I recognize that arm

Congratulations on your move to South America and getting a sexy Brasilian girlfriend. The beard is looking good — I’m glad you decided to grow it back in.

Anyway, I think this is the last time I’ll write you in this fashion. Stay tuned for lots of images, lots of videos (well, that’ll be your job), an interview with Howie, and more.

PS. Note to readers — this is actually ModBlog reader Juan with his girlfriend Paulina… I asked Roo how he felt about someone having such a similar sleeve and he said he didn’t mind, but did feel a little weird about it. A few people have “borrowed” my forearm/hand tattoos, and while I don’t mind one bit either, it is a little odd when you first see it.


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About Shannon Larratt

Shannon Larratt is the founder of BME (1994) and its former editor and publisher. After a four year hiatus between 2008 and 2012, Shannon is back adding his commentary to ModBlog. It should be noted that any comments in these entries are the opinion of Shannon Larratt and may or may not be shared by BMEzine.com LLC or the other staff or members of BME. Entry text Copyright © Shannon Larratt. Reproduced under license by BMEzine.com LLC. Pictures may be copyright to their respective owners. You can also find Shannon at Zentastic or on Facebook.

70 thoughts on “I recognize that arm

  1. I actually see it as someone else recognizing that the design decision was a good idea, at least in the case of Roo’s work or my blackwork… although I completely understand and support people who feel differently on the subject.

  2. Forget the arm, I’ve seen that girl’s flower tattoo. Is she the girl in the bikini on the beach (in Mexico, I believe?) If not, they’re very similar.

  3. Flattering or not, I would be pissed if someone took any of my tattoo ideas. To me, tattoos are extremely personal. Why would you want a duplication of someone else’s idea?

  4. I dunno if it’s a reason to be angry since it’s so obviously Roo’s tattoo. I just look at that guy and think, “but you’re not Roo, you’re all HAIRY.”

  5. Are you kidding me? There is a difference between similarity, coincidence, inspiration, and copying. This seems to be exact copying. I feel bad for Roo. I don’t wish poorly on this guy, I just don’t think it’s justified to be posted here in this context. I love the double standards set on this website.

  6. I think the only fair resolution is that roo now make out with juan’s girlfriend and take a picture :P

  7. Nae – I’m a little unclear on how it’s a double standard to post it? I’ve posted lots of tattoos that were similar to others’ before, and I talked to Roo before posting this as well to make sure there wouldn’t be hurt feelings.

  8. Really, if Roo doesn’t have an issue with it, it shouldn’t be an issue to others.

    It’s definitely a unique piece, but I’m sure the Tazmanian Devil might’ve been, along with the Koi, cherry blossoms, and neo-tribal designs.

    It’s a personal issue, really. I personally wasn’t impressed when I found out from my artist that someone came in to his shop to ask him to do the same piece, in the same location as mine. He refused, and I was glad, but really, if someone wants it that badly, they’ll get it. Hopefully it’ll turn out nicely, and it just means one less shitty tattoo in the world.

  9. If Roo had told me that he was upset about it I certainly wouldn’t have posted it.

    Like I said, I’ve seen others copy my hand and forearm tattoos fairly closely. It doesn’t bother me one bit. My collar tattoo is inspired by my friend Olivier’s collar (although it’s quite different). As I said earlier, I see it as recognizing a great idea that someone else has already had.

    I mean, tons of people have the same piercings as each other. Tons of people have the same flash based tattoos. Tons of people have tattoos based on the same famous images. Etc…

  10. There used to be a bit on the BME tattoo galleries about how lame it was to copy someone else’s tattoo design. Did you write that, Shannon? If so, why the change of heart?

  11. Your agenda is thinly veiled, but nonetheless: Where have I had a change of heart? The fact that I don’t have a problem if people copy MY tattoos doesn’t mean that I think people should copy people tattoos.

  12. Courtney – It’s a little weird that someone would copy my sleeves (I designed them years ago) without asking, and from the small amount of tattoo that’s visible in the photo the hearts are in exactly the same position as mine, despite that I’m not angry or anything.

    It’s not like I can/would ask him to remove it :)

  13. If i was roo, i’d be excited. Screw the tattoo, look at what it’s touching. I wish i had a look-a-like kissing some girl. haha.

  14. I’m beginning to wonder. It’d be funny though if it turned out this photo was fifteen years old and he designed it first.

    I’d feel pretty stupid, but it wouldn’t be the first time and it definitely won’t be the last.

  15. If people don’t want their tattoos to be copied they shouldn’t post it, theres always a chance that someone is going to see it like the design and go get it tattooed, and like what Shannon said “it as someone else recognizing that the design decision was a good idea” imitation is the highest form of flattery…

  16. ViciousVen – And by the same token if people who ‘copy’ tattoos don’t want them to be noticed they shouldn’t post them either :).

    I might be play piercing tonight, funnily enough. Not on myself but when my subjects back is turned I’ll give myself one for the team. Let me know Juan!

  17. Oh, if someone copies a tattoo directly, then someone copies that and it changes slightly, and that cycle continues.

    Is that like a game of Chinese Tattoo Whispers? Maybe that’s where all the badly translated Kanji tattoos come from?

  18. “If people don’t want their tattoos to be copied they shouldn’t post it, theres always a chance that someone is going to see it like the design and go get it tattooed”

    that seems awfully boring. might as well cover up in public too, and not show friends because word gets out.
    It should be honorary. you see a tattoo and like it, play with it, change it and hopefully don’t get something too similar. Or even better, talk to your artist, he may be able to come up with something that better suits you.
    Unfortunately that doesn’t always happen, and many don’t even factor in that an artists will be willing to create something original.
    Roo’s tattoo (and I suppose the one above too) is definitely beautiful

  19. Eek. I thought you were talking about Andyroo! I must admit, I have a bit of a crush on him :) You scared me for a minute there.

  20. I understand the logic behind “If people don’t want their tattoos to be copied they shouldn’t post it, theres always a chance that someone is going to see it like the design and go get it tattooed”, but to me comments like that always read a bit too much like “If people didn’t want to get raped, they shouldn’t dress sexy”…

  21. i think if you’ve created/designed your tattoo yourself, then you have every right to be cheesed when somebody copies your creation.

    if you found it somewhere, liked it and placed it on your elbow i think it’s fair game. it wasn’t yours to start/

  22. Dear Modblog, readers, moderators and Rooraaah:
    It was never my intention to cause any problem or polemic, i am a graphic designer and the plagiarisms are more common in my work field, and i know how it feels having seen one of your works published, printed or something like that with the name of an stranger.

    But never try to steal from you the authorship of your design, only it was an inspiration for a tattoo that I have well-considered to finish in 3 or 4 meetings, and i just want a solid base to the next step.

    My english really sux, but i will take the words of Bucket of bunnies to express what I am feeling at this moment plus thousand of eye on my arm (and my girl´s body).

    Shannon: I love your sarcasm, keep in that way. I really love it.

    If the photo causes more problems, remove it, or if perhaps my words annoy more to the community you are free to remove the entire post.

    I don´t have anything else to say, so, good luck and my better desires.

    Juan Diego.

    —————-(spanish version of my coment)————

    Querido Modblog, usuarios, moderadores y Rooraaah:
    Nunca fue mi intención causar algun problema o polémica, soy diseñador grafico orientado mas al diseño web, y son mas comunes los plagios en mi campo de trabajo y se perfectamente lo que se siente al ver uno de tus trabajos publicados y bajo el nombre de otro. Pero jamás intente robarte la autoría de tu diseño, solo fue inspiración para un tattoo que tengo pensado terminar en 3 o 4 sesiones, y una de las razones del por que se parece al tuyo era simplemente buscar una base y partir de ahí.

    Como no hablo ni escribo muy bien el ingles tomare las palabras de Bucket of bunnies para expresar lo que estoy sintiendo en este momento.

    Shannon: adoro tu sarcasmo, sigue así. En serio me encanta.

    Si la foto causa más problemas quítala, o si acaso mis palabras enojan más a la comunidad pues eres libre de remover el post entero.

    No tengo nada más que decir, así que, buena suerte y mis mejores deseos.

    Juan Diego.
    (Si alguien fuera lo suficientemente amable como para traducir de forma correcta mi comentario se lo agradecería bastante)

  23. Roo i think your tattoo is very nice and Original

    its tattoos like that that you can wake up to and you’ll just feel happy when you first look at it .

    My MODS make me smile and feel happy when ever i look in the mirror or touch them :]]

  24. Juan, su íngles es perfecto. Traté de traducir el español, pero diría lo mismo que ha dicho. No se preocupe, entendemos.

  25. I could be wrong but I think the double standards that Nae was referring to could possible be this post? For a design that is very organic and often produced people were pretty harsh in their response to Nae, I can see why she would be defensive considering Roo’s is much more one of a kind. Regardless, then as now Roo is very much has a “to each their own” attitude that is very admirable and something we could all take from.

  26. the tatto is red, skin and then black and then ends… at least in those pictures it is.

    sure it resemble’s roo’s tattoo a lot, except the where the skintone heart should be between the red and the black there isn’t one, and is more like a jigsaw slot.

    that flower tattoo is beautiful./

  27. I think the issue has been a bit misrepresented in all honesty. On the picture above, we can’t see where the tattoo ends, and for me at least, associating it with Roo’s tattoo, assumed it was a full sleeve – which is isn’t. I’m not saying that this makes it any better, but then again, copying a small chunky portion of someone’s work seems a bit better than plain just getting the whole sleeve?

  28. I agree with Archetype, from the additional pictures Shannon posted you can see that Juan’s tattoo is only a half-sleeve and slightly different from Roo’s. As long as Roo is okay with it, other people shouldn’t be too concerned with it.
    I wouldn’t mind if someone used my (at the moment non-existent, I’m speaking hypothetically) tattoos as inspiration or even outright copied them, as long as they told me about it in advance.
    #11 “I think Roo should make out with Juan and take pictures.” I agree.

  29. of course Roo hahahaha, why not? and u know what? u got an other right arm. The only thing is it Mexican, tanned, and several miles away from you…

  30. @46,

    When your currently non existent hypothetically speaking tattoo is real, and has been plagiarized, your thoughts on the subject may change.

  31. I wasn’t aware that I had an agenda. If so, I would love – and I mean LOVE – to know what it is. I feel like the president from a Bill Hicks routine:

    “Any questions?

    “Only what my agenda is!”

    “First we bomb Baghdad.”

    “You got it!”

  32. Ok I anticipate heavy hate mail but read all of this before you say anything!

    When I first started looking at BME and its galleries, I came across Roos back tattoo, the heart/spine design? I liked it so much I had it planned as my first tattoo! Well, not exactly but something VERY similar.

    After sitting down with my artist and him calling me every name in the book and refusing to do my tattoo, it occured to me “why get something someone else has, why not get something for myself?” which is more or less what I *think* I have done insofar. I mean, there are only so many varieties of brass knuckles, or nautical stars or whatever you can get, you know? But I havent copied anyone to date, because I understand NOW how extremely personal tattoos are to the individual who has them.

    That being said…I cant help but lurk his page sometimes because I still love his tattoos. But I appreciate them on him, and only on him, where they belong!

  33. penis face – <3.

    Why not get a penis tattooed on your, no, scratch that penis (idea). Don’t listen to me :)

    I’d like to see what you’ve done so far, though.

  34. i like them both!

    and they obviously mean different things to each party, and that’s more so what it’s about, sometimes… i guess…

    thanks for the post to your sleeve Roo. It’s v cool!
    …now my tattoo artist has something decent to work off….

    just kidding! :)

  35. Diego, fruncir no seria una traduccion appropiada. Severed menciono simplemente decir “besame”, que seria mas appropiado.
    En mi familia conocemos “pucker” como “hacer el chompito” (el que se hace previo a besar)

  36. ya entiendo, sera algo asi como fruncir los labios o, parar la trompita! Gracias Bucket of bunnies… :)

    i got it Rooraaah! HAHAHAHA!!!

  37. they’re similar, but not the same… especially considering that roo has a full sleeve and diego’s is much smaller. which is kind of unclear in the picture.

    roo when are we getting married

  38. Wether Juan’s is a full or half sleeve, his tattoo is a copy. A partial copy, but still a copy. He says he’s a graphic designer.. I feel sorry for his clients more than I feel sorry for Roo.

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