Tattoo misconceptions

What is a good tattoo? Why is my tattoo faded? Why is it raised above my skin?

These questions and more will be answered in our extensive post detailing every tattoo misconception we can think of!

Good tattoo or bad?

All of us have seen the horror stories and pictures of really bad tattoos, like this one:
tattoo misconceptions

There’s nothing good about this tattoo surprisingly enough. The lines are not crisp (as a portrait it shouldn’t really have any to start with) and hopefully it is not a good likeness of the person.
The problem this guy had was his own in fault. He clearly didn’t research his tattoo artist, this could possibly have been his first ever portrait. As said in our previous blog post good research is vital before you consider getting tattooed by someone. Even if that person is your mate you shouldn’t let them practice on your skin unless you have the upmost confidence that they can perform.

tattoo misconceptions
So this tattoo is considered “bad”, however the actual tattoo is well done. The lines are solid, the colour in the bow is fully saturated and it’s obvious what it is. It’s “bad” because he has had hello kitty tattooed permanently on his forehead which is not the tattoo artists fault. (Although we probably would have said no to him if he had asked us to do it).
This is one of the major tattoo misconceptions. Tattoo is art, there is no bones about it and due to tattoo’s being art it is completely subjective as with all art forms. Just because someone else think’s a tattoo is “bad” doesn’t mean the tattoo artist has not done a great job and who cares, it’s your body!

So what should i look for in a “good” tattoo?

There are many simple ways to tell if a tattoo has been done well. The lines should be crisp, it should be one smooth line without any obvious breaks. The line should also not have a shadow. A shadow is created when a tattooist does not go as vertical as possible when lining a tattoo which can cause the ink to spread out under the skin giving it a shadowed look. Lines should also match up. Tattoos hurt so the artist will stop every few seconds, if lining this means they need to continue a line without it looking like they stopped
With colour and shading the blending (going from one colour or shade to another) should be smooth with no obvious blending point and the colour should be saturated as in the colour should be vibrant and clear straight after the tattoo (unless it’s red or white as these probably won’t show up as well because blood is red and will cover any white until the body stops bleeding.

why has my tattoo faded so quickly?

One of the biggest tattoo misconceptions is that the tattooist has not gone “deep” enough and so your brand spanking new tattoo has faded considerably even after the initial healing period.

Tattoos will fade once healed, the ink has had time to settle down and the skin above your tattoo has fully repaired so every tattoo will fade after two weeks. However a lot of people will get a tattoo and the black will fade considerably, the colour will not be vibrant and a lot of the time there will be spots of linework or colour missing. This is down to two main things, the aftercare applied by yourself but more importantly the technique the tattooist has used. If your tattoo has faded considerably and your tattoo has risen from the normal skin level in an embossed fashion then the tattooist has done a poor job.

(Science bit!) Your skin has three main layers, the first layer is the epidermis which is for water proofing and if you get sunburnt is the layer that peels off. The second layer is the dermis and the third is the hypodermis.

If a tattooist has done his job correctly the needle should puncture your skin and leave ink in the second layer, the dermis. This is where the ink will not be taken into the body by your blood stream and will not come away if you peel or remove dead skin and will not be considered to be an “invader” by your body meaning your body won’t attack it and try to remove it

So if you do notice an unusually high fading then the tattooist has either gone too shallow or gone too deep, but with most instances they have gone too deep. When a tattooist goes too deep they actually scar the hypodermis which is the lowest layer of skin causing a permanent scar just in the same way as when you get a deep cut and have a scar for the rest of your life.

tattoo misconceptions

As you can see from this picture, the tattooist has gone in too deep. The initial tattoo design has become raised and the actual ink in the tattoo has dispersed due to the blood stream taking it back into the body and leaving the flooded look and unfortunately for this person it’s on their finger! Even with laser removal this will probably be a permanent scar for the rest of their life due to poor technique by the artist.

Once the tattoo has fully healed it should look sat under your skin, there shouldn’t be any scarring or bobbling or embossing, it should be as smooth as it was before the tattoo was done.

Black and grey tattoos

Black and grey tattoos have quickly become the new tribal. But the best part about them is that you can literally tattoo anything in black and grey.

Black and grey tattoos are not actually “grey”. The grey within the tattoo is diluted black ink. If done properly this should be done with either pre-purchased grey tones or done by the artist by diluting black ink with distilled, bottled water. Hopefully your artist won’t just pop to the sink and dilute it with tap water. The water needs to be distilled and bottled, this is going into your skin and so should be as pure as possible with little to no contamination. Alot of black and grey tattoos also use the natural skin tone as one of the tones used within the tattoo which obviously saves time and pain!

At Monumental we only employ the best tattoo artists we can find, making sure they use the right techniques and hygiene practices to ensure your tattoo will be the best it can be and ensuring that your tattoo lasts the ages.

Check us out on facebook for daily photos and updates and if your wondering about the studio check out our google+ page with photos of our awesome studio.


  • Paul Wilks

    Reply Reply 5 June, 2015

    Let me start by saying I already had 4 small tattoos (1of them now covered) prior to having my latest one done at monumental ink.

    What were my reasons for choosing you guys.

    1. Intensive research of work already done.
    2. Consultation with artist. (Checked cleanliness at same time)
    3. Advise offered (he didn’t tell me what I wanted to hear) he told me straight.
    4. Although this is point 4 it is probably the most important RECOMMENDATION.

    The proof is in the pudding right people, right advise = 690k online views of my tattoo so far and me going to return to have more work done ASAP.

    Thanks guys

    • admin

      Reply Reply 20 June, 2015

      Thanks for your awesome feedback Paul and we can not wait to tattoo you again, glad you enjoyed your online views!

  • Bernard

    Reply Reply 6 May, 2017

    Hi! Im bernard from the philippines. I have a problem regarding my 14 days old colored tattoo at the upper arm with some white ink, which is now healed i think (means already peeled) some white part of my tattoo did not settle down as if just still my skin color, but when it was still fresh tattoo ghe white color was visible and vibrant. My tattoo artist already seen my tattoo and he just told me for free touch up after another 4 weeks time. I really follow the aftercare, but still resulted to this, can anyone explain to me what possible happened. Thanks a lot anyway.

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