Be Unique! Tattoo etiquette and copying designs.
An unfortinate issue which happens far too often sparked discussion with us here at the studio regarding tracing, copying and being inspired by other artist work and the sometimes unclear but important divide between them.
YOU as a client and tattoo collector are unique in your own individual way, and it is our job as artist to help you express that individuality through the tattoo you want to get :)
Sadly a current occurrence in the tattoo industry nowadays, thanks to the help of social media and the ease of accessibility, is for clients to bring a copy of another artists work and want it replicated exactly. There are quite a lot of facets to explore in the consideration of 'copying' a design which we've gone into a little more detail below.
Copying vs Inspiration It is perfectly fine to have found an existing tattoo that you like! We all have designs we admire and it's also ok to show this to your artist when you are explaining the style/subject of the tattoo you want. This becomes not ok when you expect your artist to copy the design exactly as it is.
When you book in for a tattoo with us one of the first things we will ask you is to send through any reference images or inspiration you have to give us a visual idea on what you would like. Being artists it's a lot easier for you to explain some of your ideas to us through images as this enables us to get a complete view on your tattoo concepts. We will then take these images and use them as our reference when we research and design your tattoo. We can sometimes use specific elements of the images you've bought to us depending on if we can still make the image unique enough to you.
Most of the time designs are custom created for clients and are their way of expressing themselves. You take this away from the original collector by getting an exact copy if their design.