Choosing a tattoo design can be a very exciting time, but it should NEVER be a rushed decision. Tattoos are a very personal statement of your values or something or someone you cherish. Everyone has heard stories of misspellings or tattoos that have required alteration or even removal. Spending time thinking about potential designs can help avoid these situations.
You may have a specific design in mind, but even so, think about your options. For example, there are many types of flowers or fantasy figures. Which one would look best on you? Even something as simple as a scroll or line can have many variations, such as a flowing script line or a string of barbed wire.
If possible, draw out your idea yourself, including the color (and don’t forget to consider the way certain color pigments will look on different skin tones). A red rose will look very different from a yellow carnation.
Consider the location for your tattoo. The smaller the design, the more options you’ll have for placement. Do not forget that some employers frown upon or refuse to hire people with visible tattoos. While today’s employer may not care, can you guarantee that all your future employers will be so understanding? Sometimes discretion is the better part of valor and a smaller tattoo that can remain beneath most clothing is a better option.
Spend some time browsing through design ideas at a tattoo parlor or online. Take note of ideas that appeal to you and try to figure out why. Is it the bold colors? The intricate design? The classic look? After viewing many designs you will begin to see a trend in the pictures you prefer, which can help make picking that perfect design a little easier. Write down the top two or three designs you chose and then sleep on it. Come back the next day or later in the week and see if you still prefer those designs.
Finally, talk with an experienced tattoo artist about your selection. He or she can give you pointers on how different ink colors will look with your natural skin tone, as well as placement and size of the tattoo, then ink your art!