Both. I won't get a tattoo that isn't symbolic to me in some way, so that takes first priority, but I've never chosen a tattoo that wasn't pleasing to the eyes and the mind. It's a complex thing, for many, to choose what tattoo to get. Though I think you'll find that no matter what sort of symbolism your chosen, even if it's darker symbolism that others might consider less attractive, it will still be attractive to you and that's all that really matters.
Since I only have one small tattoo I might not be considered qualified to answer this question but I will anyway. I chose mine for its symolism and what appeared to me as beauty. I have a claddagh with a very small rose. This symbol of friendship and everlasting love is small and IMHO tastefully done.
Both. I suppose I would be considered heavily tattooed. Two of my tattoos are specific and very meaningful to me. The rest is art that I've designed along with custom pieces of talented like-minded tattoo artists. The art itself is the bottom line of why I love it.