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  • Writer's picturePaper Plane Ink

How do you know if a tattoo is GOOD?

Tattoos are a lifetime commitment, and it does help when we are able to differential a well-executed tattoo from a sub-average piece, especially when we have limited space on our precious skin.

It is therefore essential for everyone to be armed with sufficient knowledge that enables us to search for our desired tattoo artist who's not only artistic but technically sound.

Here are some examples for your consideration about tattoo artists:

  1. Not all tattoo artists are good tattooists, and not all tattooists are artists.

  2. Not all tattoo artists will accept any clients or tattoo designs, as some specialize in specific tattoo styles.

Inarguably, doing some research on the tattoo shop and its resident artists is highly recommended and with so many tattoo shops in Singapore, you will definitely be spoilt for choice!

As you are looking through their social media profiles such as Instagram or portfolios on their websites, you’d be sure to ask: how do you tell a good tattoo from a bad one?

Well, we’ve got 4 handy tips for you.

1. Linework and Details

Having an eye for detail is essential towards being a tattoo artist, and well-executed lines set a good foundation for our tattoos. The lines should be crisp, straight, and consistent. Lines that are wonky, fuzzy-looking, or that look inconsistent suggest that the artist did not carry out the linework smoothly.

2. Saturation and Contrast

A deep concentrated black or of any colour should be executed well if intended. A good tattoo should not show any gaps in shading or colour once it has healed, as this shows it was not properly filled. It should also have a variety of tones to appear multidimensional and fresh, not dull and washed out if it was created intentionally.

3. Composition, Placement, and Proportion

We've only one shot to perfectly frame our tattoo idea onto our skin and an experienced tattoo artist will be able to advise us on the best-fit location of our desired design, as well as the details within the design with consideration of longevity in mind. Trust your artist, but also know when to speak up for yourself if you're not comfortable with the design, placement, or size. After all, it's a collaborative effort.

4. Legibility

If you are looking at a tattoo, and you’re not too sure what it is, chances are it might not be a well-executed tattoo. This shortfall may come from either the design or the technical capability, or both. Other attributes toward the undesired outcome could be due to irresponsible tattoo aftercare, the poor healing process, or even poor environmental hygiene within the tattoo studio.

On the flip side, if you’re reading this after you’ve got your tattoo done, and you’re uncertain of how you personally feel towards it, you may consider carrying out a tattoo cover-up plan. We hope this article was helpful and encourage you to take a little time out of your busy schedule to do the necessary homework before your next tattoo appointment.

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