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’s never had profit as its primary mission, I give myself (Inkluded) the right to criticise this.
My main problem with the majority of these other channels, however, is not their ability to sell advertising, but that they do not credit tattooists correctly, or often… 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 in terms of the creation of bespoke designs
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.
As website Lexology explains:
Whatever the rules may be, many of these tattoo sharing pages are not concerned with them, nor with developing a relationship with the tattoo community which in my eyes is of greater relevance. This is not a priority for them at all.
More than anything, this lack of information on the post just makes the tattoo-lover, us, on the receiving end, really annoyed that we can’t discover the talented artist behind the piece.
Following tattoo pages should widen your knowledge about this beautiful art-form. There are so many tattoo enthusiasts out there who have a growing passion for this art-form and are excited about the journey it could take them on personally – these lazy sharing pages give them nothing more than dead ends.