Two Questions: How to Avoid Image Theft & Pricing
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  1. #1
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    Two Questions: How to Avoid Image Theft & Pricing

    Hi,

    I was wondering how do you show your client your image before you're paid without them just taking it and using it. I'm working on a tattoo design with someone so would be pretty much fine using a lower res watermarked image. I really don't want to be ripped off.

    Also how much should I charge for a tattoo design? I know that most tattoo artists do it for free so that's really no help.

    Thanks,
    Jake

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  2. #2
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    I've actually done a few tattoo designs, and the price usually depends on the size. For an image that's about 5in x 5in, which is what people tend to go for, I only charge $20.

    And as for the theft situation, I always try to make sure I receive a down payment first. Here's my method;
    1. Someone contacts me to create an image or set of images,
    they send me all the info about the images, including size, medium, etc.
    2. I send them a price estimate
    3. If they agree on the price, I work on a bunch of sketches, show them to the client, and they make their choice.
    4. Once they've made their choice, they pay me. If it's a big project, they can pay me half first, and the rest when the picture is completed.
    5. I now get to work on the final image or images. Should the money not clear, I stop work and contact the person.

    If I was in your situation, I would send them a very small and grainy thumbnail (also water marked) with your info on how they can pay you. Let them know that once they pay you AND THE MONEY CLEARS, then you'll send them the high res image.

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  3. #3
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    Well, tattoo artists don't really do it for free. Some will incorporate the design fee into the final price so it's somewhat invisible, but it's not uncommon for tattoo artists to charge for the design separately. That way you are sure to make money on your time if after getting the design they decide to wait on getting the actual ink.

    Agree on something before you even start. Keith_V's suggestions are the best way to go about it. Do the roughs, get approval and then take the payment before working on the final.

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  4. #4
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    My ex-brother-in-law used to send photos to calendar companies. They required a negative, so what he would do was put a diagonal scratch in the negative that he sent to them. The calendar company only got a good negative if they bought it.

    Christine
    West Seattle
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  5. #5
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    In the past, I've paid the artist up front a small fee for their time in producing a sketch. Whether or not I liked their sketch in the end was irrelevant as they were using their on the clock (so to speak) time to draw a sketch for me. I agree that generally and of course depending on the size $20 is not unfair to ask or pay.
    Having done a few tattoos myself, I haven't charged for the sketch but with that being said I've tattooed almost exclusively friends or family members.

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  6. #6
    One Girl's Dream is offline Animation & Illustration Studio, specializing in youth-oriented content Level 2 Gladiator: Ordinarii
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    Too bad tatooing is considered more of a fine art, than commercial art.

    We recommend checking in the GAG handbook for everything, as if it were a bible.
    Strangely enough, pricing for illustration for use on 'packages' (a person's body? ), namely in the category of health and beauty aids is suggested to be $1800-$5000, with a double or over tripled amount or original commission cost, for sale of 'original art'. I believe copyright is retained by the creator of the artwork, and may be not be reproduced (for example, by another tatoo artist) without copyright owner's permission, and may be prosecuted in a court of law for infringement.

    In the graphic design/illustration world (we are unsure about the fine art world), we charge for every comp, every sample, every concept development session.

    Good luck.

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