Bunny Switchblade

Prejudice against people with poorly done tattoos?

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Okay.....I haven't started a thread here in a very long time.....if ever.....LOL

Hang in there I will get to my question I promise.......

This seems to be a newer thing......with the age of technology and media capitalizing on the tattoo community people who never would have been tattooed 20 years ago are now seeing tattooing as a type of art form and because society deems it okay now....they have now done a flip flop and are getting tattooed!

There was a time you had to rely on just magazines or word of mouth to find a tattoo artist of a higher caliber and most people back then really weren't concerned with the quality as much as just getting the mark!

Now with technology it is easy to find a tattoo artist who can put in a solid tattoo that will still look good in 30 years if taken care of.....of course most people still don't seem as concerned with that still.....but that does seem to be changing!

BUT....with the media being so involved now in the craft and the internet being the source of most people's information on tattooing......it seems to have given rise to the people who want to be "tattoo collectors"

I never really enjoyed being labeled that by tattoo artists BUT as time went on it is what I actually became......

BUT.....in my "collecting" it really was never about the quality of the tattoo BUT the person doing the tattoo.....people who had put their time in and had a history in the business!

The new "collectors" seem to be totally about quality tattoos AND there is definitely NO shame in that......it's awesome!!!

So here it is....and thanks for hanging in there and reading all this......

Do you notice people being treated (or do you seem to treat people differently) who have a lesser quality tattoo???

I mean sometimes I find myself just shaking my head anymore and thinking WTF were they thinking......but I still do my best not to treat them as a lesser person because they made a bad choice......

I do however see others and hear others making comments behind backs and I am sure I am even guilty of this too in the past!

I am however trying to correct that behavior in myself even though I know these people would never listen to me about trying to steer them in a better direction!

Any thoughts or comments???

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This doesn't really answer the question, but is related; I always liked my tattoos that I had got in my early twenties before I came here last month, but now that I know that they are not great quality (or perhaps not good choices?) I have become a bit ashamed of them.

In some ways that's a shame, but in other ways it is good because now I have a better idea of how to look for quality work.

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Just to clarify......when I say "poor choices"....I am speaking more toward home-made done tattoos! (the super bad ones)

But even with me using those words "poor choices" you can see what I am talking about.....even I am not immune to making comments like that I guess without even realizing it!

This site is about helping and sometimes I think we try so hard to help that we don't always accomplish that goal!

@Zillah......don't ever feel ashamed or let someone make you feel ashamed of your tattoos!

If I did just now then I apologize as I am struggling with myself to not be part of the problem but hoping to maybe be part of the solution?

If you don't know....then you don't know!

BUT.....if you come here and you see what is out there and you don't seek to get something better then at least you can't say you didn't know that better work can be done!

Some people still aren't worried about that though......and honestly.....as long as they are going to a clean shop where the people have been trained properly....then it really shouldn't matter as long as they are happy with their tattoos!

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I never get too concerned about other people's tattoos. I don't know their story or how they came to have their tattoos. I also never crap on anyone about their tattoos (or clothes, or taste in music, etc). Life is too short to waste time and energy harshing on other people. Historically, I look at older tattoos and appreciate the tattooer and the client for paving the way for the things that came next. I have enormous respect for people who blazed the trail and made things easier for me. (Full disclosure - I got my first tattoo in '91 or '92. And yes, there are times that I shake my head and wonder what people were thinking - I just keep it to myself)

Interesting question - thanks for posting it.

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Yeah,I'm guilty as charged of doing that.I don't want to judge someone because of their bad tattoo,but the ego tends to come out when I'm talking with someone who has a poorly done tattoo,or who doesn't know as much as me about tattoos.I think it's great to collect tattoos from the old timers even though the quality of the work may not be as good.Mike Perfetto is the only old timer who has tattooed me,but he actually does solid work,so the tattoo looks great.But there's been times at conventions where I wanted to get tattooed by an old timer,but i didn't because their work wasn't that good.

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@Zillah......don't ever feel ashamed or let someone make you feel ashamed of your tattoos!

If I did just now then I apologize as I am struggling with myself to not be part of the problem but hoping to maybe be part of the solution?

You totally didn't. I started feeling bad about them I think when I started to read this thread: http://www.lastsparrowtattoo.com/forum/forum-suggestions-feedback/1735-member-uploaded-tattoo-photos.html . I started worrying if my tattoos were crap and deleted the pictures :p

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You totally didn't. I started feeling bad about them I think when I started to read this thread: http://www.lastsparrowtattoo.com/forum/forum-suggestions-feedback/1735-member-uploaded-tattoo-photos.html . I started worrying if my tattoos were crap and deleted the pictures :p

But don't discount the comment by @slayer9019 (a moderator here) in that thread...

"There are very rare examples of people with only good tattoos in my personal experience. I guess it is just a part of the process"

I'm sorry you felt that way doll......BUT his comment is dead on and very true! Most people's first tattoos are not that good!

It is all a learning experience that I think a lot of people seem to forget!

This site though now exists to help people who have been tattooed BUT also you'll see a lot of people seeking info about getting a first tattoo as well and they will maybe learn from this site!

I can't say I haven't thought that myself......and I struggle with it....which is why I put this all out there!

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This site is about helping and sometimes I think we try so hard to help that we don't always accomplish that goal!

I agree with this 100%. As a whole we have a tendency to mostly recommend a select group of well known tattooers/shops even though there are plenty of other experienced professional artists that do solid quality work.

Some people still aren't worried about that though......and honestly.....as long as they are going to a clean shop where the people have been trained properly....then it really shouldn't matter as long as they are happy with their tattoos!

I think this is a good definition of a "quality tattoo". We should all be getting quality tattoos. Maybe they lack the "wow factor" or don't have a name brand artist attached to them but it is still a quality tattoo.

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And @Zillah......much like me.....I don't think some people realize the impact of a simple post they make here! Most of the comments are meant to help....it is a good group of people here who post.....but sometimes something meant to help doesn't always hit it's target with everyone!

I am looking forward to seeing the tattoos you get from now on!

The ones you are ready have are a part of you and it really doesn't matter what anyone but YOU thinks of them in the whole scheme of things! <3

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I am looking forward to seeing the tattoos you get from now on!

The ones you are ready have are a part of you and it really doesn't matter what anyone but YOU thinks of them in the whole scheme of things! <3

Thanks :) Not long to wait... I'm getting my koi done on April 26th. Woop woop!

I think I'll work the ones I already have into a larger, cohesive, epic tattoo of awesomeness ;)

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I discovered solid tattoos from a former co-worker by watching as his two sleeves progressed.

I have friends with rough looking tattoos and when tattoos become the topic I always try to encourage them to lots of research, most don't do forums but I suggest LST all the time.

I think where some of the 'elitist' idea comes from is every tattoo isn't epic in nature.

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I try not to judge other people's work, but am guilty of doing so occasionally.

I make a point to never dog someones work unless I know them well enough to know how they'll take it though.

The part i struggle with, is when people I don't know very well see my tattoos, and discuss theirs, and future plans.

When they show me the artist they plan on going to, or tell me they plan on going to the same artist who did their other bad work, I always find it hard to steer them away from those artists without coming across as a dick, or "tattoo snob".

Could just be because I'm still a bit awkward though, and not used to being in a place where people (other than a few friends) actually have tattoos...

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I try my damndest to not pre judge people who get poorly done tattoos. People make mistakes and are hasty to make decisions. It happens. I tend to judge them after talking to them about their tattoos. A good bit of people that come in the shop realize that they have made a mistake and are here to correct it or at least ask for advice. The larger percentage of people, when it comes to kitchen work, would rather brag about how it only cost 20 bucks and a blunt wrap. to those people I don't hold back on how I feel about them or what ever it is they consider to be a tattoo. It's just disheartening. I'm not much of anybody but I can do a nice tattoo and I worked hard as hell to get here. Most of all I care about what I do. I like waiting in line at the grocery store and see a completely bad ass tattoo on the person in front of me. So, like I said I try not to pre judge people with bad tattoos but it's pretty damn difficult when I meet people everyday that are proud of the garbage they have. You can usually spot that type of person before they even start speaking. So, I guess I am prejudice of people who get garbage tattoos but only if I know they don't regret the mistake that they don't think they made.

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...but I still do my best not to treat them as a lesser person because they made a bad choice......

I do however see others and hear others making comments behind backs and I am sure I am even guilty of this too in the past!

I am however trying to correct that behavior in myself...

i think this is about where i'm at... i check out whatever tattoos i come across and usually only take good long looks at the good ones. i don't pay too much mind with the ok or mediocre, but sometimes there are tattoos that are just a little off and i find myself trying to figure out the puzzle of what could have been done better. either way, i think i'm looking at the tattoos objectively and definitely not trying to judge the wearer.

most comments, if any, are quietly made to my angel of a wife who always keeps me in check when i get outa line. this has helped me start to keep myself in check in my own head and only point out nice work to her.

in a few of the LST interviews, Scott Sylvia has mentioned something along the lines of "you can't trust a tattooer with good tattoos." this obviously isn't true across the board, since there are many great tattooers with GREAT tattoos... but the point is well taken.

on a side note... when i have no tattoos showing, i usually keep my lookie-looing to a minimum, lest i get mistaken for a plainskin. being on that side has made me wonder what amazing tattoos could be underneath the clothing of fully covered lookie-loos staring at and critiquing my tattoos.

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Playing in a dart league, I'm surrounded by lots of people with bad tattoos. A lot of them are working class folks that just can't afford to spend $200/hr. on an artist. That said, when I see scratch work, or when I see someone with a Nike logo tattooed on their leg, I get palm-to-forehead syndrome. I actually find it amusing, but I would never berate their tattoo to suggest to them that they need to find a better artist. For all I know, they could be prison tattoos, and I'd rather not mess with someone who has done time.

When I see someone with quality work, I'll go up to them and chat with them about it. It's a great icebreaker when talking to people because I'm normally pretty reserved.

I haven't been approached or judged by anyone because my tattoos are covered up 99% of the time. The tattoos I have are solid but not spectacular. I found an artist that I like and I'm beginning to understand his strengths and weaknesses. Right now I value consistency of style, so I'm going to continue seeing him until I decide to change things up. I only have 4 at the moment, but I'm going for my 5th on Tuesday.

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The larger percentage of people, when it comes to kitchen work, would rather brag about how it only cost 20 bucks and a blunt wrap. to those people I don't hold back on how I feel about them or what ever it is they consider to be a tattoo.

And these are definitely the people who need to hear that kind of message......

But I think we both know that they aren't going to "get it" or they just don't care.....and that really is disheartening!

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Not to sidetrack the thread, but I bet a lot of these tattoos were craigslist specials/barters. If you discovered that a good artist you knew about advertised on craigslist, would you think less of him/her?

I browse craiglist occasionally to see if I can score my next tapout special </sarcasm>. I've seen a few good artists post quality work (assuming it was their work) and actual shops that advertise in craigslist. I wouldn't go to any of them, but I can see how this would be tempting to people who can't afford good work or can only barter.

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in a few of the LST interviews, Scott Sylvia has mentioned something along the lines of "you can't trust a tattooer with good tattoos." this obviously isn't true across the board, since there are many great tattooers with GREAT tattoos... but the point is well taken.

only good tattoos*

;)

a point of view that I fully agree with, sidenote

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I might see a "bad" tattoo and think, "oof" and feel a little bad for the person. But I wouldn't say anything.

I remind myself who am I to judge?

I do love looking at good and great ones though!

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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@BrookR70 Generally, when I see tattooers I know of posting on craigslist purley for free advertising it's never anyone I've thought as a good artist. However, I have come across some credible tattooers looking to barter for specific things, I feel like doing that is completely acceptable rather than using it as an advertisement tool. (Ex.) Trying to put it out there that you are looking for an antique end table and are willing to do some tattooing for it is way different than throwing out "weekly deals" for your shop on craigslist. It cheapens you, your shop, and even your employees. I speak from experience on that one. Basically, I think it's an easy way to barter, save some money, and tattoo for the item you're looking for but If I were to use it even to barter I wouldn't put any of my shop info on the listing but just a personal contact. I'm definitely against people trying to use it just for free advertisement.

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Might have even been here, but someone told me once to "never trust someone with only good tattoos." Same way you wouldn't trust a suit. Shitty tattoos add character.

I also (as irresponsible as it is) think the romanticism of tattooing survives in shitty tattoo shops with shitty decisions being made. When the desire to be tattooed overcomes all sense of rationality or caution. Something to be said for somebody who wants to be tattooed that bad. F*** you if you expect me to be responsible before 30.

Scratching, though, is just disrespectful.

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I have a hard time laughing at most garden-variety bad tattoos, it's not really my bag. As for judging the person, it depends on how s/he's behaving. I will admit to shaking my head a bit at very young people with very visible, not-so-good-tattoos. But these are usually the sort that are small enough to be covered.

It's interesting what you said in your original post about choosing tattooers over quality tattoos. As a newcomer to this whole thing I feel like a bit of a poseur saying this, but I would be pretty happy to get a tattoo from someone I admired just because I liked that person, or from a friend starting out in tattooing. I'm pretty into the meeting-people side of things (not that they're necessarily into meeting me, but hey).

I really enjoyed getting tattooed by Greg Christian not only because I love my tattoo, but because it was just a cool and subtly different experience to be tattooed by someone who's been doing this for a little while.

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