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How do they look when a year/couple of years old?

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When looking around a lot of artist's websites you see all these amazing works with bright vibrant colours a blacks that are precise and very dark. However, in most cases it looks like the tattoo is pretty fresh, in some cases indeed it may have just been finished before the pic was taken. So what I'm wondering is if anyone has any comparison shots of how these great tattoos end up looking a little while down the line. I know a lot will be down to the skill of the artist and so on, but I am assuming that even with the best there must be some natural fading/degradation of the finish as new skin grows over and inks change?

Any example would be brilliant.:)

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Just get a tattoo and watch how it ages.

If a tattooer has large work in their portfolio, such as backpieces etc, it's a pretty safe bet that some of it will be at least a year old.

Most of the problem here comes from the fact that once we've finished a tattoo, particularly with one-shot tattoos, we rarely see it or the client again.

Some of the photos on my website or blog have healed work next to the fresh stuff.

Thomas Hooper occasionally posts photos of his work when it's settled into the skin.

If you're talking about colour portraits, they look like shit 5+ years later unless they have a strong outline and plenty of black. There's many reasons for tattoos to look like tattoos.

Another way is to visit conventions and see what people with healed tattoos look like. Remember: look but don't touch.

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Hey Stewart, thanks for taking the time to respond to my post, I appreciate it. I don't think I have seen your work before but just googled you and it looks great to me (don't take that the wrong way - I'm brand new to this and appreciate I don't really know what I'm looking at). It's been really cool to learn what talent we have in this country with yourself, Valerie, David Corden (who I just found out about the other day) and many others as it was all the recent Miami/NY Ink programs that got me thinking about tattoos and I guess I had in my head that I'd need to go to the US and hunt down Chris Garver or Tim Hendricks or (insert other US-based artist here) to get the kind of quality that had piqued my interest.

I suppose what I was getting at is that for me I am really drawn to the bright colourful Japanese stuff, which you seem to be great at, but I'm just trying to find out if there's a downside to it down the line. Would I be sitting there in 3-5 years thinking "Damn, I remember when that colour was so bright and really popped out, now it's a splodgy mess!". Having seen some of the photos on your site it seems like even the healed/older Japanese stuff still looks pretty great, so hopefully not much to worry about there.

I also have a portrait of my grandmother I'd like to get done and was wondering whether to go black and white for that or whether to incorporate colour, but it sounds like colour wouldn't be your recommendation in that case, so I've learned something really useful there.

You're right of course, in that I should get more real-life experience of tattoos to help my understanding but I'm up in Aberdeen, so I'm not surrounded by conventions! I'll get to googling and see if I can find any in the UK that I could get to in the next few months.

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Make an apt with @Stewart Robson and do a road trip then share it with us! I know many LSTers, my self included, would be very stoked to watch a big tattoo by him be shared with LST. As you saw from his blog he sometimes shows progress of his larger tattoos and it's fun to watch unfold.

In my opinion, Japanese and traditional tattoos look the very best years later AS LONG AS it is done by a good tattooer. I think they look even better aged than when brand new. The key component is finding a good tattooer after that everything else works itself out......

As for color portraits, not a fan of them though have seen a few yes a few good ones years later.

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Just remember this if you would like a photo quality tattoo, just stop and go to kinkos and have them print it out. It will look good for years to come hanging on your wall but very hard to do that in your skin. Taditional and Japanese will improve with age when done by the right hands.

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Make an apt with @Stewart Robson and do a road trip then share it with us! I know many LSTers, my self included, would be very stoked to watch a big tattoo by him be shared with LST. As you saw from his blog he sometimes shows progress of his larger tattoos and it's fun to watch unfold.

In my opinion, Japanese and traditional tattoos look the very best years later AS LONG AS it is done by a good tattooer. I think they look even better aged than when brand new. The key component is finding a good tattooer after that everything else works itself out......

As for color portraits, not a fan of them though have seen a few yes a few good ones years later.

Totally agree with @Lochlan if you think Stewart is the best, take a trip tosee him. I and others on this site have done that and have NOT been disappointedAT ALL. Good luck in your decision!

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Haha! Wow! Thanks for that Stewart - I've driven past Richard's loads of times but honestly never gave a second thought to the possibility there could be a top notch tattoo artist there! Guess I just got sucked into the idea that I'd have to go somewhere a bit more exotic - as with what i was saying in my earlier post. Anyway - I'll check Richard's out and report back!

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If you want to get a portrait of your grandmother,check out Bez@ Triplesix studios He mostly does color realism,but i'm sure he can do b & g portrait.

There's a convention in Edinburgh in March.. Scottish Tattoo Convention Brad Fink,& Jeremy Justice both do real nice asian style work.

Tattoo Artists | Big Tattoo Planet

Tattoo Galleries, Tattoo Artists, Community - Tattoo.TV This is a good site to check out interviews,they have a list of conventions too.

TattooNOW Tattoo Artist Picture Galleries: Custom Tattoo Galleries - Original Artwork

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Thanks Joe, that's helpful info.

I'm feeling like I'm close to the point of just going and getting something done. My plans for my arms and the portrait are still being formed, but I might go in at the painful end soon with something on my foot.

One thing I'm thinking about, with the plans I'm putting together is how the various styles are going to look placed together. My worry on this was kind of re-enforced by checking out Richard Pinch's site where his showcase gallery shows a guy with a lot of colourful Japanese but with portrait-ish pieces on his chest - I'm not sure if that look appeals to me. See here: Richard's Tattoo Studio - richard gallery

So I'm going to need to give placement plenty of thought before committing to anything in the arm/chest region.

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Thanks Joe, that's helpful info.

I'm feeling like I'm close to the point of just going and getting something done. My plans for my arms and the portrait are still being formed, but I might go in at the painful end soon with something on my foot.

One thing I'm thinking about, with the plans I'm putting together is how the various styles are going to look placed together. My worry on this was kind of re-enforced by checking out Richard Pinch's site where his showcase gallery shows a guy with a lot of colourful Japanese but with portrait-ish pieces on his chest - I'm not sure if that look appeals to me. See here: Richard's Tattoo Studio - richard gallery

So I'm going to need to give placement plenty of thought before committing to anything in the arm/chest region.

Save your arm's and chest for japanese work,and your legs for whatever else you wan't to get.On one of my arms i have traditional work,and two black & grey portrait's,and it looks fine,but i think japanese work looks best on it's own.

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