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There are many philosophies surrounding when to get a tattoo. A very common one is that it should represent something that means a lot to you. Given the passion that sports can rile up, it is no surprise that sports tattoos are such a big sub-genre. Let’s meet a great sports tattoo artist and some tips about when to get this athletic ink!

California-based tattoo artist Steve Butcher has created a specific niche for himself. Within his beautiful portfolio, you can find realistic portraits of pop culture figures, including star athletes. Even when capturing action, these images are stunningly real.

The level of detail is absolutely captivating, especially when he inks up a recognizable face, a notoriously difficult task.

For example, check out this tattoo of Dwyane Wade and LeBron James during their time with the Miami Heat. On a single calf, Butcher was able to detail two faces in the foreground and two in the back. All of this within an action scene with both stars jumping through the air. This is tattoo artistry at its best. 

And Butcher can go even heavier on the details. Check out this portrait of Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gigi. These closeups of intense facial expressions are difficult to capture and require a master’s hand. These tattoos look like photographs.

But of course not all ink jobs are masterpieces. There are many great artists out there who are able to pull off sports tattoos, but then there are plenty of people who do not do the proper research and end up with less than fortunate results. 

Ask Yourself These Questions Before Settling on a Sports Tattoo

While sports tattoos can be truly excellent works of art, many of them tend to go off the deep end. Maybe fans tend to get them while inebriated, or simply want to show off the depth of their dedication. Either way, ask yourself these questions before getting inked up with your favorite sports team logo.

Is it going too far?

If we are thinking about getting a sports tattoo, we obviously have a pretty big attraction to the game. Whether you get your kicks from soccer or your highs from basketball, our passion can sometimes overflow.

I am sure this fan loves Barcelona Football Club a lot, and, to be honest, this tattoo looks great on him. But before covering 30% of your body in soccer homage, it is a good idea to ask if this represents your level of commitment to the team.

Where’s the right spot?

Getting a tattoo is like buying a house. The three most important factors are location, location, and location. Having passion is one thing. Covering your entire head in soccer logos is another.

Have you found the right artist for the job?

While Butcher is able to pull some incredible stunts, not all tattoo artists are up to snuff. It is well worth your time double-checking portfolios and expertise. Some will be better at bright colors and cartoonish figures, while others will specialize in realism.

Others do not seem to have any specialty at all. This fan has been banned from Neymar’s social media after this disastrous tattoo.

Photo via Twitter

Photo via Twitter

Needless to Say: Make Sure Your Team Wins Before Getting the Tattoo

There is absolutely nothing wrong with getting a tattoo celebrating a championship... just make sure the team actually wins the damned thing before you commit to the tattoo. These things are permanent, you know. 

If you keep these things in mind, you'll get a sports tattoo you can be proud of, even when your team is embarrassing on the field.