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7 Tips on How to Design Your own Tattoo

If it’s going to be permanently on your skin, why not create it yourself? This doesn’t mean you have to draw it, you can get a unique tattoo in other ways too.

Whether this is your first tattoo, or you are already an experienced tattoo-getter, this is one of the most fun activities you can do – choosing and designing your permanent tattoo! It can be overwhelming to pick just one, and maybe you don’t know where to start, so we could help you out.

When designing your own tattoo visualize your motivation, and then start browsing for those keywords. The main factors would be color and size. Once you decide on these, the choice of design will be much easier for you.

7 Tips on How to Design Your own Tattoo

It sounds fun to browse the internet for cool ideas and suddenly hours have passed, and you feel extremely happy to choose a picture. But, this still doesn’t get you anywhere because now you probably have a ton of cool pictures, and cannot choose. You might even rethink your initial idea – if you had one in the first place!

Let’s take it to step by step.

1. Do basic and fun research – brainstorm and Google it

You have to start like this, fun and relaxed browsing. Take a moment and think – do you have anything dear that you want to pay tribute to? Is it a family member, or a pet, a child, or a relative? Some object, symbol, location, or date? Is there something in your life that you absolutely would love to see on your skin forever? If yes, there it is, your main idea, a no-brainer.

If you have only vague ideas and want to get tattooed just for the fun of it, be prepared to sift through a ton of designs online! Still, make your filters; just google whatever nice thing comes to your mind and you will decide then and there if you pass or keep.

2. Decide whether you want a black & grey or color tattoo

black grey or color tattoo

This is another tip to help you narrow down the choice. Are you more into simplistic things or rich designs? Do you imagine the tattoo with lots of colorful details or lots of grey shades and bold black outlines? It is a tough choice, I know!

But, the factor that always helps me choose my next tattoo is the primary design. If I know what category I want, I imagine the picture in my head. By category, I mean something generic; tv shows, zodiac, my pets, special foods, books/quotes…etc. Do not limit yourself here, once you decide the ‘niche’ you will know the colors.

3. Small or big tattoo

An important question here is: what is your budget? If you don’t plan on splurging too much, you will surely go for a small or small-to-medium size design. On the other hand, having a larger sum of money will free you to choose something and not worry about the dimensions.

It doesn’t matter that much. Most designs can be adapted to be bigger or smaller, so you can leave these expertise things to the tattoo artist and his advice. Another tip I can give you here is to check out more salons, showing them the same design. For the same picture, some will want to charge you more, and some less. Think these offers through – cheaper is not always better quality, and pricey does not guarantee ‘wow’ results. See the artists’ portfolios and previous work as well.

4. Are you into basic photo editing, design apps, or Photoshop?

If you are, you can even have fun while you doodle various random ideas or specific ones. Take those pictures you downloaded, for example, and if you want the same idea, but made unique, ‘redraw’ it yourself.

It doesn’t have to be a pro sketch, imitates the outlines, or the color placement, and even determine the dimensions. It is a good thing to show that to the artist as well – it makes his sketching for you much easier!

Read also: Best Tattoo Transfer Paper

5. Which body part do you want the tattoo

To choose the exact picture that you will tattoo on yourself, you have to decide on the body part. Well, this is not as strict as I made it sound, but the body part plays a huge role in the tattoo design. Some pictures won’t look as good placed just about anywhere randomly.

For example, a face portrait tattoo would look good on a flat area like forearm (inner side) or back, etc., but it will look distorted on a body part that bends or has curves. Or, let’s say a pair of wings; goes without saying that those will look better in the center of the back, flat, instead of another area that has no symmetry and centering. You get the point.

6. Have a few ideas of designs (they can be combined)

Do not instantly discard all the pictures you liked and saved. Sometimes certain designs allow for combining. The artist could make a custom design for you if you help him out by giving him the few choices you made so far. He could even suggest edits, reducing or additions, adaptations – and there is a custom picture. Most of the time you do not even have to give up on the few ideas you have!

7. Choose a tattoo shop and have your ideas ready

Similar to what I mentioned in the sections above, choosing a salon goes a long way. Getting along with a tattoo artist is crucial. If someone is cooperative and friendly, he will agree to work on the ideas you have and all changes along the way. You have the right to ask for edits or new sketches or edits, because this is what you will wear for the rest of your life, on your skin! It doesn’t hurt to communicate with the artist, even often if you have to.

I emphasize this because there are still some artists out there who are not keen on you doing the creative part. It is the artist’s job to give you suggestions if possible and ink up your skin. But, it is your ‘job’ to be creative in choosing.

Start slow, save several ideas even! After consultations with an artist, you might even decide which design you choose right there on the spot.

Good luck in choosing, you won’t make the wrong choice if you choose with your enthusiasm!

Read also: Best Tattoo Inks