MrToby

How would you react?

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So it's a very simple question:

How would you react if you found that what you thought was a custom tattoo just for you had been copied?

I'll explain. At the 2013 London Convention I got an eagle tattooed on my ankle from Bert Krak (I've included a picture of it below from when it was just finished. It's the one with a bit of colour in it). I love the tattoo and was stoked to have Bert do it for me. A couple of days ago then when I was flicking through facebook what should appear before me but my very own eagle on someone else's arm just in black and grey (Picture also included below).

How would you react? I can't decide whether I should be angry about this that someone has basically been a bit lazy and copied the tattoo that Bert customised just for me, or whether I should be flattered that someone thought it was so good that they wanted it themselves as well?

How would you react?

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whats to be mad about - you got a well executed awesome looking eagle on ya

to be nitpicky though - there seem to be a bit different in there execution - also one is b and g and the other is color

to go another angle - its an eagle - and my guess would be there are many many eagles flying about on other skin looking quite like this as it is such a popular tattoo subject and style

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its a good question though

i think though about an upcoming sailor jerry flash day at a local shop

to think how many of those designs are walking about already

but there still awesome designs

just that they are so simple and limited in how much they can be varied

it comes down to execution really - and you got a good one - enjoy!

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I had my Chad rose morph copied, maybe not line for line, but very substantially, by somebody on here (I'm not going to name names) and it really bummed me out. It wasn't even so much that it was copied--and to be clear here, I'm not talking about the handful of people on here who have gotten rose morphs from Chad or from other tattooers, I'm talking about one specific tattoo--because having tattoos copied is pretty much inevitable in this day and age when so much is available online. What really bummed me out about it is that it was on somebody from here. I don't know the interaction this person had with their tattooer: did they bring in a picture of my tattoo, did they say they wanted that sort of design and the tattooer found a photo of my tattoo? This is the sort of thing that happens all the time and it is what it is, but I guess there are a couple of things that really bother me about it, one being that this forum should be educating people and giving them knowledge so that they aren't doing things like bringing in photos of other tattoos and wanting more or less exact copies of them and that this happened just underlines the fact that a lot of people are here not because they want to learn and get better tattoos, they just want to take from here; that somebody thought it was okay to copy the tattoo of somebody they interacted with. It's not just taking a picture from instagram and handing it to your tattooer. Plenty of you people here have tattoos that I am jealous of because they're so rad and I wish they were on me, but the right thing to do in that case is draw inspiration from that, not straight-up copy it.

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thoughtful reply graeme

i think the goal for me is to get unique tattoos for sure

that said i have also done a copycat deal a while back

i dont regret it but i thought about it after the fact

and i def shoot for the unique more so than not

i think some images though are just destined to be replicated in some way

especially the traditional style work especially when its content is popular

case in point the OP's eagle

while i'm sure there is quite a few ways to spin that design or

work with that content - you're bound to see some replication there

should it disappoint the wearer? not imo but i could guess it could depend

on many variables inclding how original or unique the design and content are / were

anyway - interesting topic

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I hope my little bird becomes the next big thing. Everyone should have at least one :p I have seen one other "bird with fry" tattoo, and several other of Geninne's birds as tattoos, but I've not seen them together before.

Some images are going to be repeated, or nearly so, over and over, because there are only so many variations on that theme. There might be a few things new under the sun, but they are rare.

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thoughtful reply graeme

i think the goal for me is to get unique tattoos for sure

that said i have also done a copycat deal a while back

i dont regret it but i thought about it after the fact

and i def shoot for the unique more so than not

i think some images though are just destined to be replicated in some way

especially the traditional style work especially when its content is popular

case in point the OP's eagle

while i'm sure there is quite a few ways to spin that design or

work with that content - you're bound to see some replication there

should it disappoint the wearer? not imo but i could guess it could depend

on many variables inclding how original or unique the design and content are / were

anyway - interesting topic

When it comes down to it, every tattoo is unique because even when you get beyond things like design, placement, application, the tattoo itself is just an indelible mark that means much more than what it appears to be: that tattoo is going to be associated with the process of getting it, the conversations you had with your tattooer, the stories and jokes that were told; that tattoo is now part of your life, it's going to age with you and become part of your story. That's why tattoos are one of the coolest things in the world.

I met a guy a little while ago who has been around tattooing for a good long while and has collected a lot of wisdom over the years and while he was telling stories, he made the observation that one of the things about tattooing is that it can mean all sorts of different things to different people. I guess that's what it comes down to: while the idea for that particular tattoo isn't in itself original--the idea is directly and shamelessly lifted from Ed Hardy and has gone through various moments of popularity since it was originally conceived--I came to the idea through trying to learn about tattoo history and draw inspiration from it, and I got the tattoo from a tattooer who does tattoos that I feel capture that looseness and power of Ed Hardy's tattoos and art, and I think that makes my tattoo totally different than somebody who wanted a copy of a picture of a tattoo they saw on the Internet, even if the tattoos look similar.

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To the OP, I can pretty much guarantee that was a classic eagle design that Bert put on you. I highly doubt he drew that custom for you. He most likely was flipping through some classic flash designs, saw that eagle, and performed that eagle. The other tattoo was done by someone probably looking at the exact same design.

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All of those traditional designs look the same to me, ha. That's like saying you have a clawing panther and you can't believe that someone else got one too. Although that rose morph issue... yeah. @Graeme yours looks way better anyhow.

Mr Toby, you'll just have to find comfort in the the fact that you have an epic back piece. Be mad when that gets copied.

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its a good question though

i think though about an upcoming sailor jerry flash day at a local shop

to think how many of those designs are walking about already

but there still awesome designs

just that they are so simple and limited in how much they can be varied

it comes down to execution really - and you got a good one - enjoy!

I'm excited to have a "new" Sailor Jerry tattoo in a few weeks for this very reason (birthday party at local shop). This took me some coming around to- the idea of getting popular flash- but now I see it as a cool traditional tattoo that will be personalized by one of several great artists. I can't wait!!

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To the OP, I can pretty much guarantee that was a classic eagle design that Bert put on you. I highly doubt he drew that custom for you. He most likely was flipping through some classic flash designs, saw that eagle, and performed that eagle. The other tattoo was done by someone probably looking at the exact same design.

This is my take on it, too. When you get a classic design, you can be assured that it won't be unique. I used to think that unique tattoos were where it's at, but now, I go for tattoos that look like tattoos. Which means they look like something that's already been applied to plenty of other people.

Also: your eagle is awesome!

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To the OP, I can pretty much guarantee that was a classic eagle design that Bert put on you. I highly doubt he drew that custom for you. He most likely was flipping through some classic flash designs, saw that eagle, and performed that eagle. The other tattoo was done by someone probably looking at the exact same design.

yeah, i was going to say this

that's mostly what the shop is all about isn't it? classic flash designs, people come in and get something "off the wall"...

not discounting, i love that. one dude here i go to if i want flash. he doesn't draw much anymore coz his hands are fragile so he likes to tattoo flash.

as far as the rose morph getting copied, there is no way around it. everything is on social media and it's right there for everybody to see and screenshot. seriously. i'm almost positive people screenshot the tattoos they like to go back to for reference when that artist comes to rock of ages...

that's a huge advantage of getting work from dudes that aren't on social media, though that is exrtemely rare.

or another way to look at it is no two tattoos will ever be the same. even if they use the same stencil...

feel flattered i guess...

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I had my Chad rose morph copied, maybe not line for line, but very substantially, by somebody on here (I'm not going to name names) and it really bummed me out. It wasn't even so much that it was copied--and to be clear here, I'm not talking about the handful of people on here who have gotten rose morphs from Chad or from other tattooers, I'm talking about one specific tattoo--because having tattoos copied is pretty much inevitable in this day and age when so much is available online. What really bummed me out about it is that it was on somebody from here. I don't know the interaction this person had with their tattooer: did they bring in a picture of my tattoo, did they say they wanted that sort of design and the tattooer found a photo of my tattoo? This is the sort of thing that happens all the time and it is what it is, but I guess there are a couple of things that really bother me about it, one being that this forum should be educating people and giving them knowledge so that they aren't doing things like bringing in photos of other tattoos and wanting more or less exact copies of them and that this happened just underlines the fact that a lot of people are here not because they want to learn and get better tattoos, they just want to take from here; that somebody thought it was okay to copy the tattoo of somebody they interacted with. It's not just taking a picture from instagram and handing it to your tattooer. Plenty of you people here have tattoos that I am jealous of because they're so rad and I wish they were on me, but the right thing to do in that case is draw inspiration from that, not straight-up copy it.

did chad do both of the tattoos or did another artist do a rose morph like chad did for you?

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When I went for my eagle, Chad K. basically had me look at flash and pick one I liked best, then took it from there. An earlier eagle of his I'd admired was from a Jensen drawing, I later learned by accident - I decided I wanted a rose with my eagle because of that earlier tattoo, though the position's totally different. But it's all based on images that have been around for ages. As an onlooker with limited knowledge, it does seem like eagles have a pretty defined set of positions at this point.

@Graeme's situation sounds quite different. Yikes.

I think @peterpoose might have the most-copied tattoos of anyone here. Like at least 3 that have been redone on other people.

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So it's a very simple question:

How would you react if you found that what you thought was a custom tattoo just for you had been copied?

I'll explain. At the 2013 London Convention I got an eagle tattooed on my ankle from Bert Krak (I've included a picture of it below from when it was just finished. It's the one with a bit of colour in it). I love the tattoo and was stoked to have Bert do it for me. A couple of days ago then when I was flicking through facebook what should appear before me but my very own eagle on someone else's arm just in black and grey (Picture also included below).

How would you react? I can't decide whether I should be angry about this that someone has basically been a bit lazy and copied the tattoo that Bert customised just for me, or whether I should be flattered that someone thought it was so good that they wanted it themselves as well?

The answer is also fairly simple. what you thought was a custom tattoo just for you actually came from a piece of flash. Bert did modify it and make it different and so did the other artist who made his in black and gray. if you want to see your eagle in print, check out the Smith Street Tattoo Parlour book of tattoo flash online. it looks like the image painted by Eli Quinters. don't be bummed... that's what flash is for. anyone can walk in to Smith Street or get that book as a reference and get the same eagle.

if you ever run into the dude with the black and gray version, give him a high five and say "hey! nice eagle! i got the same one!!.." then share stories.

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It's very interesting reading everyone's responses. Thanks to everyone for getting involved.

I was never under any pretence that a traditional eagle was a remarkable new idea and I knew full well that Bert's version comes from a long history of traditional flash. As a result of that I certainly don't begrudge anyone for getting one. I'm sure in fact that there are plenty hidden amongst these forums and galleries.

On reflection, and after a bit of common sense, the similarity between the two eagles is not something that worries me that much. I really like mine and will continue to get a lot of pleasure from it. I do however think the issue of copying will be something that keeps raising it's head in this art form we all love, and that's something that it would be interesting to keep hearing people's thoughts on.

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I had my Chad rose morph copied, maybe not line for line, but very substantially, by somebody on here (I'm not going to name names) and it really bummed me out..

Let's not stand on ceremony here @Graeme. I'm curious to know if this is in reference to the rose morph I got from Grez?

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