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What do you say when ...

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Someone with God-awful tattoos compliments your tattoos? I was out and about and some guy says, 'nice sleeve, where did you get it?" I turned around to thank him and he had a bunch of really awful tattoos. I thanked him and told him where I go, but felt a bit awkward.

Just wondering how other people handle this.

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Why would you find it awkward? You know, not everybody has it lucky and can end up with awesome tattoos. I have a couple I am not super proud of, but we live and learn. You might have an opportunity to change a persons life by referring them to a good artist. One good tattoo can overshadow all of those bad ones in an instant. Be cool to people who are just trying to be cool to you. Take compliments in stride, as long as they aren't being weirdos or freaking you out.

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Surely it's best to handle it much like one does when complimented on and asked about a dress / lipstick / shoes (or whatever) by someone whose taste is, erm, questionable: sweet smile, encouragement and the information.

Disclaimer: am not actually tattooed yet - still waiting for my first appointment.

- - - Updated - - -

never in my life have I felt the need for a ticker. Never. Ever. Could do with one now though, maybe :rolleyes:

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Didn't Ed Hardy make a remark to someone (a client) once about their bad tattoo and it turned out to be their favorite/most meaningful one and he felt like a jerk? We'll never know what road someone else has walked, but I hear ya - really awful tattoos make me think "ooch, I'm lucky."

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The people who get tattooed by their friends out of their house aren't going for quality.But there's plenty of people I've met who have bad work that they got in a shop,and they think its good.

I met this dude last month in the city who had a sleeve of what he called a skin rip of an Italian flag,and it was pretty bad work.I ended up telling him that I thought the artist didn't do a good job,and gave him some business cards and websites to some good shops in his town.I told him I was just being honest,and not trying to put down his work,but trying to help him get it fixed up,and he was thankful of that.

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I have found that it's tiring hating people with bad tattoos. They usually don't want to listen to advice about tattoos either, so I rarely talk to people about good tattoos.

A Tattooer from AZ comes to my hometown and tattoos a lot of the locals. They are all about her, and some of them even know that she does bad tattoos, but not many of them realize that there are so many great tattooers 20 miles away in SF.

People get the tattoos that they deserve.

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i get what you mean, however i'd hate to make somebody think that the tribal-esque blob they have on them forever, looks terrible. you know? to them it could mean the world and its not my place to ruin that for them. i don't think either that just because youre "in the know" so to speak, that its your duty to educate everyone on what is good and bad, let them figure it out for themselves, i had to! most people dont want to listen anyway. the only people i spend and significant amount of time "educating" on good and bad tattoos/artists are friends and loved ones.

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Honestly no one in my neighborhood talks to me about my tattoos unless they are and older person with no tattoos, and even then very rarely. I don't think anyone has said anything to me in like 6 months. There are two main drags in Portland I live by, one of them people get tattooed mostly by the people from Atlas, there are a few other shops around, but it's crazy to see a whole neighborhood of people with Dan Gilsdorf and Cheyenne Sawyer tattoos. The other drag is not that far, but still see a bunch of people with tattoos from Atlas, but another shop that specializes in more color realism stuff is there, so you get kind of a mix. People in the immediate area of that shop obviously like the tattoos coming out of this shop, but not my style, also it's a little weird to see gutter punks with realistic tattoos of flowers and sunsets. You can kind of tell how long a waitress has worked at the restaurant, by how well you can make out what her tattoo is supposed to be. The funny thing is one of servers at that same restaurant, ended up becoming a tattooer and now works at Elm St. The only reason I know is there are Elm St stickers all over the bar so I asked.

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I complimented a guy on his leg sleeve yesterday in the gym. It was really nice vibrant Japanese style work so I just walked up to him and said I liked it. I have a full sleeve and my chest done and I was in a tank top and he kinda half-heartedly told me I had a clean looking sleeve as well. We chatted for a second about where we got them done and found out we both got some work done at the same local shop then I walked away. I'm not sure if he actually liked my sleeve or not to be honest and don't really care. I don't think my sleeve is bad but it's so dark against my skin that you can't see what it actually is in detail without a good close look at it so I have a slight feeling he didn't actually like my sleeve that much and was just being polite. Only thing I would criticize about my ink is the artist's failure to utilize the negative space on my dark skin to make the work pop out more. My arm does look pretty damn clean even when you can't see the details in it though so who knows.

When I compliment someone on their ink I'm not looking for a compliment in return. I'm just letting them know I think they have quality work. Simple as that. I could really give two shits if they like my work or think it's cool. I mean it's nice if someone compliments me back but it won't ruin or make my day if they feel one or way the other.

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When I compliment someone on their ink I'm not looking for a compliment in return. I'm just letting them know I think they have quality work. Simple as that. I could really give two shits if they like my work or think it's cool. I mean it's nice if someone compliments me back but it won't ruin or make my day if they feel one or way the other.

Couldn't agree more

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I was in a kebab shop not long ago with my mate and this smartass drunk kid and his friends came in and he came straight up to me and told me the tattoo on my thumb was shit(which it is but that's not the point) anyway it ended in him and his friends getting a bit of a hiding and a lecture on abusing people they don't know, I just don't get some people and their thought process.

Also @Genie of the West I definitely agree

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Some time ago, I had a pretty funny experience at a party, where a dude with a few "not-really-bad-but-not-really-good-either" tattoos himself were complimenting some of my tattoos.

I was wearing a t-shirt, so my arms were showing. One of my arms is a full colour sleeve done by Marija Ripley, which (in my opinion, at least) is a damn solid tattoo. The other arm is filled with a bunch of smaller black and grey traditional-ish tattoos done by a local artist when I just started getting tattooed. Those aren't bad tattoos either, but there is definately a difference in quality those two arms between.

Now the funny thing was, that the guy was really into those black and grey tattoos, and was like "yeah, that other arm is okay too, but THOSE grey ones are awesome".

That was really weird for me to respond to, because I feel totally opposite, but I guess peoples taste doesn't always compare to what objectively is the better tattoo quality-wise...

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