For those of us who don’t want to just walk into a tattoo studio, point to something on the wall and walk out with a design that’s been applied to hundreds of other people before us, finding or creating original designs can occupy quite some time.
It took me several months to work up my dragon tattoo. It started out as a pencil drawing, which I then scanned into the computer to color in. Once I printed it out, I realized I didn’t like it. Back to the drawing board. I wasn’t all that good with design software in those days (had a precursor to Photoshop Elements, the name of which escapes me at the moment) so getting the colors and the shadings right, once I had an outline that worked, took a long time. Fortunately, Lantz at Zulu Tattoo was able to translate my design into on-skin reality with no trouble at all. (The picture, snapped with a cheap digital camera, does not do the artwork justice.)
But what if you don’t want to create your own image, for whatever reason? If you’re fortunate enough to know a good artist, you could commission him or her to do your design (and remember, any artist worthy of the name is also worth paying). If you don’t know any artists, go to local art shows and craft fairs–you might spot someone whose work looks like just the kind of thing you want to turn into a tattoo. If you’re going to have something inked that you purchased from an artist, get the artist’s permission first. Some don’t want their work reproduced and their wishes should be respected.
But what if you don’t know any artists, don’t want to browse art fairs, and still want an original design? Enter the world of tattoo-design software. If you put “tattoo design software” into a Google or Bing search you’ll be amazed at how many sites turn up. A lot of the software appears to be free, and the ones with a price aren’t ridiculously expensive. I haven’t tried any of them out, but I’m sure the results are as variable as their creators. Since there are so many free programs available, it’d be worth while to download and try several to see what kinds of results you get.
Have any of you tried any of these approaches to getting original ink? What was your experience?I hope you'll submit my posts to your favorite social media sites. Just don't "submit" them to your own site pretending to be yours. Thanks!