Tattoo Blog

Art that adorns the flesh…

Fight the Good Fight

December 8th, 2008 by

I’d like to address what I think is the underlying issue with some of the posts I’ve read here recently.  Every aspect of tattooing, from government regulation, prison programs, or waning popularity can be broken down into two basic categories:  Good tattoo and Bad tattoo.

No government regulation is going to make people smarter, and the people that get tattooed by scratchers are undeniably dumb.  The single best way to get rid of scratchers is by doing/getting good tattoos.  I’ve found that the vast majority of the general public has no idea what a good tattoo looks like or what some artists are capable of.  When folks with scratcher tattoos come into the shop here and see what they’ve been missing it’s like they’ve been asleep for years and they’re just now waking up.  The same goes for areas where tattoo popularity is waning.  Barring the artificial increase in tattoo interest created by recent television programs and the subsequent “norming” that will no doubt occur when those shows are no longer aired, people who say they find tattoos unattractive are regularly the same people who don’t know dick about tattoo.  Hell,  find shitty tattoos unattractive myself, doesn’t mean I don’t like tattoos, just means I only like good ones.  I’d like to see a survey done comparing people’s response to images of good tattoos and bad ones, I think there will be a direct correlation between people’s dislike of tattoos and the poor quality of work.  Of course, some people just plain ole’ don’t like body art in general and that’s just fine (diversity makes the world go round) but to say that tattoo popularity is somehow decreasing whne it’s at it’s most popular ever is a bit premature.  Once again, when you can’t find tattoo shows on tv anymore I think we’ll see mainstream interest decrease, but that would just make it business as usual for most of us.

As for prison tattooing:  The only way for a program like this to work would require good tattoo artists to give of their time in order to train prisoners to tattoo.  The logistics of just that should help people see how difficult this proposal would be.  The moral argument is there, but the practicality of such a thing is nonexistent.  The bottom line is that tattoos should be done in tattoo shops or conventions, by professionals and anything that detracts from that philosophy is something that will detract from tattooing as a whole.

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