creativityPosted: April 5, 2011
It’s amazing how people choose their tattoos. So many surf the web for tattoo sites and find something like that they want among the millions of tattoo photos available. Then they come in and ask for their “custom” tattoo. They say that what they really want is a unique tattoo and be sure to “put a little of your style into it”. No sooner do I have a drawing done, changing it enough to be comfortable with the fact that we are just ripping off some other person’s design, than they pull out their original photo, the one they found on the web, and start picking apart all the differences. What they really want is the exact tattoo, they just don’t want to admit it. They want to somehow believe that it’s their very own unique tattoo, but they don’t seem to have the balls to actually have a unique idea for one. Upon seeing it on another person it is somehow legitimized. If they haven’t seen it as a tattoo, they are hesitant to accept that it is actually okay to get, to risk their skin on. I’ve often created designs that, even though I am obviously biased here, have blown away the crap that they brought in, only to be rebuffed and forced to redraw it into something just as hideous as the original ripped off design.
It’s not that I ‘m against ripping off designs. I do it all the time. It’s a time honored tradition in tattooing. Ever look at a Sailor Jerry flash book and then find some much older Brooklyn Joe Lieber designs? Straight rip off. What I object to is stealing shitty artwork. If you are going to steal designs for your tattoo, you should steal only the best. Have the balls to find some great piece of original art, take it into your tattooist and have him turn it into a tattooable design, and have it done. You’ll have an original tattoo based on a nice work of art instead of some third generation, watered down pile.