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5 Tattoos Even Tattoo Artists Refuse To Do


One way that people like to express themselves is through the art of tattoos. There’s nothing more exciting than going into a shop for your first piece and hearing the sound of the tattoo guns. For the most part, tattoos are an original and creative piece of artwork and the client is able to chose whatever they want…to an extent. Tattoo artists took to reddit to share some of the times they had to turn down a tattoo or tattoos that they won’t do in general. Some of these include

  • Racism,
  • Common sense,
  • Intoxication.

Whether it be an offensive tattoo or a tattoo the artist decided the client was not in the right state of mind to get, here are 5 different scenarios in which a tattoo artist made the executive decision to turn down a tattoo.

Some people don’t think it’s the artist’s job to add input or refuse a tattoo, but there are definitely some situations in which a second opinion is necessary. Do you think tattoo artists should be able to refuse to do a tattoo?

1. Racist Tattoos: Reddit user Gonoherpasyphilaids shared that one client had asked for a tattoo of the SS lightning bolts. The girl claimed that she thought that the design looked cool and didn’t know what the symbol actually meant.

After showing her images on Google she still insisted that she wanted to get the tattoo done and asked if it would be alright to get it done in blue ink instead of black.

When the tattoo artist declined again, she began to get angry and insisted that it was his job to give her the tattoo that she asked him to do. 

Unfortunately there is a chance that this girl may have gotten this tattoo done elsewhere because there are a ton of current and former white supremacists who sport tattoos of a similar nature. That being said, most tattoo artists will refuse to do any sort of Nazi imagery or offensive references.

2. Placement: Bunbun-therabbit explained that she has rules when it comes to the placement of tattoos unless the client has proper coverage or financial security.

Though it’s getting better, there is still a stigma when it comes to body modifications such as tattoos and it’s often still seen as taboo. Specifically on areas like the hands and head which cannot be covered easily by clothing.

Some tattoo artists will refuse to tattoo the hands and the face for these reasons. Other reasons include the fact that these areas don’t hold the pigment of tattoos as well and as a result they fade easily.

Another tattoo artist shared on her blog that change can start with one tattoo artist. She wrote that “it’s time for the body modification to reclaim control of the work we put out there.” She also shared that placement of tattoos on the hands and face can affect employment and the way you are viewed by society, even though it is getting better. 

3. Drunk Tattoo: One user shared that a friend of hers refused to give a tattoo to a guy who came in intoxicated. He asked for a tattoo of his junk on his junk. While this obviously sounds like a poor decision, this refusal stems more from the fact that the customer was intoxicated.

There is a large debate involving whether or not tattoo artists should agree to ink someone who has been drinking. Demi Lovato recently got into an argument with a tattoo artist on twitter who supposedly tattooed an intoxicated Lovato when she was 18.

Most tattoo artists agree and understand that tattooing a person who is drunk or has been drinking is technically illegal because the person is not in the right state of mind to make decisions about their body. One tattoo artist shared that her excuse when people come in intoxicated and ask for tattoos is that alcohol thins the blood and so the tattoo won’t heal correctly.

Another artist shared that he would never give a tattoo to a drunk person in a professional environment but he has done so before in private. He explained that the person receiving the tattoo had agreed to it before getting intoxicated.

4. Names: Some tattoo artists refuse to do name tattoos. Unless it has something to do with someone who has passed away, some tattoo artists will advise you against getting a name tattooed on your body forever.

One reddit user shared that a man came in with his girlfriend requesting that he have her name tattooed onto his neck. However, the girl seemed quiet and unsure. When the artist asked the girlfriend if this was what she really wanted she said no. Hopefully he didn’t through with it. 

Realistically, you’ll most likely be able to find someone who will tattoo a name for you, there are definitely some situations where this can be seen as inappropriate. One user on reddit shared that after trying to get his initials tattooed onto his finger while intoxicated (a triple threat), the artist told him that if he came back sober he would give him a 70% discount. Turns out the guy never went back and appreciated the artist’s judgement.

You might get a refusal if you go in asking for a celebrity’s name or the name of the guy you’ve been dating for five weeks.

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5. Hate and Violence: In general, most tattoo artists will refuse to ink anything that is related to hatred, violence, or extreme stupidity. Artists have to respect themselves and their work and most likely wouldn’t want certain images attached to their name.

Another artist shared that he would not tattoo a woman’s butt hole. For some reason this is a trend and I guess it’s fair for a tattoo artist to refuse this strange request. It’s pretty popular in adult films with one woman even having the procedure done on camera.

It’s sad to think that people would go out of their way to get hateful things tattooed onto their body but unfortunately it happens.

It’s good to know that most tattoo artists genuinely care about their clients and take their profession seriously.

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