The Art of War

Sueanne sent in this shot of a matching she tattoo she has with her friend Taylor..

Taylor and I have been in many fights together; we’re ride or die bitches and best friends. Since I’m heading back up to Northern Nevada for college, we decided to get matching tattoos to symbolize our summer: Crazy days, wild drunken nights & picking fights with the wrong people. It’s from the Art of War by Sun Tzu:

In the practical art of war, to shatter and destroy is not so good. To fight and conquer in all battles is not supreme excellence. Supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting.

We kind of pulled from two different parts of the book, but it fits! Oh, Taylor’s on the right.

By Brett, Pair-A-Dice Tattoo, Las Vegas, NV.

See more in Lettering Tattoos (Tattoos)

49 thoughts on “The Art of War

  1. i like these tattoos. i don’t mind that they are matching because these girls know one another.. i would never want a matching tattoo that somebody i didn’t know had.. anyway, love the script tattoos placement and the emphasis on without fighting.

  2. I don’t think the art of war was ever intended to outline “Crazy days, wild drunken nights & picking fights with the wrong people.”

    I think the whole thing screams ‘SPRING BREAK, CANCUN!’ a bit to much for me about this picture and explanation for some reason..

  3. SHOW US YOUR TITS… sorry when I saw the words spring break I couldn’t help myself, I like the placement for both tattoos because the accentuatete the rest of the body.

  4. id feel so awkward if i was walking around with my friend and we had identical tattoos…. its like showing up in the same outfits x1000

  5. Why do you say that? Just curious…
    Personally, i love it. Im not a huge fan of the meaning behind it, but i love the look itself.

  6. The tattoos look nice, and yeah the girls have hot bodies but… isn’t she saying that they are all about drunken nights picking fights?! Kinda… not what the tattoo is about there??!! Or is it something they are working towards? :p

  7. i like the idea but i wouldnt have a matching tattoo like that, me and my mum have the same led zep tat but thats a tad different.

    and i agree it screams spring break!

  8. i don’t mind blocks of text (kinda love them) but i think it’s kind of dumb to put the title and author, really. it just seems weird to me…

  9. A classic example of idiot girls that get a tattoo just to get a tattoo. There is no meaning here; the Art of War? I bet one of their friends drew it up for them and they were “Like, okaaay! Let’s totally get it!!!”. I doubt either one of them has ever read Art of War.

    Sean Doran put it perfectly: SPRING BREAK, CANCUN!!!!

  10. #16 you were probably that friend, so be quiet.

    i’m partial to text tattoos so i think the tattoos are really nice. when it comes to the reason behind the text, that’s really none of my concern.

  11. Now I really want to tattoo “move your ass” on somebody and credit it to the bible. I mean it’s from three different parts of the book, but it fits!

  12. I’m going to kind of sit on the fence with this one:
    I like the tattoo as a single piece, aesthetically..
    but, as a “buddy” tattoo, I think it completely loses it’s appeal.

    And I agree with that the addition of the author and title is odd as a tattoo..

  13. The next time they fight they are soooo going to regret their tattoos. They obviously got them whilst in a truce. Wow, that day is going to suck.

  14. “we’re ride or die bitches” because they picked fights in high school & drank underage?
    I also think it’s kind of dumb that they cut & pasted parts of the book without even an ellipsis.
    at least they didn’t get matching peace signs…….

  15. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with getting a tattoo with a close friend and large blocks of text can work (as I think this one does) when they accentuate and flow with the body lines.
    I’m confused though as to why they’ve chosen a piece of text espousing the virtue of not physically fighting but using your troops tactically to symbolise “Crazy days, wild drunken nights & picking fights with the wrong people”. I’d be really interested to hear from them why they chose this text.
    Maybe like 13. says it’s something they’re working towards.

  16. I’m really undecided about this one. Aesthetically it looks pretty cool and I’m not against the idea of matching tattoos but I think it’s a bit ridiculous that they pulled from two different parts of the book.

    Also I’m not totally sure that the text really fits the sentiment intended.

  17. your queer weirdos don’t like their tats because these chicks are clearly hot (not something I can say about most pics on here)

  18. Hey, getting drunk and picking fights can be fun for all ages! But I only wonder why ‘without fighting’ is so emphasised.

  19. All I can think of is Firefly: “Sadistic crap legitimized by florid prose. Tell me you’re not a fan.”

    The reasoning doesn’t make sense to me, and I may be judgmental, but seeing the french tips makes me think these two are less about military tactical manuals and more about, well, “wild drunken nights”.

    Otherwise, I like the choice for the red text, but it seems unbalanced with the six lines of black above it. My two cents.

  20. i’m not a big fan of the tattoos… because of the contradiction, as other have pointed out.
    however, i find it striking the way the girls’ bodies fit together. i think that’s pretty.

  21. Hmmm…While it’s a neat idea, I have to agree with the people questioning the sincerity of the concepts espoused. Sun Tzu was a clever fellow…and extremely harsh. (When training the emperors concubines to be bodyguards, he killed the leader to get the rest to pay attetion. It worked, but…damn.) Though I suppose a different time and place redefines “harsh”. But…really, this kind of screams “poser”. Perhaps the main point they were reaching for was the total domination of an enemy by little more than intimidation. But the fact that these are little girls we’re talking about who probably have little concept of “the wrong people” or what it means to fight (and, I’d like to point out, I fall into the same category as them), the intimidation thing is hard to swallow.

    Maybe they’ll scratch our eyes out with their pretty manicures?

  22. Besides, if they “pick” fights enough, they’re bound to run into some bad motherfucker who’s going to hurt them with reality. Getting shanked, shot, or having their nice tan fucked up with a box-cutter is going to spoil their party, believe me.
    Not to mention ruin a manicure.

  23. I must agree they completely missed to point of the passage.
    They do get points for not picking generic flash off the walls and seem to have put some though behind it, but the ignorance of situation overrides the it.

    That said, it’s a nicely executed tattoo.

  24. This also screams “poser’ to me. Reminds me of the little girls in high school, who wore cheerleader outfits and called themselves “hardcore bitches” because they yanked another girls hair. I can pretty much, just by their clothes, tans, and manicures, garantee you they have no concept of what a real fight actually is. When one of them can take a punch from a 250 lb. man (WITHOUT crying to daddy to pay for another nose job), and stay conscious through it, or walk through my neighborhood at night (Park Lane in Dallas, TX) and NOT get shot, then they can call themselves hardcore.

  25. Well this is just stupid, and it looks awful too, the font, the stupid stitched together text, which is reduced to crap because of their “OH CRAP THE TATTOO HAS TO HAVE SOME MEANING TO IT! LET’S JUST RANDOMLY PICK SOMETHING FROM THAT NERDY GUY’S BOOK!! LolZ!!”.

    But they sure look pretty, the girls that it, and the girl on the left has some fine cushioning.

  26. Looks like a couple of braindead sluts trying to appear smart by getting a book excerpt tattooed on them.

    (It’s not working)

  27. actually, i read the novel, multiple times, i’m not a brain dead slut, i DO have some cushioning & yes, it is something i’m working towards.
    i got arrested for battery and assault, and got the shit rocket out of me. after broken bones, too much alcohol & a night explaining to my dad why i need bail money, i realized that its not about throwing fists and drawing blood. there’s more to that.

  28. There’s a big difference between reading and understanding. Also, no, I guess you’re not braindead. Just an idiot, as proven by your behaviour. Grow the fuck up and stop being a burden to society. Your dad’s an idiot also for bailing out your stupid fat ass. And as far as being a slut goes, if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck…

  29. This is a page from a book called “How to Ruin Your Once Hot Bod in 1 Hour at Your Local Tattoo Parlor”. Great book, I highly recommend it.

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