new to this forum, obviously. just looking for some advice about my existing tattoos as well as plans for future ones. i just got tattooed this past weekend by my artist who i really do trust, and i admire his work. i’ve been having some anxiety about this recent one i just got because although it is very impressive to look at, it simply just isn’t what i had in mind.
months ago when i booked this session, i showed him a photo of a tattoo that i came across online that i absolutely loved. i completely understand that a great artist would never copy another artist’s tattoo verbatim, nor did i want him to do so. i wanted the tattoo to be my own, but inspired by this other one. its a portrait of an owl (soon to be a large arm piece with several other animal faces) in a very realistic greyscale style. i admit that it’s honestly beautiful, nothing wrong with it subjectively – just not what i had in mind, and i’m having a hard time detaching from what i imagined the end result of this new tattoo would be.
i keep looking at that other tat that i was inspired by and can’t help but feel a little regretful that my own tattoo didn’t end up more similar to that one. my artist showed me a photograph of a great horned owl that he based my design off of, and i told him it looked great. i realize it’s my own fault for not being more direct about what i wanted, but hindsight is 20/20. i have other tattoos by this artist that turned out perfectly so i feel like with this one, i half expected for it to go the same way with zero afterthought.
anyone been there? care to share any advice? tips to ensure this doesn’t happen for the rest of my arm piece, without offending my artist? i want to almost ask him to try to stay more faithful to the images i bring in for him, which is kinda hard to do i understand.
Can you share a picture of the tattoo that you wanted and the tattoo that you got?
this is my tattoo (sorry i couldn’t get an image to embed, hoping the link works):
this is the photo reference tattoo:
i think both tattoos have their merits, but i just cannot help liking the photo reference one i brought more than my own. there are certain features of it that i really really like and i actually think they could easily be incorporated into my existing tattoo when it heals. is it rude to ask a tattoo artist to alter their work a little bit?
Yours looks well done but the reference one is done way better. Do you mind posting a link to the tattooists work that did it just to see if they have the skills to alter it to make it up to your liking
I have a big problem with people using existing tattoos as reference.
I understand my mistake in doing so (I’m sorry, I am not heavily tattooed and new to getting tattoos). Even still, I did not intend to copy it exactly. Just used as inspiration for my own tattoo, which I think came out much bolder than the reference tattoo I am speaking of.
I had the same problem with my half sleeve koi. It was my first big tattoo (only had a latin script on my forearm) I had a beautiful reference that I gave to my artist to work from and make my own. He then showed me another picture of a koi that was different, but I said looked good. And pretty much the same story as yours rocketqueen. I should have spoken up about every little thing that annoyed me. But I didn’t, cause I trusted their judgment more than my own. I didn’t really know about tattooing, I was new to it. I just thought it would turn out ok.
The story gets better in that the artist wasn’t exactly truthful about his skills too. Him and his wife worked together and when I asked him how much experience he had, there was a pause and he said 15 years. Turns out he just added on the few months he had been doing this to his wife’s 14 and half years. There are mistakes I will always have to live with and I wasn’t happy for months after that. it has taken me about 2 years but eventually you get used it. The tattoos seem to build their own personality and become part of your uniqueness. Bottom line is you got to be straight up with what you want. To every line and dot. my full sleeve Asian dragon came out very well and I am very happy with. Cause I pretty much pointed out and told him where to put the needle and how much to shade each and every step of the way.
The Koi, I had reworked and edited. the design stayed the same, just fixed the shading and added in some colour. The only problem I have with it now is it is to dark (original untruthful artist used black instead of the deep grey I wanted for the wind bars) and he botched up the wind bars so they aren’t really wind bars either.
Once you get your other animal faces around your owl, you will be happier. I just had a chrysanthemum added two weeks ago and extended the black bars to wrap around my arm. More imagery and ink make everything look better and feel better.
For what it is worth, when I saw your owl – I thought it was absolutely beautiful. there are no problems, no bad workmanship, everything is proportional, shading is great and it will develop its own kind of “personality” on you. And you will start to love it more than your reference. It will take time as your mind adjusts and gets used to it. Whenever you feel like regretful, just think that it could have been a lot worse. Just google “bad owl tattoos’ and you will realise how much you have to love haha.
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