12 Ways to Choose the PERFECT Tattoo

Home » Tattoo Guides » 12 Ways to Choose the PERFECT Tattoo

Getting a tattoo can be a great way to express yourself and your personality. However, choosing the perfect tattoo for you can be daunting. What design should you get? What size will look best? Where is the right place on your body to have it placed? There are so many different factors to consider when looking for the ultimate tattoo design!

Key Takeaways

  • Understand why you want a tattoo; go deep
  • Talk to a tattoo artist; artistic insights galore
  • Visualize color; your skin is a window
  • Think about placement; not all body areas are equal
  • Make yourself happy; this is your big chance
  • List your favorite things; it’s not just for songs
  • Gather ideas far and wide; the farther and wider the better
  • Look for designs in unusual places; you’ll be surprised
  • Stay open and receptive; this is a process
  • Look to the future; think of a tattoo as forever
  • Being You vs. Being Unique; you gotta be you
  • Take your time; it’s not a race
Young tattooed woman

To show you how to choose tattoo designs, I’ve put together 12 tips that any potential tattooed person needs to know when choosing their body art. Read on as I touch on each step in turn and help guide you towards your dream design!

1 – Why Do You Want A Tattoo

Getting a tattoo is a big decision, and before deciding it’s important to ask yourself why you want body art. It could be a way to commemorate an event, honor someone special, or express how you feel about yourself. Thinking about the real meaning behind your tattoo can help you figure out how to choose one that will reflect your true values and stay meaningful for the rest of your life. From picking the right location, size, artist and style of your tattoo, how you go about it is completely up to you.

2 – Talk to a Tattoo Artist

When it comes to tattoos, you want your design to be unique and meaningful. That’s why taking the time for consultation with a professional artist can make all the difference in achieving that special look! A tattooist has knowledge of techniques and styles – tips they’re happy to share – so even if you have no idea where or how to start, by visiting their shop, it’ll provide insight into what options are available and ensure quality workmanship.

To bring your tattoo artwork to life, don’t be afraid to consult an expert – a skilled and experienced professional tattoo artist. With their vision and style, they can offer insights that turn ideas into something truly special. Be sure to research extensively before committing: check reviews from other clients so you know what quality of work the artist is capable of providing!

Pro tip: Make an appointment to see a tattoo artist and their portfolio. You don’t want to be disappointed if they’re busy working.

3 – Think About the Color in Your Tattoo

Your tattoo design is likely going to dictate your choice of color. After all, the Superman logo is red and yellow. But it’ll also help to think of your skin as a window behind which your tattoo resides. Bolder and darker designs are easier to see behind darker skin.

4 – Decide Where You Want Your Tattoo

When deciding on a spot for your tattoo, there’s no single correct answer. Consider the visibility of an area and take into account if you prefer to show it off or keep it more intimate. Each body location carries its own set of unique considerations – make sure that whatever placement you choose fits with what works best for you!

Consult with a tattoo artist (or tattoo artists) to make sure the design you choose will look just the way you want it on your body. Consider the size and shape of your potential tattoo against the placement area: what works well on one area may not have quite the same impact on another. Ultimately, it’s up to you to choose where on your body you would like your new tattoo.

5 – Your Tattoo Should Make You Happy

When choosing your tattoo, ensuring it ultimately makes you happy is the most important factor. The design should represent something that’s meaningful to you, like a cherished memory or symbol. When you choose your design with care and attention to detail, your tattoo will give you joy every time you look at it.

Japanese Koi Tattoo

Don’t choose on a whim; take your time and choose something that is truly special to you. When your tattoo choice mirrors your thoughts and feelings, then no matter who else may judge or critique it, in the end your new tattoo will be something that serves to make you happy!

6 – Your Favorite Things Can Be a Tattoo

Whether you’re commemorating a loved one, representing your heritage or simply honoring yourself, selecting the right tattoo design is no small task. Making a list of things most meaningful to you can help get those creative juices flowing! Think symbols that are unique to personal history and experiences – family crests, quotes from favorite books or films; places and cultures traveled; mementos given by friends/family – all these make for great sources of inspiration when deciding on an individualized piece of body art reflective of who YOU are.

You can also include elements from nature (a favorite flower, for example) or animals (even a pet) and their different characteristics, or include your favorite movies or books, hobbies or interests, and favorite images that represent special moments in your life. Writing down a few of these design ideas can give you inspiration, help organize your thoughts and even eliminate any potentially regrettable choices. Take the time to choose something meaningful that reflects who you are and is something that you won’t tire of seeing whenever it appears on your body; the result will more than pay off.

7 – Gather Tattoo Ideas Far and Wide

If you want to choose a tattoo that expresses the right sentiment and aesthetic for you, then gathering inspiration is key. Perhaps you’ve already perused tattoo artists’ portfolios in a tattoo shop. Looking at fine art, photographs, or patterns, either in print or online, can help give you an idea of what kinds of designs represent what matters most to you.

Tattoo Flash Americana

Pay attention to the material surrounding you–take inspiration from street art, mythology, or everyday objects. Look up images of other tattoos that people have chosen and get creative by remixing them into something new. Exercise your creativity and choose a tattoo design that speaks volumes to who you are. It’s not called body art for no reason. Most professional tattoo artists are exited to create custom artwork.

Pro tip: Most tattoo shops will have a collection of art books that the tattoo artists have on hand for reference.

8 – Look For Tattoo Designs in Unusual Places

Whether you take a look at the works of an old artist or explore new mediums like fabric art and embroidery, there are no limits when it comes to finding interesting tattoos. Even observing the natural world can be helpful; you may find patterns and color combinations that work best with your skin tone. Ultimately, looking in unusual places will give your tattoo design a unique appeal and make it stand out from the rest.

9 – Stay Open and Receptive

When considering a tattoo, it is essential to have an open and creative mindset. Having some existing ideas can help you narrow down the choices that are available; however, exploring outside of what’s already known may result in uncovering designs which express something unique about yourself. Even if there is one particular concept on your mind, talking with a professional artist could reveal ways to make it truly special for you.

10 – Look to the Future

When it comes to choosing a tattoo design, thinking ahead is the best way to ensure you choose something that you won’t regret in the future. No matter what your vision may be initially, it’s extremely important to think of ways that you might feel about your tattoo down the line.

Woman looking in mirror with upper arm tattoo.

Understanding how the tattoo might age, whether or not the font style could become outdated, and how your feelings about its meaning could change all play into good decision making for picking a permanent piece of artwork. Taking your time to choose will ensure that you have a meaningful and beautiful tattoo that you can look at proudly for the rest of your life.

11 – Being You Versus Being Unique

Lots of tattoos guides will tell you that the best tattoo for you should be unique. They’ll also recommend against surfing a trend or a fad that might only last a few years or even a few months. But what if your great idea and the tattoo artwork that most embodies you also happens to be trendy? Always come back to your personality, what gives you joy, and where you find meaning. If your specific design eventually fades from popularity, since they all do, make sure you’re happy with your ink. You don’t have to please anyone else with your body art–only you. It’s the most important thing you can do when choosing a tattoo.

12 – Take Your Time

When selecting a tattoo design, it is important to be patient. Body art can carry significant meaning and your chosen tattoo design should reflect that. Don’t rush the process of choosing–take the time to research various tattoo artists and and their different styles, spend hours scrolling through portfolios, visit multiple tattoo shops or their web sites, and choose a tattoo that speaks to you on both an aesthetic and emotional level. With patience, you can choose a stunning tattoo that you’ll feel proud to show off for years to come.

So there you have it, my top 12 tips for choosing your tattoo! I hope that this article has helped to steer you in the right direction and that you find the process of choosing your new tattoo as fun and rewarding as possible. Be sure to check out my other articles on specific ideas, what to expect at your tattoo appointment, the healing process, and much more!

Frequently Ask Questions

What are the different styles of tattoos?

There are many styles of tattoos–so many in fact that I’ve listed them all here.

Where should I start getting tattoo ideas?

To get you started on your tattoo discovery, I’ve gathered together a huge bunch of resources in this guide.

How do you plan a tattoo design?

The best way to plan a tattoo design is to work with your tattoo artist. They’ll give you all the insights it takes to make an informed decision about the tattoo itself and where it will go.

March 25, 2023