Tassos Sgardelis

Is it important anymore how the tattoo is gonna look after few years?

54 posts in this topic

There is a lot of talking about tattooing and more about "the art of tattooing".Sometimes it seems like tattooing is somehow an "academical" art (sorry if my english are not excellent) and a lot are told about the design-the "piece of art".I consider tattooing somehow more technical than artistic and respecting the rule that the tattoo has to live through time the better possible i feel that i cant break some "red lines" which is the outline,the scale,the use of black color a lot and a lot more.

I think there is not a lot of talking about this and a lot of tattooers puts art above tattooing..

RoryQ, Infernum and thesandmanisme like this

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I think I understand what you are trying to say here. You are talking about making a tattoo that looks great now (especially realistic looking tattoos) and skipping the whole "bold will hold" rule. In my opinion it seems that tattoos look less like "tattoos" and more like "art".

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That is exactly what i m trying to say,thank you for putting it correct!

I think I understand what you are trying to say here. You are talking about making a tattoo that looks great now (especially realistic looking tattoos) and skipping the whole "bold will hold" rule. In my opinion it seems that tattoos look less like "tattoos" and more like "art".

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@Tassos Sgardelis I will say this. The "arty" or realistic looking tattoos look amazing but I personally cannot see myself getting them since I feel they would not hold up over the test of time, plus I love the look of tried-and-true bold black, packed color...tattoo lookin' tattoos. I already made the "mistake" of getting a large intricate single-needle tattoo.
gougetheeyes likes this

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A few years ago I thought I was re inventing the wheel and bought a bunch of the tattoo DVD's and was all about the "hyper realism" and no outline color work. I can't speak for anywhere else but in the Texas sun it was a poor choice. I regret all those tattoos and am bummed whenever I see one and it looks very weak and faded and much older then it is. I've argued that with enough black and good saturation they would hold but I really doubt it's possible while keeping all the color blends. Maybe alot of the art lovers that get these pieces will stay away from the sun and baby their skin to keep them alive but I know the bold will hold rule will help my active blue collar cliental's tattoos last the test of time.

JimEHaynes likes this

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A few years ago I thought I was re inventing the wheel and bought a bunch of the tattoo DVD's and was all about the "hyper realism" and no outline color work. I can't speak for anywhere else but in the Texas sun it was a poor choice. I regret all those tattoos and am bummed whenever I see one and it looks very weak and faded and much older then it is. I've argued that with enough black and good saturation they would hold but I really doubt it's possible while keeping all the color blends. Maybe alot of the art lovers that get these pieces will stay away from the sun and baby their skin to keep them alive but I know the bold will hold rule will help my active blue collar cliental's tattoos last the test of time.

luckily in my case my artist has nothing to worry about since I fully covered all the time sitting inside all day so my tattoos almost never get hit with natural light. I would like to keep em lookin good as long as possible

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So i believe its or responsibility to talk about it more.Sometimes we have to put back the artistic ego and just work for the good of the customer.I think tattooing is a big thing with huge history and traditions.We have to take more from the past than hurry to put our mark in a way,

cltattooing, Abellve and Scott R like this

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A point touched on in the original post is the separation of art and craft. Do you approach tattooing as an artform, or as a craft. A lot of the old school guys seem to be craftsman. They made their needles and machines, and they tattooed. Many of the new school seem to be artists first, tattooers second. Obviously, every tattooer is some blend of the two.

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if you cannot make out the tattoo from 10+ feet away with only the black completed, you don't have a tattoo. you have a pile of shit.

if you do not use a black outline on 99% of a tattoo, you don't have a tattoo. you have a pile of shit.

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I wish I learned what @jinxproof1996 just said early when I was getting heavily tattooed, I wouldn't be having him remove a bunch for better things if I did.

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Whatever could you mean?

Was just about to post the same thing ;)

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Tattooing is and always will be art and craft, it can be performed by either artist's or craftsmen/women but best results come from the learned and schooled of both.

Conversations have always continued and will continue of a traditional tattoo vs realism until the larger picture is understood that "Realism" is nothing new and has never been something new, it's purely overthought tattooing forced into the art form of tattoo.

This is to say that anyone way back when could execute a realistic cardinal bird, anyone with ability seen in example back to Hildabrant to other examples of flash and pictorial overseas such as Germany, etc. BUT tattooing was meant to be as much as an "everlasting mark"as possible and with this being said, the example for an everlasting cardinal would be the "image" of a cardinal much like the one used by the St Luis Cardinal baseball team. Compared side by side at the same measurements the "stronger" will hold. The "point" being of "tattooing/executing as permanent image as possible" can best be accomplished by executing the "stronger" image so that the all valuable customer, not to be confused with ritualistic cultural tattooing, will not be back in the tattoo shop door 15 years later claiming that the tattoo was not as permanent as they were led to believe.

So, for perspective, 2 Cardinal bird's tattooed the exact same size on lily white caucasian canvas, the one tattooed of varying shades of red and fine detail and graduated shades to hold the image and a white glint in the eye, the other the solid red and solid yellow Cardinal held by a bold outline. The human eye can see in both tattoos that it is a Cardinal, one more artistically executed but the other will not only be "observed" as a Cardinal but also a "tattoo of a Cardinal".

This is not to say that there is no middle ground as their is a middle ground found in flash examples of people like JD Crowe's not so flat or single dimensional art and example in flesh like Kari Barba has done of late. If you can find Kari's early work in photo form you can see her transition away from "realism to tattooing realism" on that middle ground which she does very well. It's about the difference of having a painting of a flower and a photograph of a flower, of course the photograph will be an exact duplicate of the flower to hang on the wall while the painting will be"the painting of a flower" with much more to behold or capture of the image of a flower and with the best digital camera's we are still buying paintings, ha!

When I began there was a great and accepted distinction between tattooist and tattoo artist with no disrespect of either, both if accomplished were held with the same respect but it is never respectful to see someone practicing anything that strays from canvas cloth to human canvas, flesh is the essence of what tattooing is as there has never been an old school as much as there has been logical and practical tattooing with advents of new school attempts of fusion that rarely apply.

Artistic craftsmen/women make great "tattoo artist's", craftsmen/women make great "tattooist's". Artistic or not the entering tattooer still has to struggle to become a "Great Tattooer" either way.

It's a repetitive process that tattooers have to endure during times of tattooing's renaissance, it is that we have to deal with and get tangled with visionary attempts at evolution to better and higher degree's instead of "Everybody come and get a tattoo! ......i need a new car". ha!

For certain we see evolution that is positive and different that will be around for a long long time and this is a good thing, means people are contributing and skills are evolving, once we go forward with things that work like the computer your using right now, we won't see many going back to getting information from a hard wired phone and newspaper no matter how much we may embrace the era.

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before the 50 years you re mentioning there are :2 years,5 years,7 years ,10 years....if you can understand what i mean

50 years and it doesnt matter what who where. its all going to look like shit

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Thats happening if you start getting tattooed by yourself,so personal and individual.But if a tattooer is doing the job on you that means that hes taking care how the tattoo will look,he/she has the responsibility.It doesnt mean when you walk the door of a tattoo shop with a design or an idea that this should be done exactly as you want it,at least to a lot of shops that i know.

Get what you want tattooed by whoever you want in whatever style you want. Who cares if it lasts or not . Its a personal and individual thing.

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if you cannot make out the tattoo from 10+ feet away with only the black completed, you don't have a tattoo. you have a pile of shit.

if you do not use a black outline on 99% of a tattoo, you don't have a tattoo. you have a pile of shit.

"Your tattoo should look good when the lines are done, it should look finished when the blacks are done and the color is extra." Bob Roberts

VCarter, Snydcat, Shadow and 11 others like this

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"Your tattoo should look good when the lines are done, it should look finished when the blacks are done and the color is extra." Bob Roberts

my point exactly. if anyone received a half way decent apprenticeship now a days, this would be tattooing 101.

eisen777 and Petri Aspvik like this

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"Your tattoo should look good when the lines are done, it should look finished when the blacks are done and the color is extra." Bob Roberts

Word!

Kev and hawk like this

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I am not a fan of any of the color outlines or realism stuff and I agree with everything that people say. If I have an eagle tattoo you should be able to tell what it is from ten feet away and it shouldn't matter if it's twenty years old. That is not to say it is going to look as good as the day I got it, but it still should be recognizable.

But another thing I see that I would almost equate with it is the dumbing down of traditional work. Elongated panther heads without any definition in the jawbone that look like they would probably lick you to death before they attacked you and blocky eagles with not enough feathers to take flight. Clearly it's a traditional tattoo and nobody is asking for a portrait of said animal but just because it's a traditional tattoo doesn't mean it shouldn't be a good drawing. I think I would rather pick an eagle out of the Rollo sketchbook than have a custom drawing put on me that wasn't up to snuff.

One argument would be that the old school way you paint the flash a little sloppy and clean up the design when you tattoo it, but I don't see that happening these days. This stuff is getting tattooed just as it's painted.

I worked with a guy for awhile, had been tattooing for a few years but never really learned how to do it the right way. I would look at him draw and some of the stuff was horrible. I would steer him towards using reference material, but he was set on drawing everything from his own head. It just seems like if you draw something with no frame of reference of what it supposed to look like it's bound to end up a little wonky.There are guys who can do it, but only after years and years of drawing certain things in the proper way. I have a file of stencils at the shop I saved of stuff I couldn't believe he put on people. I am not saying this is what's happening but if it is we are all doomed. Eventually enough people got on his case and he came around and his tattoos are looking better (not amazing by any means).

I am not trying to bust people's balls or call out names or dwell on the negative. There are plenty of people doing great traditional work and clearly this is not about them. Maybe I am just over thinking things, I mean it's just a tattoo. I remember the story where Terry Tweed sent someone home for the day, well actually sent him to the zoo, because he put a green eye in the eagle tattoo he did that day. Clearly this is a slight overreaction, but I think he made his point and that was at least 15 years ago.

hawk, hogg, Kev and 2 others like this

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before the 50 years you re mentioning there are :2 years,5 years,7 years ,10 years....if you can understand what i mean

It has always been an accepted standard that a well executed tattoo done by a pro should be expected to last 14 years before "renewal" but I have watched my own work and it appears that my pigment for color work is holding up the image at 22 years but I learned to mix when I apprenticed and it also was many years before I had every color in my spectrum noodled out for longevity. So in answer to the question of how long a customer can expect before renewal is 14 years as the accepted atandard, but many will be content with the way it will deteriorate with their own selves as an image, black outlined and shaded being the ultimate holder of that image.

Hope this helps answer you Tassos and it is one persons opinion.

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before the 50 years you re mentioning there are :2 years,5 years,7 years ,10 years....if you can understand what i mean

i absolutely know what you mean. i personally dont think that one style of tattooing is better than any other. when you get tattooed by someone who is an excellent technician your getting the best you can get and at the end of the day the body takes its toll on the tattoo. i understand all the arguments about this vs that but it doesnt matter to me. color stuff falls out, bold black spreads shits gonna change.

Just Alex and tattooedjuliet like this

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i absolutely know what you mean. i personally dont think that one style of tattooing is better than any other. when you get tattooed by someone who is an excellent technician your getting the best you can get and at the end of the day the body takes its toll on the tattoo. i understand all the arguments about this vs that but it doesnt matter to me. color stuff falls out, bold black spreads shits gonna change.

Yes, and the the dermis itself is the determining factor, painting on cardboard shouldn't be expected to last like painting on canvas.

G.Uristti and kylegrey like this

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