What you put on your body is an extremely personal choice, and tattoos even more so. Tattoos need to be chosen after careful thought, and even tattoo artists recognize that some tattoos just shouldn’t happen. Inked interviewed several tattoo artists about what they refuse to do.
Aside from the obvious “drunk tattoos,” many of the answers were completely reasonable. Many of the artists refuse symbols of racism and hate—especially Nazi symbolism. The artists often try to open a dialogue with their clients to discover what their real goals are with the tattoo and whether they understand what they are asking for.
The artists also consider longevity. A lot goes into how long a tattoo will last. Colours and lines affect how long a tattoo will look good. Tattoo artists take great pride in what they create, and to have a tattoo fade after a few years is heartbreaking. Another longevity concern is placement. Some areas, such as the lip or the insides of fingers, just don’t heal well. But another aspect of longevity in terms of placement is visibility. Many of the artists don’t want to be the first to perform a face tattoo. Nor do they want to do a tattoo that they know the recipient will regret.
A good tattoo artist is your best advisor when it comes to getting ink. They want you to be happy with your art, so you may want to listen to what they have to say.