Will A Tattoo Artist Design A Tattoo For Me?

  • Written By Dan Hunter on November 6, 2020
    Last Updated: November 10, 2020

Getting a new tattoo can be as nerve-wracking as it is exciting, especially if you’re not quite sure what you want yet. Plenty of people agonize over the design for weeks—sometimes even years. 

Fortunately, picking a new design can be as simple as finding the right artist. Most are more than happy to design a tattoo for their clients. Working together, you can create a custom design that combines their unique style with your vision.


Designing a Custom Tattoo

Tattoo regret is a very real thing. Almost a quarter of people with one or more tattoos end up regretting their decision. 

Making sure that you get things right in the design phase can help you to ensure you don’t end up rethinking your new tattoo later on down the line. If you take things slow and collaborate with the right artist, you’ll end up with a custom design you can treasure for a lifetime. 

Finding the Right Artist

There are nearly countless tattoo artists out there to choose from, so it’s important to do your research before making any decisions. You need to find an artist who is happy to not only work for you but alongside you. Tattoo design is a collaborative process and needs direction from both parties.

The best way to find the right artist for you is by looking at past work. Most experienced artists will have an online portfolio, either on their website or through their social media. You can see unique designs that they’ve tattooed on other clients and get a feel for their unique style. 

You can also look at online reviews to learn more about an artist or tattoo shop. It can be helpful to see what other clients thought about things such as professionalism, cleanliness, and quality of work. 

Most tattoo artists offer free consultations for potential clients. If you think you’ve found an artist with a style that matches your vision, you can head down to their shop and meet with them in person. 

During a consultation, you can talk to an artist about possible design ideas and learn more about their creative process. This is also a good time to look through other past work that might not be featured in their portfolio. 

Don’t head to your consultation expecting an artist to come up with a custom tattoo on the spot. Most tattoo artists won’t push designs on customers that they don’t know well. Instead, the artist is there to help you transform your vision into reality. 

Giving Your Own Input

While most artists are willing to design tattoos for their clients, they can’t do so without any input. You have to work alongside your tattoo artist to come up with a design that you’ll be proud of in the long-term. 

Before scheduling any consultations, you should have an idea of what you want in your new tattoo. Even if you don’t know the finer details, you should have a big-picture idea of what you want. It may be as simple as knowing you want to feature a favorite hobby or include a particular symbol in your design. 

When in doubt, it always helps to bring in a couple of pictures that show objects, themes, or other aesthetic elements you want to have included in your tattoo. You can even bring images of work from other artists. 

Keep in mind that most tattoo artists won’t want to copy another person’s work. They may use it for inspiration, but most will add their own artistic spin to your custom design. 

One of the few times that an artist might be willing to copy an exact photo is if you want to include a portrait in your tattoo. Most experts are willing to incorporate personal images into a design, from kids and pets, to unique signatures. 

With some conversation and negotiation, your artist will be able to use your ideas to come up with a tattoo design that works for you. 

Don’t be afraid to ask questions and be firm about what you want. At the same time, remember that your artist often knows what’s best. If they suggest a change to your design, it’s probably for a good reason. Make sure that you communicate openly and respectfully leading up to your appointment to ensure that your tattoo is exactly what you want. 

Booking Your Appointment

Once you’ve given your artist’s design the final stamp of approval, you can book your appointment. Many artists require a deposit when dealing with custom designs. After all, it takes them no small amount of time and effort to draw up a tattoo either by hand or digitally. 

It’s a good idea to book an appointment several weeks out to give yourself some time to mull over your final tattoo design. You may find that you want to make small adjustments before the big day. Many artists will allow for some changes leading up to your appointment, though some may charge extra.

In Conclusion

While some tattoo enthusiasts might know what they want for their next piece, plenty of people rely on their artists to help them come up with the perfect design. Most artists are happy for the chance to express themselves freely.

Always remember that tattoo design is a collaborative effort. If you find a talented artist who’s willing to listen to your ideas, you’re bound to come up with a design that you’ll be proud of for a lifetime.

When you eventually go ahead with getting your dream tattoo, it’s imperative that you always follow your tattoo artist’s aftercare advice closely, and be sure to invest in a high-quality tattoo healing lotion to aid recovery.

The best tattoo lotion I’ve ever personally used is a vegan-friendly aftercare product called After Inked Tattoo Aftercare Lotion. This stuff works amazingly well during the healing process; not only by keeping your tattoo really well hydrated, but also by soothing any annoying itching and irritation. When using it from the very start of the healing process, this lotion will help to decrease tattoo healing times, and work towards eliminating any lingering dryness and scabbing.