How To Communicate Your Vision To Your Tattoo Artist


Not properly communicating your vision to your artist usually tops the list for tattoo regrets. Afterall, it’s not just up to tattoo professionals to deliver an exceptional end result. Without a clear vision to base their work on, you could easily end up with a tattoo that’s worlds away from what you wanted. Here’s our guide on how to effectively communicate your tattoo vision to an artist, and what not to do!

Find Your Tattoo Vision 

Regardless of whether it’s your first or thirteenth tattoo, the more preparation you do before your appointment, the better. First, you’ll need to decide whether you want your tattoo to be coloured or black and white, where it will be positioned on your body, its size, and style. When you have an answer to all of these, you can start collecting references and examples of work you admire. 

Come To Your Appointment Prepared 

To help your artist, bring these references to your appointment so that you can be as specific as possible communicating your vision. Think of drawings that you’ve done yourself, photos of friends’ tattoos or screenshots from social media on your phone. Your artist will have a far better idea of the tattoo you want when you give them a visual guide. But remember, these references are only the starting point and to make your tattoo original, you’ll need to talk with your artist. 

Design With Your Artist 

Don’t forget that your tattoo artist is exactly that: an artist. There’s no need for you to do all the heavy lifting and design a tattoo all by yourself. Your artist will have a wealth of experience and knowledge, so ask them what they think would be best. They will know what’s feasible and what size would be most suited to the body part you want to tattoo. Remember, your tattoo artist is your biggest asset and should never be overlooked as an expert design consultant.  

What Not To Do 

Starting Before You’re Ready 

The biggest mistake people make is to begin their tattoo before finalising their vision. Always make sure that you and your artist are on the same page before beginning the tattoo process. If after talking with your artist, you’re still not sure what you want, you can always reschedule your appointment to when you have a more complete vision for your tattoo. 

Changing Your Mind 

Tattoo artists are talented but they can’t perform miracles. Don’t demand small changes or colour swaps to your tattoo’s design while the artist is working. If you have any concerns, voice them early!

Choose The Right Artist 

Because your tattoo artist will be a large part of the design process, it’s important that your personal styles match. Understand their artistic taste by taking a look at their social media for examples of their work. If you want a neotraditional, coloured tattoo but the artist specialises in traditional black and white designs, you may not be a good fit. 

Final Thoughts 

Getting a tattoo is a two way street for both you and your artist. Have a clear vision in mind and come to your appointment with examples of your favourite work. Talk with your tattoo artist and rely on their experience and expertise. But above all, put on your design hat and enjoy the process!  

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