If you’re wondering how to find tattoo ideas, chances are you already want something a bit more unique and interesting than a traditional and mass-produced design. If you’ve ever stepped foot into a tattoo shop, you’ll find most have walls with framed tattoo flash to help inspire and provide choices for your body art.
However, some people want a tattoo that offers more sentiment to them, especially since they’ll be wearing it for a lifetime. If you find yourself in need of finding the perfect tattoo idea, it helps to first understand the most popular tattoo art styles so that you can begin to either work with your artist and brainstorm ideas.
Types of Tattoo Art Styles
Tattooing is an art form. Rather than using paper or any other medium for a canvas, a tattoo artist uses the skin. Some of the best tattoo artists are those that have actually studied art and familiarized themselves on all different types prior to becoming a tattooer.
While many artists have a niche, or rather a special or distinct style they have mastered, others excel in all tattoo art styles, simply from their mere talent to the diligent practice and exposure to various forms.
Some of the most popular forms of tattoo art styles include: Asian, Biomechanical, Old School/Traditional, black and grey, and tribal designs.
If you already know the tattoo style you like, you can narrow your choices and begin to focus on that genre, eliminating all the other ideas that may otherwise overwhelm you during this important decision-making process.
Get Inspired with Styles
Narrowing your favorite art style down to just a few can be helpful in many ways. Once you’ve determined your general likes and dislikes you can begin to add sentiment to your general tattoo idea.
Would you like a verse or a special phrase tattoo? Look to your favorite books for quotes and ideas. Biblical tattoos often include a few verses paired with either crosses or angel wings.
Do you love the look of Old School designs? Traditional tattoo choices from this category include anchors, pin-ups, and ships.
How about a tribal tattoo? While tribal tattoos reached their height of popularity during the over-crazed armband fad, those commonplace designs aren’t actually considered authentic tribal pieces.
For a true tribal tattoo, you’ll need to do some homework and find an artist that specializes in authentic tribal tattooing. Remember, some tribes frown upon anyone wearing their symbols as tattoos unless they’re part of the tribes, as it can also be considered very disrespectful. To prevent regret, think long and hard about any form of cultural tattoos to make sure they represent your own identity, rather than just a fashion statement.
Books, Art, and Nature
Books, art and nature walks can all help you find tattoo ideas. Keep your eyes and mind open and explore different channels of various art forms. Television, movie stars and pop culture also provide endless exposure to tattoo styles and themes.
Do you want a portrait tattoo of your mother? How about framing it with her favorite flowers? Tattoo magazines and books provide plenty of visual inspiration for design ideas.
Remember, tattoo artists are usually always willing to add their creative counsel to your design ideas. Spend some time working with an artist and have them draw up a few pieces once you’ve narrowed your style and selection down.
While some tattooists charge a design fee for this process (which is later deducted from your tattoo cost), others will gladly create something custom without adding any extra expense.
Planning ahead can be the most difficult part of choosing your tattoo idea. If you’re the type who tattoos on a whim, you may be better off just learning your favorite style and then just going with it. You can also intertwine all different tattoo art styles rather than stick to one basic theme.
Lastly, write it down. Get a journal and keep it handy whenever a tattoo design strikes your fancy. Record the details, style, and shape and refer to your journal as needed to find tattoo ideas.
Whether you detail the most magnificent tattoo you spied on the subway, or simply write down your favorite verse, when the tattoo itch strikes, a journal will ensure you’re prepared with a meaningful tattoo idea, which can then be translated into custom body art.