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Kristen R Holbrook

An introduction is in order

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Sounds perfectly reasonable.

When all's said and done, it's the same. Traveling to the tattoo artist you desired artwork from would mean traveling costs + hotel + food. In the end, you'd be paying more to get the tattoo art just like the people paying more to get the tattoo design.

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Sounds perfectly reasonable.

At one of my last tattoo sessions this guy made a "paint by numbers" remark and that's one of the few times I've seen everyone in the room stop smiling immediately .

Maybe I can get someone on deviant art to draw me

Something nice and then get a famous artist like Valerie Vargas to put that on me instead of having an original piece.

Sounds reasonable.

In my heart I feel like this "tracing kinda sorta" concept promotes scratcher behavior.

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I'm trying to come up with something witty to say, but I think @Graeme and @BrianH have covered it... Being a highly respected/regarded tattooer/tattoo artist who creates sheets of flash that folks can choose from, then have individualized from there, that are based in sound tattooing practices and aesthetics, is simply wonderful and part of a long-standing tradition. I see no value in pre-made designs such as these. They are generic at best and cost the consumer more in the long run for something that a basic relationship with a quality tattoo artist should be able to accomplish. If folks think that this is the way to go, then IMO they should not be getting tattooed.

And... fellow needle-phobe here - tattooing is totally not the same as getting a shot or blood drawn, and the "pain" is super temporary and no worse than menstrual cramps.

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At one of my last tattoo sessions this guy made a "paint by numbers" remark and that's one of the few times I've seen everyone in the room stop smiling immediately .

Maybe I can get someone on deviant art to draw me

Something nice and then get a famous artist like Valerie Vargas to put that on me instead of having an original piece.

Sounds reasonable.

In my heart I feel like this "tracing kinda sorta" concept promotes scratcher behavior.

I'm not quite sure what you mean about the original piece statement. If someone on DeviantART draws a client something, it's their specific design. It's completely original. The "tracing kinda sorta " would probably be the fact that the tattoo artist is using the stencil--that original style of art that belongs to the person who drew it in the first place--instead of their own style and concept. But how does it make the artwork any less original?

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Because you are paying a tattoo artist (an artist!) to copy another person's work. There is no soul, no heart, in it when you are paying a tattoo artist to basically be a copier. That is a travesty and degrades the whole profession and craft of tattooing as an artform.

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And... fellow needle-phobe here - tattooing is totally not the same as getting a shot or blood drawn, and the "pain" is super temporary and no worse than menstrual cramps.

My menstrual cramps leave me in bed for a couple days and I end up vomiting anything I eat or drink... I wish I'd never have them.

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Well, if you can handle menstrual cramps for 2 days, you can handle a couple of hours of tattooing... It's just an excuse, if you really love tattoos and tattooing, you'll deal with it. Otherwise, the whole kinda sorta not really watching from the sidelines thing comes back at you.

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Because you are paying a tattoo artist (an artist!) to copy another person's work. There is no soul, no heart, in it when you are paying a tattoo artist to basically be a copier. That is a travesty and degrades the whole profession and craft of tattooing as an artform.

That's slightly degrading to artists everywhere. So the person who actually drew it didn't put their heart and soul into making it, just because they aren't an official tattoo artist? I get where you're coming from, but damn.

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kristen - i think carrying on this argument - while interesting - isnt going win anyone over on this forum - first reason is - you got no tatts - so whatcha really doing here besides trying to argue this to death - listen - just chill - surf around - an when you have something cool or interesting to post - including your art - then throw it up - but you gotta chill girl

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I'm not quite sure what you mean about the original piece statement. If someone on DeviantART draws a client something, it's their specific design. It's completely original. The "tracing kinda sorta " would probably be the fact that the tattoo artist is using the stencil--that original style of art that belongs to the person who drew it in the first place--instead of their own style and concept. But how does it make the artwork any less original?

I don't understand how copying another persons work constitutes original anything?

Is it fair to assume that this type of work are drawings and not tattoos because a tattoo artist understands the flow of the body regarding the piece and demonstrates a proficiency in a particular tattoo style (japanese, american traditional, biomech, etc)?

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kristen - i think carrying on this argument - while interesting - isnt going win anyone over on this forum - first reason is - you got no tatts - so whatcha really doing here besides trying to argue this to death - listen - just chill - surf around - an when you have something cool or interesting to post - including your art - then throw it up - but you gotta chill girl

Lol, marley no worries, I am chill. I'm not angry or anything, just listening to everyone's points.

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Kristen - please go away. You have nothing to contribute here. You don't have tattoos, you don't want them, and nobody here is interested in looking at your drawings except to make fun of them. Nobody here would ever suggest going to anybody other than a tattoo artist for a design, and what you're doing has absolutely nothing to do with this site's mission of educating people about good tattoos.

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Tattoo flash is sold by artists to other artists all of the time. It sounds like Kristen is trying to sell her work to clients directly.

I went to a tattoo studio and looked around at the flash artwork, and even thought about making some, but as it's been stated, people like original pieces, and I wouldn't want one design on multiple bodies. The thing I learned about originality through art though is someone having a specific design just for them, no matter who draws it, is their original piece. Even if it's remade a crap load of time it's their original piece, though that means it's been stolen and someone's gonna probably be sued, depending.

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@Kristen R Holbrook, let me try to put this another way:

YOU DON'T GET IT.

Your arguments don't make sense because you don't know what you're talking about. Feel free to take a look around this site and edumacate yourself a little bit about the art and culture of tattooing. Because honestly the more you say the more you insult some of the real professionals here and aspiring pros who are doing this the right way -- and annoy the rest of us who actually have tattoos and like tattoos and pay for tattoos from real tattooers. Otherwise you're just a parasite on the industry.

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I don't understand why anyone would pay a "tattoo designer" for a design, and then pay the tattoo artist to execute it? If your tattoo artist is not a competent artist in their own right, then you are in the wrong shop.

I'm sorry to say, but those designs that were posted were awful and not something I would ever put on my body.

This reminds me. A few months ago, an old school friend posted on Facebook how she was in the process of getting a half sleeve designed. I was really excited for her. A few weeks later she posted the "design" on Facebook. It was fucking HORRID! She had commissioned an "artist" to design it for her, and it was a complete mess of tribal and unreadable text. There was no way it was going to work as a tattoo.

Leave the design of tattoo up to the tattoo artist.

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Do any of the tattoo artists here have any stories about clients bringing in commisioned tattoo designs?

Kyle Hollingdrake who tattoos at the Okey Doke in Toronto wrote a thing about a specific design website, parts of which relate to the matter at hand:

On a recent episode of Dragons Den ( a reality tv show where would be entrepreneurs pitch their product to three venture capitalists in hopes of landing an investment) a man named Lee Roller introduced his business customtattoodesign.ca and succeeded in landing $25 000 for his website. The concept is this; you pay for the service of having your tattoos designed for you by their network of freelance artists for a fee and then are given a fully rendered design, stencil (presumably they mean line drawing), certificate of authenticity and some sort of copyright to protect the buyer from having their art reproduced. They will even recommend an appropriate tattoo shop.

Sounds great right? If you’ve never been tattooed, or worked in a tattoo shop you might even agree. Here’s 6 reasons this “service” is total horseshit.

1. Most, if not all tattooer’s already provide this service for free. A tattoo is $150 +tax an hour for custom work if there’s 10 hours of drawing prep work or 10 minutes.

2. A large part of learning how to tattoo is designing images to work for the area its going. Composition is actually really tricky, it takes most tattooers years to really nail a solid sense for it. I’m taking a shot in the dark here, but it’s unlikely that freelance graphic designers putting images together for people they’ve never met over the internet aren’t exactly going to be killing it.

3. They’re offering custom cover-up designs. Cover-ups are REALLY FUCKING HARD. REALLY. FUCKING. HARD. Most of the tattooers I know don’t even do them very well. Having a solid concept of how a picture on paper becomes a tattoo is essential to knowing just what you can and can’t pull off for a successful cover-up.

4. customtattoos.ca is creating a situation where their clients have paid for a service with the expectation that they can walk straight into a tattoo shop and have a seamless experience. The reality is that work designed by people who aren’t tattooers is often not appropriate for the medium. How is someone who’s paid upwards of $100 for a design going to respond when their told the design isn’t going to work for them? poorly I’m guessing. What if I work in a shop that is recommended by customtattoos.ca, and I don’t think the design is appropriate? its going to make me look like an asshole. I can’t lend that kind of endorsement to any design other than the ones I make myself.

5. They’ve decided to reccomend tattoo shops on their website, without consulting the tattoo shops if they’d actually like to be on their list. Their future plans include asking shops for $199 a month to maintain the recommended status. This tells me that shops can buy their way onto the recommended list, regardless of their merits as a tattoo shop.

6. Copyrighted tattoo designs? I wouldn’t touch that with a 10ft. pole. Why would any tattooer ever open themselves to the possibility of being sued over repeated designs? Do you have any idea of how often designs are repeated? We all do our best (or most of us anyways) to change drawings as best we can, but in the end a rose is a rose is a rose. What if someone wanted a design of a feather turning into bird silhouettes done by customtattoos.ca, so it could be copyrighted? When I do the next one (not if) will it expose me to liability? I bet I could win that court case, but who the fuck wants to spend the money on lawyers to defend themselves? who needs the hassle? furthermore, copyright law in 2014 is a bottomless morass. Tattoos are produced by hand, are the images still protected? What if the image needs to be altered to fit the body, still protected? Who owns the image once its been changed? can I post pictures of the finished work on instagram? Selling copyrights for a tattoo image is pure snake oil.

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