The best person to answer this question is your tattoo artist. Actually, I should clarify. The best person to answer this question is your experienced tattoo artist. If he has experience, then he has seen more bad tattoos then good tattoos. He knows best, so listen to him.
My first tattoo (the sun and the moon), I had pictured it being very detailed and complex. But, I also wanted it very small and on a place where I could show it off when I wanted to and hide it if I needed to.
The tattoo artist said no. For a detailed tattoo you have to make it big enough so that in 5 – 10 years, the lines won’t blur together. If it is too small, it is almost guaranteed that it will not be recognizable in a few years.
I wanted to use 4 different colors. I pictured the sun being yellow and the moon being blue and the stars around it in green and white.
My tattoo artist said no. Black and grey with a few white accents. He explained that yellow, green, blue and white on my skin tone would not look yellow, green, blue and white. Color looks best on pale skin tones. Now, this was several years ago and I have seen people with my skin tone with color tattoos, but they went to artist that were experienced in tatting their skin tone. Great lesson to remember, which takes me to my next point.
Make sure the tattoo artist is capable of doing the design and style you want with absolute confidence.
One of my tattoos was a great idea, great concept. The artist thought he could do it like I wanted it. But, he wasn’t sure. Red flag. I didn’t listen and got a bad tattoo. It has since been covered and correct it, but there is nothing more upsetting then getting a tattoo that you don’t like.
So, look at images, create a concept, pick out a style and color. But, be prepared. You artist may have a better way to express your idea and give you a good tattoo as well. After all, that is the goal.
What are some of your tattoo design ideas? Anyone else have a bad tattoo?
I am still looking for submissions for future Tattoo Tuesdays. Share your tattoo stories.