From Idea To Reality: Getting A Custom Tattoo Design

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When trying to find the perfect tattoo design for your next tattoo, each one of us wants it to be unique, meaningful and personalized just for us.

But – how does one go about getting a custom tattoo design?

Finding tattoo custom design can be tricky but it pays off long term.

You will forever love your forever artwork that goes into your skin.

The time, money and pain you have to put up to make your vision reality needs to pay off.

So, here is our guide on how to go about your custom tattoo design – step by step!

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Coming Up With A Tattoo Idea

First things first: how to come up with a tattoo idea?

We will talk about the steps  to take when coming up with the tattoo idea:

PLACEMENTThink about the body part that you’d like this design to be placed at
SIZEThink about what size you would be comfortable with
ELEMENTSHow would you like to represent these ideas/symbols?
TATTOO STYLEReview tattoo styles (more about that in the next paragraph)
COLORDecide on weather you would like to have color or no color
EXAMPLESFnd some examples of the designs you like. They do not have to represent the symbols you’d like to do, just a general idea of the style you’re after.

Once you have all this, you’re pretty much set up.

Go ahead and write down a brief description of your tattoo idea in a Google Doc or in your Notes app.

You absolutely can leave some things open to discussion further with the artist.

Does that sound cool so far?

Let’s move deeper into tattoo styles and how to choose something that’s going to represent you aesthetically.

Tattoo Styles

Anybody who’s not heavily involved in the tattoo industry might not know what are the different tattoo styles.

The list of tattoo styles can be so long that we wouldn’t have the time to describe them all.

Especially because people started tattooing from ancient times and it’s now a staple body modification form that’s never lost its popularity throughout the decades since 1950s.

But, let’s start from the beginning – right?

As we know that tattoos come in a variety of shapes and sizes, what exactly does a term tattoo style cover?

Tattoo styles have nothing to do with what they depict or the theme or symbols they cover.

It is the general look of the tattoo, the unique approach of how something is drawn, rather than what is drawn.

Now, as you would imagine, just like painters, sculptors, musicians, certain tattoo artists specialize in certain styles of tattoos.

Of course, there are artists that are more versatile than others and cover a variety of styles, as well.

This might not be a good option if you’re looking for someone with a deep knowledge of a certain tattoo style.

Moving forward, you might ask, and with every right, would every tattoo artist have their own style?

And the answer is – yes, of course.

However, as long as they have a certain take on how they draw things – they still stick to a specific type of a general tattoo tattoo style giving it their own “magic dust”.

That all said, here’s a quick run through through some of the most popular tattoo styles:

Tattoos Fonts (Existing Or Unique)

Tattoo fonts span across almost all possible type and written fonts, all the way to custom calligraphy done just for you.

When you’re trying to get a writing tattoo designed, there are several things you need to have in mind.

Those are:

  1. The tattoo designer will either need an exact font that you need recreated
  2. An example of a font you like to reference when creating a custom font for you
  3. Yes, designers can replicate writings. Say, you have a note from someone you love, or a post it, or a letter – that is possible to replicate.

The most important things about lettering tattoos and tattoo fonts in general (and where they differ from typed up or written letters) is the size.

When tattooing letters, the skin cannot act like paper. That said, letters require space to heal well and for the lines to look good (not blow up).

If you want a thicker tattoo font, be ready to set aside 1/3-1/2 of an inch for each letter.

Alternatively, if it is a fine, thin lined tattoo font for cursive writing, it might be able to be smaller.

Tattoo Cover Ups

Cover up tattoo ideas get a bit trickier, but bearing a few things in mind they can get a lot easier.

When planning your tattoo cover up, customization is *everything*.

Having someone work around your no-longer-wanted tattoo and enhance it to something you love is probably the most rewarding thing in the tattoo industry (or in the world really?)

In this paragraph, we’ll also be discussing tattoo cover up vs. tattoo removal.

OK, so, you’ve decided that you want to cover up your old tattoo.

That is exciting because something new and wonderful is about to happen!

Here are the steps that are important:

  • Come up with a tattoo idea you’d like to cover it with
  • If you don’t already have a tattoo design in mind, think of ideas that you’d like your new design to represent and what symbols can express those ideas
  • Talk it through on a tattoo consultation (keep in mind: this is a free step when enrolling with Tattoo Stylist since it’s the most important part to getting your tattoo started)
  • Work 1 on 1 with a tattoo artist on your tattoo cover up design

In certain cases, it’s best to have the laser tattoo removal done at least partially before you go to get your new tattoo design inked.

Especially in cases in which the old tattoo is still recent in tattoo-time (less than 3 years) and it has dark lines and/or dark shading.

The reason for this is to:

1) Have more flexibility with your new tattoo design

2) Making sure the new tattoo will truly look well without too many revisions

Finally, there is another option that you can go for instead of tattoo removal.

It is blacking out the area and going in with white ink on top. Results can look amazing, even though they take time.

By taking time we are talking about the fact that white ink on top of black ink cannot show after the first inking sessions.

It can take many sessions (depends on many factors how many exactly), until the beautiful new white patterns start showing up. Also note that in between each session you need to go through the regular tattoo healing cycle.

Why Is Customization Important?

Let’s start with a little comparison story.

Have you ever thought about starting running? It sounds like a good idea. It’s healthy, boosts stamina and lowers the risk of heart diseases.

If you were to start now, you wouldn’t just take any random used shoes from your family’s closet and put them on, right?

Just like every shoe adapts to a persons’ foot, every tattoo adapts to a certain value, emotion, symbol or a memory that you want to express.

Consider some of the reasons most of our clients had in mind when they decided to customize their tattoos:

  1. It represents who you are.
  2. It’s significant and carries a deeper meaning.
  3. It’s made for your body proportions so no details will be jammed.
  4. It’s unique just for you
  5. Apart from not wanting to copy other people’s designs, it is considered illegal in case certain designs have been protected as intellectual property

Getting A Custom Tattoo Design

Without further ado, let’s dive in:

Getting a new tattoo is always exciting! So, naturally, you would want this design to carry a meaning deep to you that talks to your heart.

To do so, you’ll need a skillful artist to go in with the details and do an amazing design that will blow your mind – and the minds of people that see it.

It always starts with the idea.

At Tattoo Stylist we believe that every idea is a potential dream design come true.

Here’s the secret recipe 😊:

  1. You can write to us and discuss your idea, the possibilities, the symbolism, the ins and outs of what you have so far.
  2. When we already have a general outline of what you want to do – you are quoted for this design and you can choose whether you’d like to move forward with the design
  3. This is where magic starts. When you choose to move forward, you get to work 1 on 1 with your tattoo artist. So, all that creativity, all the hazy green creative aura will burst out as your designer starts to hand draw your design.
  4. Our artists are tattooing. Important. It’s not just a design from the Applied Arts student. It’s a real, experienced tattoo artist that puts their time into drawing this piece of art for you.

Now let’s leave the open space here while your perfect design is cooking and you’re working with your tattoo artist:

. . .

. . .

. . .

. . .

. . .

You got it? Awesome. We’re so stoked.

You get your design files and also, you get a signed certificate that is a proof that your design was hand-made for you and cannot be used by anyone else.

So, that’s how the magic happens. And this little fella is here to tell you – you can do it, it’s all up to you.

Are you looking for a custom tattoo design? We got you.

Our expert tattoo artists will provide a quick initial draft to get you going.
Happy inking ❤

Milena Petrovic

Milena Petrovic

Co-founder of Tattoo Stylist

About the author

Milena has decided to start an organization that will create a safe environment for everybody to get their first, second or third tattoo and to encourage young people to transform their ideas into tattoos safely, with talent and vision.

You can find her writing about tattoos on Quora or updating our Pinterest profile with awesome tattoo ideas!

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