Jennifer Stell

Finishing other Artists Tattoos, and Courtesy Margins... Input?

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Richard has some very strong feelings regarding margins, and rules for when it's cool to finish other people work...

Tell me what is usual standard procedure? Or opinions?

Someone back here in Dallas, is finishing everyone else's work, not Richard's in particular, but the're more then two personal instances, and everyone is talking about how to remedy the situation...

Which?

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Bob Roberts told me to have Richard or Oliver finish a tattoo he did on me. I would like to know what Richard has to say. I am okay with someone finishing someone else's tattoo under certain circumstances.

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it's the wearer's tattoo. if they're unhappy with the tattooer who started it, they have every right to have someone else finish it. if it happened to me, i'd probably be bummed for a minute and wonder why they didn't want me to finish it, but you move on. you can't be attached to every one you do.

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I just wanna say that I love the term "courtesy margin." I've never heard it, but I'll be sure to use it!

On that note, I've had artists go right up (almost touching) another artist's work, and I've had artists go partially OVER another artist's work. Didn't bother me, though, because it was obvious that they were trying to make it all work together. As one artist said, "You should see it as one tattoo. That's the goal."

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Richard said, More then an 1/8''- no bigger usually 1/4'' of an inch, is what he goes by... Always heard him talking about this even way back when....

And yes, client dictates their own preference, however, snaking and finishing shit that ain't yours or isn't cleared or at least given a heads up is pretty shitty behavior.

DHopper: I would say have Bob call Richard...(heads up), and that would take care of itself...

And you can't do shit about what another person does as a individual, but out of mutual respect for fellow tattoo artists you would think there would be some certain understanding as to what to do. Always exceptions to every rule and each instance is in it's own different.

But, Richard just told the guys, do a 1/2 off any tattoo that needs finishing by the person snaking peoples shit... HAHA, it won't happen the boys like to bitch though, don't we all.

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Excellent topic Jennifer.

I think there are certain instances where this is acceptable... ie: the original artist passed away, moved out of the country, stopped tattooing, etc. I have 2 girlfriends who have unfinished work from an ex-boyfriend. In both cases they found new artists and were able (through mutual friends) to get word to the ex and ask permission for another artist to finish the tattoo. In both cases both original and new artist knew each other and all parties involved were cool with it before any tattooing began. It's a simple matter of respect and common courtesy in an awkward situation.

What Jennifer is describing is something totally different, and is low down and dirty and no way to operate. The best defense is to continue to inform people through being a good example, doing the right thing, and through discussions like this one in shops and in open forums. (We have a grand opportunity here on this forum to educate people.) I think the customers who are artist hopping probably don't know any better. As for the snaking artist, I believe that all shady fuckers get what's coming to them sooner or later. Living well and sleeping with a clean conscience are the best revenge in my opinion.

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There are definately a lot of different circumstances when it comes to this. I know people that have had work started in one state and then had it finished in another because they knew that they would never be able to get back to that original artist. Most of those are military guys that thought they would be stationed somewhere longer than they actually were.

I also agree that if a client is unhappy with the initial artist that they do have every right to go somewhere else. To me this is no different that doing a cover-up.

Then, there are the cases that it's just jacked-up and wrong. For instance, my artist did a tattoo on a girls rib exactly the way she asked for it. The tattoo looked great. Well, she was talking to another tattoo artist friend and showing him her new piece. He said it was cool but it would look really good with some background shade work around it. So, she had him do it. He didn't actually touch the original tattoo but, he did take a picture to putin his portfolio and both him and her say that he did that tattoo. Needless to say, my artist was pissed. Not because he added some shading but that he claims it as his own.

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This is why I always ask people who want a tattoo "finished" who started the tattoo. In one case the girl couldn't locate the artist that had started a piece on her, because the shop he worked at no longer existed. When she told me his name, I actually had his business card in my back pocket for his new shop and he was able to finish the tattoo. The tattoo was all lined just needed to be shaded in so it would have been the easy to just have one of the guys finish it but not the right thing to do especially to a guy that was cool to me. It was that situation that taught me to ask because I figured the customer might not think to in most cases.

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I started a sleeve on a kid, all the outline and shading and started color. Later he got someone else to color more... Said he wanted to get worked on but couldn't wait. He then asked to book more appointments with me. I told him to get his "new" artist to finish it... And never looked back.

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i'll finish people's work if they come into the studio and they do not want to go back to the person who started it or can't find the tattooer or something. though i usually suggest they have the original person finish it. when tattooers try to convince someone to let them finish someone else's work, i think that is wrong. i was at a party with a customer of mine and it was filled with other tattooers. when i went to the toilet, another guy approached the girl and gave her his card and said if she wanted more tattoos, he'd do it cheaper. behaviour like that is the lowest of the low to me.

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i was at a party with a customer of mine and it was filled with other tattooers. when i went to the toilet, another guy approached the girl and gave her his card and said if she wanted more tattoos, he'd do it cheaper.

What an ass. Do tell us his name.

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i'll finish people's work if they come into the studio and they do not want to go back to the person who started it or can't find the tattooer or something. though i usually suggest they have the original person finish it. when tattooers try to convince someone to let them finish someone else's work, i think that is wrong. i was at a party with a customer of mine and it was filled with other tattooers. when i went to the toilet, another guy approached the girl and gave her his card and said if she wanted more tattoos, he'd do it cheaper. behaviour like that is the lowest of the low to me.

was she hot? maybe the guy was just trying to "shoplift the pooty" not that thats admirable behavior either.

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Honestly is someone is getting good tattoos and they are stupid enough to let someone else finish them just 'cause it's going to be cheaper, then they probably deserve the shit quality work they are bound to end up with.

However, if you got a tattoo started, aren't happy with it and don't see any way of the original artist doing a good job then it's your choice who finishes it.

Also, if I want a tattoo really close or added onto another tattoo that should be my choice as it's my body. Personally I think it just looks better when your tattoos don't run into other tattoos but a lot of people I know just don't have the space for that luxury.

In the end people sometimes need to just get over themselves. There's always going to be assholes doing tattoos and if you're good at what you do those assholes shouldn't hurt your business.

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the guy who owned one of the other shops in our town used to approach my customers on a regular basis telling them that he'd finish tattoos i started for cheaper. even after they had told him no on a previous occasion. that wasn't the shadiest stuff he'd pull either, that is...before he closed his shop. i've only done something to another person's tattoo when they've been unhappy with the results. ie, tattoos done with no black that have almost disappeared after a year.

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I think the " courtesy margin " works well with "traditional" style tattoos --- but when someone comes to me wanting to tie there existing tattoos together into a cohesive sleeve--- I will often work right up to the existing tattoos.

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I've thrown down the machine and hauled ass to a competitors when I heard he was offering to finish work that I started! Hahaha ,my younger days...

that would be my first thought aswell

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