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Why are bad tattoos so popular?

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So many haters in this thread. Bad tattoos are poorly done tattoos, styles of tattoos you don't like is merely your own preference and opinion.

I love doing fancy lettering. I'll do the block of text in nice fancy cursive and have a great time doing it and knowing that it is a good composition and looks good on the skin. Just did a quote on a young lady's forearm and it looks perfect for the spot and not cheesy/lame/etc.

Late last year my lady friend and I went to see Mike Wilson to get some work; I got a bad ass bird and she got a quote from a song and it looks great and he had a good time doing it. She had thought long and hard about an image instead but went with what she knew she wanted.

Everybody gets different tattoos for different reasons. I too will sometimes try to talk someone into an image vs a wall of text but in the long run its their tattoo. Don't hate because its not your style of tattoo.

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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.

@sbhikes DO IT!!! (I am decidedly pro-tattoo ;))

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Why are threads about bad tattoos so popular?

There's a lot to consider...?

I kind of wish I had read through a thread like this before I got one or two of my older tattoos... LST--guiding us to better tattoos sometimes by talking about bad ones, other times looking at great ones.

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I actually like names and shit done in Olde English / Gothic lettering , my favourite is the letter "s " that looks badass .

Why don't people get Olde English anymore, think there has been maybe like 1or 2 old english tattoos have come in in the last year, but like pre 2008, doing that stuff all the time. I know why, it's because people have discovered the font section in Microsoft word, so they have all kind of choices of lettering that don't look as good to choose from.

A belly rocker in Olde English, it the best lettering tattoo ever IMO.

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So many haters in this thread. Bad tattoos are poorly done tattoos, styles of tattoos you don't like is merely your own preference and opinion.

I love doing fancy lettering. I'll do the block of text in nice fancy cursive and have a great time doing it and knowing that it is a good composition and looks good on the skin. Just did a quote on a young lady's forearm and it looks perfect for the spot and not cheesy/lame/etc.

Late last year my lady friend and I went to see Mike Wilson to get some work; I got a bad ass bird and she got a quote from a song and it looks great and he had a good time doing it. She had thought long and hard about an image instead but went with what she knew she wanted.

Everybody gets different tattoos for different reasons. I too will sometimes try to talk someone into an image vs a wall of text but in the long run its their tattoo. Don't hate because its not your style of tattoo.

I think I like all styles of tattooing, I really like drawing out script and I watch Ashley Howell draw beautiful script daily. I guess just feel like there so much bad lettering tattoos out there, because people feel like it is easy and don't bother to learn it the right way and because it's so popular right now, people seem to find the worst examples to bring in for their tattoos and won't listen to tell them how the lettering needs to be. If they listen they end up getting a good lettering tattoo, if not they get their bad idea, done the best that it can be, which IMO is a bad tattoo. Although I know going to Mike Wilson you can't go wrong with any tattoo, even if you don't listen to his advice it probably still would turn out good.

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I think maybe people get less gothic script because it's popular with gang members, or at least it seems to be here in So Cal.

I guess I started this because I was looking at reddit and also saw similar tattoos on the campus where I work. I try to steer people over here or to certain tumblr accounts with good tattoos but it's strange how some people just insist that they want a white ink infinity symbol or three brown dots that look like freckles or American Typewriter font and a book written across their arm and nothing you can say will convince them otherwise.

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I am curious why bad tattoos are so popular. I mean, I can understand that someone who knows nothing about tattoos goes to a bad artist and gets a badly done tattoo. I did that myself. What I don't understand are why tattoos lacking any creativity or art are so popular.

For instance, why do people want to put typewriter text on themselves? Why do they want so much text but no images? Why do they want flowery, descriptive text but not an image of what that text is describing? This makes absolutely no sense to me. I've been as dumb as anybody regarding tattoos but one thing I've never had pop into my mind is to want words describing beautiful things rather than the beautiful things themselves.

Another one are the fads like the inifinity symbols, the text on the wrist and the exploding birds thing. Back in the 90s when I first got a tattoo the fads (the fairies, the curly tribal stuff on the lower back) at least were flattering. The current fads are so ugly. I saw a girl with the exploding birds and it looked like someone had attacked her with a marking pen. The small crap on the wrist thing looks like you're trying to sneak crib notes in to the test. The straight lines of text tattoos are so unflattering to men and women alike. I just don't understand.

Am I just an old fuddy-duddy complaining about the youth of today? Has there actually been a real change in the culture to prefer ugliness over color, shape, texture and art? Any ideas?

Whenever I put on a fad tattoo I make it a point to not judge a person's decision..its whatever makes them happy...

but here we get "believe" every 3rd sitting.. feathers turning into birds, blowing daisies turning into birds.. a lot of shit turning into BIRDS....

the NEWEST trend is randomly writing "Ohana" on people..... sigh

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Why are threads about bad tattoos so popular?

I know this is an old post and probably more of a rhetorical question, but I think I actually have an answer to this question. When people really start getting in to tattoos and start researching them, discovering what good work looks like, seeing what's possible to do on skin, and then realizing that there are a lot of people all over the place who can do solid work, the sight of lots of poorly done work can be surprising at first. It's even worse if you spend lots of time looking at great work on the internet and then see nothing but lots of bad work in real life because. So until you realize that there are lots of reasons people might have for having work you think is bad you are gonna be baffled and post threads like this.

Threads like these are valuable, though, because they lead to suggestions like, "check out the band Red Hare," and to learning facts like that Shawn Brown was in Dag Nasty which I listened to as a kid and is a tattoo artist at Tattoo Paradise.

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For goodness sake...across the shoulder/stomach rockers including last names do NOT in anyway even approach the lameness paragraphs of text. If they are well done they can be bad ass. I will always be down to do one of those. I like tattoos that look like tattoos and they fit the bill. Classic as fuck. Maybe I am biased having worked at both white trash and ghetto ass shops...popular them for all especially in the 90's!

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For goodness sake...across the shoulder/stomach rockers including last names do NOT in anyway even approach the lameness paragraphs of text. If they are well done they can be bad ass. I will always be down to do one of those. I like tattoos that look like tattoos and they fit the bill. Classic as fuck. Maybe I am biased having worked at both white trash and ghetto ass shops...popular them for all especially in the 90's!

"White Trash and Ghetto Ass" - Man, there's a song in there somewhere!!!:cool:

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For goodness sake...across the shoulder/stomach rockers including last names do NOT in anyway even approach the lameness paragraphs of text. If they are well done they can be bad ass. I will always be down to do one of those. I like tattoos that look like tattoos and they fit the bill. Classic as fuck. Maybe I am biased having worked at both white trash and ghetto ass shops...popular them for all especially in the 90's!

d350a5f9-8f47-4d51-bd3c-f3953292dbee.jpg

Belly Rocker by Chris Conn, Panther by Higgs, looks tough as fuck.

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Don't hate because its not your style of tattoo.

So true. Don't hate styles you dislike. Just laugh at them with your friends and be an asshole, like I do. BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

I recently saw a group of people clamouring for a tattoo from this dude they knew. I saw his work and it was bad. Inconsistent lines, shading that looked like it was done with a crayon. Ugh. In the end I found out he was just a kitchen scracther and did them cheap. They wanted them from him because he was cheap. They were EXCITED because he was cheap. They had 0 concern of how unsafe and bad these damn things were.

Meh. I didn't say a word. Maybe I'm a dick, but I figured let them get all scratched up. Either they'll learn or just not care. It's not my place to save anyone. I'll help friends and family, but a random group of people too stupid too stupid to see quality, blah, fuck em.

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For goodness sake...across the shoulder/stomach rockers including last names do NOT in anyway even approach the lameness paragraphs of text. If they are well done they can be bad ass. I will always be down to do one of those. I like tattoos that look like tattoos and they fit the bill. Classic as fuck. Maybe I am biased having worked at both white trash and ghetto ass shops...popular them for all especially in the 90's!

Agreed. I know Katie Sellergren has an awesome upper back piece that reads "Old English" (I think). It's on her Instagram from when Lehi was working on her back. I would hunt down the picture, but Im lazy :p But it looks real f'in cool.

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^seconded.

To be fair, people actually tried to give sound advice to that fellow. He just didn't want to listen; which is completely fine. Just don't keep asking for advice and then pick only the things you want to hear.

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^seconded.

To be fair, people actually tried to give sound advice to that fellow. He just didn't want to listen; which is completely fine. Just don't keep asking for advice and then pick only the things you want to hear.

I mostly meant that ignoring sound advice is a sure way to a bad tattoo.

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The word tat-too originates from the sound of traditional application methods and tat has been being used long before any if us thought tattoos were 'cool' or interesting. If 'getting tatted', 'getting inked' or 'getting sleeved' makes you cringe.. Please share what you call it, why its more acceptable and do you raise your pinky when you smoke your meth because your classy?.. :rolleyes:

Point is ppl call things by different names in states, towns, countries and continents.. Just because you've met some artists, visited a few shops, have a few nice tattoos, read a few books does not not make any of US the leading expert or authority on tattoos or their history and it certainly does not give any of US the right to be condensing or judgmental towards how others enjoy tattoos or tattooing.. If you do, your no different then the ignorant ppl who judge US based on having tattoos in the first place.. Get it?

None of us here are the greats or innovators of the art we love, even if we were judging others with like minded interests based on their use of slang is stupid as fuck... No if you use the word 'swag' you deserve to be throat punched.

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