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Mario AKA mark

Tattoo Critique

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I am not at a professional level, and haven't posted anything I've done yet. I'm waiting to be able to have more than one album, or to start a thread showing my progression so far. I have only done small simple things and I will be posting them soon however.

I may not be able to critique the process or techniques with any leg to stand on, but I do have eyes and I know what looks good, and unfortunately what looks bad as well. I want to participate in this based on how I see things in terms of whether it looks good to me or not, the key word here being me. I think I should be able to say whether I like something or not and why without being attacked because I am not at a professional level of tattooing. I have tons of magazines and pictures of tattoos on my PC and have done a lot of studying the images of quality work and I have good eyes. I can see when a tattoo looks bad and I should be able to say that, even though I can't show better. I will also say so when they look good.

I apologize as I have already posted a few of my opinions before I read this thread. I will refrain from doing so until I hear from a mod. or admin. as to if it is OK to post my views.

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I apologize as I have already posted a few of my opinions before I read this thread. I will refrain from doing so until I hear from a mod. or admin. as to if it is OK to post my views.

mate, why did you put this on the end? im totally confused by it, but i cant say i wasnt thinking the same about myself....... i just wondered if i missed something that was in this thread ??

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i agree that an honest critique is a good thing but to often i'm seein artists at a very beginning level bein the harshest critics. and often without posting any of their own work to be scrutinized. i respect certain peoples opinions immensely (like mark,gettattoo,jabbardstown,joe blow, etc.....)because they are at a high level of expertise and keep it honest. its kind of laughable though to me when a rookie artist who isn't doin quality work tries to rip apart work of a higher level than they themselves are capable of. anyone is capable of havin an opinion. a critique should be done by someone with some degree of skill (or at least by someone who is themselves subject to their work bein picked apart). talk is cheap and everyone's a critic.......to that i say put up or shut up. i can't respect an opinion of an unaccomplished artist really. what are they basin their opinions on? just my two cents and i could be way off base here............mark does make a good point though especially if the critique is based on the outlined criteria. i guess i just feel that not everyone is qualified to critique (my opinion)
i agree. and i do try to be open to peoples opinions , but i hate the competitive b.s. especially comin from someone who hasn't subjected their own works to scrutiny or is just not very good.........ahhhhh hell with it..rip me apart. it just means i won't make the same mistakes next time.

I was referring to these 2 posts earlier in the thread. I don't want to get crap for posting my views because I haven't done any complex tattoos, or even posted any of my simple ones, and because I'm not a practicing tattoo artist yet.

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ahh right on mate.do you think that the critique thing should be reviewed? so that "qualified artists/tattoo artists " should only be allowed to critique? or do you think that anyone with eyes can see a good/not so good piece? i must admit, lately im kind of apprehensive about pointing out things that are clearly not so good,through the "fear" of backlash. do you think that by posting work in show n tell, that the poster is giving permission to everyone on here to critique their work?

i think the whole critique thing needs a big review personally.maybe moderated posting? its a touchy subject.many times i have gone to post something then thought " shit, what if he/she takes that the wrong way, and then decided not to. purely for the fact that i dont feel qualified to critique ANYONE on here, as a tattoo artist anyway.

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thing is are there enugh qualified artists ont eh forum to critique work .. and of so why are they not doing so on the posts? the main reason i often asnwer is cos i see a post go unanswered and that can be as disheartening as bad critique ...

as for how people take it .. its for them to own ... if they can't a critique then they shouldn;t post. i do think some members need to rermember its not their place to defend someone elses work though ... :P

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has yiou beein droinking agoin BW? lol

No i haven't been drinking .. i am just illiterate! well actually i have been drinking ... but i can't spell when sober either!

Edited by Blackwidow

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This is a difficult subject.

I think that if someone posts a tattoo they did, they should be able to take whatever is said about it, either way, good or bad, and be able to take it from anyone who has something to say about it AND not get sore if it is not what they expected. There will always be smart asses that don't know shit about tattoos that are going to cut anything they didn't do down. These are the ones that need to somehow be weeded out of the critique forum. Maybe make it so people have to critique a series of images with correct answers before they can participate. This would possibly eliminate most of them simply because most idiots like them won't take the time to do anything like that(the "test"). Or make it so that when critiquing, the series of considerations at the beginning of the post must be commented on, but that goes more toward the "artist only" side of it. Another way would possibly be to only let people who have posted their artwork do the critiquing?

I think that there are more than just experienced tattoo artists that know what a good tattoo looks like. I am not a professional yet, but I sure as hell know when I see a shitty tattoo. I don't mean something I don't like, that doesn't make a tattoo shitty. I can appreciate any style and taste whether I like it or not, but style and taste don't make any tattoo good. I can't always say exactly why a tattoo doesn't look good, but if it doesn't, then it simply doesn't and I think people should at least be able to say that no matter what level of experience we are at.

I don't have the answers to solve this, but like blackwidow said, the pros don't always do the work, and letting a post go unanswered is probably worse for the poor posters self esteem than a bad review.

In a perfect world, only intelligent people would be tattooing and those intelligent people would know what they were doing before they started tattooing people and they would know that they were doing a good tattoo, so all posts would be of good tattoos and there would be all good reviews.

Unfortunately, this is not the case and any idiot can buy a tattoo kit and scribble on other people. Most idiots don't know what a good tattoo looks like because they think their 2nd grade level art is good. They post it thinking that it is good without looking at the level of quality that they are up against and then get all pissed off when someone tells them to learn how to draw before they tattoo. Then they feel the need to pick apart work that is clearly better than theirs in most other peoples eyes, because they still think that their scribbles are better than good work because they are IDIOTS. I don't think there is a way to solve this short of killing off all the idiots in the world, and unfortunately, we can't do that.

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I tihnk it just takes a little snesibility & discretion to post critiques. Look at everyting, not just the piece. If possible, try to learn a bit about the artist, where they are coming from, how long they've been at it etc.

This would help to make a more subjective opinion.

Also, just be thoughtful about it. It's easy to say,"You're seriously scarring people for life man. Give it up"

It's just as easy to say,"You have potential, you are artistic, but practice on pig/fruit to get a feel for the tools etc, you will improve "--(which is sooooo true too often).

Most of the poor posts in show & tell do have artistic ability, potential, sometimes attitude(joke). But they also need a push in the right direction. Not a push out contention. There are exceptions. I just haven't seen them yet.

I did have something else on mind. . . .forget, for now. :D

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whats happened to electric voodo's karp that was on here? did i miss something

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Man there is alot of reviews here.

You are working on someones skin and you cannot let someone think they are good when they are not. I posted one of my first ones and was expecting to be hammered. The comments were good, More about watching out forself and othere by keeping a sterile envornment. I think as long as people are not too harsh and be carefull with words it easy to get the message. As mogie said to me, remember to use pig skins not people.

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My two cents.. I tend to be less critical and have actually had someone post below mine that THEY were gonna keep it "REAL". Art is a subjective medium. And my opinion isn't invalidated because of my lack of tattooing skill. 'Nuff said!

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I personally dont buy the whole "You need to be better than me to critique me" thing.... If you have an artistic eye, and a basic knowledge of composition, technique, gradients, etc...you can pick out flaws, errors, and areas of improvement on a piece. As Ive mentioned before, I know people who cant draw worth a crap, but they know a good tattoo when they see one, and they can tell you what makes a crap tattoo suck when they see a crap tattoo. The bottom line is, the critique given is either true and acurate, completely off base and wrong, or subjective. If its true, then its true, regardless of who it comes from. If its wrong or off base, just talk it out and explain where eachother is coming from, Ive learned alot through those sort of discussions. And if its subjective, then theres no debate, thats prefference. I totally understand giving an artist the respect their due. I do understand the feeling of being "unworthy" of critiquing certain peoples work...But I sure hope people never feel unworthy to critique mine, no matter what skill level I may one day achieve. I learn alot from the opinions of others...other artists will see things I wont, they will preffer things I wont, and them telling me their thoughts gives me the benefit of capturing a piece of what they may have done different...then I get to take and leave the parts that i think will make me a better artist. I think the artists that reach what appears to be an unattainable level, do so by remaining teachable, and drawing influence and growth from every single possible source available to them. On the flip side, Ive seen artists peak very early in their development because their pride wont let them accept critisizm or suggestion....To me thats such a shame...especially when the artist does show natural talent.

I think the worst thing that could possibly happen to this site, would be for it to become a place where we enable and encourage people to do crap tattoos and blow smoke at people who have painfully obvious areas that need improvement, just for the sake of not hurting anyones feelings. I for one would LOVE to see the show and tell have more and more impressive pieces in it, week by week. I know this is a forum aimed at those learning to tattoo, so it includes all skill levels...so of course we will see some not so hot tattoos, but I think the key is to remain teachable. I always get super stoked when I see a member post a piece that shows HUGE growth from previous pieces. Those are the ones who dont let their feelings get in the way of their passion for the artform.

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Well said toph. And just for the record < I personally don't mind someone criticizing my critique if they feel I'm doing the person who posted the work an injustice by being too lenient, or not critical enough. (I'm pretty sure I haven't done that as of yet. ) I think it'll help if I actually preface all my critiques with a disclaimer.?!

And on a side note, tongue planted firmly in cheek, I once heard someone say "It really isn't art unless you need someone to explain it to you."

Edited by rocklife

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I was referring to these 2 posts earlier in the thread. I don't want to get crap for posting my views because I haven't done any complex tattoos, or even posted any of my simple ones, and because I'm not a practicing tattoo artist yet.

I think the idea is not that anyones views are not welcome but HOW one expresses those views

I know it sounds very grammar school with the whole being NICE angle but isn't that part of our shtick here?

We support and inform each other where other forums would (and DO) shun us.

I like the story The Shrink shared. Ignorance is not the same thing as stupidity.

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I honestly believe that if you cannot take criticism and praise with a grain of salt then don't post your work. If you are looking for a pat on the back and a "hey awesome job" then don't post. Although if the work is deserving then you will most likely get just that.

Critique is to help you improve on what you may have done wrong. Tattooing is a very high risk and permanent profession. If you don't hold yourself to the highest of standards you are never going to learn. And critique is part of that weather it's good or bad.

Everyone on here tends to have their own personal tastes as far as what they "like" or "don't like" but they also tend to put that aside and focus on the actual execution of the tattoo/art work.

I've only posted a few works of art here so i don't expect anyone to take my words to heart but this site is to help people grow in their skill, style, and technique.

So when critiquing or being critiqued be humble and focus on the execution of the tattoo/artwork. we are all here to educate and make tattooing bigger and better than what it already has become. Let's work together as a team.

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how criticism is received has alot with how the criticism is delivered. if this is going to be a productive community, then people must be respectful towards each other. one could argue that there is no such thing as an art expert. how art is received or perceived is like beauty, it is based on the beholder. like when a student paints a project that his professor thinks is not very good, and then he turns around and sells the painting for $1000. just because you don't like something means only that. it doesn't mean it is not very good. also, some modern cameras can magnify images like human eyes cannot. so when viewing photos of tattoos, reasonable people will take that into consideration. no piece is perfect, criticism should be dealt out with reason and respect. saying something looks as if it were done by a blind person is hardly ever going to be productive. if you lack tact or unskilled in the craft of words, perhaps you might want to refrain from offering written feedback or at least get help writing it. writing, like tattooing or painting, is a skill that often goes underappreciated. i would suggest being concise and specific; if you are experienced, follow the specifics with tips for improvement in general and in the featured piece. feedback can be productive whether from an amatuer or a professional; however, it works best when it comes from people who care directed at people they care about.

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