everyone is a f'n art critic

TexasPT

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Maybe I'm in my feels today...I don't know...feel free to ignore this post but I'm posting it anway.

help me tattoo
help me to get better at tattooing
help with the technical application of tattoos
help me understand the mistakes i make tattooing so I can fix them
help me understand my machines
help me understand needle configurations
help me tattoo
helpmetattoo.com

Instead of tearing the shit out of people and inkmastering every little detail of a tattoo how about if we comment, critique, and help with application. If you're incapable of assisting with application help how about if you pose the question "what could you do to accomplish..." "how would you smooth that" "what would help make those lines better" "is there a trick to saturation in this situation" and so on.

For KyleBl4ck 's attempt at realism-ISH

Hey Kyle, I noticed that your gradients appear to be packed in rather than smooth transitions. Man, if you lighten your hand so the needles graze over the surface you can buildup those transitions and create a smoother effect.
Those lines up top seem a bit inconsistent...for me, I always try to pick point A to point B and pull my lines. It's helped me tremendously with getting that one pass line in.

I dig the attempt and getting outside of your comfort zone...sometimes you just have to in order to grow. I do the same thing. The challenges in this one don't seem to be from your artistic ability...it's your technical application. So if I can help with tips to make that easier on you I think you'll find this sort of piece becomes easier to translate into skin from your brain.

I've been here for years and I fucking hate being here lately.
 

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KyleBl4ck

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For sure man.
Appreciate the post / response too.

I haven't quite mastered brush shading and whip shading so I always end up resorting to over packing / filling when it doesn't look right. The whole psychological issue thing is definitely right man.

Doing an Anonymous mask today and gonna apply everything they put into perspective. I appreciate the critical feedback for sure man.

But yea my main issues from what I noticed was :
Stencil was absolute shit and I realized it half way through when I got to the nose.
And I keep second guessing my whip and brush technique and just go back to the traditional mentality of pack it and it'll look good.

I'm always down for critical feedback regardless though.

I dont wanna be famous by any means, just got a goal to be in a shop in Colorado Springs or Denver as well as be able to tattoo at conventions eventually. Well a shop anywhere that I'm forced to grow not become stagnant. Thats why I left the one I was at. I felt like I wasn't growing. There was more to it than that but yea. Its not the money for me. Its the love of tattooing.
 
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sheyd

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If my art criticism ever made you feel bad, I apologize. I won’t criticize your art anymore.

For me, tattoos are art on the body. For a lot of us art and techniques are intertwined and equally as important when it comes to the art of tattooing. If I want to get better at tattooing, I want to get better at both. If that’s not the case for you, I think maybe you should put in your posts (so new people can know) that you’re only looking for application critiques.

I do think your suggestions for questions to ask are really good though. I’ll keep those in mind when critiquing.
 

KyleBl4ck

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If my art criticism ever made you feel bad, I apologize. I won’t criticize your art anymore.

For me, tattoos are art on the body. For a lot of us art and techniques are intertwined and equally as important when it comes to the art of tattooing. If I want to get better at tattooing, I want to get better at both. If that’s not the case for you, I think maybe you should put in your posts (so new people can know) that you’re only looking for application critiques.

I do think your suggestions for questions to ask are really good though. I’ll keep those in mind when critiquing.
From what I got out of it, the issue is more that the forum has gone away from technical application to critiquing every aspect.

A lot of tattooist can't even draw, so with a site like this the technical application seems to be more key than critiquing the art itself.

A lot of people join here because its hard to find an apprenticeship and they just wanna get good enough that they can find one easier because they can tattoo and make the owner of the shop money.

I agree though with the art and techniques being intertwined, just think some people do tend to take it to far. This site is for beginners and people struggling with aspects of the fundamentals from what I've noticed.

I've come back to this forum more times than I can count for advice. I just never made an account lol

Not trying to take over this thread though.
 
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sheyd

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From what I got out of it, the issue is more that the forum has gone away from technical application to critiquing every aspect.

A lot of tattooist can't even draw, so with a site like this the technical application seems to be more key than critiquing the art itself.

A lot of people join here because its hard to find an apprenticeship and they just wanna get good enough that they can find one easier because they can tattoo and make the owner of the shop money.

I agree though with the art and techniques being intertwined, just think some people do tend to take it to far. This site is for beginners and people struggling with aspects of the fundamentals from what I've noticed.

I've come back to this forum more times than I can count for advice. I just never made an account lol

Not trying to take over this thread though.

Okay I understand better.

The problem is what this site was originally intended for, and how It should be more of a balance of both application and art critique.
It’s been skewing more towards one side lately. And a lot of the art critiques can feel very like they are being kind of nit picky to people who aren’t really trying to focus on art. I still think a good solution could be being upfront on what you’re looking to be critIcized on.


Its true a lot of tattoers can’t draw and from what I see, this definitely seem like a generational divide.
 

TexasPT

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I've got pretty thick skin, I'm ok. I'm not a fine artist, no degree, no realism expertise...but I can teach people how to tattoo. I guess I feel like there isn't a lot of education on tattooing going on here lately.

There is an "art school" section of the forum
 

Beirdo

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Noted. I'll keep critiques to those that specifically request it and tone down the language used when thats the case. Anywhere outside of art school I know now to be strictly tattoo application only and will make sure to frame responses from that angle. Certainly don't want to contribute to someone hating the discussions going on here.
 

MalligaMallan

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I've been in this forum for something like 6 years now, and learned lots and lots from it. I really would like to be able to give some back, but when it comes to tattoo technique I always feel I have nothing to add. Not because I'm bad, but because it feels like I'm doing everything "my way" and that's not very useful when giving advice to others. Also it feels like I'm inventing the wheel every time I tattoo. Not very useful to teach anyone that either 😏

I do also feel however, that when I post a tattoo nowadays, I get no feedback at all. So I pretty much stopped doing that. Can't expect to get any if I don't give any, I know. I'm merely telling you my view on this, even if it's not logical 🙂
 
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sheyd

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I've got pretty thick skin, I'm ok. I'm not a fine artist, no degree, no realism expertise...but I can teach people how to tattoo. I guess I feel like there isn't a lot of education on tattooing going on here lately.

There is an "art school" section of the forum
There are also specific sections for lining, shading, and all the other techniques, but I assumed when your posting work for general critique, you want all parts of the tattoo critiqued.

I’m definitely going to try to be more balanced in my critiques, but I think the best way to go about this from now on is to be specific on what kind of critique you want in your first post. And speak up for yourself if you have a problem with what kind of critiques you get. Let others speak for themselves and don’t get offended on others behalf.
 

gadsden1776

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my perspective on this is...

I will continue to critique what I feel I am qualified to critique on. If someone doesn't want composition, color, contrast, or other design/art feedback... don't post. Part of putting your work on a public/semi public forum is exposing it to opinion.

my comments help me by working out what I would have done differently, they may help someone else reading the post, & hopefully they will give the OP something to consider.

I have been to art school. I have been a professional artist where my mortgage relied on my ability to produce results. & I have taught people how to do what i have done.

You won't find me critiquing application/technical skills that often because I don't feel I am qualified to do so yet. & even on things I do feel qualified/confident on... someone else w/more skill/experience either has or probably will comment on it. I will defer tattooing specific advice to those I would listen to before I would listen to myself.
 

KyleBl4ck

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Honestly its hard from both sides to keep the critique one sides or the other for me.

I actually appreciate when people tell me if I suck at something cause it outs my ego in check. The curse of the artist, the running ego. However, I also understand how being extra critical on someone just starting out can make them quit, I've done it several times without meaning to make them in music and production. Ive also seen it a million times in my tattooing time. Watched 3 apprentices quit one artist while I was doing my apprenticeship. Theyd always get to the skin and then just quit. It was like they just lost hope. Not everyone has what my mentor calls "the sickness". I did 100 shitty ass tattoos over and over and over on fake skin and I was so scared of real skin I wouldn't go near it until my mentor forced me to. Then I did 100 more shitty tattoos on skin. Everyone has to start somewhere but not everyone has the mental fortitude to withstand being torn into on every tattoo. Me personally I love it but because it also helps me explain my reasoning for it as well as take in key notes from what they said. Especially if I go look at their tattoos out of curiosity.

So the issue seems not to be the combination of both but the overwhelming critique and lack of fundamental criticism and advice. You can say "that shading is too dark and looks way off." Or you can say "that shading is dark however I feel that if you went about it this way instead..." etc it helps people grow. They don't get the overwhelmed ego or the crushed ego, they instead from a psychological standpoint get the "I guess I really do need to do better" mentality and not the infamous "I can't do anything right I may as well quit" mentality. Don't mind me... just letting my sociology studies show 😂

Thats how the average person thinks, they fall apart under pressure which is why tattoo mentors purposely try to break you for the first year but this is a community, not an apprenticeship in a street shop with a 40+ something biker mentor.
 
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My 3 cents, coming from a very focused artistic background and struggling in most other aspects, is that a lot of the critiques I've seen come from a failure to recognize that everybody has their own style of "art" and it may or may not follow what's technically accepted as an artistic technique. Really, not everyone has gone to art school, and that only means you paid to learn it. So we can't expect everyone to have that technical background.

Look at someone's style before deciding what's "wrong" with it. If you're critiquing their art, decide if you're critiquing it based on THEIR style and intent or what YOU would do. There's lots of times people do things that I would never do, but it fits in their style and what they were trying to accomplish. That's what matters. Now, that doesn't mean that there aren't some disasterpieces out there that look like someone just picked up their first crayon. We can probably recommend a few things there.

Hell, half the time I look like I've never drawn before when I look through my sketch pad. I SUCK at drawing things from memory and I'm even worse at doing illustrative designs without going OCD on every little detail. But I'm good at what I'm good at and the rest comes with practice. That doesn't stop any of us from learning technique while we're at it :)

I lost my train of thought again, so I'll take 1.5 of those cents back. Sorry :ROFLMAO:
 

Beirdo

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My 3 cents, coming from a very focused artistic background and struggling in most other aspects, is that a lot of the critiques I've seen come from a failure to recognize that everybody has their own style of "art" and it may or may not follow what's technically accepted as an artistic technique. Really, not everyone has gone to art school, and that only means you paid to learn it. So we can't expect everyone to have that technical background.

Look at someone's style before deciding what's "wrong" with it. If you're critiquing their art, decide if you're critiquing it based on THEIR style and intent or what YOU would do. There's lots of times people do things that I would never do, but it fits in their style and what they were trying to accomplish. That's what matters. Now, that doesn't mean that there aren't some disasterpieces out there that look like someone just picked up their first crayon. We can probably recommend a few things there.

Hell, half the time I look like I've never drawn before when I look through my sketch pad. I SUCK at drawing things from memory and I'm even worse at doing illustrative designs without going OCD on every little detail. But I'm good at what I'm good at and the rest comes with practice. That doesn't stop any of us from learning technique while we're at it :)
For this reason I tend to stick to giving feedback on realism (especially portraiture) since that is where I am the strongest. I didnt go to art school either and usually share what I've learned along way or learned the 'hard way'. I think, ultimately, what gets lost is the human connection words in a forum can take away. I havent seen anyone coming from malice or even being overly harsh in here (I'd have bounced if that was the case) but I can see how some if it can seem overly critical. I've enjoyed my time in these forums and im glad they are here and semi active.
 

gadsden1776

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Don't apologize bruv... All debate, opinion, pov, even argument is a good thing.... Unless shit gets personal/vendetta/negative. Participate or don't... Having the option is important. Disagreeing is healthy. And growing doesn't happen without pains.

Life isn't unicorn farts and rainbow tits.
 

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Hey Mark and Malin,
Try to see where you were and where this trip has taken you.

I mean, you can both teach a lot of things to us, while you're 3 miles up from your experience.

There's something real with experience, you cannot pass it to people. You did it, you went through, you understood it, it's yours now.

And to add to that, there are always tremendous changes in the life of the forum.
Your good old mates are leaving or not showing up anymore, and the new ones are incredibly different in tone, ways, language, cultures... It's hard not to fix the good things out of nostalgia. I know that, been there after 12 years in another forum.

Plus there's an actual tendency to say "tattoo artists" instead of tattoers. So peeps will think that you need to be both, and incredible in every aspect of the game. Let's be honest, out of millions of people tattoing, there must be a thousand of masters.

So, on this very question, i'd say peeps here should post in ths correct part of the forums, and others should get a clue on what should be critiqued (very good remark about the actual style of the poster, btw Cybertrasher). For example, what's the point of critiquing the design of a finished tattoo?

And... Don't fucking quit on us, since you're pro now, and we need technicians like you for our daily doubts and questions.

Peace,

DKJ
 
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Torb

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Occasionally I have found the criticism on this site really annoying. I really don't mind criticism and pointers from people that know what they are talking about. But when someone picks out all the little faults in my work and then I look at their work and it looks like its done by a 5 year old it does piss me off 🙃
 

KyleBl4ck

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Occasionally I have found the criticism on this site really annoying. I really don't mind criticism and pointers from people that know what they are talking about. But when someone picks out all the little faults in my work and then I look at their work and it looks like its done by a 5 year old it does piss me off 🙃
And thats why I don't have a public Facebook anymore 🤣😅
 

gadsden1776

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But when someone picks out all the little faults in my work and then I look at their work and it looks like its done by a 5 year old it does piss me off
so then... let's say for a minute you are not a good chef (obviously i don't know one way or another)... but hypothetical you can't cook. yet you still cook for yourself most of time as many people do. the food you make is good enough for you to eat, however no one is coming to your house for dinner twice.

you go out to eat. the meal has good points & bad points. your able to identify things you like & things you don't & things you think could be better but are also fine the way they are.... things that you know are off but you don't know for yourself when to sear & when to heat gently. the chef comes & asks your opinion. your honest & you tell him all of the above.... & he says "Let's see you do better!"

that's what i'm hearing here. i hear that in order to be a good critic one has to be a good at the discipline itself & if they are not then they have nothing to offer.

creativity & art are subjective. tattooing has objective elements... depth, speed, sanitation, etc. that is what is at core here - with that i agree... if my line sucks then tell me & help me fix it. the objectivity can't be argued. but if my artwork sucks... tell me & help me fix it. if i disagree with your subjectivity i will not take your advice because my subjective (or clients subjective) reality is ok with what i did. yet at the very least you gave me something to consider.

i personally would rather wear a weak tattoo technically if the composition & artistic element is strong. If a line is a perfect line & the color perfectly packed it means nothing if the composition, color theory, shading/highlight application, etc doesn't make sense. beyond that there is how a piece flows aesthetically with the body, skin tone, & even personality of the person getting it. if i pay someone several hundred or more dollars for a piece of art it effing better be art by my definition of art & if you pay i would assume you would want your definition of art on your body for life.


here is another element. lets say someone gives feedback. lets say it is absolutely wrong. maybe by offering that feedback, & then a couple people pointing out why they are not correct with the feedback, that person then learns the correct way to think about or go about something.
 

DKJ

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so then... let's say for a minute you are not a good chef (obviously i don't know one way or another)... but hypothetical you can't cook. yet you still cook for yourself most of time as many people do. the food you make is good enough for you to eat, however no one is coming to your house for dinner twice.

you go out to eat. the meal has good points & bad points. your able to identify things you like & things you don't & things you think could be better but are also fine the way they are.... things that you know are off but you don't know for yourself when to sear & when to heat gently. the chef comes & asks your opinion. your honest & you tell him all of the above.... & he says "Let's see you do better!"

that's what i'm hearing here. i hear that in order to be a good critic one has to be a good at the discipline itself & if they are not then they have nothing to offer.

creativity & art are subjective. tattooing has objective elements... depth, speed, sanitation, etc. that is what is at core here - with that i agree... if my line sucks then tell me & help me fix it. the objectivity can't be argued. but if my artwork sucks... tell me & help me fix it. if i disagree with your subjectivity i will not take your advice because my subjective (or clients subjective) reality is ok with what i did. yet at the very least you gave me something to consider.

i personally would rather wear a weak tattoo technically if the composition & artistic element is strong. If a line is a perfect line & the color perfectly packed it means nothing if the composition, color theory, shading/highlight application, etc doesn't make sense. beyond that there is how a piece flows aesthetically with the body, skin tone, & even personality of the person getting it. if i pay someone several hundred or more dollars for a piece of art it effing better be art by my definition of art & if you pay i would assume you would want your definition of art on your body for life.


here is another element. lets say someone gives feedback. lets say it is absolutely wrong. maybe by offering that feedback, & then a couple people pointing out why they are not correct with the feedback, that person then learns the correct way to think about or go about something.
Are you saying Torb can't cook?!
This critique has gone way too far!
Just joking of course :eek:)

There's something in what you say that i feel is too much "in theory": why would someone pay hundreds of dollars and getting inked for something that wasn't looking good at first?

It would be quite foolish to get something you don't like on your skin forever.

And for your last part, and maybe that's just me, it's not because you have an opinion that you absolutly have to share it.
As Mark pointed out, this is a help me to tattoo forum, we're all trying to get better and we are not making errors by lack of efforts. They are part of the learning process, the critique can't start from the idea that "if you were a master of tattooing, you would have done it this way".

Maybe i didn't get your points, i'm not a native english speaker, so ignore anything which is not related to what you meant.

Peace,

DKJ
 

gadsden1776

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No worries about language dkj.

And your right.. There is a lot of theory in my post. I can get long winded.

Basically my argument is there are two aspects to a tattoo. The technical application and the art itself. A good tattoo succeeds in both areas. If you want to do good tattoos you have to be good at both. You can't lay perfect lines and pack perfect color if your art work doesn't look like what it's supposed to look like (abstract, realism, traditional,etc).

That is the objective and subjective elements in a tattoo. A line is good or it's not. This forum is here to help with that (Mark's argument I believe)

The color choice works for you but not me, or a shadow should be darker or lighter here or there would be my opinion based on my experience and my personal likes/style choice. That is still an element of a tattoo. The art part. If you want to do better tattoos, you have to do better art. Not just better lines.

That's my argument. That I'll critique what ever aspect I feel I want to critique. And because my art experience is more than my technical experience... I'll mostly put my opinion in on art. Then on how a tattoo holds up as a tattoo. Then on technical skills.

Mark and others have more ability and experience with the technical aspects... I'll defer to them in that area.

And yes. Everyone is an art critic. They critique with their money. If they like your work they give you money. If they don't, they sit in the booth next to yours and you watch someone else lay ink.

Because that's the third aspect of tattooing. Business. If you don't grow, you die. prefect lines or not.
 

DKJ

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Well, i think that's where we differ, what is art to us?

To me, art is all about a unique intention. It's where and when someone's personnal voice is showing.
I will never say that a realism tattoer is a tattoo artist. It's in the original picture that art can show, appart from that, the actual tattoing is pure craftmanship.
And there's no problem with that.

With all the influence from what artists have produced within the past 30,000 years, and our actual society, prone to categorize everything that's out in a public, crowded space like the social networks, i'd like to see a place where the help would be on the end product, or the ways to achieve the vision, instead of distorting it by our subjective views and advices.

But that's just me and the clients are the ones who decide where we stand.

The public is always there, sometimes known as "the underground".
To further detail my opinion on the topic, i tend to view art critics as peeps who never could accept that they didn't developp any true or personnal vision, and prefer to hear what curators and art reviewers have to say.

Peace,

DKJ
 
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KyleBl4ck

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The definition of art is subjective and objective.

The true definition of art is what is deemed beautiful to society.
However the subjective nature comes in when it's presented as someone else's beauty.

That's why there is a duality to it.

Sorry, didn't mean to derail you guys.
 

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