Table of contents for Design inspiration
- soul and inspiration, part 4: Memorial to a loved one
- a brief sidebar about Other People’s Art
- soul and inspiration, part 3: Spiritual designs
- Soul and inspiration, part 2: Should you ink a name?
- You’re my soul and my inspiration: Finding the perfect design
- soul and inspiration, part 5: Redoing existing tattoos
Besides being careful about not copying images that represent other people’s religious or spiritual beliefs, I think it’s important not to “pirate” other people’s artwork as well.
Sure, there is a lot of flash out there on the internet and a lot of artwork posted by incredibly talented people. A lot of it would be fabulous as tattoos. But to just blithely assume that because something is posted on the internet it’s free for the taking is, quite simply, dead wrong.
The first and most honest approach is to email or write the artist and ask for permission to reproduce his or her work as your tattoo. Yes, you may have to pay a royalty for that privilege, especially if the artist is trying to make a living from the sale of his or her work. You won’t know till you ask, and if the artist does request a payment, my own feeling is that you shouldn’t haggle too much. Artists put a lot of time, effort and talent into what they create, and to suggest a lower price might well be insulting.
A second approach is to use someone else’s work as an inspiration for your own design rather than trying to copy it directly. This is what I did when I designed the dragon on my back–I found someone else’s work that I liked, and then used that as a starting point for my own adaptation. My dragon looks only vaguely like the one that inspired it, but if I had not seen the other artist’s work I wouldn’t have gotten the inspiration I needed to do my own work.
A third approach, if you see someone’s work you like, is to offer to commission the artist to create something unique for you. The fee for this may be surprisingly reasonable and you’ll be assured of high quality artwork that’s customized for you.
Sure, it might be true that nobody would know that you’d copied someone else’s design without their knowledge or permission… but is that what an ethical person would do? As Jiminy Cricket would say, let your conscience be your guide.I hope you'll submit my posts to your favorite social media sites. Just don't "submit" them to your own site pretending to be yours. Thanks!