Now, before you get all warped, hear me out. Understand that I am speaking as someone who tattoos ten hours a day, five days a week, four weeks a month, twelve months a year, give or take a day or two. So, when you come to the shop, you get your tattoo and you leave. When I come to the shop, I see your tattoo, and her tattoo, and his tattoo, and their tattoo...now add to the fact that I'm not the only one here. At the end of the year, we have put on a lot of tattoos. It stands to reason that there would be repeats here and there, and that's okay. There is no such thing as a 100% unique tattoo, everything borrows from something else. And thanks to the internet, if you post a photo of a tattoo done in Cleveland, within minutes, someone in Taipei can print it out and bring it to a shop to get the same one. It's just what happens. However, there seems to be a narrowing of the stream, if you will. Instead of seeing variations on a theme, we are seeing endless replications of the same design, over and over and over. The general public has settled on edlessly regurgitating the same few designs. In the name of customizing yourself, you are choosing the exact same image as thousands of other people.
Let me also add that I would never suggest people NOT get tattooed. I'd be out of a job if I started doing that. I might occasionally question the design or the placement if I feel you're not going to be happy with the results, but the decision to get tattooed is always the right one from where I sit. But you have to consider where it is that I sit. I'm on the opposite end of the machine from you, and I have a very, very different perspective on this than you do. I would like to think that means something.
Mostly, and I hate to be selective, this list is aimed more at the ladies than the menfolk. I hate to be selective, but, girls, you are the worst offenders. I can almost guess which of these images you're about to show me when you pull out your pink, blingy iPhone and start scrolling through the images. And I wait and wait as your squared-off plastic french manicure thumbnail taps the screen repepatedly while you search through all the duckface pics you made in the ladies' room at Chipotle. I play a game with myself, trying to guess which one it's going to be, if you haven't already told me. It's become my personal ESP test.
Now, I know what some of you are thinking: "Well, what about flash? You mean to tell me you never did the same piece off a sheet of flash more than once?" Of course I have. You haven't tattooed until you've replicated JD Crowe's climbing panther a few dozen times. I did it twice in the same night on two people who were not in any way connected. Of course there's repetition in tattooing, but this stuff here is really pushing it. And if this stuff were the least bit interesting or well-designed, I wouldn't be complaining. When people bring me these images, I point out the potential problems with said images. Their response is, "Well, that's what I want." So I do it, then they come back moaning that I was right and they should have listened to me. So not only do these tattoos show a lack of independent thought, they are also the mark of people who cannot listen to instructions. Therefore, I have no remorse about hurting your feelings if your tattoo is on this list.
1. Feather Exploding Into Tiny Birds
I blame the rise of this tiresome tattoo purely on Pintrest. I can't say I'm clear on how the site works, but from what I understand, it's like Facebook, only with more pictures of kitties and food, and less witty repartee. Anyway, this tattoo...I did this tattoo four times in one week not long ago, and one of my co-workers did it at least once that same week that I know of. So that's five confirmed times in one week. Now, not even taking a long, hard look at this photo, I can tell you one thing: This tattoo is shitty. Sorry. Whoever did this tattoo deserves a slap, at the very least. It's choppy, scratchy and shaky. Now, you're bringing us a photo of a shitty tattoo and you want the same thing. Take this tattoo and clean it up and do it properly, and it still sucks. It's a giant black blob of shit. You know what else is a giant black blob of shit? Tribal. So, yeah. You're getting this because you think tribal is stupid. Guess what? It doesn't matter if it's pointy black shit in the shape of a tiger or a skull or a bunch of tiny birds exploding out of a feather, it's still tribal. As the great philosopher Nelson Muntz once said, "HA ha!"
2. Infinity Sign With Something Written In It
From the dictionary definition of 'Symmetry':
Any and all song lyrics or quotes or whatever, wherever you put them and whatever kind of lettering, it all sucks, sucks, sucks. There was an astoundlingly eloquent piece written against this sort of thing and I'll be damned if I can find it. If I ever do find it again, I will link to it, promise. EDIT: Thanks to bad-ass readers Al and JonDredd, I have the link right effin' here. Please read, it's great stuff.
This is pretty much what 99.99% of finger tattoos become. I'm only telling you to stop getting them because you refuse to listen to what we tell you about them, you refuse to manage your expectations, and then you have the gall to come back, shove your finger in our faces and say, "LOOK! It's ALL FUCKED UP!" Yeah, well, we warned you. Sorry you're not as magical as you hoped you were, but we tried to tell you that. Until you can get these and stop acting like whiny twats about it, I'm resisting. Besides, hand tattoos are for hardasses. Well, they used to be. Also, not to be a wet blanket, but the economy is in the toilet. As an unemployed recent grad with 70K in student debt and no job, you might not want to try so hard to make yourself unemployable. Jus' sayin'.