Some people get tattoos to show their personality and rock a unique style. Others see tattoos as a way to wear art on their bodies. Sometimes, it’s all about the fun and excitement of getting inked on a whim. Tattoos can also be a way to bond with friends or tell stories about our lives and experiences. Plus, they’re great conversation starters that help us connect with like-minded people.

When it comes to tattoos, finding the perfect artist and studio is crucial. This is because mistakes are quite common with tattoos. Whether it’s a misspelled word, a design that didn’t turn out as expected, or a tattoo artist’s error, these blunders can be disappointing and frustrating. Poorly executed tattoos or ones that don’t align with the client’s vision can leave a lasting mark of regret.

There was even a show that dived into the world of bad tattoos, A&E’s Bad Ink. The series featured tattoo artist and musician Dirk Vermin, who owns Pussykat Tattoo off the Las Vegas Strip, and his buddy and bandmate Rob Ruckus. Together, they embarked on a mission to track down people with regrettable tattoos and offered their expertise in transforming these less-than-stellar inkings through skillful cover-up work.

We all make mistakes. A mistake with a tattoo is a pretty big one, that keeps reminding you of your mistake. But here’s the silver lining. Those mistakes can teach us some valuable lessons. Before you get tatted up, do your homework and research reputable artists whose work matches your style. And when you find the right one, make sure to communicate openly and trust their expertise. Working together, you can create a masterpiece that you’ll proudly show off for years to come. Learn from others’ mishaps and make informed choices that will make your skin art something you’ll always cherish.

Here are the 6 most common tattoo mistakes.

  • Misspelled Words/ Incorrect Translations

    Close-up stick and poke method of tattooing a young girl's hand with the inscription in French printemps -- spring

    fpphotobank/ Getty Images

    One of the most prevalent mistakes is when a word or phrase is misspelled or improperly translated. It’s essential to double-check the spelling and accuracy of any text before it becomes a permanent part of your body. Taking these precautions beforehand can help you avoid a misspelling or “lost in translation” mishap. Double-check the spelling of the words or phrases you want to include, verify translations if using a different language, seek the help of a professional tattoo artist experienced with text, review the stencil or design before starting the tattooing process, communicate clearly with the artist about your intended text, and take your time to ensure accuracy.

  • Poorly Executed Designs

    Photo of woman working in a tattoo studio. Tattoing.

    wsfurlan/ Getty Images

    Sometimes, tattoos may not turn out as expected due to an artist’s lack of skill or understanding of the design. This can result in blurry lines, uneven shading, or distorted proportions. To avoid tattoo design disasters, it’s important to do your research. Take the time to find a reputable artist whose style aligns with your vision. Clearly communicate your ideas and expectations to ensure they understand your desired design. Request a consultation and ask for a mock-up to see a visual representation before committing. Trust the artist’s expertise and advice while also considering their compatibility with your preferred style.

  • Wrong Placement

    applying t tattoo on chest of client

    DragonImages/ Getty Images

    Choosing the wrong location for a tattoo can be a mistake. Factors like body shape, future plans, and professional considerations should be taken into account when deciding on the placement of your tattoo. Consider your lifestyle and future plans. Consult with your tattoo artist for their professional advice on placement that complements your chosen design and body shape. Use temporary tattoos or henna to test out different locations before committing.

  • Regrettable Subject Matter

    Freestyle. Young tattoed woman standing isolated on orange hand forward protective covering mouth scared close-up

    Viktoriia Hnatiuk/ Getty Images

    People’s tastes and interests evolve over time, and a tattoo that once seemed cool or meaningful may become a source of regret. There are a few common examples such as trendy or pop culture references which can lose their appeal over time. A romantic partner’s name or portrait can become a painful reminder of past relationships. Tattoos featuring offensive symbols or controversial imagery might be something you regret later. It’s essential to carefully consider the long-term significance of a design before getting it permanently inked.

  • Impulsive Or Spur-Of-The-Moment Decisions

    Tattoo artist creating a tattoo on a girl's arm. Focus on tattoo machine

    microgen/ Getty Images

    Getting inked on a whim, without taking the time to reflect on the design’s meaning and long-term impact, increases the chances of future dissatisfaction. Tattoos are permanent, and what may seem like a great idea in the heat of the moment may lose its appeal or significance over time. By taking the time to make a meaningful and well-thought-out decision, you can minimize the chances of future regret and create a tattoo that you’ll cherish for a lifetime.

  • Terrible Aftercare

    Woman applying cream on her arm with tattoos against black background, closeup

    Liudmila Chernetska/ Getty Images

    Neglecting proper aftercare can lead to complications and affect the final outcome of a tattoo. Following the artist’s instructions and taking care of the tattoo during the healing process is important to maintain its appearance and ensure proper healing. Keep your tattoo clean using mild soap and water, moisturize with tattoo-specific ointments or fragrance-free lotions, resist the urge to pick or scratch the tattoo, protect it from the sun with sunscreen, avoid prolonged water exposure, wear loose clothing to prevent irritation, and steer clear of irritants like scented lotions.

Sign me up for the KML email newsletter!

The Big 95.7 KML is proud to bring you all the best in country music, as well as the latest news and events locally, from our KML team members!

By clicking "Subscribe" I agree to the website's terms of Service and Privacy Policy. I understand I can unsubscribe at any time.