This is a detail shot of a larger calf piece related to gambling, risk, luck, and money. The gentleman booked this as his first tattoo and didn't have a great grasp of English, so in order to keep the peace, Will agreed to do the tattoo. You see, the man had brought in a photo of someone else's tattoo and wanted a copy of it. Will would normally never do such a thing, but the language barrier made this difficult to explain something a first-timer might have trouble accepting, even if there wasn't a language barrier. This is the part of the tattoo that is the most like the other piece, having used the same reference photos from the internet. We mean no offense to the artist who did the original or the person who got the tattoo, we only make this post so that people may understand why we refuse to do certain things. Will believes he changed the overall piece enough that all parties would be satisfied that the tattoo is different enough from the original.
Originality is always the hardest thing to achieve in realism, a style based on copying something as closely as possible to the original. An entire genre of artists have dedicated themselves to being able to re-create an image as closely to reality as possible. Unfortunately doing that same portrait of Johnny Cash flipping the bird is something that every portrait artist must resign themselves to doing eventually. There's only so much good reference for a limited number of people that have a huge fanbase and would be willing to get them tattooed. The same doesn't apply to copying someone else's tattoo work. While we ask people to bring in photos of tattoos to help give us an idea of how they want their tattoo to look, please understand this does not mean we will copy someone else's work. Will used a couple of the same reference photos as the original artist, no different than any portrait he's done before, and if the language barrier wasn't a factor, he would have changed it even more. We hope you all understand.