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I was digging in some older threads and this topic has been mentioned before, but I thought I would restart it with the hope of a little more success. This is not just for the tattoo artist out there. This is to anybody that is looking for ideas for their next tattoo and those that are always looking for inspiration for their own art.

I have seen everything from the expensive fine art books to children's coloring books in the library of artist. I would like to know what everybody here has and uses as some of their favorites. If it's books, magazines, a specific website, or whatever gets those creative juices flowing.

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For me, When I want to get some ideas for my next tattoo, my references come from a wide variety of sources. Mostly I favor the internet for image searching just because its fast and I don't have to get off my lazy butt!! LOL. I do like to go pick up some good old books on the subject matter whether from the local library or new ones from a book store. It could be any kind or book too from adult to children to a field guide. Sometimes I get ideas from magazines such as Tattoo magazines, National Graphic, Gaming magazines or comic books. I have seen custom flash drawn by the artists at their shops that I really liked and have considered getting if I wasn't already getting a piece. You never know where your next piece of inspiration may come from you just have to keep your eyes peeled and an open mind.

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i like to hunt through mom and pop book stores. places like that usually have a wide selection of books that they've had sitting around forever a lot of stores will create a discounted books section with these. i have found some of my favorite, most used reference books this way. always for under 5-10 bucks. birds, flowers, typography, anatomy, shit you name it. i've scored big using this method and it's a lot of fun, i always get super stoked when i come across "the find".

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to answer your question more directly, i will use anything for reference! wether it's taking pictures out in the world of things i would like to draw and paint, a thank you card someone got me that has a rose and petals, that use to reference the killer petals that adorn the card. kids books are always a personal favorite, tom & jerry cartoons, the flowers on my girlfriends shampoo bottles, a banner on a salsa bottle. anything! if the image strikes me and i want to use it or build of it somehow, i take it home and put it in my reference pile for later use, and if i can't take it with me, i will take a pic and store it on my computer in my electronic reference pile. basically, i always keep my eyes open for stuff like that, because it's everywhere, and i never know where i'm going to find that next awesome image.

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to answer your question more directly, i will use anything for reference! wether it's taking pictures out in the world of things i would like to draw and paint, a thank you card someone got me that has a rose and petals, that use to reference the killer petals that adorn the card. kids books are always a personal favorite, tom & jerry cartoons, the flowers on my girlfriends shampoo bottles, a banner on a salsa bottle. anything! if the image strikes me and i want to use it or build of it somehow, i take it home and put it in my reference pile for later use, and if i can't take it with me, i will take a pic and store it on my computer in my electronic reference pile. basically, i always keep my eyes open for stuff like that, because it's everywhere, and i never know where i'm going to find that next awesome image.

I have a mental image of just finishing eating some mexican, then trying to sneak out with the salsa bottle from the table. Get caught, then trying to explain that you just wanted the artwork off it. LOL.

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