How To Come Up With A Tattoo Idea
Some know exactly what kind of tattoo they want and exactly where they want it. For others, getting a tattoo is something they did on a whim, with little to no thought. Then there are those who are a little more deliberate… they may know they want a piece of body art but just don’t know where to start. Coming up with the perfect tattoo idea can definitely be daunting, so if you’re part of the camp looking to get some ink work done but are struggling with the ideation process, here’s a few ideas to help get you started!
- Collect reference photos. One of the best ways to jumpstart the creative process is to just start clipping! Keep in mind, these don’t have to be images of other tattoos. Save anything that inspires you, whether it’s snippets of font, color combinations you love, old photographs, magazine ads, famous paintings or lyrics. When you don’t know where to start, this is a foolproof way to get the juices flowing. Go old school and pull out your glue sticks and scissors or utilize online tools like Pinterest to create idea boards online.
- Create a “vision board.” Once you’ve nailed down some basic concepts, you may consider refining your vision a bit further by saving your favorite imagery and color palette selections in one place. This will help you and your artist get the closest feeling possible around your vision. Of course, this isn’t required and many artists are happy to help brainstorm from scratch…but the more material to work with, the better!
- Get inspired by music, poetry or art. Another great place for inspiration are songs, books, movies and art. Some amazing tattoo pieces are visual interpretations of song lyrics or quotes and can make for incredibly personal and unique works of body art. If you’ve hit a wall, put on your favorite band or artist and listen really closely to the words, or consider taking a visit to your local art museum. Take note of what speaks to you and why.
- Leverage family traditions. Your own history is often a really fantastic place to look for inspiration. Many people opt for portraits of family members or beloved pets, but there are many other ways to honor your family’s history. Consider special recipes, countries of origin, family jokes, favorite flowers. Some people have even chosen to use a loved one’s handwriting as part of their tattoo.
Consider style and placement. If you are set on having a tattoo done on a certain part of your body, it’s important to understand that other design elements and choices will come into play. Consider what elements of your vision are non-negotiable and what you’re willing to work around. Keep in mind that certain tattoo styles or body placements may change your original vision. For example, a design drawn up on your back will have a different orientation, sizing and positioning than one done on your thigh or side-body.