I'm a tattoo artist – the tackiest designs people could ever choose & why a 'cute' butterfly on your back is a BIG no

UNLESS you're willing to spend a few hundreds to have it removed or covered, a tattoo is permanent.

And one tattoo artists has revealed which designs she would rather you avoid, from the generic to the very tacky.

Fabulous spoke to Javann, a North London-based tattoo expert, to find out what's a no-no in his books – and it's bad news if there's a butterfly ornamenting your lower back.

Offering a helping hand to navigate you through the endless varieties of tattoos, Javann admitted that if you were to approach him with one of these, he would turn you down ''immediately.''

''Jesus Christ, it's always guys…Guys come with 'Only God can judge me' with praying hands.''

Although the industry can be competitive at times and there are fellow artists who would be more than happy to ''take on absolutely anything just because they want the money'', Javann insisted: ''Things like that – I will keep away from […] and not compromise my craft.''

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Highly sought-after almost everyone a few decades ago, the iconic combination of low rise jeans or a velour tracksuit with a cute butterfly peaking through on the lower back was the look that took over the streets and magazines.

But, unfortunately, it's now seen its days and should be left in the past, Javann says.

Although there is nothing wrong with a butterfly inking itself – the artist even tattoos these – it's more so the placement that leaves a tacky aftertaste.

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I’m a tattoo artist, people often ask for a particular tattoo which I ALWAYS refuse

''I'll try my best to get them out of it, like 'How about we put it here? Or here?'.''


Another quite common request is a tattoo of partner's name.


Unlike your kid's name or date of birth which, in Javann's opinion, ''hold a sentimental value'', having your partner's name all across your chest or right where the heart is is generic.

''I will try to stay away from that.''

Not only do these, he believed, looked tacky and gave others second-hand embarrassment but will also, in some cases, have to be covered later on in life when the love story, unfortunately, reaches the end of its final chapter.


A design that almost everyone had saved on Pinterest a few years ago, Javann thought that a dream catcher, especially on your back, is also a trend that needs to die.

''I've not done any but I've had a few people approach me [for it].

''That's one I'm not a big fan of – it's just we've seen it a thousand times.

''I feel like you can't put much variations into the design or change it that much cause it's just a dream catcher and a few feathers and beads.''

Javann isn't the only expert in the field who said this – Dave 'Azma' Knauer, of Mythic Ink Tattoo also claimed it's difficult to get creative with something as common and basic as a dream catcher.


Similarly to the name of your partner – or partners – inked on your body, kiss marks used to be a trend that many would get to symbolise their love.

''To me, I feel like the kiss mark tattoo is just a little bit tacky.

''As you said, it's definitely outdated and it was a trend before…And maybe a particular type of person would get it.''

Whether it stems from a bad boy image or a sweet boy – Javann couldn't quite guess – one thing is for sure – tattoos of a red pair of lips on your neck or chest is a big no-no.

''People are people, they're just people-ing,'' said Javann.

''They're very indecisive, it can get quite tricky as an artist – […] I think a lot of the times people just do things in the spur of the moment.''

The statistics only serve as proof – out of ten clients, four or five will approach Javann with a request for a cover-up.

In most cases, these will be women trying to get rid of any indication they were once together with a special someone – whether it's the name of their ex-partner/s or an important date in the relationship.

If you're not sure, Javann recommended, the best thing is to take time to really ponder whether the design or the placement is the one.

''If they're coming across as a bit indecisive, I'll be like 'We can wait for this piece if you're not 100 per cent sure'.''

What do people regret the most?

Fabulous spoke to Vanessa Charest, an Aesthetic Nurse at London Real Skin in Holborn, who revealed some of the most common tattoos people get removed and the body parts they regret getting inked the most.

"The tattoos that we are currently treating with Laser Tattoo Removal vary.

"Some of the common areas include the lower back on females, and for the men it's the sleeve of tattoos.

"We have seen a few on the wrists, as well as on the upper part of the back and back of shoulder. 

"The most common tattoos include initials or letters that clients are looking to have removed, typically signifying a past relationship, and quotes and sayings are usually quite common.

"Stars and shapes are common amongst females. "

Vanessa Charest, an Aesthetic Nurse at London Real Skin in Holborn

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