Why Copying A Tattoo Is A No-no

Published October 28, 2020
By Celebrity Ink

There are many blogs out there discussing inspiration for tattoos – but it’s just that – inspiration! How can copying a tattoo from someone else hold personal meaning for you? How can you ask an artist to copy another artist? The answer is it can’t and you can’t - and ultimately you will be disappointed. 

Sometimes creating an original tattoo is hard when you just can’t come up with any ideas but there are ways to adapt something with your own interpretation of what resonates for you.  

What is tattoo copying?

Tattoo copying is when a tattoo artist copies another's work line for line whether it be their own idea to do so or at the direction of a customer. Tattoo copying is unfortunately a regular occurrence mainly due to a lack of ethics from the tattooist or the customer and people not understanding why it is wrong to copy. You won’t see this at Celebrity Ink though - our artists pride themselves on creating original, authentic artwork. 

Inspire not knock off!

Some people think mimicking is the greatest form of flattery but putting it bluntly, it’s disrespectful to the original tattoo owner, original tattoo artist and the artist you ask to copy it. In fact, it’s one of the most despised requests tattoo artists get. What we can do for you though, is take your example and show you how we could personalise it for you. 

Copyright issues are a legitimate concern in the tattoo industry. So artists are not likely to risk their career over simply copying another person’s design. Consider how many hours have gone into the design of a tattoo, then how many hours have gone into painstakingly creating this design with the owner walking out the door ecstatic with their original design only to find someone else has the same thing. It’s good to know the ethics of the situation so you don’t risk the same thing happening to you.

When is it ok to copy a tattoo?

There are times when having the same tattoo is ok. Some tattoos of course are designed to be reproduced en masse like flash tattoo. These types of tattoos are common tattoo styles usually drawn on paper and displayed in tattoo studios.  These styles are available in our studios so you can choose a tattoo and know what it is going to look like immediately. Just remember, you are not getting something that is unique if you go down this route.

There are of course tattoos which are driven by trend like the infinity symbol, hearts, skulls and tall ships. But they can still be interpreted with floral designs or by morphing into another motif to make them a little more individual. Tattoos driven by movements are sometimes intended to be the same or at least similar in order to immediately identify the symbolic nature of the movement, such as the semicolon tattoo represented by the punctuation mark.


If you’re not feeling very creative, that’s ok - our artists at Celebrity Ink™ love to show you what ideas they have!

Get your next tattoo at Celebrity Ink

The team at Celebrity Ink can provide you with not only a tattoo that tells your story but also detailed aftercare information that goes beyond the question of how long does a tattoo take to heal.

Our team sets standards in tattoo design while working alongside you to bring your vision to life. Whether you’re seeking traditional tattoos, realistic designs, mandalas, or any other, we have artists specialising in a range of tattoo styles that can provide you with the tattoo you have envisioned.

Book a consultation to discuss your tattoo design, get in contact with the crew at Celebrity Ink, and we will lock you in for your next ink session.
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