have submitted their tattoos and stories to the Mail, and we have collated them into this article. Enjoy!

Chelsea and Emma:

'Horrible': Best friends Chelsea and Emma don't care what people think of their beloved 'sewer rat' tattoos. Picture: Supplied.

'Horrible': Best friends Chelsea and Emma don't care what people think of their beloved 'sewer rat' tattoos. Picture: Supplied.

We were going to go with real live rats but we found this horrible hand-drawn rat online and we had to have it. We wanted a matching tattoo on our 15th year of being friends. The matching lockets and flowers just aren't who we are. We are who we are, and don't care if people don't like us, just like sewer rats. We really are just hot trash messes, anything but a sewer rat wouldn't have suited us. Lucy Durant from Black Anchor did them, she was amazing and excited to do something so out of the norm.

Chantel:

Free: Chantel's butterfly tattoo represents her escape from domestic violence. Pictures: Supplied.

Free: Chantel's butterfly tattoo represents her escape from domestic violence. Pictures: Supplied.

I freed myself from domestic violence 20 years ago. The butterfly says 'I'm free', and the purple ribbon signifies domestic violence.

Help for those experiencing family violence or abuse is available at 1800RESPECT.

Dave, shared by wife Katie:

Gym love: Dave loves his F45 gym so much, he got it tattooed on his lip. Pictures: Supplied.

Gym love: Dave loves his F45 gym so much, he got it tattooed on his lip. Pictures: Supplied.

My husband has three tattoos from Black Anchor in Busso. His tattoo artist was Jed. The right hand is a tiger face and the left is a red rose, a little like the devil and angel. His final tattoo from Jed was on the inside of his bottom lip. We own the F45 Studio in Vasse and Dave loves his gym so much he has the name tattooed on his lip.

Rebecca:

Heart for the ocean: Rebecca loved her daughter's colouring-in page so much, she tattooed it onto herself. Picture: Supplied.

Heart for the ocean: Rebecca loved her daughter's colouring-in page so much, she tattooed it onto herself. Picture: Supplied.

This tattoo represents my daughter. I live in Busso but did this myself when living in Manjimup, but the ocean is where my heart is. The truth behind the tattoo is my daughter, 10 at the time, brought this home as a colouring-in page. I liked it so I tattooed it.

Renee:

Artwork: Renee's floral sleeve are a pretty way of remembering loved ones. Pictures: Supplied.

Artwork: Renee's floral sleeve are a pretty way of remembering loved ones. Pictures: Supplied.

The inside of my arm has poppies and a hummingbird. This tattoo is unique because it has no black outline or anything in it. Then on top of my tattoo sleeve is a big floral arrangement with butterflies, sunflowers and flowers representing my family and the ones who have passed.

I had a very big car accident and lost the back of my arm. The reasoning behind getting the sleeve tattoo was to distract people from looking at my scar, and look at the pretty artwork on my arm instead. Done locally by Shar Freeman.

Mishy:

Heartfelt: Mishy's tattoos show her love of a passed friend, Disney, and her daughter. Pictures: Supplied.

Heartfelt: Mishy's tattoos show her love of a passed friend, Disney, and her daughter. Pictures: Supplied.

Left - A tribute to a friend who committed suicide in November 2020. He actually had that tattoo himself and about 20 or so people got the same tattoo in his memory. The mushroom is the "life" mushroom from Mario. 'Not dead yet,' I think is how he tried to live his life. All or nothing, he lived while he could. He was very important to a lot of people. Tattoo by Sam at Black Anchor.

Middle - My all time favourite Disney character. Can you tell I'm a big Disney fan? By Danny Turner at Black Anchor.

Right - Sheet music to Eric Clapton's Layla, with my daughter's name above it - Layla Evelyn. With her birth month flower. By Tamalee at Black Anchor.

Help for those in crisis or caring for someone in crisis is available at Lifeline, 13 11 14.