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MY RULE OF THUMB WHEN I BUY OR LOOK AT WOULD BE REFRENCE BOOKS IS, IF I CAN FIND SOMETHING TO TATTOO OR APPLY TO A TATTOO IN THE FIRST 15 SECONDS I WILL BUY IT, IF NOT I SET IT DOWN, THE BARGAIN SHELF IS MY FAVORITE PLACE TO START. I HAVE A NICE COLLECTION I STARTED BUYING BOOK WHEN I WORKED THE VENICE BEACH TATTOO SCENE IN 96.

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I think its nice to have a lot of books around of tattoo related artwork just for tips on how to do certain things if you get stuck on something or simply for inspiration. But honestly like Petri said, the best ones arent tattoo related. I try and use photographs a lot. If your doing a tattoo of a flower of some sort, dont look at a tattoo of it or flash... look at an actual photo of that type of flower and draw your interpretation of it. I buy all sorts of book, but most are photography and clipart books. I find myself looking at those more than anything tattoo related. Or the ultimate free reference of all time... google images. But keep in mind how many other tattooers probably use that as well, so try not to jock anyone elses stuff. My advice bottom line... find an actual photo and make it your own.

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