5 Ways DIY Tattoos Are Ruining Tattoos for Everyone Else

Xavier in Guides

How is the practice of DIY tattooing disrupting the industry and the reputation of body art?

It's shitty, yes. Despite the fact that he got us with his Pokémon and Tim Burton reference, he still go tattooed while absolutely shitfaced. Read his story here.
It's shitty, yes. Despite the fact that he got us with his Pokémon and Tim Burton reference, he still go tattooed while absolutely shitfaced. Read his story here.

First of all, let me clarify that we aren't against every DIY tattoo in existence. But that's only if you happen to be an insanely talented tattoo artist and you simply wanted to give yourself a little treat. Or if you're pals with skilled enough tattoo artists, because tattoo parties really do happen within the walls of tattoo artists' homes and work stations and we're not one to deny that. But if none of those applies to you, then your hands probably shouldn't be going near a tattoo machine any time soon.

Barbe Rousse tattooing himself. This is how you do it.
Barbe Rousse tattooing himself. This is how you do it.

Tattoos are supposed to be this beautiful thing that's been passed on from generations and generations. I'm pretty sure that the artists that they have back then wasn't quite Nikko Hurtado or Teresa Sharpe, but it's not like they went around scribbling on their girlfriends' backs, tying to get a pair of swallow bird tattoos right. We'll never know. But that does not give grounds for somebody in this time and age to simply buy a £20 kit off eBay and start blipping on a mate's skin after a couple tries on a grapefruit. That's not an exaggeration, folks. It does happen. And it's a complete first-world problem.

via Newsweek
via Newsweek

Just because they see one shitty DIY tattoo, people simply assume every tattoo looks like that Generalization, that's what it is. 
But you can't blame some people for being too quick to judge when the first encounter they have with tattoos is something misspelled, disproportionate, or just one piece of atrocity.

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Safety first!
Safety first!

And it's not just with how it looks either, health has a lot to do with it as well. Just because it's your skin doesn't mean that you don't have to go overboard with sterilization. And just because you sleep with each other doesn't mean it's safe for the two of you to share tattoo needles. Or whatever needle for that matter.

Photo via Super Compressor
Photo via Super Compressor

DIY tattoos give hand poke tattooing a bad name We've said it before and we'll say it again: hand poke tattoos don't have to necessarily look awful. 
The same way tattoos done with a machine don't always turn out too great. It just so happens that needles and some ink are much easier to get a hold of, that the often-associated with hipsters “stick ‘n’ poke” tattoo is automatically regarded as a shit kind of tattoo. That's saddening. It's a shame that stick ‘n’ poke or hand poke tattoos—whatever you may call them—have been reduced to some kind of street cred young people who are obsessed with being so unique and anti-mainstream take part in. But that's deviating from the subject already. There are more things people get wrong about hand poke tattoos here.

via stickandpoke / Tumblr
via stickandpoke / Tumblr

The point is DIY tattoos and hand poke tattoos can be good when done by capable hands, the same way tattoos done by machines can result into a blasphemous mess when done by somebody who seems to be utterly intoxicated. Any kind of tattoo can be a shitty tattoo depending on how it was done. It's just that the risk is over the roof with DIY tattoos. Find out who are usually responsible for that in the next statement.

via NR Focus
via NR Focus

Celebrities love their often-shitty DIY tattoos. 
Tattoos being limited to rockstars and hip-hop artists are so 90's. These days, everyone seems to be getting them—and hooked into it. From pop stars to supermodels, the industry is flowing with ink more than ever. Not that it's such a bad thing but these people—especially the ones who get really bad tattoos despite the fact that they can afford good ones—hold such an influence in the scene that they have some control in whatever they're boosting, which in this case are tattoos. So when they get really bad ones, it has an impact as to how their followers see tattoos. And by popularizing DIY tattoos, courtesy of stars like Harry Styles and Cara Delevingne, they're contributing to the risk of fans following their suit. Which may end badly.

Cara Delevingne
Cara Delevingne

As much as we love Cara Delevingne, it's just that so many does too. Especially the young people who look up to her and think she's such a cool person. But if you aren't aware, the English model-turned-actress have been fond of handling the machine and giving her celebrity pals quick tat jobs now and then. She is only among the many other young celebrities who have developed the habit of broadcasting every DIY tattoo sessions they go on. If you'll go over to her page, you'll see how many teenage girls are actually blurting out how they really want one too in the comments. Uh-oh.

It's their life, their choice, I know. But when you're famous and all that, you'd have to consider what you're capable of compelling—even unintentionally—others to do.

via WikiHow
via WikiHow

They're why tattoo machines shouldn't be easily obtained. 
Do you have an idea how easy it is to order a tattoo kit online? And do you know how shockingly cheap it is too? That's if you don't bother going jail style.

Tattoo machine
Tattoo machine

This is why we're not really into the idea of the personal tattoo machine we've featured a while back. Some of my friends actually liked the idea but that can be easily written off because they're art student. And being an art student doesn't automatically make you capable of handling a tattoo machine, either. What more for the less-artistically inclined then.

Photo by Gareth Everett / Huw Evans Agency
Photo by Gareth Everett / Huw Evans Agency
Photo by Gareth Everett / Huw Evans Agency
Photo by Gareth Everett / Huw Evans Agency

Everyone can be a tattoo artist.
The more appropriate word is ‘scratcher’ but no one will really admit that. So with a good enough set and a shameless front to boot, assuring everyone who cares to listen that you can totally do it, you can make yourself believe and a few people that you're actually a tattoo artist.

Photo by Gareth Everett / Huw Evans Agency
Photo by Gareth Everett / Huw Evans Agency
Photo by Gareth Everett / Huw Evans Agency
Photo by Gareth Everett / Huw Evans Agency

Take it from this guy for example. He put his 39-year-old girlfriend at risk by testing his £20 kit on her several times which almost made her want to sign up for the reality show Tattoo Fixers. And how about that one we had a few weeks back, whose tattoo of a penis caused the end of his marriage. His wife bought a kit for him online too, which isn't a really wise move either.

Courtesy of No Class Tattoo
Courtesy of No Class Tattoo

Intentionally shitty tattoos are a whole different subject though, don't get me started on that one. I like those.

Disclaimer: This piece of writing extensively reflects the views of the author. The statements that were expressed here were based on facts, yet the ones entwined with personal opinions may contain some errors.

Xavier

@Xavier

When she's not writing for Tattoodo, Xavier likes experimenting with art and organizing local music shows. We're kidding, she's probably asleep. Follow her on Instagram @claudia_strife

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