Tattoo artists need a clear reference of the actual design to be able to draw it properly. For this well drawn stencils and blue prints of the desired design are needed so that the tattoo comes out exactly as wanted.
What is a Tattoo Sketch?
For making a tattoo sketch, first a design needs to be selected. The design is copied onto a sketchbook and alternations are made as required. The sheet or paper on which the tattoo is drawn or printed is known as tattoo flash. Flashes or tattoo sketches are put on display on the tattooists’ shop for the customers to choose designs according to their liking. Traditionally a tattoo artist made his own tattoo sketches. They traded the tattoo designs or sold flash sheets among themselves. Nowadays hand drawn tattoo sketches are rarely found. Flash artists make photocopies of the flash prints and sell them online or at tattoo conventions. Modern tattoo shops exhibit tattoo sketches from various artists.
Availing a Tattoo Sketch:
Tattoo sketches or flash sheets have no standard size. In US they come in 11x14 inches landscape format. Europe uses the A3 size. In recent times the A4 and letter formats have become very popular. Tattoo flash is also available with an outline or stencil. The outlines are generally printed on separate sheets. Having a stencil for each design makes it very convenient for the tattoo artist to draw an outline. Nowadays tattoo sketches are found online. They can be downloaded and printed out. Many people use tattoo sketches as a base for custom designs.
Copyright Laws on Flash Sheets:
Tattoo sketches from the internet are becoming very common. However copying images from the internet, books and magazines are considered as a breach of copyright in many cases. Most of he images on the internet are outside public domain. They cannot be reproduced at will. In most countries copyright holders take action against the tattoo artist and the supplier of the picture. Many of the leading tattoo design sites offer images that are legally downloadable for sale.