Diehardonvhs

Artists who copy tattoos/styles

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But this website still looks down on young girls getting a tribal tattoo just above the but or a feather disolving into birds (correct me if im wrong on this).

I think there has been some eye-rolling at stuff like this on here, but it's a bit more complicated. The other day a tattooer who I follow through various social media made it clear that he was happy to do stuff like this, didn't feel it was beneath him, etc. - I mean, presumably as long as the requests weren't for upside-down images or a trend that will age terribly. I appreciated that. There's also a difference between discussing trends that you find unflattering (for instance, I've read a defense of 90s lower-back tribal somewhere on this board on the grounds that it sat better on the body than today's exploding feathers) vs. being a dick to an actual person with one of those tattoos...though one thing can turn into the other. But yeah, things that young girls/women enjoy or turn into trends are often seen as a bit gauche, too. At this point I've started to resent "white girl" as shorthand for a specific kind of embarrassing taste, but that's another discussion...

It seems like there's been more of an effort lately to avoid trend-bashing and to focus on the positive, which is great.

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Because a panther will still look fuckin good in 30 years. The birds will look like polka dots.

I guess that depends on the artist

To me it seems that there's a large element of sexism, things that are cliches for males to get are OK but cliched female tattoos are not accepted.

Mm this sounds pretty damn right on the spot. But what are the cliche's for males to get that are OK ?

There's also the fact that panthers are classic American traditional, whereas the feather birds are a newer trend. Doesn't make it all right, it just is.

thats pretty weird.. so something has to be classic before it becomes rad?

I think there has been some eye-rolling at stuff like this on here, but it's a bit more complicated. The other day a tattooer who I follow through various social media made it clear that he was happy to do stuff like this, didn't feel it was beneath him, etc. - I mean, presumably as long as the requests weren't for upside-down images or a trend that will age terribly. I appreciated that. There's also a difference between discussing trends that you find unflattering (for instance, I've read a defense of 90s lower-back tribal somewhere on this board on the grounds that it sat better on the body than today's exploding feathers) vs. being a dick to an actual person with one of those tattoos...though one thing can turn into the other. But yeah, things that young girls/women enjoy or turn into trends are often seen as a bit gauche, too. At this point I've started to resent "white girl" as shorthand for a specific kind of embarrassing taste, but that's another discussion...

It seems like there's been more of an effort lately to avoid trend-bashing and to focus on the positive, which is great.

I havent been that long on this forum so i wouldnt know. But its good that it is happening.

But still it struck me as weird that its ok to have slightly different panters but slightly different 'cliché girl tattoos' are more 'pushed away'?

People are confusing :p

I used to be like this too. Before i got onto the LastSparrowforumtrain i thought tribals were shit. Untill i saw the work of Peter Walrus. Now i tend to be more mm i guess you could say openhearted.

Anyhows, i enjoy these discussions :) I hope you guys dont feel attacked or anything like that. If you are I am sorry and you will have to deal with it on your own

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Hello,

I have read this thread with great interest because i honestly didn't think this was a thing...so here's my noob take on it. Maybe someone can answer some of my questions.

I often lurk on instagram, tattoo blogs etc and see a lot of nice tattooes that i'd want on myself. I want exactly that tattoo not an imitation but according to this thread - tough luck!. i should not want the same tattoo because it's ...unoriginal? A tattoo artist should not want to tattoo it because...it's stealing? Of course, in real life, I could probably find a good tattoo artist to tattoo that design i've seen on someone's instagram but i should ...feel ashamed of myself? because someone else has this too and i didn't come up with it? In a way, i guess it makes sense but we're 7billion people if 2 people have the same tattoo does it really matter?

Let's say I adhere to this rule, what am I to do when I see something I really really like? Go to a tattoo artist and ask for something *like* that and get something *almost* as beautiful and be happy with that? What is an artist to do when I come with a design I've found online? refuse me? tweak it so he won't feel like fraud?

I'll give you an example of something i'd want tattoo on me but sincerily after reading this thread i have a dilemma. https://instagram.com/p/n30fjeLkxI/?taken-by=yaninaviland

So in this situation I even know the artist - oftentimes this is not the case - but what can I do now? Get this one and feel guilty/unoriginal/a cheap copy for it? Tweak it and feel dissatisfied with the result? Call the artist? I can't go to russia to meet her. In fact, I can't go to basically any country just for a tattoo so unless she comes to my town - very unlikely - i'm at a loss.

So these are my thoughts, while I understand your rules and code of conduct when it comes to other people's designs and tattoo I'm also curious what do you think someone in my position - i'm sure there are a lot of people in my position - do?

Thanks!

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I want exactly that tattoo not an imitation

If it's a custom tattoo you're referring to, no matter what, you'll be getting an imitation. Probably a shitty one too, as any tattooer with respect for him/herself won't do it. Why not find a tattooer you like, give them an idea of what you want, and get your mind blown when you show up to the appointment and see the linedrawing for the first time? Or just get something off a flash sheet if you wan to see the design beforehand, and don't mind that a lot of other folks wear that same thing.

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I agree with Iwar - I think you'd be surprised to see what a good artist can do to give you something that, believe it or not, you might like even BETTER than the one you saw on IG. Show them your inspiration, and let them create something for you, after you've found an artist that does other work that is in a similar style.

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@Sick, I think you're getting caught up in the whole "I need to know what it's going to look like, I need it to be perfect!" thing a lot of people get stuck in when it comes to tattoos. Getting a good tattoo is probably 75% researching and choosing a good artist, and 25% having a good idea. You can't get a decent tattoo without both of those things present. A bad artist could butcher a great idea, and a great artist might be limited with a bad idea or a client who's too nitpicky. Find someone whose portfolio consistently impresses you in whatever style you like, figure out what emotion you're trying to represent with your tattoo (or just pick an image you like) and I can almost guarantee your artist will draw up something impressive that you'll end up liking more than any image you could find online...because it's yours and yours only. The only thing I can compare it to is this: I have an autograph by one of my favorite musicians. It's something he signed, and although he's made many signatures in his life, this specific one is mine. It's not a print, it's not something his assistant signed, it's something he made just for me. That feeling is similar to when you have an artist draw a custom tattoo, it's just not nearly as special to have someone replicate an already existing one (that's the equivalent of a print of a signature, in my example).

Or if you really are obsessed with seeing what something looks like beforehand...pick flash off the wall. Or draw something yourself and insist on it being exactly the way it's drawn (don't expect a decent tattoo out of this strategy). Tattoo artists live and breathe art and can make you something gorgeous and custom if you just relinquish some control.

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@Sick, I think you're getting caught up in the whole "I need to know what it's going to look like, I need it to be perfect!" thing a lot of people get stuck in when it comes to tattoos. Getting a good tattoo is probably 75% researching and choosing a good artist, and 25% having a good idea. You can't get a decent tattoo without both of those things present. A bad artist could butcher a great idea, and a great artist might be limited with a bad idea or a client who's too nitpicky. Find someone whose portfolio consistently impresses you in whatever style you like, figure out what emotion you're trying to represent with your tattoo (or just pick an image you like) and I can almost guarantee your artist will draw up something impressive that you'll end up liking more than any image you could find online...because it's yours and yours only. The only thing I can compare it to is this: I have an autograph by one of my favorite musicians. It's something he signed, and although he's made many signatures in his life, this specific one is mine. It's not a print, it's not something his assistant signed, it's something he made just for me. That feeling is similar to when you have an artist draw a custom tattoo, it's just not nearly as special to have someone replicate an already existing one (that's the equivalent of a print of a signature, in my example).

Or if you really are obsessed with seeing what something looks like beforehand...pick flash off the wall. Or draw something yourself and insist on it being exactly the way it's drawn (don't expect a decent tattoo out of this strategy). Tattoo artists live and breathe art and can make you something gorgeous and custom if you just relinquish some control.

I am not a control freak and I totally agree with you. But why I said this whole thread is surprising for me...I've seen some AMAZING tattoos done by a guy in my country and I said that's amazing gave him a call, told me he doesn't draw anything he just tattooes off the internet. and this is one of the best guys! What can I do? Very hard to find someone who actually draws the tattoo here in Romania.

But i'll keep trying and thanks a lot for the insight, very appreciated!

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Sorry for the double post, but I just noticed this debate above and wanted to give my two cents...

@rufio, your distinction of traditional tattoo images being cliches for men and tumblr tattoo designs being cliches for women is just plain wrong. Traditional tattoos work equally well on both genders. It took me many years to get over my fear of them being "too masculine" and commit to getting a few myself with plans for at least one sleeve of them (female, here). Women have been getting these images just as long as men have. My issue with the tumblr designs you're talking about is not so much "a bunch of women have them and they're cliche now" as it is I just think they're weak designs. They're so small they'll definitely be black blobs in the future, I'm not a fan of silhouette designs because they can be hard to read, and a lot of them are just nonsensical (an anchor with the phrase "I refuse to sink"...THAT'S WHAT ANCHORS DO!). I think people are flocking to them because they're all over social media without really thinking about their strength as art. Traditional designs have so much power and emotion behind them and they just plain look good.

- - - Updated - - -

I am not a control freak and I totally agree with you. But why I said this whole thread is surprising for me...I've seen some AMAZING tattoos done by a guy in my country and I said that's amazing gave him a call, told me he doesn't draw anything he just tattooes off the internet. and this is one of the best guys! What can I do? Very hard to find someone who actually draws the tattoo here in Romania.

But i'll keep trying and thanks a lot for the insight, very appreciated!

Are you looking for black and grey/color realism? Is he talking about copying tattoos or copying reference photos? There's a little more leeway in my opinion with drawing realism from scratch, because artists need to work from reference photos to nail the realism. Even then, artists sometimes have to invent things to make the image more tattooable, so it's never going to be an EXACT copy. Anything that's not meant to be a replica of a certain picture should be drawn (or at least altered from a photo), in my opinion.

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Sorry for the double post, but I just noticed this debate above and wanted to give my two cents...

@rufio, your distinction of traditional tattoo images being cliches for men and tumblr tattoo designs being cliches for women is just plain wrong. Traditional tattoos work equally well on both genders. It took me many years to get over my fear of them being "too masculine" and commit to getting a few myself with plans for at least one sleeve of them (female, here). Women have been getting these images just as long as men have. My issue with the tumblr designs you're talking about is not so much "a bunch of women have them and they're cliche now" as it is I just think they're weak designs. They're so small they'll definitely be black blobs in the future, I'm not a fan of silhouette designs because they can be hard to read, and a lot of them are just nonsensical (an anchor with the phrase "I refuse to sink"...THAT'S WHAT ANCHORS DO!). I think people are flocking to them because they're all over social media without really thinking about their strength as art. Traditional designs have so much power and emotion behind them and they just plain look good.

- - - Updated - - -

Are you looking for black and grey/color realism? Is he talking about copying tattoos or copying reference photos? There's a little more leeway in my opinion with drawing realism from scratch, because artists need to work from reference photos to nail the realism. Even then, artists sometimes have to invent things to make the image more tattooable, so it's never going to be an EXACT copy. Anything that's not meant to be a replica of a certain picture should be drawn (or at least altered from a photo), in my opinion.

you, you're sharp. I like it. I guess you're right. I think a good artist can tweak it so it will age well. As for the designs themself i dont think i care. They're not my thing but if a person likes it and gets it its their business and who am i to say its not nice?

(side note; Would be cool if someone takes the feather into bird designs and changes it. I was thinking a 2d factory with birds coming out would be rad. As if the factory was making the birds).

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Oh I would be heartbroken if I bumped into someone on the street with the exact same tattoo as mine - but my expectations are high:

I saved and paid a lot of money for a top artist to customise something just for me.

To maybe find out that

a) my artist just plonked it on another persons body means i've been misled and effectively conned out of my cash-monies. Paying top dollar for a custom piece that turned out not be custom at all

or

b) some internet random couldn't muster the creative strength to work on customising their own and just printed mine off the interwebs, walked into a shop without thought and said "gimme that" - the idea of someone calling themselves an artist just going "yeah OK" means there's no respect for the original artist that carried out that work or the person who is already carrying it on their body.

I would like to think that point A would never happen - I trust the artist.

I would like to HOPE that should the first half of point B ever happen, they are met with "No. Let's work on something just for you, 'kay?... you little creative void, you! *affectionate head rub*"

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All of my tattoos are "custom" as in none of them are flash from the wall. Though I've seen some killer flash, and I've pretty seriously tried to talk my son into matching Hot Stuff riding a charging panther off the wall at Trader Bob's.

Two of my tattoos are traced. It is obvious to me, as I provided the (non-tattoo) reference material. Both have additional elements added (my birdie reference did NOT have a French fry), but I absolutely know the artists did not free hand the whole design. I brought in a picture, and they made me tattoos of the pictures. I'm happy with them.

One of them was drawn onto my skin, without any reference except what the artist had in his head at the time.

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What I struggle with is the person wanting the exact same thing. It's strange to me, looking at someone else's skin and saying: "yeah, give me that". Very Buffalo Bill esque, to my mind.

Could it have something to do with how we perceive fashion and mass media consumerism nowadays? Similarity is good and desirable?

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