Ok, so you got the itch for a new tattoo, and you also happen to have the cash burning a hole in your pocket to go ahead and get yourself inked up. Next comes that inevitable question; what should I get?
You know you want something, but you're not sure what. You also know that you want it to be cool and original, but you don't even know where to start.
So, at this point, you resort to the infinite knowledge of the internet, and begin to scour the vastness of the web in search of the perfect ideas for your next tattoo.
This is where things start to get a little tricky. Most people will start their search with their favorite image Search Engine or app. Probably Google images, Pinterest, or maybe even Instagram.
The problem with this, is that almost everyone facing this same question, searches in the same places and thus, comes up with the same results. So by the time you find something you think you like, you get to the local tattoo shop, and your artist says something like "Oh, that? Yea, I do that tattoo like 3 times a week."
And you suddenly realize that your tattoo idea is not as original as you had once thought.
Well I've got a list of 5 helpful tips with some insight for you that might help you come up with a better more creative idea for your next tattoo!
5. Stop searching for "tattoo" images
For example, let's say you're thinking about getting a tattoo of a bird, instead of typing in "bird tattoo" on google images, try searching for "bird photography", or "bird art" or "bird paintings".
The last thing a good tattoo artist wants to do, is copy another artists work. Finding them artwork that is not tattoo related gives the artist a better chance to interpret the artwork into his or her own style and bless you with the best tattoo they can muster.
4. Find your own style
There are almost as many different styles of tattoos as there are tattoo artists. Whether you like color or black and gray is merely the tip of the iceberg. Do a little research on different styles like realism, traditional, neo-trditional, new school, pointillism, surrealism, and the list goes on and on. Even within each particular style, there are many artists who can do very unique tattoos within those genres. Figure out which style fits you best, and then find an artist who works with the style you're looking for.
3. Find your artist
This step is quite often overlooked, and that can be quite a costly mistake! Finding the right artist is just as important (if not MORE important) than finding the right tattoo idea.
Seeing as how many artists tend to focus on a specific style, it's best to find the artist that likes to do the kind of work you want to get. It's not usually wise to go to an artist who prefers to do lettering, and asking them to do a full color portrait of your kid. Likewise, an artist who specializes in full color portraits is not going to be too happy about tattooing the first three chapters of Deuteronomy on your ribs.
It's crucial to find an artist that likes to do the style that you want to get. This will also help ensure you get the best tattoo possible.
2. Don't get too hung up on the meaning
I know this may seem counter intuitive, and maybe it is, but believe me, it's good advice.
Too often people want, even need, their tattoos to have some deep significant meaning that symbolizes the depth of their souls, and the trials and tribulations they face, but then they can't find a google image that can translate that into an original tattoo.
The irony of this desire is that most people will come up with the same things that have deep meanings in their life namely, their family, love, birthdays, astrological signs, and the likes. This puts you right back in the category of "unoriginal" and that's exactly what we're trying to avoid here.
So instead of looking for something with deep significance, maybe try just finding something that is visually appealing to you. It just needs to be something fun to look at. That's it. It's that simple.
Pair that with an artist whose style matches your taste, and you can be sure you're gonna end up with an awesome tattoo you can be proud to show off, even if it doesn't explain the entire meaning of your life.
1. Trust the professionals.
Once you get to the point that you've found your design and you've located an artist who specializes in that one thing that you like, you may still reach a point where the artist tells you he wants to change the idea or customize it in some way. If you've looked at their portfolio, and you like their work, it's wise to allow your tattoo artist to have some liberty with the design. You can always give them parameters to work with, but at the same time it's good to sit back and let the artist do their thing. This way you can be sure that the artist will be as excited to do the tattoo, as you are to get the tattoo.
You'll know when your artist is proud of their work when they ask you to take a picture to put in their portfolio.