When is an original not an original?
Our good friend Paul Talbot recently wrote an interesting piece in Total Tattoo about copying and what makes a piece of art original. It’s an age old problem in tattooing; most studios, including ours, have design books, but what all great artists want to do is their own work.
As all of our customers know, all of our tattooists are talented artists in their own right, their canvas just happens to be skin, and we all love doing custom pieces.
We often get customers bring in a photo of someone’s tattoo or a photo they got from Google and ask us to replicate it. The problem with that is what you’re asking us to do is to copy someone else’s work. That artist will have put time into that piece, and we certainly wouldn’t want another tattooist doing a direct copy of a piece we’ve done.
When is a copy not a copy?
We all have our own styles and whilst most people will have an idea of the piece they want based on something they’ve seen, the more freedom you give us to make it our own the more unique your piece will be. As Paul said “Don’t ask one artist to copy the work of another, those of us who care about really great tattoos really hate it, and if your artist doesn’t care then odds are he or she doesn’t care about your tattoo either.”
You can read the full article in issue 137 of Total Tattoo.