Baxter's Blog


Posted in Commentary by misterroadtripper on December 29, 2010


There is quite a discussion going in this blog’s Comments section of the December 27th post entitled BAD TATTOOS (scroll down). It seems that certain readers woke up on their wrong side of their sense of humor this morning and disapprove of my dubbing certain tattoos “lousy” or stating, “what could be more fun than putting down other people’s lousy ink?” I think that these people (a couple signed their name “Anonymous”) sound like they haven’t been around the business very long if they think tattooists don’t out other people’s work with a vengeance. With competition being what it is, each shop is scraping by to stay alive. Not all, mind you, but some. And when you consider the comment, “The only people rock stars look up to is tattooists,” it certainly suggests that tattoo artists are not all lacking in the inflated ego department. So, what if I hadn’t described those tattoos as “lousy?” Then how much credence would you give, if I said that a totally other group of tattoos was “fantastic?” I’ve always called ’em like I see ’em, which is why so many readers trusted our opinions, back when I ran a print magazine. If somebody tattooed great dragons, I described it that way. If somebody tattooed “lousy” dragons, I described it that way. I’ve received letters from readers like this for nearly fifteen years, and it’s always the same: most of the complainers sign their emails “Anonymous,” and when I suggest they are all twisted about my calling certain tattoos bad because they’re probably turning out equally crappy tattoos themselves, and when I ask them to establish their credibility by sending in samples of their work, to show us all how talented they think they are, they never write back. By the way, the 18 tattoos I provided are all bad, but for different reasons. One has a misspelling, several are terribly drawn, a few have odd subject matter and more than one is simply terrifyingly bad. A couple, in fact, are so terrifyingly bad that they’re almost good.

—Bob Baxter

7 Responses

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  1. Anonymous said, on December 30, 2010 at 6:09 am

    Well, Bob, again you make your point clearer: odd subject matter equals lousy or bad tattoos! Thank you.

  2. Mel Noir said, on December 30, 2010 at 8:01 am

    Bollocks to them, Bob! If those people had brains, they’d be dangerous. One of the most important parts of our job is to know what a good tattoo is, if they can’t see those tattoos were rubbish, they shouldn’t be getting any- you get the tattoo you deserve.

    The idiot above me is probably the same loser who commented before. An odd subject matter can in fact be an awesome tattoo, but if you can’t see that the above tattoo is crap, you need to go to Specsavers. That tattoo looks as if it was drawn by a child, not a professional tattoo artist. The lining and shading is terrible, and the size of it makes it even worse.

    It’s those people who don’t have the sense to educate themselves about something which will be ON THEIR SKIN FOR LIFE that makes the rest of us look bad. And they’re going to get on their high horse and act in some self-righteous manner about the fact we don’t like that, you’re just as bad as them.

    Sorry for the long comment, but I’m pig sick of morons who try to ruin everything for us.

  3. Jason said, on December 30, 2010 at 8:34 am

    The point of it all from what I can tell is,
    A; Bob does not tattoo. So really it’s all his opinion on what is or is not a good tattoo.
    B; Some people like different tattoos, and just because you wouldn’t get it, doesn’t mean that it’s horrible.
    You sound like all the people who hate tattoos because they think they are “dirty” or just not art. It’s funny to me that you can’t take critism when you are more then happy to dish it out. Mom always said, “Don’t come to me with a problem, come to me with an answer!” Just admit you were wrong.

  4. Larry said, on December 30, 2010 at 8:46 am

    So I think the people here are missing the point that “Anonymous” is making. We all know that other artists will “trash talk” other artists work….behind closed doors. Taking it too a public form is disrespectful and totally unprofessional! I dont think anyone can argue that SOME of those tats were pretty crappy, but to post them on your blog thats suppose to be by an industry representative is pretty bad.

    And Bob, just because you use to run a magazine doesn’t make it right! And perhaps this should be a light bulb moment for you to realize why you don’t still run one.

    Lets see you put needle to skin before you start throwing stones at artists who are actually part of the industry that you ride the coat tails of.

  5. Dale said, on December 30, 2010 at 8:47 am

    The tattoo of the chair is so well done it is crazy! It cleary does not deserve to be classed as worst tattoo. So I can see why there is some consern about this approach! Sorry to say it but I do agree that this does seem like classic junior high bullying. Still love the art being posted. Thanks, Bob.

  6. Anonymous said, on December 30, 2010 at 3:42 pm

    Sorry Mel Noir for ruining the fun you were having insulting and making fun of others. Please carry on! As it is now being dished back by those who think this is the not the best way to represent the industry. Glad to know others agree.

  7. Cbla said, on December 30, 2010 at 5:37 pm

    Hey Bob, loved you with Skin and ink. Man, what were they thinking! THANKS FOR THIS BLOG!!!! Being tattooed for over 20 years, showing bad tats is great! To all who follow this blog, do your homework and choose someone with skill. There are too many tattoo artists that are in it for the dollar and do not care about their work. Check out my favs like Joe Capobiaco and Tony Ciavarro. Their work is wicked!! Being from Canada and seing the stuff from Kirt Silver and Greg Marsden from Nova Scotia is great! Again Thanks Bob and please people do your homework!!

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