Recently a really great client wrote me and asked my thoughts on something- a friend of hers wanted to get a tattoo and wanted to reference one of the tattoos I did on her. Her friend asked for a picture of her tattoo to show the artist that she wanted to get work from...My client was reluctant naturally and responded to her friend with (something like this)- my tattoo is so meaningful to me and I went to Jen to get a custom piece that is one of a kind...I am not comfortable letting you have a picture of my tattoo to give to the artist...meanwhile she sent me and email to ask me my thoughts about this and this was the jest of my email back to her- I am so glad that you followed your intuition and did not allow her to use your tattoo as reference. Most other tattooists are lazy and just copy whatever you put in front of them. Most other artists do not care if they steal art or ideas from any media available wether it is google, facebook or pinterest etc. (Like how I politely put in 'most' other tattooers)
Basically, if you do not want someone to rip off your tattoo you should not post it on the internet.
It is funny because my client caught me at a funny time. I have been experiencing stupid tattoo shenanigans from other tattooers in my industry (typical bullshit). So I did not sugar coat anything. I believe it is true- most other tattooers do not care about your best interest and only want to do what they want to do and they only want to make money from you.
If you do not go to a tattooer that is an artist and can legitimately draw and that has a imagination you will get a piece that is inside the box so to speak. In my opinion that is lame. There are artists out there that do care for you and want to do what you really want and that want to be innovative and creative.
If it is clip art or flash that someone brings me, that is one thing. We can keep the design just like that if they wish and the design lends itself well for a tattoo design. If someone wants a design that clearly has my hand in it, than I am happy to oblige.
Moral of this blog is other tattooers suck and are lazy. If you want to protect your one of a kind tattoo, don't put it on the internet...
Here is some current tattoos on some really lovely ladies!