Recently, I decided to get a tattoo as a way to celebrate my upcoming birthday. Of course, it hurt once I got it but it’s not the pain that I took with me that day. It was the amazement at how the man doing my tattoo had all of his original artwork hung up all over the walls in the room we were in. He mentioned that he created all of the designs himself, some of which took 1 week to finish, and I couldn’t help but come to agree with the artist who sued Warner Bro’s for using his original artwork in The Hangover Part II.
I believe and support the tattoo artist, Victor Whitmill, in his decision to sue as it is his own art piece. He should be compensated for the effort and creativity he invested in creating the design. I never understood why some tattoo artists would be infuriated when they don’t get credit or compensation for their tattoo artwork but ever since I got my tattoo, I completely understood that once the artist creates a design completely on their own, it becomes THEIR design and automatically have all the rights to it. The only way for the original design to be used again is either through crediting the artist or compensating them, which Whitmill was not provided. According to an article by Bang Showbiz, The Hangover Part II made a “gross income of over $488 million” so Whitmill should be given about 900, 000 dollars for his design being used in the movie as a fair exchange.
The creative process that any artist has to go through is difficult, stressful, and tiring seeing as they put all their effort into creating an artistic masterpiece. The same said for tattoo artists and the tattoos they draw on people. By using a tattoo artist’s original artwork ink without crediting or paying them will devalue their design. In simpler terms, instead of the artist getting paid for others to use their original creative artwork, they are using it without compensating the artist, therefore, making it unprofitable. Apart from not paying them, they are also stealing their artwork. The amount of dedication it takes to create a tattoo design is lengthy and stressful to get it perfect and just the way the customer will like it. The tattoo artist that I went to explained that “a tattoo is like a drawing on paper with pencil. Just because they draw on skin, doesn’t mean it’s not art” and every single piece of art has a painter behind the pencil that spent time working on it. Its all about giving the proper people, the proper credit.