Written by: Jaclyn Popola
The only thing that qualifies me to be an authority on the subject of what makes a bad tattoo is that I have thirteen myself and think they're all pretty cool. Granted mine are small and pretty hard to mess up. However, I've met a number of individuals--online and off--whose tattoos are just completely atrocious. What possesses them to get such horrible things inked permanently onto their skin for the rest of their natural born lives, I don't know and can only speculate. I have noticed several requirements that are pretty much guaranteed to create a bad quality tattoo.INAPPROPRIATE SCALE
A tiny image on a huge expanse of skin. Not only does the tattoo look lost in the midst of all that blank space, but it has the probability of interfering with any hopefully larger, better tattoos you may want to get in the future.
This is most likely the fault of the artist. Just because you can learn how to work a tattoo gun doesn't mean you should do so for a living. There's a reason why they're called tattoo ARTISTS; there is supposed to be an artistic quality to the images they create.
A yellow dragonfly with no defining outline, shading, depth or dimension will quickly grow to look like the mark of a leper...unless leprosy is the look you're going for?
Covering up tattoos is a finely honed skill that can turn an old, spur of the moment or regrettable tattoo into something new and beautiful. Ideally, the new image will be much better than the original. Apparently, this isn't always the case.
You want the world to know you're a close-minded bigot? Fine. But the annihilation of the body by symbols of destruction and genocide is something I simply cannot respect.
The body is a blank canvas to which paint must be applied accordingly. Some people do not understand this concept, and believe they can just splash ink on their skin in any fashion and it'll look good. You are not Jackson Pollock. Sorry.
GETTING INKED WHILE DRUNK
If you're drinking with your buddies and one of them says, "Bro, let's go get matching tattoos!" chances are he means YOU get the tattoo while he stands there and laugh. Also be wary of the friend who says, "Bro, my uncle's got a tattoo gun. Let's use it...on you!"
If this isn't the fault of the tattoo artist, it should be. I understand that a lot of people have no idea what they're talking about when they enter the tattoo parlor and ask the tattoo artist to bring the idea in their head to life on their skin. But it is the job of a good artist to explain the concepts of shading, and how certain colors fade faster over time, and what colors look best when blended together. On the other hand, some people can be very insistent about what they want and what THEY think will make a great tattoo, despite any warnings or opposing suggestions.
RANDOMNESS There's no explanation for these atrocities. They are random selections that are randomly placed and poorly executed.
TATTOOS THAT NEVER GET COMPLETED
A good deal of tattoos can not be completed in a single sitting. Intricate designs using a lot of color or large back pieces usually require several sessions before they're fully finished. But there's no excuse for small designs like the ones seen here to remain incomplete for longer than a few moments. Unless you're a wussy who couldn't take the pain.