How To Talk Custom Designs With Your Tattoo Artist

How To Talk Custom Designs With Your Tattoo Artist 

Now that you have declared ‘money for tattoo’ to all relatives at the queries as to what you would like for Christmas this year, it is time to get serious about your design. Whether you have an incredibly specific motive in your head that you have been contemplating for a very long time, or there is more of a general sort of idea and you are open to suggestions, you will get the most out of the design process if you know how to consult with your artist. 

Custom tattoos at Vivid Ink

custom tattoo designs
By Mike from Vivid Ink Stafford

Custom, bespoke tattoos are at the heart of Vivid Ink’s operations. The artists thoroughly enjoy creating unique pieces that will be only yours for the rest of your life – and that you will love, not only when you first see them on your skin, but when you look in the mirror many many years from now.

They understand that you have a certain image of how your piece will look like, and will work with you to achieve that. However, they will also tell it like it is if a certain design does not work with a particular placement on the body, or would look better in a different composition. So do keep an open mind during your consultation – they are experts in their field, after all. 

Communicate – after you’ve thought things through

custom tattoo designs
By George from the Hagley Road studio

A few other things to keep in mind are to really give your tattoo a lot of consideration before you make your appointment. Or, at least, if there is a long waiting list, from the time you make the appointment to the time when the design needs to be completed. Communication is key – but make sure you know quite well what you want so your artist does not need to be bombarded with emails every time you think of something else your would rather include. 

Adding to that, do not micromanage the process. Every little detail does not need to be discussed and mulled over. Be respectful of your artist’s time – and creative process. You have most likely decided to go with them because you like their style. Basic things like how big you want your tattoo, if it should be in colour or black and grey, etc, you will probably have figured out before choosing your artist. 

Speak up when needed

custom tattoo designs
By Cleytton from Vivid Ink Birmingham

That being said – of course you can ask for a redraw, even after your artist has transferred the motive onto your skin. If it does not feel right, it does not feel right, and no one should walk out of a tattoo studio feeling unhappy with their piece because they were afraid of being an inconvenience. You are the one who will live with it, after all. And the feeling when you have a tattoo you fall in love with is something incredibly special. 

As a side note – reference photos are great. While these may include other tattoos, never ask your artist to copy the work of someone else. Serious tattooers won’t agree to it anyway. We all love inspirations, but plagiarising something as personal as a tattoo is just not ok.


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