All tattoos are not created equal

I’m not going to tell you who did these because it’s not important to what the entry is about. I’m sure each of the people is happy with their work, but you have to admit, it’s fairly obvious that one artist was radically more talented than the other one. Or am I crazy and the average person just can’t make that judgment or simply doesn’t care? There are so many good tattoo artists out there these days, that I just don’t understand why most people still get bad tattoos.

Other than that, I just wanted to say that I might have to take a day off or two for coding… I have some changes I need to make to the IAM software (security and growth upgrades — I think you’ll be very happy) and may just not have the time to do both.

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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 LLC or the other staff or members of BME. Entry text Copyright © Shannon Larratt. Reproduced under license by LLC. Pictures may be copyright to their respective owners. You can also find Shannon at Zentastic or on Facebook.

One thought on “All tattoos are not created equal

  1. The following comments were imported from our old comment system:

    Posted on 05-17-2006 01:48:26 by curlyhare1
    i dunno, i would hardly call that a BAD tattoo. Its nowhere near as good as the other one, but i have seen MUCH MUCH worse.

    Posted on 05-17-2006 01:58:22 by glider
    Fine, let’s say it’s mediocre or average… Point is, there are SO MANY great artists out there that are sp easy to find, that it weirds me out that people still get anything but great tattoos.

    Posted on 05-17-2006 02:30:44 by jaelbait
    one: laziness. two: lack of exposure and/or knowledge of what is available. three: cost not quality. four: some people just have bad taste.

    not necessarily in that order.

    Posted on 05-17-2006 03:07:31 by Elaine
    The one on the right looks half done.

    Posted on 05-17-2006 06:45:42 by vellocet
    actually, they all seem to cost about the same over here (norway). sucking artist or not. so you better be sharp!

    but i find sorrow in my heart that a lot of people is not, exactly sharp… and so it ends.

    Posted on 05-17-2006 12:04:27 by mpatshi
    maby the client made the design himself and wanted the outcome to be exactly the same…

    Posted on 05-17-2006 12:07:22 by don
    there are a lot of great artists out there, but at least in my area they all seem to have waiting lists of 2-3+ months. i think impatience, and wanting to get a tattoo *NOW* contributes to a lot of bad tattoos.

    then there is the whole ‘no accounting for taste’ thing. i’ve seen terrible tattoos, that the owners are incredibly proud of, and think are beautiful.

    Posted on 05-17-2006 13:11:09 by Jets
    The person probably drew it himself and wanted it to look that way.

    Posted on 05-17-2006 13:47:51 by 11.
    which is the good one?

    Posted on 05-17-2006 14:05:02 by sigh
    i think that post was just mean.

    Posted on 05-17-2006 14:11:36 by Me, again
    I like the second one a lot better… I dont like the other on at all

    Posted on 05-17-2006 14:46:05 by la la land
    Ha I’m the opposite. I mean I’d rather see the tattoo in the second location than the first, but I like the first tattoo much better.

    Posted on 05-17-2006 15:29:05 by outmywindow
    Yeah, I definitaly like the location of the second one better, and I like the way the gecko tail wraps around the nipple, but it is a but sparse, and some of the tribal elements are just squiggly lines.

    When I saw the second one on the boards I liked it, but I also didn’t look too closely at it. The more I look at it, the more I see its deficencies. Still, I’ve seen much worse…

    Posted on 05-17-2006 16:31:55 by Jets
    And I agree with “sigh,” the whole tone of this is just snobby. Especially when you defend posting busty models with belly button rings as though they represent “modded” women. I guess I prefer mediocre tattoos to no tattoos.

    Posted on 05-17-2006 16:52:19 by RuinsOfDecay
    hey nothing wrong with some busty models with navel rings.. i know i like to look at i could almost bitch and take offense to that since im “busty” and have a “navel ring” but i wont.. everyone has there own opinion on the way things look.. and well thats just Shannons opinion.. anyways you cant really know someones ‘tone’ over the internet.. its just text.. maybe its just how you guys percieved it.. bah hum bug i back Shannon up.. and to all who say they do not like the first tattoos location.. i like it.. guys butts arent pretty.. its nice to mod it up and not make my eyes bleed as much ;) kidding.

    Posted on 05-17-2006 17:04:00 by untrained eye.
    I don’t see anything wrong with the second one. It just seems to have a lot less filled in areas, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

    Posted on 05-17-2006 17:40:23 by oli
    I like the rib-piece on the right’s design. I haven’t got my glasses so I can’t tell whether or not it is accurately inked, but I love the gecko.

    Which is the more proficient of the two?

    Posted on 05-17-2006 17:57:05 by RuinsOfDecay
    as far as one looking nicer as a tribal piece id say the first one. i really dont know all that much of tattoos.. but for a tribal i like it a lot more than the other

    Posted on 05-17-2006 18:02:41 by Shawn-PPT
    They both look good, there’s no reason to say otherwise.

    Posted on 05-17-2006 18:20:18 by bluetat
    It’s not good to pick @ other peoples tattoos…. I for one love some of my “crap” tattoos.. Who are others to judge?… Longz the person with the tattoo likes it thats all that should matter.

    Posted on 05-17-2006 18:21:28 by bluetat (again)
    “some” = ALL … haha just not all of my tattoos are erm crap :)

    Posted on 05-17-2006 18:36:41 by Spilt Milk
    One man’s crap is another man’s gold

    Posted on 05-17-2006 18:59:54 by Philander
    personally I find the biggest mistake is wearing that thong.

    As others have said, who am I to judge from a photo. I don’t think it reflects the talent of the artist in either case, they may have reproduced exactly what the customer asked them to.

    I prefer both of them to some over glorified japanese back pieces ANY day of the week ;)

    Posted on 05-17-2006 19:31:58 by RuinsOfDecay
    i for one think the thong is damn sexy! ;)

    Posted on 05-17-2006 19:48:45 by Em
    I prefer a well researched tattoo over a flashy piece any day and would be curious on what the meanings of these are.

    And I agree with what others have said. This post is catty. There’s nothing wrong with the tattoo on the right on a skill level from what can be seen in the photo. And it doesn’t look to even be trying to be ‘authentic’ tribal either so I fail to see why they’re being compared.

    Posted on 05-17-2006 19:54:13 by joshua
    glider never said there was anything wrong with the tattoo on the right, only that one artist obviously has more talent than one another. do you go out and see how many bad tattoos there are out there? there’s nothing catty about making a simple observation.

    Posted on 05-17-2006 22:30:37 by RuinsOfDecay
    i think everyone just needs to stop getting there panties in a bunch! now that is catty actions for u

    Posted on 05-17-2006 22:34:53 by ces in style- which I would describe as being traditional tribal versus white-man\’s tribal- the second tattoo shows less care and congruity with the spacing and balance between line and solids.’);

    Aside from the differences in style- which I would describe as being traditional tribal versus white-man’s tribal- the second tattoo shows less care and congruity with the spacing and balance between line and solids.’);

    Posted on comments were those presuming that less modified people aren\’t welcome in the community, which saddens me greatly. The point is to satisfy your own inner vision of yourself, not a checklist of required modifications. I\’d far rather see a lesser number of high-quality modifications than those valued sheerly for quantity. That is exactly the attitude which leads to the massive amounts of shitty tattoo-work floating around.

    by astrosnik

    ere those presuming that less modified people aren’t welcome in the community, which saddens me greatly. The point is to satisfy your own inner vision of yourself, not a checklist of required modifications. I’d far rather see a lesser number of high-quality modifications than those valued sheerly for quantity. That is exactly the attitude which leads to the massive amounts of shitty tattoo-work floating around.

    Posted on 05-18-2006 01:05:56 by Tracy
    You ask why some people “settle” so to speak? How about this.

    I live in a rural community. VERY RURAL. The closest artist that I would even think of letting put something on my body is over a two hr drive away. They are not bad artists, but not the best either. To get to a “world class” artist I would have to drive over 9 hrs, talk to the artist about what I want, make an apointment, pay a deposit, and probably drive back home again to drive down again in a couple weeks. Personaly I dont have the time off of work, or a life that lets me do something like that. I’m a single mom, I work two jobs, I LOVE my tats. So yeah, I will go with the artist that sets a good line and does a good color, but isnt the best if it means I get my ink.

    Posted on 05-18-2006 02:02:07 by glider
    Wah wah wah. I don’t feel guilty for being “mean”, nor do I think it’s unreasonable for someone to drive 9 hours to go to a world-class artist … it’s gonna be there THE REST OF YOUR LIFE… “Settling” is a terrible idea!

    Posted on 05-18-2006 02:26:30 by aimee
    i agree with tracy and shawn, et al. all comes down to what you want. i personally would have gone with a somewhat different design scheme (i’m talking about the one on the right), but i like it. location is very cool too. and, let’s not forget, as several others have already observed, the tattoo may have turned out *exactly* how the client wanted. maybe the artist in question *is* capable of much more detailed work, but was giving the person what they asked for. not knowing who the artist is, i can’t begin to say. you take a big chance when you criticize or question the quality of tattoo someone has chosen to place on their bodies for the rest of their lives. regardless of how their view aligns with your own, they’re almost certainly going to be on the defensive, and let’s not forget… you could say that the scriggly lines someone got tattooed on their chest looks like crap, or ‘i’m sure you’re happy with it, but it would have looked so much better had you gone to a great artist — why didn’t you?’, only to find out that those seemingly ugly or bland scriggly lines were how the person’s little girl signed the pictures she drew, and their little girl was killed in a car crash. and then you’d feel like shit. the point i’m trying to make, is you never know what meaning a design has to someone, and just because it isn’t up to your standards, it could be exactly what they wanted, absolute perfection, and afterall, they didn’t get it for you. i’m sure it probably wasn’t shannon’s intention to flame the bearer of the tattoo per se, but as is evident from the number/tone – there’s that word again – of the responses, people tend to take it that way… see my previous point ^^. okay, imma shut my filfy mouf now :)

    Posted on 05-18-2006 02:31:17 by aimee
    i would, however, drive a long distance to get my dream ink… hell, i live in ny, and am going to drive to tx to get inked by katzen :)

    Posted on 05-18-2006 07:35:08 by notasnob
    I think it’s funny as all Hell that people think the tattoo on the right is the one he’s saying is not so great cause clearly it’s the superior one, right? Right?

    Posted on 05-18-2006 09:47:47 by StealingTheMoj
    If i knew that both were going for the authentic tribal design, the one on the left is clearly better. however, in personal tastes Im not really fan of the style in general, but I like the one on the right because of the placement of the lizard. Also…that squiggly line in the shape of a triangle? im weird, but i like it. If that was an attempt at true tribal, its sad. If not, rock on.
    I think in the end everything boils down to personal taste. Theres a shop in the town where I live during most of the year that does a better job than my artist, but i always return to my hometown to get inked by him instead. I like his style, I like his creativity. Speaking of which, I was just wondering how “bad” my tattoos seem to other people? Ive had numerous compliments on them, but frankly theres not many tattooed folk around here, so for the most part if I had a vertical line tattooed down my arm people would tell me they love it. (you can see how bad/good my ink is on my IAM)

    Posted on 05-18-2006 09:50:49 by glider
    I think you need to take a look at things like consistency in line weight, balance, and so on. These are BASIC SKILLS and if an artist doesn’t have them, it’s worrying.

    Posted on 05-18-2006 10:01:39 by mitch
    Hey Shannon, why do you have several shitty tattoos covering each other up, as well as a pretty crappy looking tribal piece on your side? I think your answers to that question will be some of the same answers people are giving here. You are out of line with this post, sorry to break it to you.

    Posted on 05-18-2006 10:53:55 by Wonderland
    Mitch, I dont really think he needs it broken to him, because he doesnt care. he has also _covered up_ his shitty tattoos. These? not too easy to cover up. Easy enough to fix, but not cover up.

    I think the main problem with the second tattoo is how thin some of the lines are. It makes it very unbalanced. To me, at least.

    Posted on 05-18-2006 11:08:34 by ohwhocares
    The first one too is unbalanced and more noticeably so with the rigid lines but where as the latter one follows the curves of the body. I assumed the difference in line weight was by choice, as found in nature. *shrug*

    Posted on 05-18-2006 12:09:14 by /
    man i am really disappointed with you guys this is a community based on acceptance and should it really matter if YOU like the tattoo in case you didn’t realize it YOU DO NOT HAVE TO WEAR IT the second one has a better placement and the cool lizard thing and the other guy has a hairy butt with some circles that accentuate his flat assedness sometimes you just want a tattoo and maybe you have the time and the funds to get the best of the best but not everyone does shannon i mean I’ve been waiting 6 months to have $50 to color in a tattoo and at $50 I’m sure thats not up to your standards

    Posted on 05-18-2006 12:37:12 by RuinsOfDecay
    everyone just needs to suck it up and stop bitching about the post.. its shannons blog hes allowed to express what ever he damn well pleases.. and everyone has opinions some which others might not agree on… but im sure hes laughing at the comments made.. that are bitching about this post. so.. on a final note. stop bitching.. or ill eat your face

    Posted on 05-18-2006 12:39:35 by mitch
    Wonderland- Actually, they’re not covered up, or covered up with more shitty tattoos. Unless he recently covered up the shitty alien tattoo that’s covering up a shitty dragon that’s covering up something else shitty. The shitty tribal piece on his side is definetely not covered up. Do you homework first. Can i type “shitty” anymore?

    Posted on 05-18-2006 13:18:04 by Philander
    as said above, it’s Shannons blog and he can stick whatever he likes on it. However, by adding a comments section it’s inviting people to come in with alternative perspective. I’m sure Shannon finds these interesting, but ultimately stands by his original opinion and doesn’t give a flying f*ck what other people think of it. I know that’s exactly how I’d feel about. I would have thought he gets quite tired of all the sycophantic sh*t that appears on other forums.

    Could be completely wrong about this though…..

    Posted on 05-18-2006 14:53:57 by glider
    mitch (and others), I realize that this is more about you having a personal problem with me, but your attempt at insulting me actually makes my point completely. I got those tattoos before BME existed, and simply didn’t know any better. Nor was there an established tattoo community at the time. But NOW there is, NOW there are great resources for people to educate themselves on what’s quality work and what isn’t, so I hope people will stop making the same mistakes.

    And pretending that “all tattoos are just as good” is bunk, and we do ourselves a disservice by saying “we can’t tell the difference between different artists work”. The fact is that there are good artists and there are bad artists, there are resources for finding them, and at this point there are so many good artists out there that there’s little excuse for not getting good work.

    Maybe some people don’t care about their bodies that much? But I would argue that a person who is in a position to know better, and still gets work, is doing so in a way that may illustrate an underlying self-hate (or at least self-apathy) pathology… And the money argument is bunk as well, because all that means is YOU CAN’T GET IT TODAY. Saying “but all I can afford is a scratcher” is ridiculous. It’s there for the rest of your life, have some patience, put aside a dollar a day or whatever, and get it done down the road.

    But if you want to pretend all tattoos, all people, etc. are exactly the same, fine, and if you want to try and back up your argument by saying I made tattoo mistakes fifteen years ago on myself to try and make yourself feel better, it’s not really particularly upsetting to me!

    Posted on 05-18-2006 15:28:22 by opinion
    While I agree wholeheartedly and even emphatically with everything above that glider said, I really do prefer the latter tattoo.

    Posted on 05-18-2006 15:35:35 by mitch
    Any retort would be pointless. Some people just don’t understand simple logic. I’m done.

    Posted on 05-18-2006 15:55:54 by /
    so who likes ice cream?

    Posted on 05-18-2006 16:03:46 by ple logic” is that good tattoos are out there, and there are resources for finding them. Neither of these things were readily available in the past. I don\’t think it\’s unreasonable to suggest that if someone is going to permanently alter their body they do the best job they can. Unless your point was that you don\’t understand simple logic and are thus done. ;)


    mitch – The “simple logic” is that good tattoos are out there, and there are resources for finding them. Neither of these things were readily available in the past. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to suggest that if someone is going to permanently alter their body they do the best job they can. Unless your point was that you don’t understand simple logic and are thus done. ;)


    Posted on – Sure, but ask yourself why you\’re saying that (ie. because you like the design and/or placement and/or non-hairy ass, or you like the technical quality of the work)… Imagine if the placement and general design was the same, but there was better consistency in the linework and so on; I think you\’d see that piece in a whole new light. My comment is about technical quality — obviously much of the rest of what makes a tattoo is in the eye of the beholder… but it\’s the technical quality that holds it together I think.

    by glider

    ut ask yourself why you’re saying that (ie. because you like the design and/or placement and/or non-hairy ass, or you like the technical quality of the work)… Imagine if the placement and general design was the same, but there was better consistency in the linework and so on; I think you’d see that piece in a whole new light. My comment is about technical quality — obviously much of the rest of what makes a tattoo is in the eye of the beholder… but it’s the technical quality that holds it together I think.

    Posted on 05-18-2006 16:14:01 by sillyme
    On the whole I just find the first one to be not pleasing to the eye, ass notwithstanding. It’s bold, sure and technically probably more ‘right’ but then I have never appreciated rules in art having said that, the second one has a art nouveau quality that I far prefer.

    Posted on 05-18-2006 16:15:27 by volatile
    People, people, people. The second piece is *terrible*. It really is – look at the lines, they’re all squiggly and uneven; look at how the piece doesn’t flow with his body at all. Look at how the elements aren’t spaced evenly, look at how there’s no pattern in the shading, look at how there’s no consistency in the forms.

    Now, I’m no fan of tribal myself, and I don’t wear any… but compare piece two with work by people like Xed Le Head or Daniel DiMattia and you might see what I’m talking about.

    These problems are evident in all styles of tattooing, but probably easier to recognise on tribal as it look s simple but is really, really hard to do properly. Anyone who likes the piece on the right more than that on the left in terms of execution needs to spend more time learning about tattoos.

    Posted on 05-18-2006 16:17:49 by glider
    Man, next time I post an entry like this I’m gonna be sure to include the full resolution photos so there is no doubt about linework quality and so on.

    Posted on 05-18-2006 16:22:35 by :)
    This probably does have some bearing on the discussion, I agree.

    Posted on 05-18-2006 16:36:37 by Blindie McGee
    The full-res pictures would probably help a lot. I don’t know much about tattoos so on first glance I was like “Whats the problem?” but looking closer and harder I could see that the lines didn’t really look right.

    Posted on 05-18-2006 16:39:55 by volatile
    Are the full-res images in the BME galleries? Links?

    Posted on 05-18-2006 16:41:57 by glider
    I’m not sure if they’re in this monday’s post or the upcoming one… But I really want to emphasize that I left the specifics out for a reason… This isn’t about slagging or promoting one artist or another, except in the most general of terms.

    Posted on 05-18-2006 16:44:36 by glider
    OK, no it’s in the next update, but if anyone goes and flips through the tribal tattoo galleries (or any of the other sections), I find it rather shocking that people are disagreeing that there’s a quality range that’s objective as well as subjective.

    Posted on 05-18-2006 17:06:45 by Jedi Kim
    This is all quite amusing. At first glance, I see the image on the right and think the artist put a whole lot of time into that piece, things are symmetrical, they flow nice, it follows traditional tribal design. I look at the second piece and I am bored.

    Everyone loves the Gecko, and I am not surprised. Much of this discussion reminds me of things I hear in the shops I have worked in. There are certain images that people in general just have a liking for. I have a shitty handpoked cross on my wrist. I can’t wait for the day to cover it up, which is coming sooner than later and I am traveling for it. Yet, of all of my visible tattoos, people will tell me they like that one the best. Why? Not because it is done well but because it is a cross.

    So people love that Gecko. I can bet it was there way long before the rest of that tattoo was planned. And I do think it’s too bad that the rest of the tribal isn’t designed well; it was a good concept but poorly executed. Some of the pieces are crooked and don’t flow, the lines are way too thin and there’s too much space in between each piece. It just doesn’t draw me in. Now, sure maybe the client wanted this, and maybe the artist thought it was a great idea. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder…but my artist better know how to run a clean line.

    Posted on 05-18-2006 17:12:14 by monica
    I’m afraid without the full resolution, I’m unable to analyze the line quality, for thickness, consistancy and so on.

    For myself, I have two very crappy tattoos from back in the day when the majority of tattoo artists were really people that traced linework and colored it in like a child would with crayons. But now, all of my tattoos are chosen very carefully. I have artists design all of my work, and I choose tattoo artists whom are talented and that I respect.

    It’s like I have two text tattoos. One was done before I really knew and cared about who was doing the work. I thought “hey it’s just text, how can you go wrong”. But looking at one, you can see the poor quality of line. Some places it’s too thick, other’s too thin, in some spots the ink spread a lot more because of how heavy handed he got. Looking at the other, the lines are beautiful, all exactly where they should be. It really proved to me that you have to be extremely careful when choosing an artist.

    Posted on 05-18-2006 17:20:34 by .
    Excellent point.

    Posted on 05-18-2006 17:30:42 by Tschindrara
    the first tattoo is too sleazy. it kind of grosses me out. the second one is cheesey, but i’m not grossed out by it.

    Posted on 05-18-2006 17:44:37 by Sixums
    I don’t even know much about art, but the more I look at the second tattoo the worse it gets. The gecko is well done, but it’s the only thing that works in the piece. The lines look uneven in a lot of places, and it just doesn’t flow. After I took a good look at it I thought it was only half-finished. I’m still hoping it is.

    How is the first tattoo sleazy? Because it’s on his butt? That’s a matter of taste, not talent.

    Posted on 05-18-2006 18:00:06 by snailer
    i don’t even think the gecko part is well done it looks patchy. I can’t believe what a spaz this post has caused. i thought nothing of it when i saw it because it seemed so obvious and how could anyone take offense to that. this whole argument is stupid.

    this blog is supposed to be fun, like look this half naked girl is hot, or hey that tattoo is hilarious, or hey guess this body part.

    If people in this community can’t tell the difference between good and poor skills in their artists the scratchers will just continue to F- em up no loss to those of us with nice work.

    Posted on 05-18-2006 19:24:18 by gezz
    Tribal tattoo work is very technical and simple in the same sense. A tattooist should be able to keep constant thicknesses with lines in all work not specifically in tribal. The upside to tribal work is that you don’t have to worry about colours for the most part. This is where experience over powers talent. I see potential in the artist to the right but he/she is lacking experience. If you asked both artists to recreate their rendition of the other compared artists work the point of finding the best tattooist possible would then be enforced greatly. I think that the artist to the left would create a similar piece to the one on the right using thicker and bolder lines with a complex design. Personally, I couldn’t see the artist on the right create anything as intricate or as straight-lined as the artist on the left.

    Posted on 05-18-2006 20:38:54 by Karnage
    I would say this post is definately catty.

    From what I can see, there is no differance between the technical skill of of both artists (seeing larger pics, or in person may be dif story)

    Sometimes the artist doesn’t get to decide what they tattoo. One has to feed themselves.

    Posted on 05-18-2006 20:47:54 by WhiteTrash
    As this seems to be getting a little out of hand, I’ve decided to try and lighten the mood by running a “worst tattoo” contest. If you have a bad tattoo and aren’t afraid to show it, hop on over to my forum. Prizes are available. Keep it clean or at least keep it funny!

    Posted on 05-18-2006 21:31:29 by postmodgirl
    I’d say the responses say it all, some people can’t tell the difference between one style and another. It can be the same with artists and skill level. The artist on the right is probably doing the best he or she can to obtain the style the customer wants, but looks to me that all the sections were drawn individually and the tattoo artist didn’t take many things into account when it was time for application. But maybe the person didn’t see it, or didn’t think of it, and arrogance (what artists being arrogant?) or lack of self criticism or maybe the artist didn’t care is the cause for the poor design choices (also could be the artist didn’t put much effort into it, which would be my wager).
    Insofar as the argument that the ‘artist might not of had a choice’. Ok. Maybe. But that’s a slim one, I know if I was in that person’s position I’d wanna tweek it to create better flow(barring circumstance like they wanted a reproduction cos a dead friend did it).

    You know, there’s nothing wrong with saying an artist did something bad. All artists have done something bad, you can’t create good art without making alota bad, and hey dood on the right can get better in time… doesn’t mean he or she should be making bad tattoos however.

    Posted on 05-18-2006 22:22:11 by ServMe
    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. If the person on the right designed the tattoo as it is, great, he’s probably happy with it. I think the left shows a better layout/design, but then again I’m a fan of bold blackwork. I’d be going for more of that!

    Posted on 05-18-2006 22:28:47 by CutThroat
    They’re both silly ass tribal. Who fucking cares? And who the fuck are we to judge?

    Posted on 05-18-2006 22:39:10 by IEunuch
    This just goes to prove that whenever you get a tattoo done, you should have both the design and the artist vetted by one of the tattoo snobs out there.

    Posted on 05-18-2006 22:47:22 by MONTE
    the one on the right does not have consistant line work on it. that and the balance is all kinds of off in the design. as far as design concept goes it is not a good piece.. if that is exactly what the guy who got the tattoo wanted (which i doubt he would if he saw other options he had or if someone explained good balance of design to him) then he got exactly what he wanted and no one can judge him, just his artwork, haha.

    Posted on 05-18-2006 22:49:36 by toddy
    I think these comments are more entertaining than looking at the “good” tattoo artists art and the “bad” tattoo artists art…please keep going.

    Oh and Whitetrash here I come I gotta enter that comp hahaha…

    Posted on 05-18-2006 23:09:01 by 13lotusflowers
    shannon says “I got those tattoos before BME existed, and simply didn’t know any better.”

    There are lots of people who still do it and not know any better yet. BME isn’t the bible, some people don’t know about it. I only know about it from working in a shop, without that, I’d be a girl with two shitty tattoos content until I knew better many years later.

    The person on the left could still just be learning.

    Posted on 05-18-2006 23:11:23 by yttrx
    As an individual who has some of the shittiest tattoos in existence (and some amazing work as well), I feel quite free to comment on the quality of work on others. To wit:

    Jesus those things up there are shitty.

    Posted on 05-18-2006 23:12:39 by glidersnotgod
    If everyone made smart decisions there wouldn’t be fat people or smokers or drug addicts or…

    Posted on 05-18-2006 23:53:04 by ammre
    i think they are both kinda silly looking. Aestetic wise i think the one on the left is uglier. The one on the right vaguely reminds me of a bad version of the yourmeatismine dude.
    the left looks very properly drawn but very uncreative and i think unflattering, the one on the right looks more creative if badly tattooed.
    I have a not so good tattoo, i know it’s a not so good tattoo, it was the 7th tattoo (as a valid apprentice, not some backyard trash experement) my friend had ever done and i wanted thin lines, curls and color, he’ll touch it up once he’s hit the point where he’s had enough expierence to fix it well, but i don’t love it less. It has more character.

    Posted on 05-19-2006 00:08:52 by m
    Here ya go.

    Posted on 05-19-2006 00:25:41 by Neurot1k
    i agree wholeheartedly with glider, and i don’t really understand why people still try to ‘walk on eggshells’ on the internet. well, it’s either that or trying to come off as some sort of hard-ass.. but honestly unless the reader has anthropophobia or bibliophobia, i don’t think you’re really getting anywhere with that.

    Posted on 05-19-2006 00:32:58 by yttrx
    glidersnotgod: why are you excusing idiocy?

    It’s precisely that kind of blind acceptance of mediocrity that creates it in the first place. There’s nothing wrong with making a negative assessment of a thing.

    I used to joke years ago about needing to pass a series of tests in order to get a license to add content to the internet. Now I think its a pretty good idea.

    Posted on 05-19-2006 01:14:15 by Mike
    which one is better?
    personally…. I have many bad tats… I chalk them up to learning experiences… or simply memories. I’m not sure this was worth a ModBlog post

    Posted on 05-19-2006 01:46:20 by glider
    13lotusflowers, BME is far from the only source out there. Outside of a zillion other websites, there are dozens of magazines, several television shows, movies, etc…

    Posted on 05-19-2006 01:48:34 by an0nymous_vamp1re
    If you want to pick apart the quality of other peoples’ tattoos, go check out while it is still (somewhat) up. She is taking down some of the pictures due to copyright violations (including from BME) and recently the site has been flaky anyway.

    yttrx – Being someone who works in tech support, I agree with your comment about the internet licence. The one thing I would change is that you would need it just to be able to touch a computer, not access the internet.

    Posted on 05-19-2006 01:58:35 by pretty pink pills
    yeah shannon you don’t seem so zen you might want to adjust the meds haha

    Posted on 05-19-2006 02:05:44 by trinityknot
    Even if the person drew the design himself it has no bearing on linework, and flow. I drew my own tattoo, and the artist I went to made it much worse than my drawing. Also an artist is not forced to tattoo what they do not want to. If they are willing to tattoo crap that is the respect they deserve.

    It is up to the person who wants the tattoo to research. I settled for my tattoo, because I wanted it now, and I’ll never do it again. I dont regret it, cause it just represents who I was when I got it; and impulsive idiot. Others will look and judge because of the quality, I could care less. Now though, I am willing to wait to get what I want.

    In my own opinion, I hate most tribal. On the other hand, others hate celtic work, and to that I say ‘fuck you’. It boils down to your own opinions.

    Feel free to hate me.

    I will now go post my crap tattoo in whitetrash’s contest.

    Posted on 05-19-2006 02:30:24 by astrosnik
    Oh god, please don’t recommend the current run of tattoo magazines and television shows as examples of sources of good tattoo information. Most of that is just poor-quality trash (and flash).

    Posted on 05-19-2006 02:43:25 by Kanga43
    Eh pretty pink pills, that was pretty out of line.

    one thing to have a discussion, another to start making stabs at people.

    I think this post was a little off as well, but chill people. Let the horse die.

    Posted on 05-19-2006 02:49:17 by joseph
    What’s wrong with driving 9 hours? I drove about 4000 miles round-trip to get the artist I wanted, and I had to wait over 8 months to do it! Distance should not be an issue, we don’t live in the age of the horse & buggy. The “it’s on there for the rest of your life!” point has already been mentioned a few times, and it’s always the best argument against people willing to make a compromise because of price or distance.

    And about the tattoos, I just have a hard time believing that the guy on the right was going for the uneven-amateur-cartooish-tribal look.

    Posted on 05-19-2006 05:52:16 by starspring
    I don’t really like either of them. The first one seems heavy and the lines of the main forms really take away from his natural anatomy, so I don’t really think its that great-though the piece holds together better. The second one does work because the concept is weak. The photo is not very crisp so I have no idea what quality the ink is, however I can’t tell if they were trying to work with the body or not. Its not clear and the forms themselves don’t hold together very well either.

    To each their own?

    Posted on 05-19-2006 05:53:08 by starspring
    Oops, “does” = “doesn’t”

    Posted on 05-19-2006 13:14:09 by Saul

    Posted on 05-19-2006 13:37:51 by RedQueen
    I agree with glider on this, even if I don’t know much about tattoos and I don’t have any yet. But I’m just wondering : if everyone gets his/her tattoo from the best artist, then how will the less experienced ones get more experience? Maybe it’s kind of necessary that some people get shitty tattoos to allow artists to get better… I don’t know… I may be wrong though… am I?

    Posted on 05-19-2006 14:53:54 by diego
    I understand how people get crappy tattoos. The truth is, there are many great artists, but when you’re 15 or 16, and you want a tattoo, you don’t know this. And, the truth is, no reputable artist will work on someone who is 15. In the case of older people, people who do not know about bmezine or whatever, and just want a tattoo, they just figure that any place is as good as any other. It’s kind of like someone who knows nothing about fashion: they see clothes from walmart and think they’re fine. Same thing with tattoos, I guess.
    Personally, I have done the best to get good artwork, including flying accross the ocean and spending one month of what I make on a 3-hour session, but it took me a while to understand what a a very good tattoo is, and I can definitely understand how first-timers may not have this notion.

    Posted on 05-19-2006 18:11:06 by StealingTheMoj
    i get most of my clothes from wal-mart :( is there a direct correlation between that and my shitty tattoos? :(

    Posted on 05-19-2006 19:45:52 by silly bluetat
    EVEYONEZ THE HUGGZ AND MAKE UP!! YOU’RR ALL RIGHT ! FEEL THE LOVE! – if eveyonez agreedz we would all be the sheep! … ENJOY!

    Posted on 05-19-2006 20:35:09 by Briggy
    The Bottom Line:

    While neither of these tattoos are amazing, it’s obvious the one on the left is much better than the one on the right in terms of design, execution and aesthetic appeal. Anyone who argues about its meaning to the person is off-topic. Shannon merely said that he didn’t understand why people get shitty tats, and the one on the right is crap, no doubt about it. Bringing up personal meaning is just nitpicking and avoiding the fact that yeah, it’s a shitty tat.

    And finally, yes, we know that Shannon is not god, and that we shouldn’t take whatever he says as gospel. However, many (not all, mind you) of the negative replies in this post were personal insults. Attack what the person is saying, not the person himself. Personal insults are just stupid in a rational argument, and greatly discredit whatever point you are/were trying to prove.

    Posted on 05-19-2006 22:02:40 by BWDLV

    YOU PEOPLE still still STILL DON’T GET IT?!?!?!


    Posted on 05-19-2006 23:10:37 by Sade
    I like the one on the left…except for the ass.If he had no underwear on it’d probably be grand.

    Posted on 05-20-2006 05:35:11 by NiB
    Sorry for posting about something that was posted like 26 posts before… but when Shannon said that “if you don’t have money all it means is that you can’t have a tattoo NOW” doesn’t take into account that some tattos (such as in MY case) are to mark a special moment in your life… not all tattoos are about having the best drawing ever… I have a HUGE shitty tattoo on my back… I had it done when I turned 19 and it is not finished yet… people ask me when I’m going to fill it… but I tell them that I like it that way… and I do intend to fill it but I don’t want to do it now… I want it to be a moment where I come up with something really cool and THEN finish it… I don’t want to rush and try to make it look good NOW only to end up with a tattoo that I don’t thinks is absolutely awesome… as you said… it’s going to be there for the rest of my life… and I have the rest of my life to finish it in a way that I think adecuate… the artist who did it is really talented… but the tattoo was done free handed from a design that meant a lot to me (I think every modification can have a meaning… even if it’s really common… such as my tribal or some girl’s navel piercing… I’m not saying they all have one… but since you don’t know the story behind every modification you should at least give people with shitty tattoos the benefit of the doubt) I love my tattoo because it means a lot to me (the new ones too…) and technically they may be shitty… but they do exactly what I intended them to do… they remind me of somethig special…

    Posted on 05-20-2006 13:28:50 by aimee
    holy hell, lotsa posts. okay…

    NiB, excellent point. personally, every mod i have commemorates something special to me. i think when people get a modification (and the more permanent, the truer this becomes) *without* there being some deeply felt meaning, even if it is deeply felt in a generic way (oxymoron?) is when they regret it later in life.

    i do have to say, after having viewed the hi-res pics, (thanks for the link, m), i can see the inconsistencies in line weight much more clearly. my monitor displays most pictures very dark. and, i think i do have to agree with jedi kim, it’s essentially the cool gecko that i like (wonder if anyone has a geico tattoo?) – so, my bad, maybe cause it was late, but i was under the impression it was the design that was being attacked just as much as the technical skill involved. i don’t think it’s anything that couldn’t be fixed easily enough though.

    anyway, i still hold to ‘beauty in the eye of the beholder’, but i was never trying to start an argument, or flame *anyone*, so hopefully i didn’t piss anyone off :) and i *definitely* wasn’t trying to imply all tattoo artists are equally skilled.

    additionally, i’d like to say i think postmodgirl and many others made excellent points. and i totally agree with everyone who said the forum should be kept fun and supportive — absolutely.

    i also think starspring makes an excellent point with regard to body lines being taken into account. i think that should be (and maybe it is?) a major focal point while someone is learning/teaching tattooing.

    one final thought: is it me, or does the artwork seem to deteriorate the further down you look?

    Posted on 05-20-2006 14:40:08 by jackxoffxcunt
    Honestly, good work or not, I find the 2nd tattoo more appealing to my eyes. If it has shaky lines or unevenness, I don’t care. The differences make it THEIR tattoo.

    I have a “D” on my hand that has been construed as a deer, an Anarchy sign, among other things. Will I cover it? I dunno. Maybe. I got it for me by a friend when I was young and stupid.

    Posted on 05-20-2006 15:16:02 by Bear151556
    Personally, I think that if you shop for the best artist possible, you get better ink. The price of Art has nothing to do with the quality. I myself am not a fan of heavy blackwork, so I would prefer the second one, but as has been pointed out, the lines are thin, inconsistant and wavy. But if the wearer is satisfied, then who am I to judge. Tattoo is by it’s very nature, personal art, and to each his own.

    Posted on 05-20-2006 15:31:20 by tribalface
    I am amazed and the criticism about this beautiful unfinished tribal work. I am sure he is not done. Remember the saying,
    Don’t judge a piece of art until he is done” ! Remember anyone can criticize… I think we need to be supportive of all of us into modifications.

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