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"Rules" on direction animals should face


PinkUnicorn
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My understanding (based on watching "Ink Masters"!) is that traditionally

animals are supposed to face toward the center of the body.

If that's true, how seriously do people take this "rule".

For my crow tattoo I'm planning for upper chest/shoulder, it

seems aesthetically best to have the beak on the shoulder, so

face away from center of body. I wonder whether the traditional

view would be that this would be a faux pas?

(Not that I take my shirt off that much in public anyway!)

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I have an elephant and a lion (and a lady head) all facing in toward my body. Originally I wanted the elephant facing out because of where I was getting it, but my artist convinced me to go the other way instead. I think the elephant specifically would have been fine either way, but now that I have more animals / things with faces on my body, I can say I'm glad they're all facing the same way. It feels right, ha.

It's your decision in the end! Talk to your artist and get their opinion, but don't be bullied if you feel strongly about it.

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You could call it a rule, or you could call it a design principle - so the tattoo flow looks right. If the head faces backwards, the tattoo will always be in conflict with the wearer, moving opposite to the body.

Rules are meant to be broken! But if you are breaking more rules (or principles) than you are following you lose a lot of the focus on the piece. That being said, I have a tattoo where the head of a dive bombing eagle faces backwards, but the momentum and body of the eagle fits with the flow of the body with the placement. I think it works in the context of my surrounding tattoo works and also on its own.)

To the OP, if you put the beak on the shoulder, the body of the crow will remain static and the beak may twist awkwardly with the arm. It may look distorted if the design and placement isn't correct. But if you find a legit artist, they can tell what they can make work and (hopefully) will make your crow design look like it was always meant to be there on your body. The tattoo becomes part of you.

Tattoos need to look good on their own, but more importantly tattoos (and placement) need to look good on the wearer, to flow with the body and move through life.

----

ps...and trust me, after you get a bunch of rad tattoos on your chest/back/torso, you'll be going shirtless more often than you'll care to admit! haha

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To the OP, if you put the beak on the shoulder, the body of the crow will remain static and the beak may twist awkwardly with the arm. It may look distorted if the design and placement isn't correct.

I've been experimenting with a temporary "tattoo" - it actually looks OK with the head moving. More natural than if the head stayed still and the body moved I think.

But my temp. "tattoo" experiments will continue.

and trust me, after you get a bunch of rad tattoos on your chest/back/torso, you'll be going shirtless more often than you'll care to admit!

Except I have a kinda weird-looking chest!

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I'm messing around with a bird under the collarbone right now. I've got to keep my décolletage clear for work, and I have some sun damage/wear and tear on that skin anyway. Right now, the bird is facing out, but it's head is turned in. The slope of the back and the tail points down towards cleavage.

It is funny how bendy that part of the body is. Mock something up and move around in front of a mirror!

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I would say it's dependent on the context, positioning and flow of the design rather than some "rules". The whole point of tattoos and body modifications if that you create something special and unique to you, not following a tradition.

Get your artist to place the transfer both ways and see which one you prefer on gut feeling.

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Well, there is a right and a wrong, there are also rules.

Sure, rules are made to be broken but doing that without properly understanding the whys and wherefores (or taking advice from someone does) is likely to make one look like a bit of a prat, often.

- - - Updated - - -

I don't know the rules, the rights, the wrongs, the whys or the wherefores. None of them. So, yeah, I do as I'm told.

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When you say old timer, do you mean when they used acetate stencils?

Ah! That would make more sense, as far as the "facing backward" part goes. Except that, if you have no tattoos, he could always put the stencil on the other arm. I'll try to find out who it was.

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