Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
Do not, under any circumstance, put a tattoo of an icon on your body. It's sacrilege.
That is not entirely fair nor accurate. The only Scriptural reference to tattooing is in Leviticus, and we have already discussed that even in Orthodox theology the Law is not to be practiced mandatory, but voluntary. We are not required to follow the Law to the letter any longer, rather the Law serves as a guideline on how to live a better, healthier life in God.
I am not familiar with any Orthodox doctrine explicitly forbidding such tattooing, but I am humble enough to hear some if any brothers or sisters would like to share it with me from either the Canons, the Councils or the Fathers.
But my bias is that I come from the Tewahedo tradition, and Christian tattoos are quite common amongst Ethiopians. Crosses, prayer rope patterns, sacred words, scriptural references, these things are a normal, perfectly acceptable form of worship and devotion in Ethiopia. Ethiopians are STAUNCHLY conservative socially, but tattoos are not part of the taboos. You will meet many old ladies who have their entire arms, neck and face tattooed with crosses and prayer rope designs. MOST Ethiopian Christians (well, generally women that is) have at least a small cross tattooed somewhere, usually prominent.
While I have not seen a lot of traditional iconography tattoos amongst elders, I do know a few younger folks here who have them, and many Rastafari folks I know also have these sacred images tattooed.
Personally, what is the difference between a Cross and an Icon? Are not both iconic, sacred images of the Divine?
The only thing I would say negative about icon tattoos is that you must be ready to live your life with these sacred images permanently in your presence, because I am sure they shift the life in a monastical direction, and always weigh on the conscious. I wear a Virgin Mary icon medallion alongside my Tewahedo cross and this image always keeps me on my toes when ever I glance down and see it. Further, in Ethiopia we call such things "ye'buda medhanet" which is "medicine against the Evil Eye"
Saint Augustine mentions that words are as much signs and symbols as images, as they create images in the mind's eye, and so spiritual words are as much icons as sacred images, as the words produce the sacred image inside the mind and heart. So if folks can accept the concept of sacred words as tattoos, why not images?