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You still shouldn't get a championship tattoo before your team wins.

2016 was a pretty good year for tattooing. There weren't any huge advancements, but there weren't any massive setbacks either. It seems like the popularity boom that's been steadily climbing for the last decade or so is finally starting to peak, which (although bad news for the artists who are suddenly finding themselves out of work) is probably good for the oversaturated industry. At the same time, people are becoming more and more educated about what good tattoos actually look like and what they should be looking for in an artist, so we're starting to see more and more well done tattoos out there (along with plenty of awful ones that just shouldn't have happened, but those will never go away).

But moving tattooing forward means learning from the mistakes of others, and there certainly were many mishaps to learn from this year. Some of the common issues remain from years past while other new ones arose, but they don't need to be duplicated in 2017 if we can help it. From the strange to the truly terrible, tattooing blunders provided lessons for anyone paying attention, and here are a handful of the biggest takeaways from the past 12 months.

 

Reality TV Tattooing isn't Going Anywhere

Although many of the OG tattooing TV shows are long gone, cable networks continue to sink money into new programs year after year with varying amounts of success. Outside of Ink Master looking set to continue as the tattoo TV staple until long after Dave Navarro's old and gray, VH1's Black Ink Crew now has a spinoff series with Black Ink Crew: Chicago getting a second season (so everyone can focus on racially tinged drama in two locations, rather than one) while the British Tattoo Fixers proves that people overseas didn't get sick of Spike's Tattoo Nightmares while it was on the air.

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