Tattoo Facts

copy tattoo
Tattoo Artist Tips, Tattoo Facts

Don’t Be a “Copytat”: Why Copying Tattoos Is Deeply Uncool

What’s the Big Deal With Copying a Tattoo? 

For many tattoo artists, finding out their design has been copied (or, put more bluntly, stolen) is absolutely terrible news. But for aspiring artists or those just starting out, it may be confusing. What’s the big deal with a copied tattoo, anyway? 

For a tattoo artist, a copied tattoo is literally bad for business. It devalues their brand because someone else is out there effectively profiting off of their cool ideas and hard work. 

Copied tattoos ultimately hurt clients, too. Part of what tattoo clients are paying for is getting a unique design from the original artist. Accidentally getting a stolen design will make them feel their tattoo is next to worthless when they find out.

Rip-Off or Homage? 

The world of art is a lot like the world of music. And that means there is a fine line between ripping off someone else’s work and creating an homage.

Generally speaking, it’s the rip-off designs that annoy people in the tattoo community. This is when an artist tries to recreate every aspect of someone else’s design.

However, other artists may use a cool design as inspiration for their own version of the idea. Or maybe incorporate some of the original design into a larger tattoo. Generally, this is more acceptable because it involves creating something new instead of slavishly recreating the original.

The Magic Word Is “Please”

If you’re a tattoo artist and you just really want to recreate someone else’s design, there’s a simple rule you need to follow. Just ask them!

Now, be warned: most artists will simply say “no” and that is that. However, other artists may be okay if you give them credit as the original designer. Or they may request that you refer interested clients over to their Instagram page or online portfolio.

At the end of the day, we don’t really recommend trying to duplicate someone elses tattoo. But if you’re that interested, just ask. All they can say is “yes,” “no,” or “maybe,” and like the philosopher Meat Loaf might put it, “two out of three ain’t bad!”

tattoo copying

Importance of Cool Tattoo Ideas

We’ve talked a lot about why a copied tattoo is usually a bad idea. Now, let’s shift gears and talk about the importance of cool tattoo ideas.

Part of the fun of being a tattoo artist is working outside of those traditional, boring jobs your friends have. But you still have to worry about the same marketing concepts as any other small business, including your brand.

Even the best duplicated tattoo is just a copy of someone else’s good idea. By focusing on creating your own cool tattoo ideas, you’ll build your brand and generate awesome word of mouth from all your satisfied customers!

In fact, reDRAWING the work of artists you admire is one of the best ways to learn their style, as long as you aren’t intending to sell that work or post it for credit. Repetition is the mother of learning, and if you continuously draw and study the masters you’ll eventually start to find your own “voice”.


Now you know why copying a tattoo is a bad idea and you should always be original. But do you know how you can become more creative and innovative than ever before?

Keep reading blogs like Tattooing 101 to get all the juicy ideas to help inspire your next artistic creation! Keep drawing and practicing, and meet us in the forums to exchange notes and learn from fellow artists!

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bloodborne pathogens certification
Tattoo Facts, Tattoo Instruction

Why Every Tattoo Artist Needs a Bloodborne Pathogens Certification

The life of a tattoo artist may seem like it’s all fun and games. After all, you get to spend each day hanging with cool people and bringing your art to life.

But before you can get the job, there are a few extra steps you’ll need to take, and the biggest one is getting your blood-borne pathogens certification.

Curious what this is and why you need it? Keep reading to discover our complete guide!

What Is a Blood-borne Pathogens Certification?

When you started looking into a career as a tattoo artist, you probably didn’t think you’d need some of the same certifications as a nurse. So, it’s important that we answer your question: what is a blood-borne pathogens certification, anyway?

This is a special certification that ensures you have received proper training to handle any issues that come up regarding (you guessed it) blood-borne pathogens. A federal law instituted back in 2000 requires such workers undergo special training so that a business can retain its OSHA certification.

Ultimately, this certification and training are to help ensure you don’t accidentally transmit any pathogens.

How Are Blood-borne Pathogens Actually Transmitted?

In case you’re wondering, “blood-borne pathogens” is a catch-all term. It may refer to any kinds of infectious micro-organisms that are in a person’s body. This includes exotic and scary infections (such as Ebola or AIDS) and more mundane ones (such as hepatitis).

Unfortunately, it’s very easy for these pathogens to be transmitted: pretty much any infected person’s body fluid can pass the infection along. Because tattoo artists are at risk of both exposure to blood and exposure to infected needles, the right training can literally save your life.

Why Do I Need the Certification?

In addition to being federally required, there are many reasons you need this blood-borne pathogens certification. We already mentioned the primary reason: because your life may be on the line!

A good training program will help you understand the kind of preventative maintenance that will mitigate your chance of infection. It will also make sure you know how to clean and sterilize your equipment so you don’t pass anything on to anyone else by accident.

Finally, your training will prepare you for true emergencies. If you fear that you or someone else has been infected, you will know what steps and precautions to take next.

Who Should I Get the Certification From?

There are many potential ways to get your certification. That leaves a big question: how should you get started? 

We recommend getting your certification through the American Red Cross. It is currently only thirty dollars to take the course, and all the training is completely online. That makes it easy to afford and easy to work into pretty much any schedule.

Just think: once you’re certified, you’re one step closer to your dream job as a tattoo artist!

Final Thoughts 

Now you know what the blood-borne pathogens certification is and why you need it. But do you know what step to take next? 

To continue your journey to becoming a tattoo artist, be sure to read the rest of our comprehensive articles here at Tattooing 101!

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