Tattoo Artists Share The Worst Decisions First-Timers Have Ever Made

You will have this on your skin forever. This is what every tattoo artist wishes they could make a client understand.

But sometimes people are stubborn. And this leads to trouble. The kind of trouble that cannot be removed without major surgery.

u/sarcastic_attic99 asked:

Tattoo artists of Reddit, what are some of the worst first tattoo decisions you've seen someone make?

Here were some of those answers.

Hate Symbol Go Bye Bye

I apprenticed in a shop for a while, we had a middle aged guy come in to see about a cover up. He was a big guy, leather jacket, not someone you'd want into meet in a dark alley. He asked if he could show the artist the original tattoo in private, not unusual since people have stuff in private areas. Anyway, he goes into the bay and closes the door to speak to the artist for a while.

After he leaves I asked what he was getting, he wanted his swastika tattoo on his bicep covered. He was so ashamed and embarrassed he didn't want other people in the shop to see it in case we judged him. Turned out to be a really nice bloke, just made some dumb decisions as a teen.


Ouchie Ouch

My tattoo artist told me a story of a lady who came in, probably mid 20s and wanted a tattoo. She got it probably the size of her hand on her arm. A few days later she came back and asked the artist how long until the tattoo will wash off because she's been trying for a few days but it won't come off.

My artist looked at her, processed what she said and laughed. She even had to sign a form that said the customer is aware that tattoos are permanent and it also says it on the aftercare sheet. Also why would you go through that much pain for something temporary??


A Minor Mess

This girl came into the shop with a really badly done cross on her hand which also was upside down. She wanted it touched up but she looked super young so I asked to see her ID which she said she didn't have one because she was 13 years old... I was like I'm sorry I can't it's against the law to tattoo minors. It was her first tattoo and she got it on her hand and got it in the wrong orientation.

The worst part is that she makes a big fuss about it then leaves the shop slams the door and goes to the parking lot. Well, her mom must of been in the car waiting and she comes in right after her yelling at me that I won't tattoo her 13 year old daughter... I couldn't believe it...


My Son Owns This Arm

I'm an apprentice, but this middle aged lady comes in, super tight leather pants, way too tight crop top, stringy bleached hair and orange spray tan. Asks me to do a few Harley Davidson tattoos on her, which she had taken the liberty of designing herself . She basically intended to get her entire elbow down to her hand completely covered in a week. I told her that was unreasonable especially because she had ZERO tattoos, but we can do one at a time. So I try to pretty her monstrosity of a Harley skull up a bit, slap the stencil on. I am halfway through her hideous design before I ask her how long she's been a biker. She laughs, "I've never owned a motorcycle. Those things are death traps!". Turns out her two year old son really likes motorcycles and she decided to dedicate her entire arm to that?


Not Gonna Be A Part Of That Mess

=• Dude came in wearing a suit and wanted a really intricate rose on the back of his hand. Admitted to having no other tattoos but said "I've had a shot in my butt before though so I know what to expect." My friend chuckled and said no thanks.

• A woman in her early 20s wanted a really intricate full back piece, but scoffed and walked out when he told her it would take more than one session.

• (My personal favorite, because I got to witness it) Girl came in on her 18th birthday. I was in the chair and needed a break anyway so I went out for a cigarette and he took the consult. 3 minutes later I go back in to her shouting at him, telling him he's a horrible person and ruining her birthday because he won't do her boyfriend's name in huge letters across her entire forearm. When she left he told me her exact words were "I want my boyfriend's name real big on my arm here. We've been dating for 6 weeks today and it's my birthday so I think this is a gift for both of us. I want big, black letters with thick lines, but also make it easy to cover later just in case I change my mind." He thought she was joking until she looked him in the eye and asked what he thought was so funny. He declined and that's when the yelling started.



Not a tattoo artist, but I have a dumb friend. One day my friend, who was 18 and a freshman in college, decided he didn't feel like going to class and went to a tattoo shop. He walked in and said "what can I get for $50." Terrible plan. He's an idiot.

Walked out with the word "Perfection" maybe 3 inches long in the middle of his shoulder blade in a really girlie scrolly font. Now my friend is a pretty big dude. Around 6' and that mix of muscular and overweight. Looked ridiculous.

At least it'll be easy to cover eventually.


Respect The Art

Obligatory not an artist, but I've seen a few while getting mine. Dude got a cartoon penis with a grinning face, squirting red hearts...

PSA to ppl thinking of getting a tat: vet your artist's work and make sure his/her style matches your tat. They're ARTISTS. You don't ask a watercolor painter to use acrylics, and you don't ask a dude/gal who specializes in black realism to do your watercolor flower. Seriously.


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I Feel Like I'm In The Middle Of Something

I live in an extremely religious and conservative state and this pair of guys come in (both look like they sell insurance) and the dom of the relationship says the sub wants a paw print on his ass ("cause hes my b****"). The artist looks at the sub and says verifies he's okay with this.

Tattoo is finished and their wives pick them up. But before they leave they tell the artist he's invited if he ever wants to join them. Apparently the wives have a thing going too. But the punchline to me is that these guys are both higher up in the local church.


Ah, Capitalism: Final Stages

In the early 2000s, a few people made a bunch of cash by auctioning off their forehead space for a tattoo. Can't remember the details but I'd like to know where those folks are now and how it all worked out.


Tattoos Are Not A Contact Sport

I think hard about tattoos, and often will sit on a design for about a year before ever getting them. My first tattoo was a memorial for a dear pet that had passed away.

Apparently, according to him, not many people think things through like I do. He's a tattoo artist that will refuse certain things or will only do certain designs according to the person.

Well, once this dumb kid came in. Unfortunately I also knew this kid and yeah, he's the type. He never had any ink done before, but wanted some kind of calligraphy done under his eyes Post Malone style. Obviously the tattoo artist said no, as he absolutely refuses to do face or neck tats unless you already have them. Kid threw a fit and decided the punch the tattoo artist.

I took great pleasure in seeing the little jerk do community service for about a year after the fact. Don't know the extent of justice done on him, but I know he was in community service.


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