Tattoo Talks: design and choosing a tattoo artist

Tattoo Talks: design and choosing a tattoo artist


Design & Tattoo by Ilya Brezinski


I don’t even know where exactly to start.. There’s so much to say. But I guess we’ll start from the beginning: picking your design & your tattoo artist.

And this will be the time where I’ll state the obvious: don’t steal designs! First, why would you want a design that already belongs to someone else? Second, an actual tattoo artist and not a tattooist won’t ever tattoo someone else’s design – so don’t waste your and his/hers time.

Speaking of stealing designs, don’t go to a tattooist that usually does this. Don’t condone this practice by funding people that do this. A tattoo will last you a lifetime, you want it to be original and done right and all that good stuff, not some mediocre copy of something you/they found on the internet. (Obviously reference photos are a different thing)

When thinking about your design keep in mind that some very detailed pieces require more space so everything is nice and clean. If you try and fit a lot of details in one tiny tattoo first of all it would be an incomprehensible mess. And second, most probably it will blowout and basically create a blob, or something very close to that.

Keeping all of the above in mind, you have your design ideas and now it’s time to find the artist that will permanently ink it into your skin.



Design & Tattoo by Alex Badea

So first thing you have to accept is that maybe you won’t find someone perfect for what you want in your city. Branch out. This really isn’t the area in which you should compromise a lot or be cheap about it (but more on this in a future article).

Search for someone that tattoos in the style you want. Maybe you like a tattoo artist that’s absolutely great, but you want something geometric and they mostly do realism. First, he/she might not agree to do your tattoo. Second, even if he/she does and will definitely be able to do the job you asked for, if geometric designs are clearly not his/hers passion it might not turn out perfect. So make sure you and the artist you choose are on the same page, choose someone who does 1-2-3 styles and does them amazingly, rather than someone who does “everything” but mediocre.

When you do find an artist that would be a fit for what you want, follow them on social media. Do a bit of research, scroll back to their first posts, check if they improved over time (because you do want an artist that continuously grows and improves). Also check how they are, what they write. If they’re rude or posting content that you don’t like or don’t agree with, move on. You will be spending at least a couple of hours with this person (and a whole lot more if you’re getting a big piece) so if you don’t like them.. why put yourself trough that? Why risk having a bad experience?




Design & Tattoo by Léa Nahon

Schedule a consultation first. Actually going at the shop (or at least talk trough email if it’s far away) will help both you and the artist to figure out everything from the design, style, placement, size, pricing and so on.

Don’t stay set in one idea. I’m sure you know exactly what you want, but tattoo artists have experience with this, and maybe the design you want won’t fit perfectly where you want it, (and placement is important! you want the tattoo to highlight your body and fit perfectly, not look out of place) and so on. Bounce ideas of one another. This creative process will help you and the artist get to a common point that works best for you.


So there you have it. These are the basics that you should consider before actually getting a tattoo. If you have any more suggestions leave them in the comments below.



Design & Tattoo by Victor Zabuga

Note: These are my personal opinions. Some people may agree, some may disagree, but regardless, these are the conclusions I drew after years of getting tattooed and making some friends in the industry. I tried to put everything in a more positive, “here’s some advice” kind of way to help educate people instead of ranting on how many mistakes are made in this culture & industry.



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