How to come up with a Tattoo Idea? Different people are inspired by different things. So, it really comes down to what type of learner that you are. Whether you find it easier to learn visually or by reading. However, you can’t force inspiration. You can’t just put your inspiration cap on. It just doesn’t work like that.
If you’re a visual learner, you’re probably going to find a lot more inspiration looking at visual arts such as photography drawing, painting, stuff like that. If you are a reader, your imagination is probably sparked by books, poetry and song lyrics.
Most common topic I get asked about is How Do I Choose a Meaningful Tattoo? Getting a tattoo for the first time can be one of the most challenging things. I pretty much just want this article to be as thorough as possible, so I decided to share best advice on how to find unique tattoo ideas.
1. Having a hard time putting tattoo idea into a design concept
2. Change Your Environment to Be More Inspiring
3. Tattoo ideas inspiration through music
4. Ideas through artist portfolios – Tattoo artists on Instagram and Tumblr
5. Find inspiration in Libraries
Having a hard time putting tattoo idea into a design concept
If you already have an idea for a tattoo, but you’re just having a hard time putting into a design concept, then I find brainstorming a really-really helpful tool in order to further develop your ideas. I use to term “brainstorming” very loosely, I don’t mean sit down with like pie charts in a business suit. What I do mean is that once you have a core concept for the tattoo, you say, for example, you want to memorialize someone that’s passed away – there are a lot of different things you can get in order to personificate that idea into a tattoo design concept.
Where you get your inspiration from though is variable from design equation. So, what you can do is to create a list of different design ideas for that tattoo concept. And then as you come up with different ideas, you can just gradually add to your list. I keep a note on my phone for doing just that because I always have my phone on me and that way I don’t forget any ideas that I come up with.
So, going back to the example of a memorial tattoo, you could get their name or a portrait of them. Something that represented a hobby of theirs, or like a religious a religious icon. There’s a lot of different things that you could get for it but you want to give yourself a lot of options before you choose one idea. If you are looking for images to further develop your idea, I find Tumblr an extremely useful tool. I find so much inspiration on Tumblr just scrolling endless pages of crap. I’ll admit that half of my tattoos are inspired by late night blogging.
Change Your Environment to Be More Inspiring
Depending on the type of tattoo that you want, you can also find inspiration by putting yourself in an environment where you’re going to come up with a lot of ideas related to that concept. Let me explain what I am talking about. Say, for example, you want a sleeve of different animals. Going to the zoo and just spending a day surrounded by things that are going to inspire you is a really great way to come up with different ideas.
Tattoo ideas inspiration through music
This tip might seem a bit strange to a lot of people but going to a local record store and just looking at album covers of CDs. I find it so inspiring! Album covers can have some of the most beautiful and motive art representing their music. And I find vast majority of it really thought-provoking. The same could probably be said about movie and game covers. I know looking at face value of the most of them, it seems like a really cheesy tattoo but you’re not going to be copying and pasting it onto your body. It’s just to get an idea for a starting point on your tattoo.
Ideas through artist portfolios – Tattoo artists on Instagram and Tumblr
Of course, if you are not a fan of Tumblr or Instagram, that’s not the only option. You can use Google image search, however, I find that all the results are usually really generic or common. My eye is twitching, I can’t think. So, there’s other websites such as DeviantArt and Pinterest. However, if you are looking to be inspired, usually you have to step out of your comfort zone. So, I find closing the laptop, actually stretching my eyeballs for once is really great way to go.
Also a massively overlooked source of inspiration for tattoos is looking through artist portfolios. If you know the style of tattoo you want to get, meaning neo-traditional, Tribal Tattoo, Japanese, etc., then look around for an artist. And if you find one that you like, go through their portfolio and you’re more than likely to stumble across something that’s going to spark your imagination and it’s going to give you a lot of ideas for your own tattoo.
Tattoo artists on Tumblr:
Check these 5 talented tattoo artist’s portfolios on Instagram:
Find inspiration in Libraries
Libraries are really underrated. I know that the Internet is pretty much completely destroyed the usefulness of libraries. However, there is a lot of things in books that you’re never gonna find on the Internet. I know how incredibly hipster of me!