Approaches to original work

jasonmnash043

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1 Nov 2020
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Hi

So I’m a beginner and in to a lot of traditional tattoos - particularly like Paul Dobleman’s work.

question I have is what are peoples approach to designing original tattoos? Do you use real life references? copy parts of one tattoo and parts of another? Design from memory?

im keen to develop my own original portfolio so would appreciate hearing what people do.

thanks in advance.
 

marked 4 life

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31 May 2011
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Nothing original about Paul Doblemans work, his influence is obviously from tattoo legend Bert Grimm and all the SPEED skulls are Berts designs, Bert was tattooing from about 1920, check him out.
I love tattooing traditional designs, I find old designs and redraw them to improve them with different line weights, more than 5 basic colours, modernise flowers etc as some older flash was very basic, crude with no detail and colour pallet
 

jasonmnash043

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Great thank you I’ll definitely check him out.

Perhaps a stupid question but assume there are no copyright issues if they closely resemble the original?
 

marked 4 life

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Great thank you I’ll definitely check him out.

Perhaps a stupid question but assume there are no copyright issues if they closely resemble the original?
No, flash was offered commercially for sale free to use by anyone, tattooists sold their flash to other artists or drew them for supply houses to mass produce and sell so available to anyone.



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dirtnail

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I just copy the shit out of traditional designs :ROFLMAO:
Once you get into traditional you will quickly start recognizing traditional flash reworks all over the place.
So no shame in copying... it's at the basis of traditional tattooing... the old guys used to trace tattoos from arms.
Personally I do try to make a design my own, and, when I know who made the design, try to credit the original artist.
I would say copying old flash is a good way to start to explore your own style.
 

Esq

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I read somewhere, you only have to change an image 10% for it to be considered "not copying" run with that 10% hahah
 

Cyberthrasher

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I read somewhere, you only have to change an image 10% for it to be considered "not copying" run with that 10% hahah
a line made up by people who liked copying other people's work :ROFLMAO:
Jokes aside though, that line has been pushed around as "fact" for so long when it has zero basis in any copyright law. Copy what you will when you will, but nobody should believe they're "safe" because of that myth.

Here's a good writeup on it.
"...In reviewing the case, the Court of Appeals first noted that it is no defense to copyright infringement for an alleged infringer to show how much of the original work they did not copy." - which in the case of this fabled rule would be "See, I didn't copy 10% of it, just the other 90%"

 

Esq

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a line made up by people who liked copying other people's work :ROFLMAO:
Jokes aside though, that line has been pushed around as "fact" for so long when it has zero basis in any copyright law. Copy what you will when you will, but nobody should believe they're "safe" because of that myth.

Oh I was more teasing, def take an idea and see what you can change/improve but don't trace the damn thing haha take liberties

Not sure if this is relavent but this is how I did "copying" :
 

Cyberthrasher

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Oh I was more teasing, def take an idea and see what you can change/improve but don't trace the damn thing haha take liberties

Not sure if this is relavent but this is how I did "copying" :
I just have to point it out when it comes up. Its sooooooo prevalent! I was working with a gallery once for some of my work and the owner actually told me that some of the Seattle Seahawk items she had from an artist were ok because of that "rule".....YOU'RE A GALLERY OWNER!!! HOW DON'T YOU KNOW THIS!!???
 

Esq

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That's annoying as hell. It's a low effort cop out for uncreative people in my opinion. People who truly bank on "Her der I work smahter not harder"
 

MalligaMallan

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I've only skimmed all your comments, just would like to add that if you really WANT to copy something without getting caught for it, it's easy. It's just to change size, colours or something else, and it will be hard (impossible) to be prosecuted (that sounded serious 😅) for it.

The question is IF you want to copy others work. Imo it's nicer to create your own work.

Getting inspired is something else. I copied another tattoo artists work only the other day to figure out how she technically draws her motifs. But then I drew my own motif, based on what i found out by copying hers.

I'm not going to say it's wrong to copy, and if someone copies my work that's totally okay - as long as they don't make a fortune on it 😅 Which is not likely to happen. I do understand that designers get pretty frustrated when they do something, and companies like IKEA copy it, only changing a minor detail, and making millions on it. Instead of buying the design from the original designer.

For my part I think it's boring to copy others work and using it for my tattoo work. No challenge.
 

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