What Do You Think About Tattoo Copying? | Tattoo Artists Answer

25 top tattoo artists share their opinions on the controversial topic around tattoo copying, and how far is too far when it comes to tattooing someone else’s work.

What are your thoughts on tattoo copying? Let us know in the comments, and tell us what you’d like to see from us next!

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  1. I don’t share that perspective as a customer who pays top dollar for it. It’s my body and i have a final say what goes on it. Why care about plagiarism? I don’t understand.

  2. I understand from all sides. You get upset because this is something you created, which isn't easy, that sets it differently from a lot of other similar pieces and it holds a lot of value and sentiment. I would be upset myself, but on the other hand, a lot of people don't have the funds to usually travel or pay for this amazing artist to come to you plus the high price for said piece then add in tip. I guess the best way to go about it is either allow the artist to add their own mix or contact the original artist and ask for permission all the while – regardless if you ask or not – credit the original artist. Out of all, Megan Massacre said it best.

  3. I think the point, that Sara Fabel brought into the debate, is really interesting. Because if let's say someone wants a tattoo of one of Picassos works, then, although it might not be tattoo copying, it is nevertheless a copy of a piece of art, regardless of the medium. And say it is a very well executed tattoo and the tattoo looks exactly like the reference, then the tattoo artist is stealing another artist's original idea, which is something a lot of tattoo artists brought up in the video. The idea, that as long as the original artist is dead, the copying of the artwork isn't problematic anymore, doesn't really solve the dilemma, because it doesn't change the fact, that the idea behind the artwork wasn't yours to begin with. And that's not even getting into copys meant as homage to the original artist and all the other different aspects of copying art.
    That said, while I by no means condone tattoo copying, I think it is a much broader and more complicated topic than one might think at first glance, especially if one defines tattoos as art.

  4. Here’s a good question. How annoying is it for tattoo artist to have people come to them with exact copies of a tattoo they’ve seen and request that they get that exact tattoo almost like they’re trying to force another artist a copy? Cause I’d imagine that’s annoying.

  5. It comes between the artist and the customer. I, personally, have a tattoo in mind that I found upon countless hours of searching. I'm absolutely willing to change aspects about so it isn't the exact same, but that image is what I want bottom line. I'm hiring you to put what I want on MY body. But, I'm not opposed to giving some artist freedom. Because I do not agree with flat-out detail for detail coping. There has to be give on both sides.

  6. I dont understand something.. if a person copies another tattoo and puts it on a clients is he/she going to give credit other than tell his client this is really from another artist rendering

  7. Insperation is fine especially if it's a common symbol or design, that's unavoidable to a degree. It's only real poor form to carbon copy sometimes custom piece, like they said a lot of thought, heart and money goes into some good pieces. And It's not unheard of for an original owner of a piece to get bullied to all hell because someone more popular than them had it *first*.

  8. This seems like it’s only a problem in certain styles and the only people who can really afford to be picky about this are top tier talents. When your canvas is a human being and your running a business. On the other hand if you really don’t care from a moral perspective all these portraits or cartoon character pieces they’re really is no legal claim unless you get something hyper specific but tattoo copyright as a whole is murky

  9. i have a tattoo that someone copied. it was something i drew for a cat that passed away, i took his paw print and drew wings on it. the apprentice that did it messed it up a bit. and this B*tch copied my messed up tattoo! she even told me she wanted it and i told her no because it was very personal to me and it meant a lot to me. it still does after 13 years. she went behind my back and got my tattoo. i was livid and still am. she even tries to add me on social media now and then, but i ghost her. Amanda something or other, shes gotten married since then but idgaf.

  10. I just think it's wrong to say that copying rights are based on how well the art is. Its straight copyright the moment its created, planted on a body canvas as any art would be on any form of artwork, done. Be creative & create your own work!

  11. I completely understand the artist perspective , they’re artist & only want to create their own original pieces. Now from a customer point of view of I see someone I like that fire in my opinion , I’m gonna get it regardless of who had it first. It still very well can mean a lot to you and less stress knowing for sure you’re gonna love what you get because you already seen it done. This seemslike something people will always disagree on. I can 7 tattoos and only one I thought of on my own which was cover art from my favorite Kayne album. Other than that I found all my ideas searching Pinterest topics that I like.

  12. When I get tattoo's, they don't mean a god dam thing. Okay I have a couple that have meaning behind them haha. But the rest, I have just because I love them for the art they are. I think they are awesome, and I guess I would consider myself a tattoo collector? I'm not stealing tattoos off people's bodies or anything, but I definitely get all my ideas by someone else's art work. Most of the time. They all had good points and said very similar things

  13. I really liked Megan Massacre's take on it. I understand the sentiment that some artists take towards their piece, but listening to Megan's take on it, opens that idea up. Also Anthony's point… give credit people.

  14. I love Megan's Philosophy, the best artist steal lol the old sayin!! I mean it's understandable but… what can you do about it when your work its out on the eyes of everyone… you still own it its your design… i guess taking credit for work you haven't done, that's upsetting and probably where copying is bad really comes from but yeah just my opinion as many other artists… no right not wrong but something to have in mind

  15. 0:44 I think they're right, cause that's how new styles come up, like the the sticker tattoo frenzie. Exactly the same tattoo though no difference at all, yeah that's wrong

  16. I don’t see this as a huge issue like most of these people are making it out to be. Yeah coping someone else’s tattoo exactly is probably pretty bad. At least bigger tattoos like a full sleeve or something. But smaller tattoos that you’d get done in less than an hour I see absolutely no issues with coping. These same people who shun other artists for coping someone else’s design will literally get on google and copy a photograph some photographer took. A photographer will photograph a lion or something and a tattoo artist will copy that lion exactly and no one bats an eye at that. These tattooers just don’t like admitting these things and they want to feel special and creative on their high horses. Wether you’ll admit it or not there is only so many ways to do something. Eventually someone else will do the exact same thing as you. It’s not because they’re coping you it’s because there’s only so many other ways to do it. People need to accept this fact of life and stop believing they are so special. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with tattooing the exact same Imagine. It’s going to happen wether you like it or not.