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Why are bad tattoos so popular?

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Yeah cheapness is another thing to blame on bad tattoos. The impatience to get something "now" without being able to afford a good artist really screws people. I understand not have the cash. I make little enough cash to be able to qualify for government aid for some things. I am not rich by any means. I just save up when it comes to the tattoos.

I'd rather wait and get something awesome from someone good, meaning aside, then be impatient and just go get something cheap.

I think the impatience some people have is a big reason for bad tattoos. BTW, when I say bad I'm not totally talking about what they're getting, but the quality of it. Will it last, will the design look good in 10 years? 20? 50?

The impatience thing is the reason I have a bad tattoo :rolleyes: I wanted one straight away, didn't know any better, walked into a shop and got one done.

I am now older (and hopefully wiser!) and I was going to get a quote tattoo on my arm, started googling came across some tattoo forums and pictures of awesome work so now the quote is going to go on the wall at home and I am planning a better tattoo for me!

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The impatience thing is the reason I have a bad tattoo :rolleyes: I wanted one straight away, didn't know any better, walked into a shop and got one done.

I am now older (and hopefully wiser!) and I was going to get a quote tattoo on my arm, started googling came across some tattoo forums and pictures of awesome work so now the quote is going to go on the wall at home and I am planning a better tattoo for me!

Always excited to see the internet working correctly. May as well share my LST success story, ha.

I always wanted a tattoo, but all around me I always saw garbage, so I only had really dumb ideas for pieces I wanted done. I also spent all my money on drugs and booze so thankfully none of my bad ideas came to fruition. After I got sober I started thinking more seriously about it and during my research found LST and some blogs with quality work, I finally realized how awesome tattoos could be, versus the shit I see walking around town. Almost done healing my first piece, super excited to collect more!

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I don't like this complaining about price nonsense. Yes, large tattoos can be very expensive (though because you're not doing them in one shot you're stretching that cost out over months) but there are a lot of truly great, even world-class, tattooers who do amazing small tattoos that aren't going to break the bank. It's a matter of doing your research and finding those artists, and the great thing about tattooing right now is that there are SO MANY great tattooers out there, and making tattoos a priority in your life.

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This whole thread has become redundant to some degree, but I would like to point out that if someone wants to come in and get a nice tattoo, let's say a lady head, panther, or maybe a skull and dagger, and another person comes in and wants a paragraph of lettering on them, I guarantee you the person who wants the lettering is going to end up paying more for their tattoo. Maybe we are the only shop like that, but Ashley is happy to draw as much fancy custom script as you want while you wait, but he charges accordingly.

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every time someone walks into our shop the first thing they ask for is the price, they dont care to look at our work or view a drawing its just the price. I think that with popularity of tattooing increasing there is a natural increase of tattooers commited more to the money and less to the craft. In my general area there is 4 shops that have some very unexperienced people running them, one is a 22 year old that is barely going to open with zero shop experience, hes tattooed out of his house for god knows how long. Another got fired during his apprenticeship and opened up tattooing for 30 bucks/hr and 20/hr if he finished other peoples work around town. Another guy will tattoo you as long as you can sit for if you give him 150 bucks. What do all of these dudes have in common, no real apprenticeship and no respect to tattooing therefore theyre not educating the client that tattoos arent cheap and should be respected in that sense. You can tell the level of their delusion based on how bad ass they think their cheap work is...they even snub your quality work purely on the price paid for it while rockin some of the worst tattoos ive seen. Its all about the education of the community and the purification of those that are actual tattooers and not just glorified scratchers

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My own personal success story is I had an appointment scheduled for a cover-up for my ankle tattoo with one of the most highly praised tattoo artists in my town. His waiting list was 6 months. I figured I'd chosen well.

Because I was so excited with my appointment drawing near, I started looking at blogs about tattoos. I learned a lot in the process. I also started to realize that I had been wrong all these years about traditional tattoos and that I really liked them a lot. I went back to the artist's facebook and saw a tattoo he had just posted and was appalled. I kept looking and it seemed he sometimes did really nice work and sometimes did really poor work. None of it was really traditional. Japanese maybe, but nothing American trad. I started to worry I might be making a mistake.

I canceled the appointment and instead make one for a totally different tattoo with another guy at another shop who had really nice work in his portfolio. I got a really nice tattoo. While he tattooed me he told me he sometimes refers people to another shop so I looked them up. I went there for my coverup just to have a new experience, see if I was missing anything.

Now I can't seem to stop looking at all these great tattoos and whenever I see this really badly done stuff either around the campus where I work or on various websites, I just feel so bad for these people. Meanwhile I really want more tattoos but am torn about whether I should. Maybe it's okay just to look for a while.

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The way I got better tattoos was continually seeking out people that have more knowledge than me about tattoos, listen to what they say, pay attention to what they do and visit the people and the shops they talk about. People get bad tattoos because they don't do these things and they think they have it all figured out before they walk into a shop right down to how much the tattoo should cost. You don't have to be artistic or cool or even special to get a good tattoo, and having a good tattoo doesn't make you speical either (despite what your mom told you) you just have to be smart and humble enough to let the people who know what they are doing do their thing and be open to their ideas.

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every time someone walks into our shop the first thing they ask for is the price, they dont care to look at our work or view a drawing its just the price. I think that with popularity of tattooing increasing there is a natural increase of tattooers commited more to the money and less to the craft. In my general area there is 4 shops that have some very unexperienced people running them, one is a 22 year old that is barely going to open with zero shop experience, hes tattooed out of his house for god knows how long. Another got fired during his apprenticeship and opened up tattooing for 30 bucks/hr and 20/hr if he finished other peoples work around town. Another guy will tattoo you as long as you can sit for if you give him 150 bucks. What do all of these dudes have in common, no real apprenticeship and no respect to tattooing therefore theyre not educating the client that tattoos arent cheap and should be respected in that sense. You can tell the level of their delusion based on how bad ass they think their cheap work is...they even snub your quality work purely on the price paid for it while rockin some of the worst tattoos ive seen. Its all about the education of the community and the purification of those that are actual tattooers and not just glorified scratchers

Could not have said it better... I research daily on the history, styles, and trends. I am studying anatomy and traditional artwork along with drawing every day. I have landed an apprenticeship and plan on laying my equipment down until my mentor feels I am ready to practice on fake skin, grapefruits or pig skin. Reason being I do not want to develop further bad habits and I respect the heritage and the opportunity I have been given in my apprenticeship. I am a people person and a marketing minded person that looks forward to educating my clients about good and bad tattoos....

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idk man a part of me says that it could be a hipster thing. ppl try to act like it's all so cool and you should pay a fee just to be sitting next to them with their myriad of random tattoos that don't mean anything to them while they drink PBR and praddle on about vintage chuck taylors and where to find the best old bicycle frame.

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them with their myriad of random tattoos that don't mean anything to them while they drink PBR and praddle on about vintage chuck taylors and where to find the best old bicycle frame.

I think Hipsters are the ones getting all the lettering and seem to require all their tattoos to be meaninful and quirky.

I have a four word rule. My tattoos should have no more than four words ex Love Thy Neighbor, Sink or Swim, Heads I Win, Hardcore Roadwhore and you should be able to describe your tattoo in less than four words ex Panther, Rock of Ages, Kewpie, Rose, Skull and Dagger otherwise you put too much thought in to it.

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I think Hipsters are the ones getting all the lettering and seem to require all their tattoos to be meaninful and quirky.

I have a four word rule. My tattoos should have no more than four words ex Love Thy Neighbor, Sink or Swim, Heads I Win, Hardcore Roadwhore and you should be able to describe your tattoo in less than four words ex Panther, Rock of Ages, Kewpie, Rose, Skull and Dagger otherwise you put too much thought in to it.

I get tattooed in Williamsburg and from what I've seen on the people around there there's a lot of hipsters with a bunch of text on them, but there are also plenty of hipsters with some pretty damned amazing tattoos too. Bartenders with Hooper sleeves? Fuck yes. I know we all love to vilify hipsters but I'm not going to blame them for bad tattoos.

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I have my own rule for getting a tattoo and that is that it better be meaningful to me in some way otherwise I'm just wasting money and ink. I know ppl get tattoos for lots of reasons and some get tattoos because they like a certain style, meaningful be damned.

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I have my own rule for getting a tattoo and that is that it better be meaningful to me in some way otherwise I'm just wasting money and ink. I know ppl get tattoos for lots of reasons and some get tattoos because they like a certain style, meaningful be damned.

Meaning is 100% a construct though... my knee tiger could represent "courage", or it could be about "my relationship with my mother", or whatever... it might be just that it's pretty frkn awesome to have a big ol' tiger on my knee... the meaning in it is what I want the meaning to be. I could get a tattoo of a hairy ballsack on my thigh and decide that it represents my love of music...

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This is getting into a lot of things... meaning vs. no meaning (personally I don't care either way but sometimes when people insist on the meanings of their tattoos it does sound cheesy to me), content (too much lettering & bird silhouette explosions vs. battle royales or skulls)... whether people like their tattoos or not being all that matter...

But a bad tattoo is a bad tattoo and everybody knows it. Look at the "worst tattoo ever" thread or whatever it's called. Shaky lines, blow outs, bad proportions...those are bad tattoos. I think it's kind of pointless to make fun of the subject a person chooses to get. But, take music--put two people next to each other, one who is tone deaf and can't sing and one who can belt it out from the soul... nobody would say the two are equal.

If someone wants to get a lot of text, whatever, that is up to them--I just hope they get it done by someone good. When I was getting my tiger worked on a couple weeks ago, Shawn Barber was next to us doing lettering down a guy's side. It was a LOT of lettering. He did a great job, the guy was stoked. Could I read it? I don't know, probably not, I don't think it was even in English, but in that case I do think all that matters is the guy got what he wanted. I don't think it would have been any cheaper than getting imagery though. Text tattoos seem to take just as much time and effort--they still require excellent line work.

As for getting something because it's cheaper, I think that is just sad. It's your skin for crying out loud! Save up...pay as you go...it's worth it!

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I thoroughly research my tattoo before getting it and I also research where I want to get it from. Right now I'd like to get my next tattoo from Philadelphia Eddie's. As for what I want next idk yet. I have three tattoos and they are all definitely really good pieces of art.

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I think Hipsters are the ones getting all the lettering and seem to require all their tattoos to be meaninful and quirky.

I have a four word rule. My tattoos should have no more than four words ex Love Thy Neighbor, Sink or Swim, Heads I Win, Hardcore Roadwhore and you should be able to describe your tattoo in less than four words ex Panther, Rock of Ages, Kewpie, Rose, Skull and Dagger otherwise you put too much thought in to it.

Mr. Flores, you are a huge asset to this community. Every one of your posts in this thread is real solid advice and commentary on tattoos and its culture. New people, listen to this guy! You can't get this insight anywhere else on the internet!

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I think Hipsters are the ones getting all the lettering and seem to require all their tattoos to be meaninful and quirky.

I have a four word rule. My tattoos should have no more than four words ex Love Thy Neighbor, Sink or Swim, Heads I Win, Hardcore Roadwhore and you should be able to describe your tattoo in less than four words ex Panther, Rock of Ages, Kewpie, Rose, Skull and Dagger otherwise you put too much thought in to it.

Hey, I really like this idea.

The one I went by for my coverup was the 10 foot rule. I'm glad I did because being a big-boned gal (and I don't mean fat), it just looks a lot more flattering on my body.

As for cheap, I really someday want one of those cheap special promo tattoos (you know, like Friday the 13th or whatever) just for the experience and the ability to say I did something like that. The meaning would be: don't take things so seriously.

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I get tattooed in Williamsburg and from what I've seen on the people around there there's a lot of hipsters with a bunch of text on them, but there are also plenty of hipsters with some pretty damned amazing tattoos too. Bartenders with Hooper sleeves? Fuck yes. I know we all love to vilify hipsters but I'm not going to blame them for bad tattoos.

Totally Graeme, I hang it on Alberta St where all the hipsters have Dan Gilsdorf and Cheyenne Sawyer tattoos and drink craft beer. I think everyone in Portland is a hipster in some persons eyes.

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I don't care who likes what tattoo, but as soon as I see someone get their last name tattooed huge on their back and posts it in the "Latest tattoo lowdown..." thread, like it's the greatest tattoo of all time, that's when I will have a problem. I met hogg in real life just so that I could have a character witness for not getting banned if I act like a douche on the internet. :)

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I don't care who likes what tattoo, but as soon as I see someone get their last name tattooed huge on their back and posts it in the "Latest tattoo lowdown..." thread, like it's the greatest tattoo of all time, that's when I will have a problem. I met hogg in real life just so that I could have a character witness for not getting banned if I act like a douche on the internet. :)

Haha. You should be BANNED just for thinking about it. ;)

I have a work friend whose husband has his last name huge across his back. Now her son, who I think just turned 18, wants to get the same. She is not down with the idea, but she doubts she can stop her son from doing what he wants. He just wants to follow in his dad's footsteps... I do not think they will be coming to this forum any time soon though.

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Haha. You should be BANNED just for thinking about it. ;)

I have a work friend whose husband has his last name huge across his back. Now her son, who I think just turned 18, wants to get the same. She is not down with the idea, but she doubts she can stop her son from doing what he wants. He just wants to follow in his dad's footsteps... I do not think they will be coming to this forum any time soon though.

Im pretty proud of my last name. It comes from English Heritage and I like the history.

Rather than get my actual name tattooed, I got am American Traditional Take on my family crest.

It was actually my first tattoo.

- - - Updated - - -

One of my best friends is heavily tattooed and has alot of great stuff.

He travels all over the country and sometimes over seas for work.

He has started this new thing where he is collecting what he calls "shitty tattoos" from all over the world.

He walks into random shops, doesn't look at any books and hands them a napkin with a line drawing that he did on it.

These have all been fairly small, linework only, filler tattoos. A few have ended up pretty cool, but for the most part, I cant figure out his thought process.

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