Friday, July 14, 2023

Stop Stealing Artists' Work

I have a lot of artist friends -- graphic designers, illustrators, painters, calligraphers, photographers, architects, tattoo artists -- and I have a ton of respect for all of them and for what they do.

In the case of the latter, I've ALWAYS tipped them on top of the actual price of the tattoo they quoted me -- almost always 15%, at least. I have 30 tattoos now (and counting), since I was first inked way back in 2017, spread over hours and hours of 14 painful sessions, and I've been fortunate enough to have been tattooed by a total of 10 talented artists, majority of them Filipino and Mexican, and a couple of Americans.
The way I see it, I'm just borrowing their art, which they painstakingly inked onto its permanent canvas, my skin -- until I draw my last breath, that is, and the canvas and the art burns to ashes in an incinerator (I prefer to be cremated when the time comes).
My point? Artists (any kind of artist, not just tattoo artists) aren't respected enough these days, what with majority of people misguidedly looking up to the billionaires instead -- the Zucks and the Elons and their ilk -- because who would want to be an underpaid and underappreciated artist?
Tipping my tattoo artists is the least that I can do to show my respect for them. I also go out of my way to make sure they get a good photo of their art right after each session to upload to their portfolio, and if I can't go back to their studio, I send them a picture of the tattoo to add to their "healed" album (this is very important for tattoo artists).
Indeed, artists of any kind nowadays aren't appreciated enough, their work even being subjected to humiliating haggling by disrespectful and scumbag "clients," and as if being underpaid weren't enough, these artists' labor of love (mostly in the case of graphic artists, photographers, and illustrators who choose to upload their work to online portfolios to, hopefully, pull in -- guess what? -- more work) are now being stolen -- with the help of tools cleverly labeled "artificial intelligence" -- by those who idolize the Zucks and the Elons and their ilk.
Pay your graphic designers, your photographers, your tattoo artists well. Respect their work; respect their art. Most importantly, don't steal their art.
It will be a fucking cold day in hell before I use some tool that brazenly steals artists' work, especially for profit.