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Kev

The Sue Jeiven Flash Book Theivery Fiasco

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Sue Jeiven, a tattooer at East River Tattoo was selling "her" flashbook at the Philly Convention. I put 'her' in quotations because the book contains direct tracings of custom work from Ezra Haidet, AP Shrewsbury, Ron Henry Wells and others. The story first broke on Instagram but it's made it's way to Facebook today:

Flash by Sue Jeiven

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My thoughts exactly. I think people are going to seriously start considering whether it's worth it or not anymore. A lot of those images were designed for a specific customer in mind, which makes it that much worse.

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My thoughts exactly. I think people are going to seriously start considering whether it's worth it or not anymore. A lot of those images were designed for a specific customer in mind, which makes it that much worse.

I think they already have. I mean flash sets have gone way down in price. But to be fair a lot of that is the customer wanting a custom design. Buying a sheet of flash with liners with designs for $100- $200, knowing the first time you sell a design it pays for itself and may even make you money seems like a no brainer. Now you buy a set of 5 sheets for $100 because it's reference or maybe decoration or you don't buy it at all and you just draw your own version. A lot of flash is very heavily influenced (to say the least) by designs that have already been done, and there is nothing wrong with that in my mind, but like you said a lot of customers expect a tattoo for them and aren't just going to pick off the flash sheets. I am not one of those customers and would have no problem being blindfolded and forced to pick out a design off the wall.

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it's not even like she copied some flash, she traced actual paintings people were selling prints of at that same convention. She also seems to have printed out photos of people tattoos and traced those.

You put out a flash book specifically to be copied in a way, straight up tracing and selling is still wrong but flash is flash. To go to the extent of finding pictures of paintings and actual tattoos, size them up, print them out, trace them, put it all together in a book. If she's put that much work into her own drawings they probably wouldn't be that bad.

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As a client it's one thing for me to go get a tattoo from a Sailor Jerry flash re-draw because the design has some significance to me, knowing full well that the design I picked is iconic and unoriginal. I got mine because my Dad got the same frigging image in 1953. She's scratching this shit on people who are probably 1st timers and don't know any better and think they're getting this cool piece of original art.

From the looks of her work I think the reason she only uses all black and only black is because her Ebay starter tattoo kit didn't come with a shader and color ink.

Flipping someone Else's designs 180 with a Xerox copier and tracing doesn't constitute originality in my book.

I guess they didn't teach ethics as part of Tattoo 101 at the tattoo school she went to.

I can foresee broken hands in her future.

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Sue Jeiven, a tattooer at East River Tattoo was selling "her" flashbook at the Philly Convention. I put 'her' in quotations because the book contains direct tracings of custom work from Ezra Haidet, AP Shrewsbury, Ron Henry Wells and others. The story first broke on Instagram but it's made it's way to Facebook today:

Flash by Sue Jeiven

Sucks, looks like East River Tattoo deleted their Facebook page.... :(

Hopefully that shop got deleted too.

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I in no way speak on Sue's behalf, but I do wish to spread light on this whole situation...

Sue has been in the game of tattooing for so many years..Long enough that she has tattoos from reputable legends such as Dan Higgs and Chuck Eldridge.

She was a part of an association of tattooers who, in turn, won the legalization of the 38 year ban of tattooing in Massachusetts in 2000.

She runs one of my favorite shops in Brooklyn and in the last few years has battled a very aggressive case of breast cancer...She is currently diagnosed as 'stage IV' (no chance of remission basically) and still manages to do art shows and teach taxidermy classes (she has been interviewed by both CNN and NPR for her taxidermy in the last year).

After a major debilitating surgery last summer, she was bedridden for 5 months...She had to give up her beautiful apartment in Brooklyn because she was unable to climb stairs (not even 1) from the surgery...

While bed ridden, she kept sketchbooks full of deep meaningful drawings and also exercises in drawing with the 'woodcut' style...she would use pictures of tattoos or old images she liked and turn them into woodcut versions...

The sketchbooks are truly AMAZING, but like a diary, never meant to go public...She keeps the sketchbooks at the tattoo shop so when people come in for their CUSTOM tattoos, Sue can show them her book and explain she will take their idea or image and use wood cut shading instead of traditional whip shading or however the image they brought in looks...

They were never meant to be seen at such a public level or used to be directly tattooed out of...Her shop, very proud of her and trying to help her, posted pictures of the sheets online and referred to them as her 'flash pages' since her page setup was that of traditional flash design...She never posted them herself and would have preferred them only seen at the shop..Sue does not keep a Facebook or EVER advertise her work online and keeps her success and work popularized only by word of mouth and not internet hype in the TRUE FASHION of REAL tattooing.

A misunderstanding turned into a RUMOR and turned into internet drama (SO LAME)...Artists have used their favorite medium to talk shit and say some nasty things, but not one of these people

have tried to contact Sue in a reasonable manor and call her or stop by to ask what the deal was...They just jumped on internet rumors and acted the way a immature school child would...

Due to her ailments, Sue does not tattoo very often and usually only on friends or former customers...Anyone that ACTUALLY knows her, knows that her quiet lifestyle has more dignity than

some young gun tattooer who would try to climb the social ladder of tattooing by talking with such OLD SCHOOL confidence on such a NEW SCHOOL medium...

As for the 'hand-breakers' out there...get a life...the internet was invented (as we know it now) in 1991 and to this day not one threat made online has ever happened in real life...You live in a fantasy world to think that stuff happens in the tattoo world...Stories of Bowery Stan and his hammer or Crazy Eddie and malatov cocktails are everyone's favorites and I WISH were the way things were in the tattoo world. In reality, tattooing at is current state is far too accessible and houses many internet, 'flash in the pan' sensations who act like they know everything...

How many clients did Joe Lieber or Sailor Jerry get from posting on Facebook?

The BEST know they are the best and act accordingly, and the chumps try to imitate this, but usually end up talking too much shit from behind a computer screen than actually studying the art and history of the worlds BEST profession...

The biggest shit talkers to come out of the woodwork on this matter were the significant others of tattooers...Respect to those who look out for their number 2, but seriously, stick to what you know! the craft and ethics of tattooing are certainly not that...

Sue is a true asset to the tattoo world...I wish her well in all her endeavors and am very proud of her and what she has accomplished before and during her terrible ailments...It causes me a great sadness to think of her name in any way harmed, since she is a truly great individual...

As for THIS 'credible tattoo blog' (oxymoron), find some REAL news instead of spreading internet gossip...No one ever gets outed for being unsterile or for overcharging for their scratch tattoos, but somehow this has made your 'recent news' list? POOR FORM GUYS!

GET OFF THE INTERNET AND READ A DAMN BOOK!

-Sully St. Clair

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They were never meant to be seen at such a public level or used to be directly tattooed out of...Her shop, very proud of her and trying to help her, posted pictures of the sheets online and referred to them as her 'flash pages' since her page setup was that of traditional flash design...She never posted them herself and would have preferred them only seen at the shop...

So why was the book being sold at a convention then?..

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on sunday (final day of the convention) she was giving sheets free to tattooed customers or selling pages from it for $5 each...saying 'selling her flash book' is a grand exaggeration and a fine example how internet rumors begin

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on sunday (final day of the convention) she was giving sheets free to tattooed customers or selling pages from it for $5 each...saying 'selling her flash book' is a grand exaggeration and a fine example how internet rumors begin

Not trying to be funny but surely if they were never intended to be in the public eye, then why was she either giving them away or selling single sheets? It doesn't make sense to me. Again not trying to cause an argument, I was just wondering was all...

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I'm sorry to hear about her condition, but I don't really see how that's relevant to her tattooing other peoples custom tattoo designs. I would be bummed out if I saw a copy of one of my custom tattoos, woodcut shading or not.

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on sunday (final day of the convention) she was giving sheets free to tattooed customers or selling pages from it for $5 each...saying 'selling her flash book' is a grand exaggeration and a fine example how internet rumors begin

If this is the case, then I apologise for my 'grand exaggeration'. However, I was going off what an artist attending the convention had seen. That same artist (who is active on this board) had a number of their designs 'borrowed' for these flash sheets. So, if it's coming from the proverbial 'horses mouth' is it still a 'rumor' or does it start becoming fact?

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Respect and fair play to you also Sully for looking out for yours.However playing the old school/new school card is also very lame ,real old school know that the old days were not all they were cracked up to be .I know a debilitating illness does not hamper one from using a computer ,defending themselves or on occaision drawing .I don't understand you attacking the credibility of this site or indeed posting your name in capitals ?

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on sunday (final day of the convention) she was giving sheets free to tattooed customers or selling pages from it for $5 each...saying 'selling her flash book' is a grand exaggeration and a fine example how internet rumors begin

So did you sign up to combat an internet rumor or are you sticking around?

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I am not familiar with this forum/blog and not sure of which 'horse's mouth' to which you are referring...

I in no way intend to plea a case or play a game of he said/she said or even take part in a slander match...

Sue is the NICEST and MOST APPROACHABLE person I know...if there was a concern over the matter at the convention, why not discuss it then and take care of any misunderstanding?...why wait to go home and start a massive internet slander spree based on assumed notions and etc?

If the 'proverbial horse's mouth' posts on this board, I would appreciate a private message where we could exchange phone numbers and discuss the issue respectfully and clear up any lousy drama...

I in no way speak on Sue's behalf, but do support her and hope the best for her...

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First, let me start by saying as a disclaimer that I, as an independent poster, in no way represent Last Sparrow Tattoo. The things you read that are posted in this forum are written by people in or around the tattoo community. My original intention in posting about this was to inform other artists and collectors that might have work being represented by someone else.

That being said your comment about "The biggest shit talkers to come out of the woodwork on this matter were the significant others of tattooers" is a gross misrepresentation of what was being posted. What I saw were comments from serious tattoo artists that had spent time outside the shop creating original pieces of art for clients/ friends and serious tattoo collectors who also spend their time and money with artists coming up with original designs based on their ideas and input. People that were discovering their hard and personal work represented as "Flash by Sue Jeiven". On none of the sheets were any of the artists credited. Being a veteran of the business, I'm sure Sue would've been familiar with practice of signing off on a piece of flash with "Design by (original artist) drawn by Sue Jeiven". I'm pretty sure if the images had been handled that way, things would've gone a lot smoother. I think it's easy to focus on the "personal attack" aspect of some of the posts, but realize that to most artists and creative types, their work is like their children. Imagine how weird it would be to find out someone was carrying around pictures of your kids and calling them their own.

*EDIT (posted after) "Sue is the NICEST and MOST APPROACHABLE person I know...if there was a concern over the matter at the convention, why not discuss it then and take care of any misunderstanding?...why wait to go home and start a massive internet slander spree based on assumed notions and etc?"

The reason I can see for that not happening is that we were talking about MULTIPLE artists who were nowhere near that convention, that would've never have learned about any of it if their friends hadn't tagged them in that album with "Isn't that your design in the top right corner?" Mirror image copies of original work side by side go beyond assumed notions.

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Sucks, looks like East River Tattoo deleted their Facebook page.... :(

Hopefully that shop got deleted too.

ERT has some great tattooers working there. Personally, I hope everything works out for them. I hadn't seen anyone posting anything negative on the shop page itself, so I'm not sure why they didn't just take down the flash album in question.

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First, let me start by saying as a disclaimer that I, as an independent poster, in no way represent Last Sparrow Tattoo. - (Sorry @Kev had to steal this line from you.)

First point. Just because someone is a nice person or they are sick, doesn't mean they can't do bad things. A person's physical state or personality has no bearing on whether a course of action was right or wrong.

Second Point. I didn't see anyone talking bad about the shop.

Third Point. You stated that you don't know this forum (or read anything outside of this article), but you made generalizations about the going-ons of the forum and how it is unreliable. While it is the internet, in my opinion it is a very informative forum/blog site. Also you stated that ". No one ever gets outed for being unsterile or for overcharging for their scratch tattoos, but somehow this has made your 'recent news' list? POOR FORM GUYS!", there a a number of threads that we out people for being scratchers and any form of being unsterilized.

Fourth Point. I personally trust the opinion of someone in the industry (some here have been in it for quite some time) over the thoughts of people outside the industry.

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I made posts on the facebook page because there were at least 5 of MY designs in there. None of the stuff I posted or really anything anyone else posted was actually "Shit talk". It was people just finding out about it, and being upset. I posted something about this on another forum, so instead of retyping it all, I'm going to go ahead and copy and paste it.

"In a case such as this where the person can't even make a simple clean design she is clearly tracing shit off the net and trying to make her name on it. The owl of mine that she used isn't flash. It was a tattoo that I did on one of this forum's members as a matter of fact. The other stuff of mine that was used was from one painting that I made for another tattooer that while in flash form, was a one shot painting. No prints. So she traced it and added it to her sheets. These are all in a book that she was selling in Philly. Making her name off designs that obviously aren't hers.

Tattooing DOES have a history of reinterpretation and appropriation, but there are lines. When I design flash for sale I don't care who tattoos it as long as it was bought from me and you aren't telling anyone that you drew it up. When it hangs in your shop or sits in your flash racks or book, my name is still on it. No problems at all. Go for it.

When you use it instead of drawing something because you're lazy and then tell someone it's yours that's bullshit. Also, when people are tracing tattoos right off the net and passing them off to the unaware masses as their "clever" designs it's bullshit.

And I completely understand, once you put it out there, it's liable to get lifted, but does that mean that opinions on such behavior can't be voiced and standards shouldn't be set against such behavior?

Absolutely not. People need to say shit to suckers. Tattooers seem to forget that yeah there.s a big tradition of lifting designs and whatnot, but there's also a tradition of protecting what's yours. Either by booby trapping it, making sure your name is ALWAYS attached to it, or by keeping it off radar. In this economy I'd love to be the off the radar guy. Just can't make it work, and if I'm spending the amount of time drawing, researching, reading, collection references, and building a stylistic vocabulary that is at least a little my own, then yes, I should be protective of it.

There's also the thing where tracing, and repainting flash by long gone, or otherwise retired old timers is different than repainting and then SELLING under your own name a bunch of shit being done by today's current people.

Shit's gonna happen, people are lazy, everyone LOVES to say there's nothing new under the sun, but it doesn't make it right or true. Chick is a thief. Ain't nothing on those sheets hers and a huge amount is from current people tattoos. Not even flash. She was at our booth in Philly this weekend. She didn't even buy my set after selling her book with my shit in it."

So to the person who was saying these things were never meant to be made public, and they were for personal use and to show clients, or to show clients, why even do that? Why trace my shit to show HER clients? So the people who don;t know ay better will see those designs as hers. That's not cool. Her illness aside, it's still a crummy thing to do to a lot of people.

I take issue with how You've come in here using "our favorite medium to talk shit" and try to talk to us like we're 12 year olds. Sorry she's in a bad way with cancer, but my sister is fucked to the nines with cancer but I still think she's the shittiest person I know. If this was truly about the merits of the sketchbook, then just stick to that. Don;t bring up things that don;t matter to the argument to just try to drum up some sort of viewpoint on her like she can't be called out on this shit.

I was AT Philly. She was in my booth. Talked to me. Still sold sheets with her name on in and mine, and other tattooers designs on them. None of those pages said anything like "designs by Wells, re-imagining by Jeiven." Which is kind of the thing you do when selling some shit that isn't yours. I didn't even know about this shit until a few days ago or I would have said something. And when get to Brooklyn next week I AM going to talk to her. Like an adult. So save the "you guys are all shit talkers" crap. Some of us are pissed.

Look. I'm no tattoo genius. I'm just a dude making tattoos and trying to make clients happy like everyone else, but I work my ass off to do so. My library is huge and very little of that is tattoo books. I spend hours upon hours drawing and re drawing. Again, I'm nothing special, but why can't she do that if her stuff is supposed to be so personal? Go to museums and collect old books. Not facebook tracings. The sketchbook you said was so AMAZING is 98 percent CURRENT tattooers drawings. Not old Jerry flash.

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