Category: Feature tattoos

When someone copies your tattoo

Recently I was alerted by my tattooist that one of my tattoos had been copied and inked onto someone else.

I know that with social media nothing is sacred. Yes, if I post pictures of all my tattoos, others will see the design and want it for themselves. But this shouldn’t stop tattooists from advertising their work and customers celebrating their new tattoo.

The copy on the left and my original on the right

It should be up to the tattooist to either out-right refuse to tattoo a direct copy or create a piece inspired by the said design. Then both people get a custom and unique tattoo. Tattooists must have some sort of responsibility to their clients and respect for other tattooists not to steal their work.

I suppose copying is the highest form of flattery and in some ways it is a compliment that someone liked the tattoo so much that they wanted it, but that doesn’t mean you should get it.

The tattoo in question is one of the few ones on my body that has a real significant meaning, it goes with one my boyfriend has to mark our five-year anniversary. I have a watermelon slice and he has a whole watermelon with a slice missing. Yes it’s silly but it means a lot to us.

This isn’t the only issue, the tattoo is badly done, and perhaps something that the wearer may come to regret.

Also what about the tattooists? Sophie who created the original has had her work stolen and the one who tattooed the copy is re-creating work that isn’t original. They aren’t creating a name or style of their own.

Nonethless I still love my tattoo just the same and I know that I have the original and the better tattoo.

I know for sure that I’m not the only one that this has happened to. Have you had a tattoo copied?

- DEFINITION OF FLASH- from Salon Serpent
“Flash is a number of designs, specifically made for tattoo purposes, placed together on a sheet of paper. Usually they are made in a set of multiple sheets. Meant to hang on the walls of tattoo shops, to be picked from by customers and tattooed. (not every painting by a tattoo-artist is flash and sometimes even unsuitable, because not specifically made to use as such) As with all (art)work, flash has copyright. Buying a set of flash gives you the right to use this flash for tattoos. It can, however, not be used for any other commercial or otherwise purposes then tattooing.”

Custom work is different, it is designed by the artist for that customer and should not be copied.

Kendra Morris

New-York based singer-songwriter Kendra Morris is set to release her new single a quirky cover of The Proclaimers ‘I’m Gonna Be’ (500 miles) out on 15th September. She has been likened to Amy Winehouse with her soulful vocals and rock ‘n’ roll style.

Kendra is a tattoo enthusiast and her right arm is inked with perfectly perched birds. Her body art relates to her strong love of taxidermy which can be found in her home.

 The first bird I got was a long time ago. Birds retain their voices when they sing. They are all so individual. There’s no one bird that’s the same as another bird. It’s just been an attachment. Then I got nine birds on my chest. I have this crazy apartment that’s like an enchanted forest. I have taxidermy everywhere. - Kendra Morris in Interview Magazine

Flower Tattoos

As summertime draws to a close we wanted to celebrate the glorious weather we’ve had with our pick of flower tattoos. We’d love to see yours!

@astonzx

@harrietheathtattoo

@eltattoo

@goksisdead

@missverityann

@hannahpixiesnow

@mrcoffeybean

@tillydee

@alextat283

@kerste_tattoos

@derickmontez_

@philgarcia805

 

Lady Tattooers

With the recent launch of Lady Tattooers, a website dedicated to showcasing some incredible work from female tattooers around the world, we spoke with one of the website’s curators Betty Rose to find out all about the site, how tattooists can get involved and of course her own tattoo career.

My name is Betty Rose and I’m a Brooklyn-based tattoo artist and painter at Eight of Swords Tattoo in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. My career began with an apprenticeship in 2004 and after eight years of working at a studio in Manhattan, I left NYC to travel for a year. Returning in 2013, I took up residency at Eight of Swords Tattoo.

I enjoy travelling for work, but after doing it for a year I decided to take a break from anything too far out of the way.  My next foray will be the Westchester Tattoo Convention in October.

 

What inspired you to become a tattooist? What draws you to tattoos?

What originally inspired me to create tattoos was my years as a punk rock kid. When I was growing up I bounced around schools and had trouble making friends. The first group that I felt at home with were these punk-rock/skater kids I met in Junior High, who helped me to see how tattoos were both a way of expressing myself and taking the things I cared about with me everywhere I went. A few years later, I got my first sleeve and I started to realize that I wanted to be the girl holding the machine, not just the girl getting tattooed.

What was your first tattoo?

The first tattoo I got was a small fairy on my forearm based off a pair of earrings my mother had from the 60s.
What is the Lady Tattooers website and what does it hope to do?
When did you launch the website and Instagram?

Lady Tattooers is an inspirational art platform focused on promoting the top female tattoo artists. We maintain a list of tattooers curated by myself and a few friends. There are so many talented artists around the world and we plan to make people aware of who they are and how to find them. Our goal is to become the online resource for female tattoo art.

Lady Tattooers IG began in 2012, after my husband (Matty) made clear how little he knew about female tattoo artists. I’d always wanted to help spread the passion that started my career in tattooing, so Matty’s bewilderment opened my eyes to a unique opportunity to both do something I loved and give back to the community of female artists that helped pave the way. The website has been an idea we’ve been working on for a while now, but was only officially launched a few weeks ago.

How can tattooists get their work onto the website/Instagram? Can they contact you for an interview?

Typically, I find them while I’m browsing social media or I’ll get introduced to them through someone I’ve featured. Then I’ll take a look at their work, and if I’m excited by it I’ll make a post about them. As far as being contacted for interviews…I happily accept referrals from artists who are already featured, but I’m not comfortable being solicited. The reason for that is because it’s sort of against the spirit of what Lady Tattooers is about. An example would be that I’m comfortable promoting/selling the art of women I post, but I wouldn’t feel the same way if someone paid me to post their work. At the end of the day this is something I do because I truly believe these women are great artists, and I wouldn’t want to continue if it stopped being about that.

How do you decide which women to showcase? What do you hope the future will hold for Lady Tattooer?

The decision on who to showcase is based on a few different factors like talent, experience, etc. No one factor determines the decision; ultimately the decision comes down to what I think. On rare occasions I’ll put a Lady Tattooer to the front of the line because they inspire me on some level, or because I’ve been a fan of their work for a long time.

The future is such a tricky question…we only launched a few weeks ago and our original plan was going to have slow growth over time, but then we found out that people liked what we made. Since then we’ve re-evaluated our plans because of some amazing offers we’ve been getting. In short we don’t know if we’ll be doing anything different or if we’ll be releasing anything new, what you can count on is that we’ll definitely continue to publish posts on amazing Lady Tattooers every week.

The World on my Shoulders Tattoo

Bill Passman quit his job as a lawyer, sold all his possessions and got his first passport all at the age of 51. Having travelled to over 70 countries and all 7 continents he decided to document his journey with a tattoo.

I realized that if I was going to do that it would have to be a tattoo of the entire World including the specific countries. I also knew that I would like to color in each of the countries that I had travelled to.

Bill Passman

 

Read about his continuing adventures on his blog

Little Swastika

Tattoo artist Little Swastika who tattoos from a private studio in Germany (you can only contact him via email), created the word ‘Love’ over four people’s backs.

He painted the design by hand onto the four backs before beginning the long process of tattooing. Little Swastika frequently tattoos large back pieces, with designs flowing down both arms and legs, to him the whole body is a canvas.

 

 

Somewhere in middle of Italy in a private living room. 4 people and a total of around 32 hours of tattooing over 4 days on two working spaces. This was in a way killing me, but in another way showing me what is possible. When I started a few years ago with my first double piece I was just dreaming of making a tattoo in a size like this. Without many compromises at all.  Many thanks to all you 4 and to all other pieces who made me walk, more than once, over the borders of dreams and reality…..

Little Swastika

He has created tattoos over two people before but the love project is his biggest piece to date.

 Creating art is my key to escape from our life in our reality. Tattooing for me is a piece of freedom.

Little Swastika

 

Images and quotes from Little Swastika’s Facebook

Skullduggery Tatu

Skullduggery Tatu is a custom tattoo studio based in Belfast. Both artists take inspiration from American Traditional tattoos, folk art and illustration. The results are powerful bold lines with a beautifully balanced colour palette; really strong and traditional.

 

After extensive travel, Helen McDonnell opened the studio in 2000, with tattoo artist Jenna McAleese joining her in 2011. The shop not only houses two female artists but also lends itself to travelling guest artists. You can also get tattooed by Helen and Jenna at various tattoo conventions.

To see all their recent work follow the artists  and shop on Instagram

@skullduggery_tatu    @helenskullduggery and  @jennamcaleese

The shop acts as a gallery space showcasing the work of not only local artists but international ones too. Previous exhibitions have displayed beautiful embroidery pieces and large-scale wall paintings. Also live performances take place within the intimate tattoo space.

 

Comedic Tattoos

Would you get a tattoo just for comedy value? Is your desired outcome roaring laughter or do you wish your tattoos to be art.

Colin Bonsall had the slogan comparethemeerkat.com tattooed across his stomach with the sole aim of making his granddaughter Bethany giggle.

We watch them together and Bethany thinks they’re hilarious.   

Colin Bonsall, owner of the comparethemeerkat tattoo

Maybe I’m a mug but I find it funny. I’ll see how well this one goes down first though before I get another one.

 Colin Bonsall, tattooed Granddad 

I myself have a few comical tattoos, ones which signify my sense of humour as well as inside jokes but is having a more annoying than funny television advert a step too far?

My boyfriend and I got matching watermelon tattoos as a joke and a way to mark our five year anniversary. The tattoo makes our friends laugh and it also brings a smile to my face when I remember the story behind it.

Do you have the beholders of your tattoos in mind when you get inked or are your motives more selfish? Ultimately the question lies in what motivates you to get tattooed? How do you choose the subject of your tattoo?

Tattoos are another way for people to attempt to read someone’s personality. Should your sense of humour be on display without you opening your mouth and laughing

 

Images and quotes from www.mirror.co.uk
Watermelon tattoo by Sophie Adamson, The Projects, Plymouth.

DIY Tattoo Parlour

No Class in Colorado is a DIY tattoo parlour run by skater Jesse Brocato. That’s right you tattoo yourself, in his living room. Every tattoo is free and its a unwritten rule that you have to be wasted.

The idea behind No Class is, why would you want a fancy tattoo when you could have a shitty ghetto tattoo?

Peter Garritano visited No Class, see his interview with Jesse and photos at Vice.com

Would you tattoo yourself in some dude’s living room? Are they just a bunch of scratchers or do you like home made tattoos?