TOTS Mark

Curated tattoo designs

Written by Sinéad Kennard
11.01.24

Tips and tricks for creating curated tattoo designs

Knowing you would like a tattoo and having a fully thought through vision are two very different things. We’ve outlined a go to masterclass in creating a tattoo design that aligns with your dream and how to work collaboratively with an artist. Remember curated tattoo designs are all about balance and harmony between each individual tattoo.

Finding inspiration…

The best place to find ideas for your future tattoo designs is the internet. We recommend building a ‘board’ of tattoos, styles and artwork that you are drawn to and that best reflects what you have in mind. You can use Google, Pinterest, Tik Tok or Instagram; you can check out our Instagram, with links to all of our artists’ pages, as well as exploring hashtags of different tattoo styles. You can also seek inspiration from seeing others tattoos in person. It is crucial you bring reference photos, (even if your vision is not fully formed) so that your artist can start to understand what you’re looking for. If you are an artist you may even want one of your pieces of artwork tattooed; bear in mind we may need to make small alterations to make your piece tattooable.

If you find a tattoo or drawing that you completely resonate with, our tattooists will not tattoo complete copies of someone else’s work. They of course will be able to draw up a similar design but if you’ve chosen an artist, it is their work and style that you are paying for. Exceptions to this rule may be for relatives/pets or portraits of musicians/celebrities. Again it remains key to bring a variety of reference photos to give some options for your artist in terms of juggling placement, lighting and scale when it comes to realism.

Style and size…

You should be thinking a lot about your tattoo/s before you set up an appointment. It is going to be beneficial to consider:

  • What size do I want my tattoo to be?
  • Where do I want the tattoo on my body?
  • Do I want colour or black and grey?
  • What tattoo style do I want? (Research fine line to neo-traditional… A dog portrait will look very different in an illustrative design vs a Japanese traditional design.)
  • Will I eventually want other tattoos nearby? (It is worth considering how this tattoo will affect your future tattoo decisions. If your long term plan is to get a complete sleeve for example, you need to share this with your artist when considering placement/composition.)

Flexibility will be greatly appreciated by your artist, but coming prepared is a must.

Picking placement

Where your tattoo is going will affect its overall composition. Very detailed designs have to be of a certain size to incorporate all of the intricacies. Likewise placements on rounded and ‘stretchy’ body parts will affect how it looks. Your artist will also input their suggestions for best body placements where they feel edits may be necessary.

Curation needs communication…

We cannot highlight the value of consultations enough. These are so important in ensuring a smooth process and it is always easier for you and your artist to work collaboratively following a conversation in person. Sometimes you know exactly what you want your tattoo to be or you just have a notion of an idea inside your head that you haven’t worked out how to express what this would look like. Either way the more you communicate and try to articulate your vision to your artist, the better off the result will be. Within moderation (40 messages might be a bit excessive) having open conversations and where necessary, negotiations, will help achieve the most successful tattoo.

Trust in your tattooist…

Picking the right artist for you is always a big decision within this process. If you don’t know where to start, our specific blog post which you can find here is going to outline everything you need to consider.

Once you’ve discovered your ideal artist, you need to trust their ability to take your references and transform them into a complete tattoo with their ingenuity, artistic flare, and experience. Our artists spend a lot of time drawing up designs, tailoring these alongside your feedback, all whilst contemplating ‘how will this translate when on the skin?’.

A tattoo will be on your body forever so don’t be afraid to ask for what you want and be honest if you don’t like the direction of the art so that adjustments can be made. Remaining respectful will allow you and your artist to meet each other in the middle to produce the best piece of work.

Time is money…

Your artist works extremely hard in bringing all of your ideas and ‘must haves’ into one cohesive piece. This is something you will admire on your skin forever and therefore this creative process is more expensive than other less intimate customer service experiences. You should also bear in mind that redraws or changes to your original idea will take more time for your artist to edit and this will affect the overall cost. It is best to discuss your budget and find out the price point of your tattoo design before committing. To get the most for your money and equally your artist’s time, come prepared and be open and the result should be a tattoo that you are extremely happy with.

Ready to take the leap? Check out our ‘How to book a tattoo with us’ blog for all the information you need on taking the next steps.

Get inspired

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Contact us at:

theoldstablestattoo@gmail.com

01923 825198

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