Thursday, June 9, 2011

Stupid Tattoos???

   Why is it that when someone gets a stupid tattoo, there are no sensible friends around to talk you out of it. As a tattoo artist, I have seen my share of stupid tattoos, and have had to cover-up a ton of stupid tattoos. It seems to be a running plague in our country. If you could take all of the people who have gotten a stupid or crappy tattoo, you could probably fill up a small state like Vermont. I feel we need a study of this over growing problem. I mean we need to know fully as to the whys and hows, these persons decide to get these ridiculous so called works of art. More importantly, how could an artist, in their right mind, perform these acts, without thinking of the repercussions for their client and themselves. I have been in this business for over 15 years, and one of the most important things in the "getting a tattoo" process, is the consultation with the artist, about the design and placement of a particular piece. For instance, I don't just go tattooing someones face, neck or hands, without first talking to the client about the repercussions of their choice. For instance, how hard it would be to cover up, or the fact that you would not be able to get certain jobs, or possibly get fired from a present job, and somewhere in their, where will you be in 10 years? The choices we make now, will affect us in the years to come. I often wonder why any artist would put their seal of approval, on any tattoo, that well, looks like shit. I think as professionals, we have a duty to not only do a great job, but to be ethical as well. For instance, I choose not to do gang related pieces, or offensive or racist works. I also will not tattoo on the face, unless they already have extensive work done there already. I treat tattooing hands the same way. Tattoos are permanent, unless you pay triple to have them lasered off, and change over time. Any good artist knows what that ink is going to do over the years, and what that tattoo could possibly look like in 10 or 20 years. I find that most people who decide to tattoo their faces, or get a "stupid" tattoo, are usually young people or people from bad backgrounds. Regardless of who or where your client is from, it is in the best interest of everyone, that we choose to avoid or at least try and talk someone out of a bad decision. It not only makes the person getting the tattoo look stupid, but it makes you, as the artist, look stupid.
   A simple search on Google will result in hundreds, if not thousands, of pages of bad tattoos or stupid tattoos. Im sure it will never end, but at the very least, we as professional tattoo artists have an obligation to ensure the work we put out there is not only of great quality, but also of a higher standard. Those tattoos are walking billboards, and are a reflection of the quality and effort you put into that piece, and all of your works. So why on earth would anyone allow anyone else to get something that is obviously a "stupid" tattoo. You would think that in todays media world, with TV, internet, and websites like YouTube, and television shows like, Miami Ink and LA Ink, that people would be more educated about what a tattoo involves, and what they should expect. It seems the opposite has happened, and that more and more people are going and getting really bad tattoos. There is also a rise in what I call minuteman tattoo shops. These are the guys who buy some equipment, do a few tattoos, then think just because they have some money, that they can open up a shop and be considered a tattoo artist. They usually don't last very long, but long enough to hurt, scar, and ruin what could've been a good design. Then artists like me have to figure out a way to cover up or fix something that could've been avoided, if the client did their research. Just like a doctor, we as artists, have an obligation to make sure that what a person is getting, is something that will stand the test of time, and will not be a regret to them later on in life. Of course you cant see the future, but you can weed out an obviously bad choice or terrible design. Saving both you and the client, a lot of heartache in the future.
   So from now on, think people, think! Check out an artists portfolio, see their work, check out the reputation of a particular artist before you take the plunge. And for Gods sake, DON'T GET A STUPID TATTOO! Thats not a club you want to be a part of!