How to Choose a Tattoo Shop: Everything You Need to Know
Did you know that people have been enjoying the art of tattooing for more than 3,000 years? Since then, people have loved the idea of getting tattoos, and today, there are tattoo shops in just about every town and city. However, it may not be as easy to choose a tattoo shop as you might think.
This is because there are many factors that you need to consider when choosing between tattoo shop options. After all, the last thing you want to do is end up in some filthy tattoo shop where you might walk away with a disease and a bad tattoo. Keep reading and learn how to choose the right tattoo shop for you.
Check the Tattoo Shop’s Online Customer Reviews
Suppose that after some time browsing on the internet for good tattoo shops, you come across one that has a nice website and a wide array of tattoo styles and designs. The look of such a website might seem professional, and so you might be tempted to give that tattoo shop some business. But upon closer inspection, you find that the tattoo shop has a whole mountain of negative reviews.
Even though a tattoo shop’s website might appear professional, that doesn’t always mean it is. More than that, a stylish website doesn’t mean that the tattoo shop values its customers. If you find a shop with a lot of negative reviews, needless to say, it would be a bad idea to get a tattoo from such a shop.
Reading online reviews is beneficial for several reasons. For one, you can save yourself a lot of time and money by exploring a tattoo shop through the eyes of someone who has already been there. If you find that a lot of the reviews are complaining about unprofessional tattoo artists and bad results, you can be sure that the tattoo shop is not a great choice.
What You Need to Know
On the other hand, the story is quite different when you find a tattoo shop with plenty of positive reviews. In this case, you might find previous customers enthusing about the professionalism of the tattoo artists and the high quality of the tattoo designs. This, of course, is a good sign that the tattoo shop is a good choice.
Positive reviews show that a tattoo shop cares about its customers and wants to make them happy. On the other hand, a tattoo shop with many negative reviews doesn’t care much about its customers at all. Reading the individual reviews in-depth can also help you know what you should expect when going to the tattoo shop for the first time.
Some reviews might mention particular people who work there or what the tattoo shop is like on the inside. Whatever the case, you should always read a tattoo shop’s customer reviews before even considering going to that shop. That way, you won’t have to waste your time going to a shop only to find that it isn’t what you were hoping for.
Compare Different Tattoo Costs
Different tattoo shops will always have different tattoo costs. Comparing tattoo costs isn’t a difficult task, but you will find that the costs will vary depending on a variety of factors. For example, the location of the tattoo shop, the experience of the tattoo artist, and the complexity of the tattoo itself will all change the cost of the tattoo.
Suppose that you plan on going to a large and established tattoo shop in Miami. This tattoo shop is obviously going to be more expensive than your typical, tiny tattoo shop on the corner in a small town. In general, establishments in big cities will charge much more compared to similar establishments in smaller cities and towns.
Does this mean that you should always opt for small tattoo shops to save some money? Not necessarily. For example, even though a Miami tattoo shop (or a shop in any other large city) may have high prices, it also is more likely to have more experienced tattoo artists.
This is because professional tattoo artists tend to flock to larger cities. The main thing to consider is how much you want to spend on a tattoo. For example, if you want a very realistic and detailed tattoo, you need to expect to pay much more compared to a more cartoony or simple tattoo.
Colored tattoos are also much more than typical monochrome tattoos. And, of course, the size of the tattoo will make quite a big difference. A small tattoo on the inside of your wrist, for example, will not take very long and won’t require much labor on the part of the tattoo artist.
For that reason, such a tattoo won’t cost very much.
It’s a different story when you want to get your entire back tattooed. The back is a very large area, and it can take hours for a tattoo artist to complete.
In some cases, you might have to go back for several sessions before your tattoo is complete. Obviously, such a large tattoo will require much more time and labor and will cost a lot more as a result. For that reason, you will want to think ahead about the cost of the tattoo you plan to get before you actually go to a shop to get it.
If you don’t do your research beforehand, you might end up spending far more money than you expected or wanted to spend. This could make you regret your choice of getting a tattoo in the first place. However, if you do some research and think about how much you want to spend (and compare the prices of different tattoo shops), you can better determine how much you will end up spending.
As long as you’re satisfied with the amount you plan to spend, you will be satisfied with the results.
Visit the Tattoo Shop in Person
There’s only so much you can know when researching a tattoo shop online. At a certain point, you will need to visit the tattoo shop in person and see if you get the right vibe. More than that, you will also want to examine the tattoo shop and make sure that it looks like a safe environment to get a tattoo.
The last thing you want is to walk into a tattoo shop and find that it’s filthy on the inside. A tattoo shop should be in a very clean location. The people who work there should be concerned about cleanliness as well.
After all, a tattoo shop is where people use needles to puncture your skin and create a design. If those needles aren’t clean, or if the people who handle those needles aren’t following all the necessary precautions, you could easily contract a bad infection from dirty needles. This is the last thing you want to deal with when trying to get a nice new tattoo.
Fortunately, you can tell a lot about a shop’s cleanliness just by walking inside. Take a close look at the shop’s interior and compare it to online pictures. Online pictures tend to be edited to look better than the shop actually is in real life.
If the online pictures look nice, but the real shop is filthy, you should leave and find another shop. On the other hand, if the shop looks quite clean and modern, it is worth sticking around a bit longer. Check to make sure that the floors and windows are spotless.
Also, look around for the right kind of equipment. For example, a professional tattoo shop should have professional beds and chairs especially made for tattooing customers.
Organization and Cleanliness
There should also be plenty of sanitary supplies such as nitrile gloves for the tattoo artists, along with disinfectants and other materials.
The organization is also important. There is nothing good about a tattoo shop that has supplies scattered all over the place in a messy and haphazard way. The inside of a tattoo shop should be very professional and clean.
Of course, it should be stylish as well. While you’re visiting the tattoo shop, take a look at the decore and the tattoo designs on the wall. This can give you an idea of what kind of tattoos the shop covers and what kind of style the tattoo artists are skilled at.
Keep in mind that some tattoo shops won’t let you walk right in, especially busier and more established shops. In this case, you’ll have to make an appointment to visit the shop. Also, while you’re in the shop, try to see if you can catch any tattoo artists tattooing a customer.
That way, you can see what the process is like and how professional the tattoo artist really is. As mentioned before, the artist should always wear nitrile gloves while tattooing a customer to prevent the spread of harmful bacteria.
Make Sure the Tattoo Shop Covers the Tattoo Style You Want
There are many types of tattoos and tattoo styles out there. Most tattoo shops cover the most basic designs, such as a classic skull or some tribal designs. However, if you want a very specific design or a certain style of tattoo, you will likely need to find a special tattoo shop for the job.
If you try to go to your average, small tattoo shop, you will find that your options for tattoos will be quite limited. Suppose that you want a very specific and detailed tattoo of a dragon. If you try to go to an average tattoo shop for this task, you will find that the tattoo artists there might not have the skills to give you the results you’re looking for.
For that reason, you’ll have to go out and do some research to find a tattoo shop that does the kind of tattoos that you’re looking for. Some tattoo shops are specialized in doing very particular types of tattoos. For example, some tattoo shops might be skilled at only doing 3D or realistic tattoos.
Specialized Tattoos and Tattoo Shops
On the other hand, other shops may specialize in more cartoony tattoos. Whatever the case, there is a tattoo shop for just about every kind of tattoo. The main challenge is to find a shop that can tackle the kind of style you want.
The last thing you want is to go to a tattoo shop and end up with a sloppy tattoo because the tattoo artist wasn’t skilled in the style that you wanted. This would be a nightmare because not only would you have a bad tattoo, but it would be very difficult to get rid of or cover that tattoo. To avoid this problem, try to choose the right tattoo shop in the first place.
To make sure that you’re choosing the right shop, you should ask the tattoo artist a few questions. You could also bring in some pictures of other tattoos that you like to give the artist an idea of what you’re looking for. The artist will tell you what kind of tattoos he can do and whether or not he can help you with the tattoo that you want.
How to Choose a Tattoo Shop
Learning how to choose a tattoo shop isn’t as difficult as you might expect, but there are some things you need to keep in mind. For example, you need to read the customer reviews, take the price into consideration, and make sure that the tattoo shop is clean and organized. As long as you do all that, you shouldn’t have any trouble choosing a good tattoo shop.
To learn more, contact us here.
Henderson Tattoo Shop
Maui Tattoo Shop
Your Custom Tattoo Design Guide: Tips, Tricks and Mistakes to Avoid
Did you know that the practice of tattooing is around 6,000 years old? That’s right, when you’re working with a tattoo artist, you’re participating in an ancient tradition.
Maybe you’ve gotten pre-drawns or flash pieces in the past, but now it’s time to get a custom tattoo design of your very own. How do you even start the process?
We’re here to talk about it. Read on to learn all about designing a tattoo with your tattoo artist.
First: Pick Your Style
People who are new to getting custom tattoos may not be “in the know” about various styles of tattooing. When you’re trying to have a custom design created for you, it’s a good idea to know the type of tattoo that you’re going for. This will help you narrow down and artist and explain your desires more clearly.
There are so many styles of tattoo art to choose from. If you browse the web, you’ll see near endless options. Some of them are more popular than others, however.
Here are a few of the most common styles of tattoos and what makes them unique.
When you think of tattoos, American traditional tattoos likely come to mind first. These tattoos operate under the principle that “bold will hold.” They have dark and bold lines and (usually) bright colors that will stand the test of time.
If you think of old-school tattoos that sailors would get, you’re thinking of American traditional tattoos.
You can get anything in the American traditional style, but there are a few common tattoo subjects that you can find on any flash sheet (and they’re things that any American traditional tattoo artist should be able to do.
Lady heads, tigers, anchors, roses, snakes, and other common tattoo motifs are all readily available when you choose an American traditional tattoo artist. Some artists prefer to stick with those traditional motifs, but many welcome new and unique ideas, even if they don’t have examples on display in their portfolios.
Fine line tattoos have boomed in popularity over the past decade. They’re popular among celebrities, influencers, and “average people” alike. They’re dainty, elegant, and easy to hide.
For fine line tattoos, you want to find a great artist. Even when done correctly, it’s possible for these tattoos to fade over time. You want to give yourself the best possible chance of a long-term tattoo.
Common fine line tattoos include script, small symbols, and flowers, but people have done fine line tattoos of everything.
New school tattoos are bright, bold, and cartoonish. Try to imagine a combination between cartoonish digital artwork and classic tattoos and you’ll get New School.
This tattoo style was popular in the early 2000s and it’s since faded into the background, but that doesn’t make it less valuable. These tattoos are bright, bold, and long-lasting as long as you pick a great artist.
Common new school tattoo subjects are cartoon characters, “embroidery tattoos,” flowers, and lady’s heads, but again, you have countless options if you pick a great artist.
Neotraditional tattoos are similar to American traditional tattoos, but with a bit of extra “flair.” Often, artists will start off with traditional tattoos, but then add their own special touch.
Neotraditional tattoos have the same general motifs as traditional tattoos, but modernized. Lady heads may look more like art nouveau portraits, for example.
These tattoos are stylized and detailed, but not hyperrealistic. They’re genuine art pieces. They tend to resemble oil paint or digital art, but without the shine and bold colors of new school tattoos.
Japanese traditional tattoos are also similar to American traditional tattoos, but with Japanese motifs and subjects. The styles are both bold and strong, but Japanese traditional tattoos resemble old woodblock prints.
There are still lady heads, but they often resemble Geishas. Snakes, dragons, frogs, and tigers are all common in Japanese traditional tattoos, but again, you can have anything tattooed in this style.
Many Japanese traditional artists like to do large-scale tattoos that are characterized by dark backgrounds and bold and colorful foregrounds.
For anyone who wants a true portrait, realism tattoos are the way to go. These tattoo artists tend to meticulously trace or replicate photos to make sure that their clients get exactly what they’re looking for, and then use their own expert shading techniques to bring the images to life on skin.
This is a difficult tattoo style that will require a lot of time in the tattoo chair. In other words, this style of tattoo is a commitment (moreso than many other types of tattoos).
Blackwork often just refers to any tattoos that are black, but there are a few things that set apart “blackwork” as a style rather than just a color scheme.
Blackworkers often use unique shading styles that resemble pen and ink shading. Stippling, line shading, and cross-hatching are common for blackworkers.
These tattoos can be bold or dainty. It’s common to do “sacred geometry” tattoos in this style, but other common blackwork subjects include flowers, snakes, architectural drawings, and so much more.
Many blackworkers started with another style and then modified it for blackwork, so you’ll see hints of American traditional, neotraditional, and more.
Pick Your Color Scheme
Speaking of blackwork and black tattoos, have you thought about your color scheme yet?
First, decide whether or not you’re going to want color in your tattoo at all. It’s common for people to stick to black tattoos once they have their first one to make their art all cohesive regardless of the styles that they choose.
There’s nothing wrong with color tattoos, however.
Most tattoo artists will recommend bold colors rather than washed-out watercolor tones, though you can do either. Soft pastel colors are less likely to hold long-term. That said, it’s your body and your art, so do what feels right for you.
The style of tattoo will help dictate your color choice, but it doesn’t have to. Tattoo artists tend to be flexible and they often love a challenge, so don’t be afraid to ask about unique colors and color combinations.
Have a General Idea in Mind
When you’re getting custom tattoo art done, you want to start with at least a vague idea. Tattoo artists are artists, so they can work with something loose, but if you don’t give them anything to go off of, they won’t know what you want.
Do you already have other tattoos that you’re trying to match? That might be enough to get your artist started.
Does your artist have other pieces that somewhat resemble what you’re looking for? That’s also a good enough place to start.
Sometimes it’s as simple as having a “theme” and a few images in mind that your artist can work with. For example, you could say that you want a blackwork tattoo with a knife and a flower.
You’re giving your artist the freedom to choose the type of knife and flower, but you’ve given them a base idea to work from.
If you have a specific image in your mind, you’re going to have to private specific images and instructions. We’ll talk about how you can do that later on.
Consider Making an Inspiration Board
So you know that you want a custom tattoo, but you’re not sure what you want. You don’t want to get a pre-drawn design, but you’re overwhelmed with options. You don’t even know where to get the tattoo!
It might be time to browse the web and create some kind of inspiration board. You can do this easily on sites like Pinterest and Tumblr.
Look for tattoos that fit a style that you’re looking for and start collecting them. You can also look for photos and drawings of a few themes or subjects that appeal to you, even if you haven’t yet narrowed down a final idea.
Seeing all of these images in one place might help you decide which elements of each image you like.
Where Is Your Tattoo Going?
Remember that you will be (slightly) limited by the location of your tattoo. You won’t be able to get an intricate piece on a small area, like a foot or wrist. Artists aren’t magicians.
You can ask your artist to switch tattoo locations before they start tattooing you, but remember that the locations should be comparable in size. For example, you can’t move a large back piece onto your calf (or vice-versa).
Sketching a Design: Yes or No?
This is a tricky issue. Should you sketch your own design or have another artist sketch it before you go to the tattoo artist?
If you want something hyper-specific, it’s okay to sketch it out ahead of time. If you’re paying another non-tattoo artist for their work to get it put onto your body (make sure that you have explicit permission to do this and that you’ve paid them for their time), then a sketch is also appropriate.
You can always provide a loose sketch for your artist that just shows placement and a general idea, even if you’re not a good artist yourself.
With this in mind, remember that your tattoo artist is a genuine artist. You don’t need to provide them with a sketch as long as you’re able to convey your thoughts about what you want.
Pick the Right Artist
Speaking of your artist, make sure that you take your time when you’re making your decision! Tattoo artists aren’t a monolith, and different artists have different styles and subject preferences. While they’re versatile, it’s a good idea to pick an artist who has plenty of experience with the style that you’re looking for.
Check shop and artist portfolios online. Many artists (most, even) have Instagram accounts where you can see up-to-date portfolios with all of their current work.
Many of these profiles will also include booking information so you can get in touch with your artist as soon as they’re ready to take on new clients.
Be as Clear as Possible About Your Wants
Once you’ve chosen your ideal artist, gather all of your inspiration images and ideas and bring them to the (metaphorical) table. You want to give your artist as much information as possible so that they can make your ideal art piece.
But what can you include?
You can include images of their other tattoos if you like a specific style that they’ve done in the past. You can also include other tattoos, but note that a good tattoo artist will not copy someone else’s work. They can use it as inspiration.
If you have other tattoos, especially if they’re near the location of your new custom tattoo, it’s a good idea to show those to your artist as well. This will give them an idea of how they can arrange their design so it complements the rest of your art.
Photos and other images are also great for letting your artist know what you want, even if they’re more or less symbolic.
Don’t Hesitate to Ask for Changes
Many tattoo artists won’t show you the finished design until the day of your appointment. While this may be stressful for you, know that you are able to request changes. This is going on your body forever, and your artist will understand.
Minor changes can often be made on the same day, but if you need a significant change, your artist may request that you make a new appointment so they have enough time to bring your ideas to life.
What Will Your Custom Tattoo Design Look Like?
Are you ready to have a tattoo artist come up with a custom tattoo design for you? A good tattoo design is a collaboration between you and your tattoo artist. Gather your ideas and make a consultation appointment (or do an email consultation) as soon as possible!
At Skin Factory, our artists are ready to bring your ideas to life. Find our artists on social media or fill out our contact form to start the tattoo process.
Couple Tattoo Ideas
Did you know that about 45 million Americans have tattoos? We don’t blame them! Tattoos are a wonderful way to express yourself and hold a special meaning near to your heart.
Speaking of special meaning, one meaningful type of tattoo is to get a tattoo with your significant other. Couple tattoos say “I love you” like nothing else, and they look great, too!
1. Always and Forever
One cute couple tattoo that you can try is a scripted tattoo reading always and forever. In this tattoo idea, one partner will write always on their wrist while the other partner’s wrist reads forever.
These can be great tattoos for married couples. They’re a lovely way for you to remember why you got married in the first place and what commitment you made to your spouse!
2. Mismatched Tattoos
One of the coolest tattoo ideas for couples we’ve seen is to try mismatched tattoos. With mismatched tattoos, you’ll keep the tattoo along the same theme, but they don’t have to exactly match.
What’s fun here is that there are tons of ways that you can make the tattoos mismatched. For example, you could have the same tattoo in two different tattoo styles.
Or, you could have one tattoo in black ink while the other is in color. No matter what it is you choose, this is a great way to get creative with your couple’s tattoo.
3. Minimalist Tattoos
Another fun couple tattoo idea to try is to get minimalist tattoos. Minimalist tattoos are great because they’re simple but still pop against your skin.
Minimalist tattoos also look great no matter where you put your tattoo. That makes them great for couples who need to cover their tattoos for a job.
L.O.V.E. is a popular Frank Sinatra song, but those same four letters can look great in a tattoo! This idea is a simple yet sweet couple’s tattoo idea for anyone wanting to share a special piece of ink with their partner.
In this tattoo idea, one person gets a tattoo of the letters ‘L’ and ‘O’ while the other completes the set with ‘V’ and ‘E’. It’s a sweet and slightly subtle way to show your love for someone.
5. Get a Cultural Tattoo
Now, this tattoo only works if you’re in a relationship where you and your partner come from different cultures. However, if that’s the case, it can be a sweet nod to your partner’s culture.
For this tattoo, select an element from your partner’s culture. Then, get that tattoo design as a nod to where your partner is from.
The significance of the cultural tattoo is enhanced by the fact that for you, this reminds you of your partner. You can get creative here and make the cultural element you choose significant to your relationship or to love as well!
6. Gamer Tattoos
If you love video games, sports, or board games, you can get some cute gamer tattoos! For these tattoos, pick some elements in your favorite game and get them as tattoos!
You could, for example, get soccer ball tattoos if that’s what brought you together. Or, if you’re more into the digital world, consider getting tattoos of your favorite video game couple (Sora and Kairi, anyone?).
7. Lock and Key
When you love someone, they hold the key to your heart. Why not give them a literal key to hang onto as well?
This darling tattoo idea is for one partner to get a lock and the other to get a key image. The images fit together perfectly without being exactly the same.
You can get really creative here and make your lock and key stylized, too. That can be a fun way to add some extra personality to your tattoos.
8. Written in the Stars
Another cute couple’s tattoo idea that you can try is to put the other person’s star sign on your body. This is a lovely yet subtle way to show someone that you love them.
You can get even more creative with this tattoo by incorporating your partner’s name or birthday into the star sign. That can make it even more special!
Plus, there are so many options when it comes to star signs.
You can choose your partner’s sun, moon, or rising sign, or you can use their Chinese zodiac symbol. Write out the constellation itself or use the associated image instead of the symbol.
No matter how you choose to get creative here, we’re confident you’ll come up with a unique and beautiful design.
9. Pick a Fandom
Whether you’re a die-hard Harry Potter fan or you can’t get enough of the Lord of the Rings, there’s a couple’s tattoo for you.
A great idea for a couples tattoo is to pick a fandom that you love and to get a tattoo that speaks to that fandom.
For instance, if you’re both Slytherins, you could get two intertwining snakes on your arm. Or, if the two of you love Naruto, you could get hidden leaf symbols on your body.
There are so many different fandoms out there, and this is a great way for you to come up with something that’s unique to you and your partner while still keeping it as a couple’s design.
10. The Sun and Moon
If you feel like your partner is your sunshine, you can get a tattoo that plays with the concept of the sun.
What’s cute about this idea is that one person can have the tattoo filled in while the other has just the outline. Or, you can have the sun and moon rather than both getting the sun.
Another idea is to place the tattoos in different spots. Or you might want to stylize the designs slightly differently.
11. Two Halves of a Whole
You and your partner are like two halves of one whole. So, why not make your tattoo speak to that as well?
You could get two halves of a heart that fit together when you line the tattoos up together. Or, another option would be to get two puzzle pieces.
We also love the idea of two halves of an avocado or another piece of fruit. It’s a cute way to show you fit together without being too mainstream.
12. King and Queen Tattoos
Many of us feel like our partner is our king or queen. You can play that up by getting cute king and queen-inspired tattoos!
One option is to write the words “king” and “queen” on your bodies. Or, you could simply get a king’s crown and a queen’s crown.
If you choose to get crowns, this can be a fun way to personalize your tattoos. You can pick unique styles or can even let your partner draw the tattoo themselves.
13. Animal Tattoos
Animals also work well as couple tattoos. You can get the male and female animal (think lion and lioness) or can simply get the same animal!
Pick an animal that’s symbolic in your relationship. Or, find an animal that’s associated with love and companionship.
No matter what animal you choose, this can be a special way to tell your partner you love them.
14. Classic Hearts
There’s nothing like a heart to show that you love someone. This timeless symbol has been around for centuries, and is a great option for couples wanting a matching tattoo.
You can keep your hearts as simple and minimalist as you like. Or, if you’re feeling brave, you can embellish the hearts and make them big, personalized, and funky.
No matter how you choose to design your hearts, we’re confident that this will make a great couples tattoo.
You can also get creative with the placement of these tattoos. Get the hearts on your fingers so that they show off when you hold hands or come up with another special placement.
15. Disney Inspired Couple Tattoos
If your partner is your Prince Charming, Knight in Shining Armor, or your princess, then why not get a Disney-inspired tattoo?
There are tons of sweet Disney relationships that can inspire your couple’s tattoos. Perhaps you love the idea of Ana and Sven, or perhaps Flint Ryder and Rapunzel are more your style.
Regardless of what Disney couple you’re obsessed with, this is a great way to show off your fandom and your love at the same time.
16. Important Dates
Every couple has an important date. Perhaps it’s the day you got married, or maybe it’s the day you met your partner.
No matter what your special day is, getting a tattoo of it can be a special way to show off your love.
You can even get multiple date tattoos if you like. That way, you can commemorate more than one special occasion.
17. Forever Mine
This one’s best for married couples or partners who plan to be together forever.
With this tattoo, you and your partner can get the words “forever mine” tattooed. It’s a sweet reminder of the long-term commitment you’ve made to your partner.
Alternatively, one partner can get the word “mine” while the other partner gets the word “forever”. These simple and sweet words hold a whole lot of significance when they’re shared with your partner!
Now, while some people might think skulls are macabre, that could be right up someone else’s alley. Skulls can have tons of different meanings depending on how you look at them!
You can customize your skulls with roses and other romantic elements to make them especially sweet. Or, you can make them more cultural and use a Day of the Dead type theme.
Skulls are a wonderful way to symbolize “til death do us part”. Plus, they can also just be simple ways to show off your relationship’s personality.
19. Anchor Couple Tattoos
For most of us, our partners anchor us down and ground us. One way you can show that is to get an anchor tattoo!
You and your partner can get the same anchor tattoo or can mix it up a bit and have one partner get the ship that drops the anchor.
These are also great tattoos for individuals who have a special connection with the sea. Whether you live by the ocean or your partner works at sea, these are wonderfully symbolic tattoos.
20. LGBTQ+ Couple Tattoos
If you’re in an LGBTQ+ relationship, then you might want to get a tattoo that speaks especially to that. It’s a great way to express your love for your partner and show off your pride.
There are tons of different designs out there, such as the double feminine or double masculine symbol. Or, you could opt for simple pride flags.
We also love the idea of double triangles. You can keep it in simple black ink, or you can get colorful to show off your personal orientation.
No matter what LGBTQ symbol or style you choose, these are wonderful ways to express yourself while celebrating your love for your partner.
Get Inspired by These Couple Tattoo Ideas
With this huge list of couple tattoo ideas, you’ll have no problem coming up with an idea for your and your partner’s next set of ink. There are tons of amazing ideas and you can work with your artist to tweak them to be uniquely yours!
So, what do you say? Are you ready to get started with gorgeous couple tattoos? Get in touch to book an appointment with our studio.
The Strategy of How to Time and Plan a Tattoo Sleeve
From the design, budget, and number of sessions it will take, you need to first strategize how to plan a tattoo sleeve before embarking on this design journey.
Are you planning your next big tattoo project? Getting a sleeve is no joke and it’s a big commitment. It requires a lot of planning, money, and time. Do you know how to plan a tattoo sleeve?
Planning a big tattoo takes some forethought. It’s not like grabbing a quick flash piece on Friday the 13th or adding a new piece to your thigh. It’s an entire project and you need to decide how you want it to look. You only have so much space.
Does this sound overwhelming to you? We get it. We’re here to offer some advice so you can get your new sleeve started. Keep reading to learn all about strategizing and planning a tattoo sleeve that you’re going to be proud to show off.
Decide: Full Sleeve or Half Sleeve?
The first step for planning your tattoo sleeve is figuring out whether you want a full sleeve (one that runs all the way from your wrist to your shoulder) or a half sleeve (which runs from either your wrist to your elbow or your elbow to your shoulder.
Planning a half sleeve tattoo is often more complicated than the full sleeve because you only have so much room and it tends to be more important that everything looks cohesive. We’ll talk about cohesion later on.
Half sleeves will be more affordable and they’ll take less time than full sleeves. Full sleeves have a more jarring visual effect (which some people want). Artists will be happy to work with you when you’re trying to decide and they can make suggestions based on your preexisting tattoos and on what will work best with your body.
Eclectic, Cohesive, or a Mix? You Choose
Sleeves come in two primary varieties: eclectic and cohesive.
Eclectic sleeves tend to have a basic idea in mind and they’re patchworked together over time. These sleeves require less planning but just as much attention to detail as their cohesive counterparts.
Eclective sleeves can still have cohesion. You might work with one artist throughout the process, or choose one color, style, or theme as a throughline. For example, many people have sleeves full of American traditional tattoos that don’t “go together” per se, but they still look like they were done with intention because they match.
Other people choose blackwork for their sleeves, or an arm full of florals. While these things aren’t all part of one piece in a traditional way, they still make up a whole.
Cohesive sleeves are based on one project. You come in with something in mind and the tattoo artist will come up with a single piece that covers your entire (or half) arm. While this takes more planning in the design stages, you don’t have the task of filling in all kinds of small leftover spaces from an eclectic sleeve.
Blackout sleeves are trendy right now, which is a full sleeve of black ink or black ink with white or skin-colored designs, like a reversal of the traditional tattoo sleeve.
Pick a Style and Artist
There are all kinds of tattoo styles to choose from. Because a tattoo sleeve is such a huge commitment, it’s important that you pick a style that you love. You’ll be seeing a lot of it.
American traditional and Japanese traditional are two popular styles for tattoo sleeves because they include bold lines and shading so you know that the sleeve will have longevity. Some people like sleeves full of tribal-style tattoos, or sacred geometry designs.
If you’re doing a completely cohesive piece, you’ll have one style for the entirety of the arm. You want to choose an artist that’s adept with that style, not just your favorite local artist who’s done other styles of work that you like.
Visit local shops for portfolio books and check out the Instagram accounts and galleries of local artists to see portfolios. These portfolios will help you decide who the right person for the job is.
Talk With Your Artist
Once you’ve chosen your artist, it’s time to have a consultation. Tattoo consultations are often free (though you will make a deposit that goes into the final cost of your tattoo. That deposit covers the time and effort your artist will put into the art in case you choose to not get the tattoo).
While you may come in with ideas, don’t come in with a sleeve that you want an exact copy of. Instead, come in with concepts and other drawings that have a similar feeling to what you have in mind.
An artist’s job is to make art, not copy. Your tattoo artist will make a design that suits your needs and works best with your form. Many will make small alterations on the day of. They know that a sleeve is a commitment.
Some artists will give you the option of scheduling a sleeve for one day. If this happens to be your first tattoo, don’t choose this option. Even if you’re a tattoo veteran it might be too much for you.
It’s wise to schedule blocks in several-hour increments depending on your pain tolerance.
Talk to your artist about how they prefer to schedule large projects like this and make sure to discuss the cost. Because most artists charge by the hour, they may want you to pay as you go or they may want a larger upfront sum.
If you aren’t doing it all in one go, it’s best to give yourself time to heal between sessions (especially if you’re doing lines and color or shading on separate days).
Now That You Know How to Plan a Tattoo Sleeve, Get Started!
Knowing how to plan a tattoo sleeve is the first part of the battle. The actual planning? Much more difficult.
Find a great artist who can help you bring your tattoo sleeve ideas to life. We know planning a big tattoo is hard and we want to make sure that you get something that you love.
Contact us today to schedule a consultation and get started.
5 Things To Consider For Your Tattoo Placement
Once a sign of deviance, having one or more of them has become increasingly popular over the years. Nearly 40% of Americans aged 18-39 have at least one tattoo and the number is growing.
In fact, the tattoo industry is the 6th fastest-growing industry in the United States. On average, there’s one new tattoo studio opened in the country every single day.
Has the urge to get inked affected you? Maybe you’re considering your first piece, or maybe you’re thinking of adding a new one to your personal canvas. Either way, tattoo placement is a thing to consider — tattoo regret is real.
So, where’s the best spot for a new tattoo? Read on for five top tips for tattoo placement.
1. Tattoo Placement: Think Spacing
If you already know what you want as a tattoo, this can go a long way to figuring out where to put it.
Small tattoo placement can be easier on the one hand because they can go just about anywhere. On the other hand, more options might make it harder to decide.
It usually makes the most sense to put a small tattoo on a smaller part of the body to avoid making it look out of place. Your wrist, ankle, foot, or behind the ear are good bets.
Placing a small tattoo in this way also avoids taking up a large space when you might want to use it for a bigger one later.
For larger tattoo placement, your options are more limited, but this can also make it easier to choose. If you’re thinking of a big piece, your back, thighs, calves, or shoulder are the best candidates.
2. Fit the Art to the Canvas
The shape of the tattoo itself can help you determine where to put it. Does your plan take up round or rectangular space? Is it oblong? Do you want it to be vertical or horizontal?
Longer, thinner pieces, including vertical or horizontal text, work well going down your back or leg or along your forearm. Alternatively, if you want to make a band out of them, they could wrap around any part of your leg or arm.
Round pieces work well on the chest, the back, or the outside of the shoulder.
When you’ve settled on a tattoo idea, start visualizing the way it will take up various spaces on your body. Look for body parts with a similar shape to the tattoo.
3. Who’s It For?
A big consideration in picking a spot should be your intended audience. Do you want to be able to see it? Do you want strangers to be able to see it?
If you’ve got an idea for a tattoo that has a lot of deep, personal relevance to you, chances are you’re going to want to be able to see it.
In this case, pick a spot on the front of your body – places that you can see in the mirror or simply by looking at yourself. Your arms, chest, legs, or stomach are good spots for this. Avoid the back of the body — you might forget you even have the tattoo there from time to time!
Another thing to consider is how much you want others to be able to see your ink.
While acceptance of tattoos in the workplace is on the rise, there is still a stigma around them. In fact, no state in the US has laws preventing discrimination based on tattoos and many employers still find them unacceptable.
If you’re concerned about the impact of your tattoos on your employability, you’ll want to avoid places you can’t hide them. In this case, your face, neck, and hands are probably a no-go.
4. Consider The Pain Factor
Some people who get inked find the pain to be invigorating. Others see it as a necessary evil. Whatever your feelings toward masochism are, it can be helpful to be aware of the pain factor when considering tattoo placement.
Different parts of the body can be more or less sensitive under the needle. Generally speaking, bonier parts of the body are more painful than fleshier ones.
The Most Painful Spots
If you’re trying to minimize the pain of your tattoo, avoid these bony/thin-skinned spots:
- Inside of the upper arm
Middle of the Road
These areas aren’t painless, but are usually more comfortable than the ones listed above:
The Least Painful Spots
If you’re really scared of the pain, these are going to be your best choices:
- Calves (except behind the knee or on the shinbone)
- Outside of the upper arm
5. Will It Move and Age Well?
One last thing to consider when deciding where to get your tattoo is what the skin will do over time. In this regard, considerations around tattoo placement for women can be different than for men.
Your body is a moving canvas. You’ll want to consider how the tattoo will move with it. For example, your forearm skin sits differently depending on how your wrist is rotated. Which way do you want to be the default? Does the piece look good in any position?
Another thing to think about is how the skin might change. If you gain weight, a stomach tattoo might not look so hot anymore. Women who might become pregnant will probably want to avoid stomach tattoos.
Once you’ve settled on an idea and a location, make sure to get your work done with a reputable artist. A good one can help you make final decisions about your tattoo placement.
Check out our blog for other tattoo tips!