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trashpolkakid
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I have people coming into the shop all the time wanting things they pull off google and they want that image exactly. I turn them away everytime cause i dont plagiarize art work. How can i talk people out of these google image tattoo ideas and do more of my own work? Any advice is welcome, im tired of starving cause people are dead set on an image already on someone.

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No advice, as I am one of the people you would undoubtedly turn away, but one of the reasons some people do it is because they can't get any visualization of what is going to permanently be put on their body otherwise. They are afraid to trust a stranger with their skin and they're not willing to let their skin be an open canvas to whatever. So they do their own research (feels like part of the tattoo journey to mostly non-tattooed people) and pick a design that they love and that looks flawless and they fall in love with it for its specific details, and why it spoke to them. Also, I have been turned away from shops because I didn't bring a design Id picked out already. So sometimes a person can't win no matter what.

I will say this, at least you turn them away instead of tattooing different than the design without telling them. Cuz it sucks when that happens.

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I have people coming into the shop all the time wanting things they pull off google and they want that image exactly. I turn them away everytime.

It comes down to how YOU communicate your expertise. Your in the prime position to help educate.

The average collector/ enthusiast without any understanding or artistic knowledge needs to seek their ideas from somewhere.,.dont they? Do you just expect them to come in with a blank idea and you magically come up with the same interpretation, or expect to only tattoo what you want to put on their skin. That comes with time and trust.

It's like an old time piece of flash, it's been duplicated a million times. Isn't that plagiarism to a degree? A panther is a panther is a panther.

I understand to a point what your saying, a custom one of a kind piece, well maybe, but pieces say things to people and can capture exactly what that means to that individual as well, so it could mean more than just wanting a copy cap design.

It's like my smoking wizard with the starburst from the pipe as the background. I had wanted a wizard for 20 years, but no wizard captured that exact pictorial message, until I came across this wizard on the net. I took that picture in to my tattooer and said...man, after all these years I found the one. I can understand if you need to change it, but it's emulates something quite specific. His response, and knowing me for years was...man, your right, it captures you perfectly, I couldn't make it any better. We slightly changed some aspects like hat band & colour, but why try and reinvent the wheel on this occasion? It was perfect. Is this wrong? Fuck you to anybody who thinks it is, this is one piece out of my entire suit that had already been captured, it speaks volumes, it's my favourite tattoo next after my back tattoo.

There's also been times I've taken an exact design in and said ...man, something like this...and from there we come up with a complete new transition, sn even better custom piece.

Maybe next time someone comes in with an exact picture and turning them away (only to have it tattooed by someone else without any education) you can say...man, that's a great design, I can see why you chose this. What's it's meaning to you?...dig a little, become a consultant, tap into that individual a little and say, ya know man?...leave it with me, I reckon I can come up with something even better for YOU without doing s copy.

That person may just walk out of there with a little bit more knowledge than they did prior to them entering, and maybe you EARN a loyal and devoted customer for years to come.

I'm no tattooer, I'm also no artist, but I've learned a lot from my tattooer over the years because he actually took the time to help me understand. This is the 1 reason that he has been responsible for my entire suit, and the rework of everything he didn't originally do.

I'm just offering a different perspective on this subject, not having a dig. We all help educate each other, because my tattooer had mentioned to me the same, that over the years has learned to appreciate where his clients come from also.

"Booze, Blues & Tattoos"

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http://www.lastsparrowtattoo.com/forum/general-tattoo-discussion/5624-mid-year-assessments-page9.html

Read that page. Particularly post 89. There are insights to be had perhaps.

I've had a few conversations with a tattooer friend about focusing on one style. His challenge is that he would like to focus more on black and grey, but a lot of the customers through the door ask for color in various styles, which he is happy to do.

Being flexible may mean that he won't be able to specialize any time soon, but he is a well rounded tattooer who doesn't have trouble feeding his kids or making the customer happy.

Another case in point. I took my plain skinned sister to an expo yesterday. We didn't have anything booked, but Eddie from classic tattoo had some time available. I've seen his work before and it was all quality art that I would be stoked to wear. He took a look at extremely simple monkey outline that she showed him, and without batting an eye said that he would be happy to do that for her.

He made her first tattoo a great experience, and I'm sure as hell going to look him up for some work in the future because of his professionalism and humble attitude.

Just my .02 bud. My apologies for the late night rant. Peace!

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ive got no problem with anyones response. i try to direct them to something along the lines of what they come in with but so many times they want that image exactly. sometimes i feel like i need to work on how i commuincate to clients and other times i think people just need to stop being followers. in reality its probably a little of both. thanks for the feed back guys. really do appreciate it.

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I can totally see where you are coming from as an artist standpoint. However, some of us are have no artistic ability what so ever! Therefor, Google

Can really help us with designs and ideas!? I personally wish I could explain my thought and ideas better just its just very hard to do!

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  • 2 weeks later...

I always print out a few pics from Google to give the artist an idea of what I want. I think it's easier for them to see what you like to have done instead of trying to explain the whole thing. But I want the artist to do this in his style and his design. Imo nothing wrong with coming in with some Google pics. Just don't say "this is exactly what I want".

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I emailed pictures that depicted the population density of the planet for my artist to reference. She did a stencil of the outline, then after inking it she used a printout of one of the pictures to fill in the population representation. I'm very pleased with the outcome.

For my first tattoo of my dolphins and patrol pin, I mounted them on black velvet and took a nice closeup for the artist to draw a stencil from.

For my next, I want a figure 8 faked hemp line. I will probably buy some and take a photo of it to guide whoever does the art. I'd like it close to realistic.

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If you look in a lot of older shops you will see signs that say....."No photos please!"

But people still took photos on occasion.....tattooers traded flash with other tattooers.....and eventually some tattooers with artistic talent redrew images and put them on a sheet all together and sold them even though they probably were not all their own images or original ideas! Hence......"flash"

Honestly......and I will probably take some heat for this.......If you don't want your tattoos reproduced then DON'T put photos up on the internet for the world to see! That goes for tattooers and for customers!

It's a big world out there and you can't expect everyone to have integrity!

Your work IS going to get stepped on somehow by someone eventually.....eventually it all gets done over and over and over!

Okay......so like was said....educate the people and explain to them keeping in mind someone down the street is going to do what they want eventually! Let them know in your opinion it is stealing someone elses work and you'd like to make some subtle changes to "make it lay on their body better" or because it's well done BUT "something could make it even better"

Tattooers are sales people......it's one of those things you need to do.....be a sales person and talk the people into something you want them to do with it....make them think it's their idea too!

If they have to walk.....then they have to walk....

At the end of the day when you go home......you have to be able to live with yourself so you do what you think is best! :D

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For my next, I want a figure 8 faked hemp line. I will probably buy some and take a photo of it to guide whoever does the art. I'd like it close to realistic.

I want you to know that last time you were talking about a "faked line" I had no idea what you were talking about, and ended up delving into forums where dudes from different organizations were talking about stories and tripping over ropes and the like, and faked versus flaked and I ended up on a page with all sorts of pictures and knots - I learned so much just trying to figure out what "faked line" was! I can coil a rope for storage, tie off to cleats and make a nice Flemish. And if I try really hard I can do that knot to temporarily tie off to a piling. Knots hurt my brain. But that's it for me! And I can make a nice butchery of tying off fishing line on hooks. It works but it isn't pretty :) And my shoes. I've got that knot down pretty good.

I'm looking forward to seeing that tattoo on you!

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Wherein, SeeSea, is my dilemma. A nice figure 8 fake of even a 3/4" line would take up half of my back, and I really want it on my forearm (maybe, if I worked out, there would be more canvas. Bazinga!). It can be scaled of course, but it must retain detail (I don't just want landaus connected together). That's why I plan to buy some, fake it on black velvet and photograph. Should be an excellent reference for the artist.

Braided nylon like we use now fakes down beautifully, but doesn't look right for a tattoo, INHO. I'll try to find well-used hemp or sisel twisted.

Thru the ether from my LP2

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  • 1 month later...

I'd recommend explaining that you'd be plagiarizing the work if you gave them that tattoo and that it's something you don't agree with. Then I'd offer to take what they have and see if they'd be willing to let you draw out something similar with your touch added to see if they like it. Takes a bit more work than turning them away but you may end up with more customers that way and it shows you care.

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A botanical print only has so much wiggle room, but my artist drew a nice mash-up of my references and used the photos for color reference during the tattoo. I did have one tattoo in my references, but it was just a placement idea.

I have a substantial Pinterest board of tattoo ideas, but very few of them are tattoos. It is just a handy way to grab images that strike me for whatever reason. It has a bunch of architectural items, like my avatar here, right now, because that's what I've been looking at most recently.

I can't imagine working with an artist who would not consider looking at these while working up an image for me. Isn't that what we're paying for?

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 4 weeks later...

Oftentimes, people who insist on an exact copy have the same mindset as people who insist on upside down images: "It's for me," "This is what I want," "It's my money/body and I should get exactly what I want," etc. So explaining why you, as an artist, don't want to copy somebody's work may work for some people but for others it doesn't address their justification and won't change their mind.

Therefore, I would show people who want exact copies this picture: Instagram. Tell them that tattooing is an art form and designs are created with the artist's style, method, machine, colors, etc. in mind. Therefore, exact copies do not produce as high of quality as original pieces (which is not only true, but dissuades them from thinking they can just go elsewhere). Humbly assure them that you are talented and experienced and confident that you could create a quality, custom design that they will love.

I know this is an older thread, but this perspective hadn't been given yet and as the psychologist of the group I couldn't help myself.

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I remember a time when people would bring stacks of books into the shop wanting the head from this dragon but the pearl of wisdom from this print with this Dover publications pattern on the Samurai's Hakana.

Now they bring in google printouts. It's much tidier. Ultimately you don't want to plagiarize but having that heads up for what they DON'T want is as important as knowing what they do. Drawing something 'your' way is fine if you're just drawing for yourself, but when that other (paying) person comes in, it's nice to make the experience a little more communal.

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I'm not an artist but as a client whether its a google image result or something from a book etc I would expect to show the image to my artist & say what I want based off that image then let him make any modifications he would like since he's the artist then based off that we go from there. I'm sure some people though are sticklers and want exactly what they see but IMO you have to give your artist some freedom but thats just my 2 pennies.

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i undustand what you mean people pull off images from good all time and i'm about to be one of those guys bt i found a tattoo i really like but i don' t know its meaning i really like to get what do you guys think i should do ?

You don't have to have a meaning for every tattoo that you get. Find an artist in your area that does the style you like and bring in that picture as a reference. Unless you want him to include that specific symbol in the middle, don't worry about the meaning. And if you do want the symbol in the middle, do some research and find somebody who can translate it.

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