I recently got hooked on TLC’s America’s Worst Tattoos. It’s a half-hour show that features some of the most incredible “What were they THINKING” ink in the USA (it does live up to its name). When I first started watching, I thought it was going to feature tattoo removal artists, but it doesn’t. It features several very talented artists who appear to specialize in coverup work.
Covering up a rotten tattoo is not for the faint of heart (or the mediocre artist). While the show doesn’t really go into details, the artist has to work out a design that will look good on its own and make sure none of the old work shows through. This necessarily means a lot of large, dark designs (which is where finding a highly skilled artist is essential).
So far, the artists have definitely been up to the challenge. That crappy old ink vanishes like magic and a gorgeous new design appears in its place. I can’t say I really like all the replacements, but ink is a matter of personal choice.
Bad-tattoo web sites are also very popular. Two of my all-time favorites are Hanzi Smatter (Asian calligraphy gone wrong) and Bad Hebrew (what you might expect). I’ve cautioned before about putting ink on your body in a language you don’t understand. These sites really, really make the point.
Seen any really bad ink lately?