What do you think of my tattoo...

@eden32 (3976)
United States
June 6, 2007 11:38am CST
My partner is a tattoo artist. He's an amazingly skilled artist, but of course I am biased :) But I have a pet peeve stemming from his career & I just have to share it here since I can't share it in real life. I've been asked thousands of times by his clients, what I think of their tattoos. It's a rare occasion that I can answer honestly, and say that I love it. As I said, his work is great but he doesn't choose what people wish to put on their body; and some of the choices I have seen really leave me scratching my head. So for what it's worth here is my short list of things you may want to reconsider having put on your body... 1. Getting a symbol in another language if you don't know what it means is NOT COOL. It happens most frequently with Chinese characters. Seems some people are more concerned about getting something that looks "cool" than knowing what the symbol means. 2. If your right arm is covered in sayings like "Ganstas for Life", a big old crying Jesus or Virgin Mary on the left isn't going to blend real well. 3. Having your girlfriend or boyfriend's name on your body IS THE KISS OF DEATH for your relationship. It didn't keep Tommy Lee & Pamela Anderson together, and it won't strengthen your relationship either. I have seen some really cool portraits of exes turned into portraits of demons with the ex's face, so perhaps that's OK- lol. 4. And finally, listen to your artist when he or she tells you how big or how small a piece should be. If you can't afford a big piece today, save up for a couple weeks. You're going to have this FOREVER. If you're a big guy, with beautiful bulging biceps; a cheaper, shrunken down Tiger is going to look like a cutesy little hamster if you insist on letting your budget be the determining factor. Alright, my rant is over now.
3 people like this
14 responses
@tina12679 (1126)
• United States
11 Jun 07
You have a really good point here. I dont claim to be a awesome tatto artist, and i am acually far from becoming one i have alot more to learn but these are the basics for everyone i think. I acually refuse to do names. I did one, one time and it was for my mom and her boyfriend of 6 years and i knew of their relationship and didnt think it would ever fizzle. Sure enough about 6 months after i gave her his name they split. Luckily it is on her shoulder nad it is a ribbon around a reall dainty rose if need be i could shade in the ribbon or something to make it pretty.
2 people like this
@eden32 (3976)
• United States
17 Jun 07
Are you an apprentice now?
2 people like this
@tina12679 (1126)
• United States
17 Jun 07
I'm not acually i would really love to work under a great artist, but as of now i have no time with three little ones. I havent done any for a while but i am nore of the learn as you go type. I oredered the equipment with the hopes to learn the trade and be able to learn under someone, with everything i got how to movies. and just started practicing on my hubby basicly. I have only given tattoos to friends and all have never had any complaints and my charge was usually by donation. But they all knew that if they didnt donate enough then i couldnt get more needles and ink to continue on. I am hoping in the future once the kids are older i will be able to get back into it and find someone who will let me "really" learn under them. Oh i totaly forgot too when i responded the first time, your tattoo looks awesome!
2 people like this
• United States
7 Jun 07
I would have to respond with, "Well, it looks like you had a very talented artist do that tattoo for you!" My brothers are tattoo artists and when I worked in the shop I ran into this a lot. I am pretty bold, so if I didn't like the actual artwork, I would say so. I didn't mean it to offend, just my honest opinion. I have seen some crazy stuff come out of their shop on people's bodies, but, they don't listen. They're determined to get a tattoo and not think about what it'll look like when they are 80. I have 12 tattoos, and I can honestly say that I only regret one of them, which I plan to have removed in the near future. (My brother's didn't do that one lol) Good for you saying what's on your mind!
@eden32 (3976)
• United States
8 Jun 07
Thank you for responding :) Curious, are you going to have it removed with laser treatment? Try one of the creams that are out now? (I've heard really mixed results from those) or covering it with something new?
1 person likes this
• United States
8 Jun 07
I am looking into laser removal. It's what's been suggested the most so far. There is a shop here where I live that does it (a tattoo shop). The tattoo I want removed is mostly in blues and purples which have the highest success rate for removal. I'll let you know if I do it and how it turns out!
2 people like this
• United States
7 Jun 07
Good points, all around. I have to admit that I am one of those people who has a Chinese character on me, but mine is more of a tribute to a TV series (Firefly/Serenity, for those who are familiar with it). I also have Egyptian hieroglyphs and Norse runes, but I understand those a lot more. :) Also, the size bit is an important one. My first tattoo is smaller than it should have been, because that tattoo artist didn't suggest going bigger. When I went to get my second tattoo, I went to a different artist, and she told me it had to be bigger. I was hesitant at first, but she was completely right. :)
2 people like this
@eden32 (3976)
• United States
7 Jun 07
But you do know what your Chinese character means, right? I don't have a problem with characters in general. I think my next will probably be my kids' names in hieroglyphs; but I'll know that I have the symbols right before they go on my body :) Thank you for responding :)
1 person likes this
• United States
8 Jun 07
Yup, I definitely know what it means. :)
2 people like this
@Amstardam (1348)
• United States
9 Jul 07
oooh, I can't STAND it when people get Chinese characters because they think it looks cool. If you aren't from there and you haven't been there, don't get it! Grr!! I have Thai writing on me. It stands for Shine. I was actually in Thailand, after having lived there for a few months volunteering, when I decided what I wanted. The Thai word is pronounced sang-sa-wha. There are many different words used for shine so I actually looked it up in the book that I wanted it from. I also asked many different friends in Thailand to make sure it was correct. I won't get any more writing in another language unless I've been to that country and I'm getting it done in that country.
2 people like this
@eden32 (3976)
• United States
10 Sep 07
It's great that you did your research before getting it done. Thank you for your response.
@lillake (1634)
• United States
11 Jun 07
LOL Great list! I hate, hate, hate when people get symbols that tey don't have a clue about. Just because it "looks cool" is not reason enough to PERMANENTLY ink your body with it. I should know, I've made that mistake twice. At least I have the excuse of being a rebelious teenager. ;)
2 people like this
@eden32 (3976)
• United States
11 Jun 07
I actually let a high school boyfriend attempt to give me a tattoo when I was about 14, thank any God listening that he had no idea what he was doing & the ink didn't take. Are you planning to cover the 2 you don't care for now?
1 person likes this
@molusk (857)
• Philippines
8 Jun 07
So, you are for real, eden 32. This is my first time to read a rant from someone who has a skilled tattoo artist for a partner. And to be honest about it, I find your story enlightening. Indeed, there was a time when I find having a tattoo to my liking. But eventually I forgot all about it when I cannot find a good tattoo artist to visualize a kind of tattoo I have in mind. May I know if on the average, how much will it cost me for a 4 by 6 inch tattoo on my biceps? Thanks a lot eden32 for you info
@eden32 (3976)
• United States
8 Jun 07
I'm for real :) If I get my scanner to work, I'll scan & share some of his portfolio here. He really does do beautiful pieces -when that's what's the customer wants. You're going to find that the prices will vary quite a bit in different areas of the country, in different studios and sometimes even different artists in the same studio will have different fees- reflecting who has more experience. Also some artist charge by the piece and some by the time it takes. If you were getting something pretty straight forward, flash off the wall or a piece you had ready for the artist you can expect to spend somewhere in the $75-150 range I'd guess. But a portrait that size may run you as much as twice that. Just another note of caution, if you want a portrait go look at as many portfolios as you can before choosing your artist. Almost anyone can copy a piece of flash and do a decent job, but portraits are tricky & imo, truly art if they're done well.
1 person likes this
@diillu (5128)
6 Jun 07
It is cool and your information is pretty cool. I liked it and thanks alot for sharing the information. Your tattoo is cool. But can you tell me, about my tatto..i have an angel in my left leg..is it good.
2 people like this
@eden32 (3976)
• United States
7 Jun 07
Thank you for responding :)
1 person likes this
@whywiki (6070)
• Canada
6 Jun 07
Good point well said I would say. I have thought about getting a tattoo but I am a large woman and always wondered what it would look like if I got one done while fat and then if and when I lose the weight the tattoo would be misshapen. I think people should listen to the tattoo artist as they know what is happening. Maybe you have enlightened a few people.
@eden32 (3976)
• United States
7 Jun 07
Ask a couple artist about what you want & where you want to get it. Some designs, in some spots are going to hold up better than others to losing weight. But imo, delaying doing anything you want to do because you want to lose weight some day isn't a good plan. Be happy & do what you want NOW, the weight will come off but don't delay having a full life.
1 person likes this
@Malyck (3428)
• Australia
9 Sep 07
LOL thank goodness for people like you! My father is a tattooist, and I have worked in his studio since I was young. So many people have asked me what I think of their past tattoos, or of their current choices, and depending on my mood, I will actually say what I think. Fortunately, the tattooists at our studio aren't those kind that you get who don't have a conscious, you know, the ones that won't turn someone down if they want to get something absolutely ridiculous, ugly, or otherwise unpleasant. I've turned many willing customers away for point 4. It's always a shame when you see a bigger person with a tiny tattoo that would otherwise have been nice - if it occupied its space properly. Even with 'average'-sized people, getting a cheaper tattoo because it accommodates to the budget isn't doing yourself justice. The couple tattoos, don't even get me started. Even when you're married or, if marriage isn't your thing (like with me), but in a long-term relationship, the name of your partner is unnecessary, and not at all impressive. I wouldn't mind getting a symbolic tattoo of my relationship, as all of my tattoos have some specific symbolism and meaning to me, but names aren't cool in my view. There are so many tattoo faux pas (sp) that people need to become aware of, and stop committing. Nice rant, Eden! =D
@Malyck (3428)
• Australia
9 Sep 07
Also, I forgot to mention: what does it matter if someone you don't know likes or dislikes your tattoo anyway? I hate it when people that come in to the studio ask me, unless it's in a certain context. Because to be honest, it's about whether THEY like THEIR tattoo, and are happy with it. "Of course I don't like your flaming set of t!ts on your bicep, sir, but do you?"
1 person likes this
@eden32 (3976)
• United States
10 Sep 07
"what does it matter if someone you don't know likes or dislikes your tattoo anyway? I hate it when people that come in to the studio ask me, unless it's in a certain context. Because to be honest, it's about whether THEY like THEIR tattoo, and are happy with it. "Of course I don't like your flaming set of t!ts on your bicep, sir, but do you?"" LMAO at your final statement, priceless. Your approach is similar to how my partner responds. When someone says "what do you think of this piece" he almost always answers "well it's your tattoo, what do you think of it." I've just never mastered diplomacy I guess. He does quite a bit of cover-ups and I'm always being asked what I think should go over an old piece. If people only knew how completely art blind I am, they' ask their poodle's opinion before mine. Occasionally I can see how something else would fit over something, but more often than not I just look at them blankly until my partner rescues me from the question.
@wiccania (3360)
• United States
17 Jun 07
My favorite is the young girls who get tattoos on their bellies. I had a friend in high school who celebrated her 18th birthday by getting a tattoo on her belly, just above the panty line. I pointed out that it wasn't going to look very good after she had kids. She said the artist told her that too, but she would just put lotion on it and it would be fine. She got pregnant right after graduation, and sure enough, the tattoo was ruined. So she had a nice tattoo for all of a year (give or take). I have to admit that I'm very critical of tattoos. I learned the benefit of a heavy handed artist with my first tattoo. It needs a touch up now, but it's 10 years old. It didn't start to fade noticeably until just a couple of years ago. I have a tat on my ankle, so I get a lot of comments usually followed by a "hey check this out." I'm the person who will point out the need for a touch up because of lines that aren't completely clear, or black fill that's not completely solid. I had someone show me a tattoo that was a band around her calf. I was a little surprised... why would you get a band there? So I asked. She didn't want to deal with the pain of having it done on her ankle. I couldn't stop myself from laughing. It hit me by surprise.
1 person likes this
@eden32 (3976)
• United States
17 Jun 07
Oh the band around the ankle is too funny. I've seen dozens of people get 3/4ths of an arm band. They have it so if the arm is down it looks like a band, but there isn't any thing on the inside. Fear of pain is also the reason given by those people!
@wiccania (3360)
• United States
17 Jun 07
I call those p*ssy bands. I think it's funny when guys who think they're really big and tough only get the 3/4 band.
1 person likes this
@tiffthone (193)
• United States
25 Jun 07
If a girl wants to get a guys name tattooed on them, get the word "jerk" tattooed on instead. It covers 98% of all guys! lol, I know not all guys are jerks all the time, but most of them can be at some time. (I'm happily married.) So if you get a tattoo that says Jerk, it can cover any guy ya want it. (Yes, I'm joking, I wouldn't really get a tattoo that says Jerk, but its the point of not getting your boyfriends name tattooed on you.) I do have a tattoo. I'm a small girl, so I didn't get a big huge tattoo. Its about the size of my fist, of a fairy sitting on a moon, and my mom drew the wings. Its on my left shoulder, where it can be hidden if needed and flaunted if wanted. I love it!
1 person likes this
@eden32 (3976)
• United States
10 Sep 07
Great idea :) I love fairies & have considered getting one at some point, but for now I'll just stick to the one lonely tattoo I have.
• Philippines
18 Jun 07
I think it looks nice and it doesnt look dirty. It was very artistic. Your partner must have been popular doing tattoos like this one. I wish him more goodluck for his career. If my BF was a tattoo artist, maybe I will let him put a very small one on my back where only him can see. I admire arts but I wont let my body become tattooed.
1 person likes this
@eden32 (3976)
• United States
18 Jun 07
He resisted doing my first tattoo for quite some time when we started dating. His ex is almost covered with them and she still comes by to have them touched up or changed. I had wanted one for years before we were a couple & just hadn't gotten around to having it done. About 2 years ago (3 years into our relationship) he finally agreed to do mine. I have a tiny one on the back of my neck. At some point I'd like to have my children's names put on me too, but I have no interest in being covered with them. Thanks for the response & for the well wishes :)
• United States
27 Sep 07
I agree with you on all you said..My husband is also a tattoo artist..And he is great at what he does...His favorite work is black work with alot of details..He gets into the tiny details on tats..I have 6 tats and only one of them he didn't do. I went to another shop with one of my friends and me and my hubby was fighting at that time so I decided to have this artist give me one cause I knew that would just kill my hubby...Well after 8yrs I wish I never got it done by this other guy.. Cause it is so plan and no detail I just hate it...So one of these days I'm gonna have my hubby cover it or something to make it look good...But I have also seen so many I say they are stupid tats done but who am I to judge what another person gets on their body...Whatever tricks their trigger...And b/f or g/f,husband, and wives names is a BIG NO NO!!!!
1 person likes this
• United States
23 Oct 07
Thank you. Rules to live by.I love tattoos but I haven't gotten one yet.I want my avatar on my left arm.I knew the rules by seeing Miami Ink and then L.A. Ink.they do great work. And I have seen clients that have come in and wanted something that wouldn't work so they heeded the artist's advice and round up getting a better tattoo than they could ever imagine.