You know what really grinds my gears?! You’re about to find out.
For those who don’t know, the number of tattoo Instagram pages and blogs in existence is actually quite staggering. The percentage of those that are reputable and trustworthy, is few and far between.
As tattoos become increasingly popular, there are many out there trying to make a quick-buck by maximising on the desires of those who want to browse tattoo art. As a brand that makes no profit, I give myself (Inkluded) the right to criticise this. My main problem with the majority of these channels, however, is not their ability to sell advertising, but that they do not credit tattooists correctly, or at all.
The purpose of a tattoo sharing site is to direct users to the profiles of exceptionally talented artists that they can get a unique tattoo from. Not to provide the general public with designs to be copied by other ‘tattooists’.
Sadly, the copying of work is still a huge problem in the industry for tattoo artists, and there’s a vast sea of tattooers out there who think there is no problem with taking and using a custom design created by another. By not crediting the names behind an artwork, these pages mis-inform the public by suggesting that work is not attributed to an original creator.
So why do these tattoo Instagram profiles choose not to credit tattooists for their work?
1) They do not care about the industry, and I would argue, probably do not understand how it works (custom designs, etc.)
2) They are lazy. They want to create as much content as possible for their site or Instagram profile with minimal effort – that way, they can grow followers quickly and sell advertising space to tattooers. This is their only concern.
In an industry built on respect and appreciation of art, omitting a simple line stating the owner of the work being shared, is not acceptable.
An industry of respect
But what if the manager of the Instagram page can’t find who the original image belongs to (as it’s been regurgitated by so many spam profiles already, the owner has been lost, as has the image quality)? Well, do you know what, don’t post it then. Share another image.
Have the decency and know-how to follow tattooers from your own account. Explore their work, familiarise yourself with the industry. Repost images with full acknowledgment of the person who has spent time, money and effort creating the thing you’re now using for your own benefit.
I can imagine that seeing your work un-credited is hugely dissatisfying for any artist. I also regularly see tattooed models having their photos shared with no acknowledgment. Often I see the comments from these individuals asking to be credited, but no response from the page.
Legally they’re not obliged to do this, of course (once you’ve uploaded an image to Instagram, it belongs to Instagram), so they don’t bother. Developing a relationship with the tattoo community is not a priority for them at all.
More than anything, this lack of information just makes the tattoo-lover, us, on the receiving end, really annoyed that we can’t discover the talented artist behind the piece.
There is a lot more to explore here – copyright, click-bait, SEO, social media, the death of journalism – ah, I will save all those jolly topics for a rainy day, shall I, folks?!
Before I go, I’ll just leave you with a mini ‘name-and-shame’ list of some of the culprits below, to give you an example… not that they deserve our time. This could literally be a never-ending list, I kid you not. The four I have bulleted below are a drop in the ocean!
Then at the very bottom of this article, I’ll also share some of my favourite good tattoo sharing sites, so you can see how it’s really done!
I want to know your thoughts – are you an artist and would this / does this bother you? As a tattoo customer do you find it infuriating? Comment below!
Uncredited photos found on:
- Tattoo.com, millions of followers across various accounts – as far as I can see, they rarely credit artists in the text of collated tattoo articles. I’ve had many upset artists mention this brand to me before. They seem to credit artists on social media however, so I am not entirely sure of their motivations.
- InspirationTattoo, 132,000 followers – sometimes credit artists and sometimes do not. Their website is purely a list of Instagram post prices which I think highlights their intentions pretty clearly.
- TattooPontoCom, 212,000 followers – I can’t see any image credits.
- TattsOnFire, 70,000 followers – sometimes credit artists, sometimes not. They ask artists to write their own name in the comments below the photo (perhaps a preparation for being called-out on not crediting properly)
And now for some really cool accounts that you should follow!
- This list, also, could go on forever, I know I have missed many goodies, and I would like to add to it, so please comment below with your favourite tattoo pages so I can update this.
Words: Beccy Rimmer
Photos: Instagram, as credited
Categories: Tattoo Thoughts