Copying A Celebrity’s Tattoo Isn’t Cool. Here’s Why

Photo editorial credit: Andrea Raffin /

Tattoos have always been a creative and fun way to stand out in a crowd. Tattoos allow you to express yourself through their artwork and amazing designs. While many of us design our tattoos to complement our personalities and styles, it’s easy to draw a blank when it comes to selecting the perfect design for your next tattoo.

Copying a celebrity’s tattoo isn’t cool. Copying a tattoo is the same as stealing artwork. It is disrespectful to the owner of the original tattoo, the artist that designed it, and your personal tattoo artist as well. There are also possible legal implications to copying a tattoo.

With so many designs and styles to select from, it can be difficult to decide on a design for your tattoo. But before you try to copy someone else’s tattoo, you should know what implications it may have – not only for you but for your tattoo artist as well.

What Does It Mean To Copy A Tattoo?

Tattoo copying is when a tattooist copies another artist’s work. While some artists do this at the request of their clients, copying someone else’s ink is heavily frowned upon in the tattoo community.

Unfortunately, tattoo copying is more common than you might think. While some tattoos are made to be replicated repeatedly – like a flash tattoo – there are plenty of artists and clients that have picked or designed their tattoos for a specific reason. This is usually because their tattoo has a personal significance to them.

Inspiration Versus Duplication

We all get our everyday inspiration from somewhere or someone else. It is most often from other people’s work, which is completely normal. But before you get tattooed, you should try to get away from the inspiration and commission a design – or design your own tattoo – that is something entirely original to you.

If you’re considering duplicating a tattoo, you may be skirting too close to the fine line between inspiration and outright plagiarism.

It is also rude and can be considered disrespectful to ask your tattoo artist to copy someone else’s design. Not only could it get them into trouble, but it could also be insulting to their artwork and designs. Considering that they are also artists, asking them to replicate someone else’s work is similar to telling them that you don’t appreciate their work.

So, to save yourself and keep the respect between yourself and your tattooist, you should rather seek out an artist that creates an original design for your piece.

Can You Get The Same Tattoo As A Celebrity?

You may sometimes see amazing tattoos on celebrities that will have you turning green with envy. It may be a design that suits your style, or their artist may have tattooed it in an art style that you love.

While there’s nothing wrong with appreciating someone else’s tattoo – especially if they are a celebrity you look up to – you should think twice before copying their tattoo.

Some celebrities have tattoos that they got on a whim or from a flash sheet, but there may be a few of their tattoos that have a special meaning to them. Their design may even have been commissioned specifically for them by their tattoo artist.

If you like a celebrity’s tattoo, you should consider drawing inspiration from their design rather than getting a tattoo artist to copy it directly.

By using their tattoo as a reference, you could speak to your tattooist to come up with a similar design that isn’t an exact replication. You could even add a unique element to your tattoo that has its own special meaning to you.

Most tattoo artists have spent years honing their skills and improving their artwork. Because almost every tattoo artist has an art or design background, you could approach your prospective artist with an idea and let them design a one-of-a-kind piece for you.

If you find an artist that is willing to copy someone else’s work, you can consider this a huge red flag. If you think about it, you’re essentially stealing from someone else. So why would you want to pay an artist for a tattoo if they are willing to risk their morals – and potentially their careers – to copy a tattoo.

In case you didn’t know, there could also be more severe consequences to copying the artwork of a tattoo. You could get into a lot of hot water in terms of the law by recreating a copyrighted design.

Is It Illegal To Copy A Celebrity’s Tattoo?

While getting tattoos of copyrighted images is definitely doable, this practice has real risks and objections. Tattoos derived from copyrighted designs might prove problematic, so it’s vital to be aware of the negative implications. These consequences could prove to be especially bad for tattoo artists.

Even though it is not illegal to duplicate someone else’s tattoo, you may not actually own your tattoo. This is true no matter where you have gotten the design from. And just because your tattoo is on your body doesn’t mean that you have any legal rights to it.

Depending on who you ask or the artist you choose to complete your artwork, the issue of legality can become complicated. If you choose a tattoo artist specializing in custom work and choose to get one of their original pieces tattooed on your body, the tattoo would actually be considered the artist’s property under the law.

Keeping this in mind, you may not want to take the risk of getting the same tattoo as a celebrity. Although the chances are slim, their tattoo artist could take the issue to court if they had created their design specifically for their celebrity client.


Although it can be tempting to get the same tattoo as your favorite celebrity, it is heavily frowned upon within the tattoo community. It can also be super embarrassing to have people know that you stole someone else’s artwork.

If you want to copy a tattoo, the only acceptable way to do so is by getting a flash tattoo done at your local shop.

Some of my favorite designs, tattoo books, and aftercare products, selected for you

working on tattoo at my studio
Working at the studio on one of my projects

Thank you for reading my article, I hope that you have found it helpful. If you would have trouble finding ideas for your tattoo, wonder what is meaning of design that you have found or what to buy for aftercare, to make sure that your tattoo will be healing quickly and easily, here are some of my favorite products in one place, hope that this will also help.

Design and tattoo ideas

For some ideas you can have a look at those 3 books with hundreds of designs that I use with my clients, they are available on Amazon for Kindle or in classic, paper version (links below):

Tattoo meaning

If you would like to read more about the meaning of different tattoo styles and designs before you will decide what you would like to have, I can recommend a book that was really useful for me when I was starting my tattoo adventure – it’s “Conscious Ink: The Hidden Meaning of Tattoos” by Lisa Barretta (through the link you can find it on Amazon for around $10).

Tattoo aftercare

The skin at the tattoo site often dries out. To prevent it and speed up healing for my clients, I usually recommend one of those tattoo aftercare balms (you can find them on Amazon):


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