I thought I’d christen this blog with something important to me, the rising mass of terrible outline tattoos. The above tattoo belongs to a girl who waxed long and poetically about it’s deep emotional symbolism and the fact that it is “custom designed” to be similar to the cover of Bob Dylan’s “Before the Flood”. But, that’s a lot of hot wind and soul to give to a tiny outline tattoo. And unfortunately she’s just one of many people getting overly simplistic or shoddy tattoos who thinks that by imbuing them with “deep meanings” justifies a bad tattoo.
Outline tattoos are bad for you, but before you piss in my porrige let me explain why this fad is bad.
- Outline tattoos look unfinished. When you get a tattoo the first part the tattooist starts on is generally the outline, so having nothing but an outline makes your tattoo look like a work in progress or that you were too lazy, or too cheap, to get it finished and filled in.
- Outline tattoos are overly simplified, flat, and boring. There is no dynamic liveliness to an outline tattoo, no color and no dramatic shading. It’s boring, and it’s going to be boring on your skin forever. You probably don’t consider yourself a boring person, why limit your skin with boring tattoos?
- Outline tattoos occupy valuable skin space that could be used for better tattoos. Why have something looking half-finished and all-crap wasting your precious skin real-estate?
- Outline tattoos are often done by inexperienced or disreputable tattoo “artists”. Good tattoo artists will generally take your personal well being into account and talk you out of getting an outline tattoo, and then they’ll whip you up some custom design that rocks you so hard. Bad tattoo artists on the other hand, or lazy tattoo artists, will tattoo you however you want, whether it’s best for you or not. These are the types of people who do outline tattoos, and it shows in the wobbly line work, poor placement, and blowouts. All of those issues only make it that much more likely that not only will your outline tattoo look uninteresting and unfinished, but it will be compounded by looking shit-awful.