Malazan Empire: Tattoos - Malazan Empire

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Tattoos I donít get the appeal

Poll: Tattoos (19 member(s) have cast votes)

Do you have a tatoo

  1. Yes (7 votes [36.84%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 36.84%

  2. No (12 votes [63.16%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 63.16%

Do you like the look of tattoos

  1. Yes (6 votes [31.58%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 31.58%

  2. No (3 votes [15.79%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 15.79%

  3. Sometimes (10 votes [52.63%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 52.63%

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#1 User is offline   Cause 

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Posted 16 June 2020 - 03:42 PM

I recently interviewed with a company creating a new kind of tattoo ink that would make laser removal much faster, much cleaner and almost instant. I discovered that approx 40% of Americans have tattoos which seems typical for Europe too and they reckon more people would get the tats if they were less permanent, I tend to agree.

I was surprised how common they are though. I personally hate tattoos. I canít imagine getting one for myself but I also hate them on other people. No offense. Personal taste. Donít know why but I just donít enjoy them. A womanís back or shoulders can be a beautiful thing but when they have a tatoo of a flower sleeve or whatever I no longer see that beauty I just see flowers where there shouldnít be.

Also I canít say if he is typical or not but my roommate recently got another tatoo. He has a bunch of random tats and just to make conversation I asked him why he chose them. He just said because they looked cool, that he didnít believe in putting to much thought into them and you only live once. He actually said that, I mean a skull with spider legs will be on his arm for the rest of his life because he thought it looked cool one random afternoon when he was 27. I find that mind boggling.

So Iím genuinely curious. Do you have the tats? Do you like them in general? How much thought do you put into them?
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#2 User is offline   Aptorian 

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Posted 16 June 2020 - 04:19 PM

I don't have any tattoos. Like you I've just never liked the idea of putting a permanent drawing or symbol on my body. I'm also not a particularly sentimental person and there's nothing beyond medical information and identifying information I could see necessary to put on my skin. Besides tattoos are ridiculously expensive if you get somebody good to do them.

But I do think tattoos can look good and be cool. That's mostly a matter of style and taste. I don't like overly complicated tattoos with too much fine detail. They'll just look like mush five-ten-fifteen years later depending upon how well people take care of their skin. Saddest thing in the world is people who get a retarded looking drawing of their children drawn by a meth addict tattooed on their arm so they can always look at them.

Oh and people who get that trashy looking cursive handwriting tattooed on their chest, neck or wherever. Just fucking no. The only thing more generic is barbwire around an arm.

I wonder if I just insulted half the forum.
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#3 User is offline   QuickTidal 

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Posted 16 June 2020 - 05:04 PM

I'm not a fan of a bunch of random tattoos. I once had a roommate who essentially just had like 20 tattoos of different things on her body...and it always looks ugly and messy to me.

Sleeves, I like. Singular designs that accentuate one area (in between shoulder blades for example), I also like because it feels cleaner and less intrusive?

The problem comes from the addictive nature of them, as most people get one...and then want another and another. It's a slippery slope for a lot of people.

I don't know if I'll ever get one, but if I do it will be ONE and only one, and I would hope to make it something that accentuates rather than makes messy.
"When the last tree has fallen, and the rivers are poisoned, you cannot eat money, oh no." ~Aurora
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#4 User is offline   Cause 

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Posted 16 June 2020 - 05:35 PM

I wonder why its addictive, doest seem like it should be.

I always worry about people that get tattoos of their dead kids names or the like. I feel like that cant be mentally healthy
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#5 User is offline   amphibian 

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Posted 16 June 2020 - 05:45 PM

I have a large tattoo. It's something I am deeply happy with. There's a spectrum of tattoos from drunk amateurs with ink pens to world class art pieces and the amount of happiness people get from them also ranges considerably.

I don't worry much about other people's, but I really like mine. Probably will get one or two more some day.

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#6 User is offline   Traveller 

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Posted 16 June 2020 - 08:08 PM

A friend of mine used to call people with different unrelated tattoos 'stamp collectors.'

He had a single tribal design that went from his wrists, up his arms, and round to link up on his back. It looked cohesive and was very well designed.

I had a Raven tattoo done on my shoulder when I was 18. The design was inked on while my arm was resting up on something, and consequently when my arm is down, it warps it a bit and stretches it vertically which bugs me a bit. Over the years I've redesigned it, and come up with different ways to change it, but never actually got round to getting it done. I like it well enough, but it could be much better so I think I'll get it done at some point.

This post has been edited by Traveller: 16 June 2020 - 09:52 PM

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#7 User is offline   QuickTidal 

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Posted 16 June 2020 - 08:16 PM

View Postamphibian, on 16 June 2020 - 05:45 PM, said:

I have a large tattoo. It's something I am deeply happy with. There's a spectrum of tattoos from drunk amateurs with ink pens to world class art pieces and the amount of happiness people get from them also ranges considerably.

I don't worry much about other people's, but I really like mine. Probably will get one or two more some day.


That is an utterly fantastic piece, and definitely in the category of singular greatness I was speaking of. I would be hella proud of that too. Who was the artist if you don't mind me asking?
"When the last tree has fallen, and the rivers are poisoned, you cannot eat money, oh no." ~Aurora
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#8 User is offline   amphibian 

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Posted 16 June 2020 - 09:04 PM

Gene Coffey is the artist. He mostly worked from his studio in New York City and now in the pandemic era, likely will only work from there. I paid roughly $2k for about 10 hours with him over two sessions a month apart.

The thing about people who collect patchwork tattoos is that the art means different things to them. Maybe they wanted to capture a particular feeling or liked a certain image or only had enough money to do something this big etc. For some, it's like the random detritus of life that we assemble around us in objects - but rather on the body. For others, there's a more monolithic vision and coherent narrative. I don't think either approach is inherently better because this is tied so heavily to the specific person getting the ink. I'm not a person who can get a spur of the moment tattoo, so I sat on an idea for two years, pitched it to very specific artists I found on Instagram, failed (they didn't select my idea amongst many applications for their time slots), readjusted, tried again a year later, and got picked.

Initially, I was going to put it on my shoulder blade, but the artist told me that for a first tattoo, it kind of stinks to not be able to see it when you want to. So we moved it to my arm.

My other tattoo idea may take a few years to make it onto my other arm, but I have a clear idea of what it's going to be. It'll be a good bit smaller. I would like to work with another artist (although I highly recommend Gene Coffey) simply due to wanting a different style of cool thing on me.

I would ease up on judging people for their tattoos as long as they're not hate symbols.
I survived the Permian and all I got was this t-shirt.
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#9 User is offline   Mezla PigDog 

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Posted 16 June 2020 - 09:27 PM

I think as a concept tattoos are awesome. I love a full sleeve, from a distance. When you get closer I think they all mostly look terrible but I think it is because the individual images are so personal to the wearer and as an outsider it means nothing. The same as the art someone chooses for their walls. I don't know how someone invests the time in a full sleeve either because while it is a work in progress it mostly looks like shit. I guess the wearer knows what they are going for though. So I'm not going to judge but they have become so popular now that I think a clean arm is going to get more interesting soon.
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#10 User is offline   Cause 

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Posted 16 June 2020 - 10:09 PM

I do like your tattoo amphibian itís a cool image. I have to say and maybe for me itís a sexual attraction thing but while I can appreciate it, Iíd hate to see something like that in my girlfriends arm.

By they way I have never really thought about it before now. My arms are hairier from the elbow down then they are from the elbow to the shoulder but still hairy. Your arm looks smoothe. Not sure if they always that way or do you make an efffort to shave your arm to show off the sleeve?
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#11 User is offline   amphibian 

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Posted 16 June 2020 - 11:26 PM

That picture was taken about 7 days after my final session. The hair had been freshly shaved. The hair on it now doesn't obscure much, but I do have much more forearm hair now than in that picture.
I survived the Permian and all I got was this t-shirt.
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#12 User is offline   Tiste Simeon 

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Posted 17 June 2020 - 06:52 AM

One of my guilty pleasures is the bad tattoos subreddit. Hilarious stuff on the whole. Some NSFW too but have fun: https://www.reddit.com/r/badtattoos/
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#13 User is offline   Siergiej 

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Posted 17 June 2020 - 09:42 AM

I used to dislike tattoos when I was younger but I guess I just had to come across designs that I like. I'm mostly into small, minimalistic designs. I also enjoy floral and geometric aesthetics. I used to only like black ink but I'm slowly getting on board with colorful designs. Amphibian's is rad as hell.

I got my first tattoo few years ago for the dumbest reason. I'm terrified of needles so I was like what's the best way to get over my fear? GET STUNG HUNDREDS OF TIMES PER MINUTE. So I went to a studio and told them to put one of my favorite book lines tattooed along my forearm. Except I didn't dare look at the needle, so I'm still afraid lol. And I really loved having a tattoo so the following year I went in again and got a small tree branch design on my other arm and I think it looks amazing.

Over the years I want to get a few more small designs on both arms. No connection between them. I just want stuff that looks cool and means something to me. Currently thinking about the next one. Just don't have a good idea yet.
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#14 User is offline   QuickTidal 

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Posted 17 June 2020 - 11:43 AM

If I do get a tattoo one day, it will be my kids names woven into some design. I actually have a really amazing artist lined up who does work for a friend of mine and her stuff is utterly stunning. One day perhaps, but I'm not there yet.
"When the last tree has fallen, and the rivers are poisoned, you cannot eat money, oh no." ~Aurora
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#15 User is offline   Vengeance 

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Posted 17 June 2020 - 04:26 PM

When I was a kid my Grandfather showed me his tattoo's from WWII. He had tattoo's of all of the ships that he was on that were destroyed in battle. He was in his 20's during the war and was in his 70's when he showed me the tattoo's. The ships were stretched and sagging. It wasn't possible to read the names. He told to never get a tattoo as your skin changes as it gets older and what looks cool and has meaning when your young shifts and drifts and looks like shit when you get old. I have stuck with that advice my entire life.
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#16 User is offline   amphibian 

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Posted 17 June 2020 - 04:31 PM

There's a certain skill level that helps with legibility as we age. Ink not placed in the dermis tends to drift, which means maintaining the proper depth is critical. There's also touch ups and keeping your skin in decent condition. However, bodies age and eventually we die. This is ephemeral art if you look at it on a long enough scale.

This post has been edited by amphibian: 17 June 2020 - 04:48 PM

I survived the Permian and all I got was this t-shirt.
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#17 User is offline   Puck 

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Posted 17 June 2020 - 04:34 PM

I like tattoos. I got a Malazan quote on my arm, and no, you can't have pictures :p

BUT we can discuss it all we like, at the end of the day people get tattoos for themselves, and saying they should only get tattoos if those make conceptual sense is like telling people they need to find a job and stick with it forever and ever and be ashamed if they want to change their path. People change, life goes on and tastes change, so I find value even in tattoos that may seem disjointed or like random collections because even those tell the story of the person's life, and that story is theirs to tell, not whoever deigns to assess whether that collection was worth the time and money spent on it or not. Of course, everyone is welcome to find one thing more appealing than the other, but while some may only see value in a grand vision of a one-time thing, others may want to collect snippets that seem random to outside onlookers. If anything, I'd probably be the latter, simply because I would not want to limit myself to one particular theme or motive and I don't view tattoos as particularly symbolic (or even sentimental). We're not living in a tribal society where every spot of ink on our skin symbolizes something. Instead, tattoos have become a personal thing.

And while I don't plan on getting another one atm, I can see myself do so at some point in the future and I sure af won't be sitting on the decision and hemming and hawing about it for years. It's just skin. It's not sacred. And it's mine to do with as I please even if someone else thinks that's ugly. I don't exist to please someone else's aesthetic sensibilities. We put this insanely heavy significance on tattoos as something "we'll be carrying with us to the grave", but honestly, who is going to care by the time we start shopping for coffins what it looks like or what it once meant to us when we had it done? No one. So might as well enjoy it now.

This post has been edited by Puck: 17 June 2020 - 04:36 PM

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#18 User is offline   Vengeance 

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Posted 17 June 2020 - 04:44 PM

View Postamphibian, on 17 June 2020 - 04:31 PM, said:

There's a certain skill level that helps with legibility as we age. Shallower ink tends to drift faster. There's also touch ups and keeping your skin in decent condition. However, bodies age and eventually we die. This is ephemeral art if you look at it on a long enough scale.


I suspect that the skill level and the depth of the ink were not priorities when he got his done.
How many fucking people do I have to hammer in order to get that across.
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#19 User is offline   QuickTidal 

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Posted 17 June 2020 - 06:28 PM

View PostVengeance, on 17 June 2020 - 04:44 PM, said:

View Postamphibian, on 17 June 2020 - 04:31 PM, said:

There's a certain skill level that helps with legibility as we age. Shallower ink tends to drift faster. There's also touch ups and keeping your skin in decent condition. However, bodies age and eventually we die. This is ephemeral art if you look at it on a long enough scale.


I suspect that the skill level and the depth of the ink were not priorities when he got his done.


Indeed. My grandfathers WWII-era Tatts were done with like a hot pin and regular ass ink or some shit by the other soldiers in his platoon. He died when I was 3, but pictures of his Tatts exist and they are...blurry to say the least.
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#20 User is offline   paran falcon 

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Posted 19 June 2020 - 01:56 AM

Does anyone know if tattoos "age" better if one gets them when they're older? For instance, I'm over 50 now and am still considering getting one. I don't know if I ever really will, though, for multiple reasons.

There are only 3 things I would consider putting on my skin and I don't know if I can ever incorporate the 3 into a single tattoo. All 3 things are very meaningful to me, one being some way to represent my wife, daughter and son. And I would like only one tattoo (I'm pretty sure) though I, too, have heard that it can be difficult for some to stop acquiring them once they've started. I have collected several images over the years that would be a great starting point for one or more of the images I'd like but I've yet to go any farther with it.


The cost would likely be a factor also. I'm under no illusions that quality tattoos from a talented artist aren't cheap and deservedly so. I'm not sure I can justify spending even, say, $1000 on a personal expression for myself. I've spent too long prioritizing spending on the necessities of my family when times were tough that its pretty rare that I break down and spend on myself. My wife has given me grief more than once for it.

My wife has one tattoo, around her right ankle. She has been talking about wanting a 2nd for years but she hasn't moved on it to this point. I don't think what she wants will be costly. I have a feeling she's waiting to see if my daughter (just turned 20) chooses to get one so they can go together, lol.




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