Ask any respectable ink artist, and they’d tell you the best tattoo is the one you don’t regret.
But hey, part of the beauty of getting your skin torn by a paint-fuelled needle, signing up for a torturous hour or two you won’t be able to forget that easily, and making sure the art does heal properly has to do with its sheer spontaneity. After all, who on earth overthinks their tattoos?!
But no matter how polite and accepting we may be about people’s personal choices of ink design, some of them may involuntarily raise our eyebrows. Tide Pod tattoo? Check. Typos? Yep. Drunk tattoo? Sure! White or gold dress meme tattoo? Why not! Let’s see some of the most blunt examples below, and be sure to upvote your favorites.
In order to find out what it takes to get a tattoo that won’t age poorly and that you won’t regret afterwards, Bored Panda spoke to an experienced tattoo artist, Rodrigo Tas. Rodrigo is a Brazilian-born tattoo artist with a career spanning over 20 years as a graphic designer, art director, illustrator, professor, and tattooist. He has tattooed in New York, Paris, London, Rio de Janeiro, Barcelona, Tel Aviv, and other cities around the globe, making himself a respectable name in the industry.
Rodrigo said his clients rarely regret their ink designs, since he runs a “complex briefing where the customers can have a chance to think, plan, and explain the whole story behind the tattoo and also give me directions about style, finishing, colors, size.” He also gets the photos sent by clients in order to make a design that fits body shape, measures, skin tone, etc.
Having said that, Rodrigo added that he definitely gets many requests to cover up old tattoos made in a different process than his. These are usually “designs copied from the internet or simply badly chosen,” he added.
When asked what a person should consider before getting inked, Rodrigo suggests always “double-checking the artist's portfolio to understand if his style and techniques really fit what you want to get.”
“Second, to give him a complete briefing of what you have in mind in terms of style, finishing, coloring, size, references to avoid surprises. Then, trust the artist to design something original and exclusive for you based on the information you’ve given.”
Rodrigo explained that getting a tattoo is a collaborative process. “Both the client and the artist must trust and believe each other's ideas,” he said and added: “The best feeling is when, at the end of a tiring process, looking at the tattoo finished in the mirror, both artist and customer smile to each other, happy and proud.”
Bored Panda also spoke to Alex Alvarado, a professional tattoo artist who runs “Santo Cuervo Tattoo” studio in North London, UK. Alex said that luckily, in his experience, people haven’t regretted their tattoos, as most of his clients “do their homework and make sure that what they want, they want for life.”
“From what I’ve seen, the usual regrets come from impromptu tattoos done on a whim/during holidays/while drunk/etc., or arise from the actual quality of the tattoo not being up to scratch,” the tattoo artist explained. “In both cases, the blame could be put on the client for obvious reasons on the former, and for not researching their chosen artist and making sure they’re the right fit for the job on the latter,” he added.
When asked if there are any designs that a responsible artist would refuse to make on a client, Alex said it’s “anything offensive, racist, sexist, etc.,” and added: “Also, on the more ethical side, a tattoo artist should have certain reservations about tattooing very visible places such as hands/neck/face if the client isn’t already heavily tattooed.”
Before considering getting tattooed, Alex says to make sure you have “a clear idea for your tattoo and are able to communicate this efficiently to your artist. And definitely make sure you research your artist and pick the right one for your project.”The tattoo artist concluded that “if these two pieces of the puzzle are in place, the result can’t be anything but great!”