Step 1: find inspiration
Ever since I have been using Pinterest I have had a moodboard with tattoos on it. When I decided I wanted to get my tattoo done, I looked up plenty of designs I really liked and put them together in one board. I shared this with my artist, together with what I really wanted in my design: a skeleton key and cat skull design. You can also use sites such as Facebook (where you can find tattoo pages) Instagram and tumblr. There are also magazines about tattoos out there you can have a look at.
Also, it is OK to want a simple tattoo or flash art, there's a reason it exists! For now, the tattoos I have are bigger custom pieces, but everyone is different and will want different things on their body.
Step 2: think about it
Did you know you can get henna ink on your skin and that it lasts for about three months? This could be the perfect chance to try and see if you really want your tattoo. I also know Body design in Ghent offers you a chance to get stick on tattoos (that last about 1-2 days) with your design of choice. Some Etsy shops also offer really cool temorary tattoos as well. If you are not sure yet, or just want to be 100% sure before getting it permanently done, this is the best option. It is ok to want a tattoo and wait for a few months before actually taking the step to getting it done. Reflect on it, and don't be impatient, since it will be on your body for the rest of your days.
Step 3: find artist + book sessions
If you artist is working on your design, be patient! This is a creative process that takes time. If you pay a design fee (which I didn't) you will immediately arrange a date to get the design tattood. Since I didn't, I got it about a week before the session was planned. Sometimes you only get to see the design the day you have your session, at the shop. Go to an artist that does the style of tattoo you want, don't force them to go out of their comfort zone because they might just refuse doing it, or do it wrong.
Step 4: changes
I really loved the basic design of the first drawing my artist made, but the key of the second one fit my idea better.. You have to let your artist know what YOU want, and if the design isn't 100% what you want, don't get it tattood on your body, since it's going to be there forever.
In part 2 of this series (next Friday) we will talk about the actual session.