Tattoo inspiration can come from anything, at any time. You might be sipping a cappuccino and enjoying some free Wi-Fi at the local Starbucks when somebody’s crazy graphic tee sparks your interest. You could become captivated by a lush landscape scene while vacationing in Hawaii, or find yourself exceedingly intrigued by the ethereal beauty of a delicate geisha woman when traveling the streets of Japan.
A cheesy horror movie might get your creative juices flowing, and re-reading a familiar book or personal journal may send your tattoo thoughts spinning into overdrive. There are a billion and one sources of inspiration out there. Just look around.
No matter what tattoo idea you may wish to implement and make reality, one thing is for certain: The finished product needs to look great. Not just “OK” or “good,” but great. (We’re talking about a lifelong commitment to a piece of art, here.) Now, that might seem like a given, and it might seem like a piece of cake for anyone to achieve, but the unfortunate fact is that it’s not.
Millions of Americans are going about their daily lives unsatisfied, with mediocre – or worse, god-awful – tattoos that don’t quite capture (or worse, completely mangle) the ideas they’d originally envisioned. If you’re wondering how to prevent this type of unsightly mishap from occurring in your own life, read on.
The size and location of your tattoo are incredibly important elements in maximizing the attractiveness of your finished artwork. Detailed pieces require more space, and very detailed pieces require a lot more space. Avoid downsizing an intricate tattoo piece whenever possible. If you’re truly committed to inking a detailed image, ask your tattoo artist’s opinion on the size and placement.
Visualize and contemplate things for a moment, and then try to go with the flow. An experienced tattoo artist knows where and at what scale your artwork will look best, especially in relation to his own talents, abilities and limitations. Trust his judgment in regard to these issues.
Because placing both your trust and your precious skin in the hands of some strange tattoo artist can often be nerve-wracking and worrisome, performing a bit of pre-ink research is ideal. You’ll want to identify the tattoo shops in your area and determine which ones are reputable establishments known for producing quality work.
Have a thorough look through artist portfolios online and in person, noting strengths and weaknesses, and consider the way that those strengths and weaknesses might translate into your piece. If you’re in the market for a unicorn tattoo, find an artist with impressive fantasy works in his portfolio; if you’re searching high and low for the ultimate pinup girl tattoo, pinpoint a local tattooist whose many satisfied customers can attest to the beauty of his pinup tattoos. Do your homework.
Once you’ve chosen an appropriate artist and scheduled your appointment, be bold. Be open and honest about what you’re looking for, and don’t be afraid to speak your mind. The tattoo shop is no place for timidity, unless you intend to allow others’ ideas and opinions to influence your designs. You’ll need to explain yourself as clearly as possible to the person doing the drawing, be specific, and be completely sure.
It’s perfectly fine if your tattoo artist (or the shop’s apprentice) ends up having to sketch a couple of similar images several times. This happens on a regular basis with all kinds of customers and, after all, your tattoo IS going to be a permanent fixture (that’s pretty darned important). Don’t feel bad about being choosy. In fact, insist upon getting your way.
Remember these few tattoo tips and you’ll be able to effectively side-step the most common ink blunders in today’s tattooed world. Good luck, and happy tattooing!