How to make a tattoo design?

Tips for creating your own designs


Something that is difficult to achieve is your designs because it requires personality and most importantly, they speak of you as an artist.

Researching, testing and risking new styles is critical.

Today there are many tattoo artists, and competing in the market becomes somewhat demanding, which is why coming up with original designs is what allows you to distinguish yourself from the rest and thus be able to get new clients.

It is true that in a world where creativity is paramount, it appears that everything already exists, right?

Don’t panic! We will give you some tools to find your style and keep original.

First step, the idea

Finding an idea can be a winding road. You may start with something well-defined or just the opposite, maybe you want to draw something, but you don't know where to start. Don't worry, it's more normal than you think.

In order to synthesise the work and creation process of your tattoos, you can begin by segmenting the steps to follow so that what is still abstract and indefinite can begin to take shape. To do this:

  • Choose a style or theme. Narrowing the range of possibilities, at times, can be very beneficial. Focusing on a particular style or theme that appeals to you more than others will help you follow certain rules or start with some basics of tattoo design.

    For example, if you like the Old School style, you will already know what to do and what not to respect it. It may help you to start by focusing and closing in on it, and from there, you can then redesign and give it your hallmark, that distinctive feature that will differentiate you from the rest.

  • Decide the size. It may seem unimportant, but this is crucial. Defining how much space it is going to take up will also limit your design in a certain way.

  • Area. Hand in hand with the previous point, knowing where the design you are creating will be located is key to being able to define it and understand that not all parts of the body will behave in the same way. We are hardwired to think about the final result at all times, which is why studying the shape of the body is essential, since blank paper has nothing to do with human skin.

Keep in mind that when you meet your future clients and speak to them, most of them do not know what they want or are looking for.

They have an idea, and they expect your opinion and your talent to be able to shape it and come up with something satisfactory.

For this reason, following these steps beforehand until you reach something that you really like and defines you will also make you stand out as a professional, and you can develop useful tools for your clients.

Design digitally or on paper

This is also a debate among the most prestigious artists. Formerly, the first tattooists were forced to design on paper.

This made them develop great drawing skills. The path to becoming a tattoo professional is not always linear. Many began as draftsmen or painters, until they dedicate themselves to tattooing.

Others were illustrators and discovered in the tattoo a very valuable way to continue developing their art. Choices are many, but all of them today are in between design on paper or digitally.

The most conservative artist may think that designing on paper is ideal, but you have to keep in mind that using digital tools greatly speeds up the process of creating tattoos and allows you to further broaden your horizons.

Knowledge of how to design tattoos in Photoshop or Procreate will allow you to know how the tattoo design will look printed on the skin and on the part of the body that you choose through editing.

In addition, in tools like these, you will be able to try different colours, shapes, and types of strokes in which you will practice more quickly and without the need to spend money on materials.

If you want to know more about this, read our article on Best tattoo design applications tattoos, where we provide further information on the most used applications for tattooing. Drop us a comment if you have any questions, we will carefully answer you!

Some tips to design tattoos

When designing, we recommend that you consider the following tips:

  • Use the same thickness of lines that will be in the final tattoo.
  • Consider the elasticity of the skin in the area you are going to tattoo.
  • Think about the technique you’ll use.
  • Consider the types of needles.

If you keep all this in mind before starting to draw the tattoo, you will avoid some problems, and you will design better anticipating things.

The importance of practice

Think, design, draw and make mistakes. Those may be the best words that can encourage you in this process. While you are designing, be encouraged to make mistakes! All this is part of the practice, and you will see that you will learn much more from your mistakes than from success.

Do you want to be a good professional? Well, the recipe is simple: practice. Design, erase, and start over as many times as you think necessary. Anything you can do to let your hand and ideas flow, before you make a mistake with your client, welcome!

Train with experts

And of course, if you have any questions, feel more than welcome to ask any design and tattoo experts, they will be able to guide in specific tools and techniques.

Therefore, if you are interested in going one step further, check out our courses and Learn how to tattoo like a professional.