sbhikes

Why are bad tattoos so popular?

Recommended Posts

I find based on questions I get asked a lot from "plainskins" is that people who aren't big tattoo-heads think they have to justify getting tattoos by giving them personal meaning. A quote or a small image is easy to be meaningful. A badass battle royale tattoo probably has no meaning. It's just badass. People can't make that kind of commitment without a personal connection. Just like some people can't have one night stands. (This is just my opinion based on the dumb people I know who get lame tattoos).

One of the most truest statements i've ever read

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i think there's a few things goin on here

people don't know what good work is

people get tattoo'd by their friends that own or work in shops

people get tattoo'd by the hot shit shops/artists at the time

people want to spend little money and not have to wait to get work

people go to shops that their friends tell them to go to

i hear people (with few or no tattoos) tell other people to go to shops that do terrible work, and there are many many of those shops in austin. on the other hand, i hear people telling people to go to the current hot shit shop or artists too. i rarely hear people mention some of the best shops around though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
holy shit fuzi is terrible. i can't believe people get tattoos from fuzi. even his art is pretty bad. its like if misaki kawai decided to start tattooing. her art is awesome but i wouldn't want it on my skin. her art is naive looking and good where as fuzi is just bad.

Misaki Kawai

Misaki Kawai

That just reinforces the fact that there's a difference between what is good art and what is a good tattoo. I think a lot of people think tattooing=art in some respects it does, but design and execution wise it doesn't.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The general public......and the tattoo community are two separate concepts.

I don't try and push people around with what they should and shouldn't get, I'm not a social worker...... But I do try to present them with options when I can.

I still give em the haircut they ask for....... I just try and comb it real nice for em.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I feel like this has covered why obviously bad tattoos are popular, but maybe not so much why well-meaning people end up with just-okay tattoos. To my mind, crafting an outstanding tattoo involves many variables that just aren't applicable to many other types of visual art. It's even more confusing when you add in the variable of personal taste. I work in a bookstore and need to be well-versed in children's picture books so that I can make recommendations, so I see a pretty wide variety of illustration styles that I love, almost none if which would work as a tattoo - you can look at many picture-book tattoos as unfortunate proof of this. There's wonky line weight galore, and colors sometimes migrate, but, if the composition is solid, the looseness adds to the charm of the illustrations. I find myself disliking anything that's too bright, clean and/or cartoonish. Likewise, classic flash, when executed cleanly, looks fantastic on the human body but frankly wouldn't excite me too much outside of that context. Not to mention that you can't, for instance, pick up your local paper (if you're in a metropolitan area with a reputable paper, which is increasingly rare) and read at-minimum competent tattoo art criticism. I think it's at least partly a matter of retraining your eyes and learning how to look, which is something that might elude even a fairly careful person.

- - - Updated - - -

Having said that, if you get more than one iffy tattoo, it's your fault.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I m also going to blame pinterest. as addicted as I am to that fuckin site. there are so many shitty tattoos being repinned over and over. one sheila I knew went on a tattoo spree- getting about 7 really common pinterest tattoos in a very short time frame. think infinity symbol, peterpan and wendy and the crew flying out behind her ear, a small elephant family and sdome other dumb ones. nothing altered. just "here I found this on pinterest, put it on me" type thing.

I like pinterest and whatever- but I can see how its having a negative flow with tattoos too. im too tired to bother trying to make sense so I hope somebody out there is able to understand my drivel....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I m also going to blame pinterest. as addicted as I am to that fuckin site. there are so many shitty tattoos being repinned over and over. one sheila I knew went on a tattoo spree- getting about 7 really common pinterest tattoos in a very short time frame. think infinity symbol, peterpan and wendy and the crew flying out behind her ear, a small elephant family and sdome other dumb ones. nothing altered. just "here I found this on pinterest, put it on me" type thing.

I like pinterest and whatever- but I can see how its having a negative flow with tattoos too. im too tired to bother trying to make sense so I hope somebody out there is able to understand my drivel....

It can hardly be all pinterest, as bad tattoos existed long, long before it. But I agree that pinterest helps them spread at an incredible rate. And I know pinterest isn't really 'for guys', or whatever - but I'm just trying to do my part to stop/slow the madness with this board. Good tattoos only - artists always credited.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Its very fashionable to be tattooed , people just want coverage (how many dudes are going about with a full sleeve of b&g clouds and stars) , they dont care about quality. Fair play to them. Some people are happy with instant coffee , others prefer a freshly roasted cup of excellence . Its not really that big a deal.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I m also going to blame pinterest. as addicted as I am to that fuckin site. there are so many shitty tattoos being repinned over and over. one sheila I knew went on a tattoo spree- getting about 7 really common pinterest tattoos in a very short time frame. think infinity symbol, peterpan and wendy and the crew flying out behind her ear, a small elephant family and sdome other dumb ones. nothing altered. just "here I found this on pinterest, put it on me" type thing.

I like pinterest and whatever- but I can see how its having a negative flow with tattoos too. im too tired to bother trying to make sense so I hope somebody out there is able to understand my drivel....

It can hardly be all pinterest, as bad tattoos existed long, long before it. But I agree that pinterest helps them spread at an incredible rate. And I know pinterest isn't really 'for guys', or whatever - but I'm just trying to do my part to stop/slow the madness with this board. Good tattoos only - artists always credited.

I would like to expand on this and say it's "social media" in general. Millions of people who have never set foot inside a tattoo shop, have only seen their cousin's "ink" that his friend did for him in his living room, and don't actually see the artwork beyond the social capitol of the tattoo suddenly have all of this emphasis on how cool they would be if they got any tattoo, regardless of content or quality.

So you end up with people like my coworker, who has an entire sleeve (shoulder to knuckles) of the space needle and skulls that appear to have been done with a shader exclusively, and very poorly as well. I believe he got it done at a shop in the mall (of all places) and it looks very much like the quality of tattoo you'd get from a shop in the mall (of all places). However, he's very happy with it. From what I've gathered his only tattoos are that arm, his other hand, his other forearm, and his neck. Usually when someone is peacocking that heavily they're not all that concerned with the overall quality of any of it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I would like to expand on this and say it's "social media" in general. Millions of people who have never set foot inside a tattoo shop, have only seen their cousin's "ink" that his friend did for him in his living room, and don't actually see the artwork beyond the social capitol of the tattoo suddenly have all of this emphasis on how cool they would be if they got any tattoo, regardless of content or quality.

So you end up with people like my coworker, who has an entire sleeve (shoulder to knuckles) of the space needle and skulls that appear to have been done with a shader exclusively, and very poorly as well. I believe he got it done at a shop in the mall (of all places) and it looks very much like the quality of tattoo you'd get from a shop in the mall (of all places). However, he's very happy with it. From what I've gathered his only tattoos are that arm, his other hand, his other forearm, and his neck. Usually when someone is peacocking that heavily they're not all that concerned with the overall quality of any of it.

This about covers how I see it. My nephew who is all of 22 is loaded with shit work worthy of this thread. His brother has nice work on him, so does his dad (my brother), my son, me. So I'd hope he knows good work on sight. Part of it is they get 1/2 in the bag and wind up in someone's kitchen who has the equipment and the requisite lack of talent.

Rob

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On another note. I have an old, old brother who is covered in home poke tattoos, mostly applied with a single needle between two match sticks wrapped in cotton.

By anyone's "standard" they're shit, but he's sported most of these since he was 15, and I gotta say they've stood the test of time...he punched them in!

I couldn't ever see him with anything else. They're him, they all tell a very particular story, he earned every single one...and you know? He today is just as proud of those tattoos as anyone of us who have had anyone of our custom shop pieces done.

When I sit with him after all these years, even some of those tattoos bring back for us a very particular incident, a time in our lives to reflect. Isn't that what tattooing is all about?

I think sometimes we forget the basic nature, that primal instinct towards why we mark our skin sometimes.

And maybe I can place this part in the "what have I learned from becoming tattooed" thread...and that's not to be so judgemental on the aesthetics alone. Everyone has a story.

There's lots of reasons to "why".

"Booze, Blues & Tattoos"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ultimately who cares, it's not your body. We'll be wearing that shit for the rest of our lives, who are you to say what other people should get tattooed? Everybody's got opinions and tastes, just because you like something doesn't mean everybody else does also. If they like what they got and they're happy with it, isn't that what's important?

I mean unless you're decked out in the best, perfectly executed ink done by the master of all tattooing on the entire planet, aren't you in a way, wearing shitty tattoos as well in comparison to what those perfect tattoos would be? Does that make them any less awesome to you? Didn't think so.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.