A successful tattoo starts with the original design. It’s the blueprint, and as such your decision as to where to get the initial artwork done is a critical one. There are many options available and today we’re going to review the common few so that you can make a more informed choice about where to put pencil to paper before putting ink to skin.
Four Common Places to Get a Tattoo Designed / Drawn Up
These days most people (especially first timers) perform a Google search for tattoo designs based on a theme they are considering. The search results are practically endless, making this benefit a bane at the same time as making a decision can be tough with so many options to choose from. There are other concerns however, as you may end up choosing a design that a lot of other people (who also performed the same search) have. It’s like buying a cool shirt at a boutique shop, only to find that there are a dozen hanging on the same rack at Winners. Total buzzkill. You may also be treading on proprietary work, taking a custom design drawn up by a tattooist for a specific client (who then went on and posted the photo online) and committing it to paper prior to your own tattoo consultation. Sure, you won’t get sued for copyright infringement or anything, but it certainly taints artistic integrity and puts your tattooist in an awkward position. If going online, use your search for inspiration, but avoid lifting an exact design from this resource.
Tattoo magazines (and books, etc.) are a traditional channel for getting design ideas. Popular ones to look for at your local INDIGO include Inked, Skin Deep, Tattoo Life, Things & Ink, Freshly Inked, and the simply named Tattoo. These good-reads will give you a read on the culture, provide concepts and themes you may not have considered, and often include flash for you to take to the parlor. Tattoo magazines are a dying art for getting artistic inspiration – help keep these periodicals alive by picking up a few copies when looking at design options.
If you have a pal with a penchant for drawing this may be a great option to consider. It’s custom, certainly personal, and will result in fond memories for life as long as the two of you don’t have a falling out. The only other caveat, is that as an artist restricted to one or two mediums, their work may not translate well to a tattoo. Certain types of shading and coloring may not render as well when ink is applied to skin, so it may be better to stick to designs with sharp and bold lines, and strong tones, unless they are willing to do some homework regarding how to draw for a tattoo.
A Professional Tattoo Studio
In the end, the best option for designing your tattoo is the person who will be doing the tattoo. It makes good sense to have the one who let the lines flow and shading blend with a pencil be the one to commit the same drawing to ink. By all means you are encouraged to bring artwork in to give the artist a clear idea of what you want, and if you do want to use an exact drawing you absolutely can. But when you’re unsure of exactly how you want your concept/theme to be conveyed via body ink, don’t think twice about getting your local tattooist to do the original and customized work. Of course, artist quality has everything to do with this so not any studio will do. View our guide on how to qualify a tattoo artist before depending on one to design your tattoo. When done, contact an Adrenaline Studios near you to get started.