Diamond Tattoo Fail

Not that there aren’t lots of smart tattooists, but let’s be honest — tattooing has never been a field that demands high intellectual standards as a basis for entry. And I get that it’s not always easy to visualize a three dimensional object and represent it in a simplified stylized form in two dimensions… but come on… is it really asking that much that people have some basic understanding of how a diamond is shaped before tattooing it? Unless I’m missing out on the caption and this is some kind of new Rubik’s cube half way through a twist or something.

thats no diamond

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About Shannon Larratt

Shannon Larratt is the founder of BME (1994) and its former editor and publisher. After a four year hiatus between 2008 and 2012, Shannon is back adding his commentary to ModBlog. It should be noted that any comments in these entries are the opinion of Shannon Larratt and may or may not be shared by BMEzine.com LLC or the other staff or members of BME. Entry text Copyright © Shannon Larratt. Reproduced under license by BMEzine.com LLC. Pictures may be copyright to their respective owners. You can also find Shannon at Zentastic or on Facebook.

27 thoughts on “Diamond Tattoo Fail

  1. i consider this more a fail for the client than the artist. granted the diamond is a fairly simple shape, but it’s presumptous to assume that an artist always knows the anatomy of whatever it is you want. six legged scorpions are everywhere.

  2. oh hey, i got distracted by hot boyfriend & didn’t finish my thought.

    i was saying – six legged scorpions are everywhere, but if you appreciate them enough to have one tattooed on you, YOU should be the one responsible for making sure it’s anatomically correct. ditto this diamond – i put the blame primarily on the client.

  3. Ok, I was thinking “well at least the color and line work is fairly solid”. But then I looked closer. The linework on the right side of the tattoo is slightly crooked. I wonder what this will look like when it heals. Also with the shading why did they tear up the outer edges of the purple circle so much? Remember a really,really good tattoo will not need a touch up. I have tattoos that are over 10 years old that have never been touched up.

  4. I read a lot of the stuff you wrote and i agree with nearly all of what you say…but this time you´re totaly wrong, sorry. Technical very clean executed tattoo with a nice way of abtraction.

  5. I’ve actually never understood these tattoos of diamonds. They look so weird! But a lot of people get them tattooed even though I find them barely resembling a diamond.. well,luckily It’s their own choice :)

  6. I can say that blaming the custmer is not always fair. A small part of my tattoo was left off and I didn’t notice, in the blur of detail until the second sitting. Luckily it was fixable, but it was in the original line art she designed on my spec. Another part of the tattoo though, was NOT done to the spec of the line art, and I’ve just grown to accept it.
    As for this diamond… my guess is that THIS is customer fail, as it really doesn’t resemble a diamond much other than the outter lines. I hope it’s not flash.

  7. This is your standard “old school” diamond tattoo. If you haven’t noticed, old school tattoos don’t exactly have to be perfectly accurate. Their crudeness is what appeals to some people. For example, the hula girls with the wonky tits. Personally i don’t care for old school, but i’d hardly call this a fail. I believe this is probably exactly what artist and client intended.

  8. This is *not* your standard oldschool diamond. And that’s the problem. On an oldschool diamond (or a real diamond), the edges connect at the vertices. Because that’s how a diamond is shaped.

    Ignoring silly after-the-fact arguments that the person was trying to create some optical illusion a la escher, the reality is this is the equivalent of a spelling mistake. And defending it is defending mediocrity, which I don’t think is a good thing. The fact that the person can tattoo competently makes it even worse — and apparently harder for people to wrap their head around.

    And I think that the number of legs on a scorpion is getting a bit more specialized… I don’t expect everyone to know such things. But I think it’s reasonable to know how to draw a diamond — to know that edges connect at vertices, not along the flats — and if no, to have the courtesy of looking it up… Because like I said, this is the equivalent of a spelling mistake, it’s so basic… If you don’t know how to spell something, look it up before tattooing it.

    And maybe it’s what the client drew, maybe it’s what the artist drew — I don’t know. But again, if the client comes to you for “TOMARROW NEVER KNOWS”, you correct the mistake. Putting it on in your best penmanship doesn’t make it OK.

  9. “And maybe it’s what the client drew, maybe it’s what the artist drew — I don’t know. But again, if the client comes to you for “TOMARROW NEVER KNOWS”, you correct the mistake. Putting it on in your best penmanship doesn’t make it OK.”

    Many times the artist does correct the client, but the client is stubborn or arrogant. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen photos and heard stories from artists where this happens (especially text in other languages). I remember seeing one (on BME maybe) where the 18 year old “thug” wanted “HAR CORE” tattooed on his arm. The artist tried correcting him, but he wouldn’t listen until a week later when he returned to try to get the “D” added to it. If I recall, it ended up being covered with a giant ugly tribal and then “HC 4 LIFE” put underneath.

  10. I am often upset by the crap you guys post on here…calling them mods, when all you guys are doing is turning people against the industry (silicone beads in the penis)…but I let it slide, as what I may see as gross mutilation of the body, one may see as his/her way of being different….that kinda douchebaggery aside…the OP needs to stick to piercing and mods, and keep his biased better than though attitude to himself and shove it….there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with this tattoo…it is NO where near a fail…its a surreal tattoo…never was intended to be realistic….and to anyone this should be obvious, so I wonder what does the OP have against this person…for a stomach tattoo this is par excellent…sorry I have to be so negative but this has bothered me since I saw this posted….OP fail (by the way feel free to attack my grammar as we all know, debating this issue moot)

  11. hey, Shannon I think you are awesome, and thanks for posting this, but just need to say i think the web tattoo community is getting a bit to crazed with tattoo critiques unless it is incredibly obvious, like bad text tattoos, or shitty scratcher deals. This could have been drawn by the wearer’s grandmother or something, you know what i mean? the only thing we could critique is the line work maybe, but without knowing the full story behind someone’s tattoo its impossible to pass judgement on the artist or the wearer. And I love the classic diamond iconography in tattooing, I would personally never get a diamond that looks like this, but I think it’s important to remember that some people take it in different directions on purpose even if it looks questionable to the outside eye.

  12. I feel very stupid but I can’t see the mistake…. can somebody help me maybe with a pic of a good diamond thanks

  13. shannon, the point is that you THINK it’s more reasonable to be able to draw a diamond because of your history/experiences/the way you visualize/et cetera. i would have more trouble drawing an accurate bicycle than an anatomically correct scorpion, but drawing a bike is relatively easy for another. i’m not saying the artist has no responsibility to make sure they know what they’re doing, but the bottom line is that the client approves the art, & tattoos are like anything else in that the buyer must beware.

  14. Shannon – in my own humble opinion, you used to be nicer. How does the person who has this tattoo feel when you criticize it so deeply?

  15. Lish, a diamond is part of oldschool tattoo iconography. I think it’s reasonable for a tattoo artist to know how to “spell” it since they’ve probably seen it over and over… And yeah, the buck stops at the client in theory, but that hasn’t stopped quite a few clients from launching lawsuits against tattoo artists that have misspelled tattoos (typically settled out of court so I don’t know how successful they are — I suspect that they are usually just looking for an apology and a coverup).

  16. it’s indeed oldschool tattoo iconography (as are scorpions, you know) – but not all tattooists these days are old school, raised on flash, or have necessarily researched the whole backstory of american tattooing. for that matter, do we know if this tattoo was done in america? despite its age here, i doubt that diamond flash is worldwide.

    regardless, good to see your dukes up, shannon. :) <3

  17. If the client is super pushy and refusing to take any kind of advice from the tattooist, the artist is well within their rights to refuse the customer. I’d rather not put my name on something that could negatively affect my livelihood.
    I’ve drawn some of my own tattoos, and the artist helped me make them look better with just a few well placed line changes. I really appreciate him not letting me walk out with substandard work.
    On the flip side, if the artist isn’t familiar with a certain style of tattoo (tribal, American traditional, Japanese, etc.) then ethically, they need to do some research, or recommend another artist that could do the job better. Even something as simple as doing a ten minute online search could have saved that tattoo.
    I don’t know what happened with this particular tattoo, or how it went down so I can’t really fault the client because I don’t know if they were being hard to deal with or not. I can only say that if the artist knew how to do this properly, they could have refused to do it any other way but right.

  18. Eolone – That one is “correct”. For the upper section of the diamond, you see where the lines form a V. The bottom of the V is supposed to be on the lines to the bottom portion of the diamond, unlike the one in this post where the V ends between the lines.

  19. This is exactly the problem with the millennial generation. People are too coddled now. Who cares how they feel? They made a mistake they should feel like they failed and try and improve. Also, how is this a “clean” tattoo? I see multiple crooked lines and uneven shading.

  20. I feel really bad for the wearer…..not because of how its been executed. But because of how everyone has attacked it. I’ve had people show me way worse….i mean WAAAAAY worse. Scratcher shit from hell. And I still always smile and say “cool!” with enthusiasm. why? Because they are wearing it for life, and if they love it who the fuck am i to shit on their parade?? Lets try being nice people. It feels good to be nice.

  21. Oh…all this hoot and holler over someone else’s body art? Now I’m no tattoo professional, but I’m sure that if someone had this and showed it to their friends the majority of the people would say they like it. Your average Joe wouldn’t notice this mistake, and if he did I’m sure he wouldn’t care. It actually looks pretty nice (to the untrained eye). I’m guessing because this is modblog people actually care, but if the client doesn’t care then why should anyone else? It’s not on your body. I guess you could argue that people ought to know what they’re putting on their bodies, but honestly it’s not that big a deal.

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