I’m going to come right out and say I don’t read BME often. But I do think that the post “Fraud in Tattooing” by Shannon Larratt raises some interesting thoughts on tattoos that look great fresh and wind up, pardon my paraphrasing, healing like shit. Shannon’s intro says more than I possibly good:

I’ve been talking to an old friend that’s a tattoo artist who’s pretty straight-shooting and no-bullshit in his attitudes about some of the trends we see among top artists these days. The one that I whole-heartedly agree with is this tendency to fill portfolios with pieces that couldn’t possibly heal well, but look great fresh. Tattoos that look incredible the day they’re done — bright color realism with almost no black-shading is a good example of stuff that often turns into a faded out nothing in time — but looks like garbage when it’s healed. I’ll quote some of what he said, keeping things anonymous because I’m not looking to point fingers here.

Here’s a portion of an email Shannon received from an anonymous tattooer friend on the subject:

There is a very ugly tendancy today in tattoo business of taking pictures of fresh tattoos, doing realism that will look like shit in twenty years — or in four months even — and going from convention to convention, making 100% black money, with no touch-ups, no follow-up of clientele. Those are the most famous artists in the world. I have no problem doing tribal [edit: he is referring to an image I posted of a “less than inspired” tattoo that I spoke ill of] for people who ask. If I can’t change their mind, I’ll do it. It allows me to keep cool pricing for everybody, to keep tattoo art something it SHOULD remain, that is, a POPULAR art form.

The fact there’s only 41 comments on this post is baffling to me. Give it a read – I’d love to know the thoughts of artists and enthusiasts alike on it.

Actually, what I’m really looking forward to is the inevitable name-calling and know-it-all’ing we’ll see in the comments below…

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