8 Effective Steps: How To Come Up With An Original Tattoo Idea?

Original Tattoo
Can’t come up with an original tattoo idea? Don’t panic. We prepared a step-by-step guide to help you with it. Bonus: top 7 tattoo styles for your inspiration!

Do you want to get an original tattoo, but lack some creativity? It isn’t the first or second time that something like this has happened. We talked to 100 tattoo artists to gather the best advice on how you can find a tattoo design idea that you’ll be crazy about all your life. 

Get your ideal tattoo inspiration thanks to our step-by-step guide. Turn the body art into something really important to you. What’s more, we prepared Top-7 tattoo styles for your inspiration.

8 Steps To Come Up With Original Tattoo Ideas

Own tattoo ideas are a long, but creative way to express your imagination and personal interests, so you need to be patient and follow some rules to come up with a great tattoo idea. We created a step-by-step guide to help you understand which body art you want and how to find your personal tattoo style.

Step 1: Ask Yourself Why You Want Body Art

Nothing can be better than setting the aim of something you want to do. For this reason, we believe that asking yourself why you want to get a tattoo is an excellent place to start. All reasons are valid and will provide you with a starting point for your designs. Emi, a famous tattoo artist from Miami, says:

Don’t rush, tattoos are a personal thing, and if you’re not sure that you’re 100% happy with how the preliminary sketches look, think about your purpose again.” 

Maybe you would like to commemorate a special moment such as an engagement or birthday of your children. Perhaps, you have an important person or symbol that you want to stick in your mind for good. No matter what the purpose is, getting a tattoo is a perfect variant to express your feelings.

Step 2: Determine which area of skin you want the tattoo

According to Charly Reynoso, an artist at Black Diamond Tattoo, the second step in coming up with a tattoo design is to determine where you want the tattoo to get. Charly says: 

“Hesitating where you want to get a tattoo, you should think about the size and shape of it, which also affects how great it’ll look in the future”.

The location of your ink is a crucial component in the beginning stages of the process.  Certain body parts hurt more, take ink differently, are more difficult to cover for work. If you are wondering where it is most and least painful to get a tattoo, then the abdomen, forearms, and outer thighs are the least painful parts. The most painful places are the spine, ribs, fingers and legs.

Also, if you can’t determine the size of the tattoo, the problem may resolve itself after you decide where to get the tattoo. In this case, your tattoo artist should take an active part in this process, explain all the pros and cons of the chosen place and size and advise what it will look like when you’re getting inked.

Step 3: Make a List of Your Favorite Things

Each of us has a favorite quote, phrase, or lyric, which has a sort of symbolic meaning to us. We recommend you make a list that includes your best-loved images, mottos, sayings, song lyrics. During this process, you should strain your imagination to come up with an idea for your perfect tattoo.

Step 4: Look Through Tattoo Portfolios

Looking through the tattoo artists’ portfolio is the next step to get inspiration for a new piece of work. A portfolio can tell a lot about the strengths and specialties of a tattoo artist. For instance, if you find pictures containing geometric figures or flowers, the artist enjoys doing it in most cases. On our site, you can see each tattoo artist’s portfolio. With this in mind, you can incorporate suitable items into your design and even find a tattoo artist whose style appeals the most to you.

Step 5: Choose a Style

Original Tattoo

Tattoos are permanent artwork on your body. Choosing a tattoo style plays a key role when you want to come up with an original idea. There are many styles to select. The most popular ones you can see below. Make research of various ideas to see which type is best suited to you.

Fernando Gonzales says, “you will need to decide on the style before coming to the tattoo artist. If you can’t decide on just one style, combining particular elements and incorporating those into your tattoo is a way”. 

Step 6: Be Patient and Gather Inspiration

Great, you know what you like; however, you still can’t develop a unique tattoo idea. A great way to do it is to look at many different kinds of images and start a collection of material that appeals to you. You can save them on a separate Pinterest board.

What’s more, you can keep a notebook and fill it with your own ideas, reviewing other pictures and adding each element that has caught your eye to your tattoo. You can find tattoo inspiration from art, nature, patterns, stories, cartoons, or virtually anything that appeals to you so much.

Step 7: Include Your Personality

You should include your feelings in the tattoo idea because it is a way to express yourself without wordsEigleer Nunes, another artist from Miami, believes that tattoos tell the world we’ve still got something to say.

Choosing something meaningful to you personally increases the chances that you’ll be happy with the tattoo in the long term. Without having to explain yourself, people can look at your tattoos and see who you are. Therefore, adding your personality to your tattoo will result in a design that’s unique to you.

Remember that once you get a tattoo, it will stay with you for life. At the same time do not try to adapt to someone’s wishes, your tattoo should be unique to you in the first place and have a special meaning that is important especially to you.

Step 8: Bring It All Together

Congratulations! It is the last stage of coming up with an innovative tattoo idea. At this stage, you need to look through the previous steps again before deciding on what tattoo art want to see. 

Top-7 Tattoo Styles Which Will Touch Your Imagination

There are tons of styles of tattoos around now. Here we prepared the most important ones you definitely should know before you start getting into tattoo design.

Find a Tattoo Artist

Use the search form below to find an artist by their name, location, or style of work.

Use the interactive USA map below to open a new page with all tattoo artists from a certain city or state. Hover on the state to see a hint, do the same with a marker to read the explanation on following steps.

1. Realism

Realistic tattoos have been one of the most popular styles for many years. This is a great opportunity for a person to get high quality images and done with great skill. There are brightly colored and black and gray realistic tattoos. This style has a very wide range of portraying, you can easily get tattoos of both species and objects, and people or animals.

2. Japanese

In the past few decades, Japanese tattoos have become very popular. Traditional Japanese tattoos are stunning and can have a wide range of different themes. They are usually presented in bright colors, but soft black and gray palettes are also popular.

Flowers, specifically cherry blossoms and peonies, legendary heroes, religious deities, and mythological creatures, are very common to see in this style. If you like Japanese aesthetics or want a large space filled with ink on your body, you should consider getting a Japanese tattoo.

3. Lettering

Lettering tattoos are a popular alternative to images. If you consider how many people have tattoos to commemorate a personal event or subject, it makes sense. Getting lyrics, quotes, or autographs is a widespread choice for tattoos. If you are interested in lettering tattoos, there are many different fonts and lettering styles to choose from. Elaborate cursive and handwritten fonts are currently trendy choices.

4. Geometric

Geometric is another trendy tattoo style, as it’s very versatile. Often, it can be combined with other sub-categories of tattoos, like floral or dotwork. Such style will be perfect for you if you get your first art of work and want something striking but not too dramatic.

5. Traditional

The traditional style is also known as old school or American traditional tattoo style. It is famous for its bold lines, bright colors, and iconic designs such as roses, anchors, and attractive ladies. This style has a well-known and enduring design. If you are not familiar with tattoos and want some easy-to-use inks, you can’t go wrong with this type of work.

6. Watercolor

The watercolor style is currently very popular. If you have seen watercolor paintings, you probably know how beautiful they look. It looks like it was rendered with a paintbrush dipped in gouache. However, this is a painting style that is difficult to master. If you like watercolor and want something different from the usual, you can choose this style.

7. New School

The last style you will see is New School. This style became very popular in the 70s and has been a favorite style ever since. New School tattoos are cartoon and quirky, featuring comics and other exaggerated characters. If you are the kind of person who likes anime or uses bold and bright colors, you should consider getting a new school tattoo.


Tattoos need to be meaningful because it is a permanent thing and lasts the whole of your life. Coming up with creative ideas sometimes appears to be a real challenge. However, rest assured that you are setting yourself up for success if you follow the described in our article steps. By starting with thinking about the purpose and placement of your desired tattoo, then getting to the root of your tattoo inspiration, and finally, bringing all your research together, you are likely to love the outcome.


💻 Can I Get a Tattoo of a Picture I Found Online?

Yes, it is a normal and legal thing to get a tattoo of a picture you found on the Internet. Your tattoo artist can copy the design even if it is copyrighted if you get permission to use the picture as a tattoo.

🧐 What Are the Most Popular Tattoo Styles?

There are many tattoo styles from which to choose, and deciding on one is not always easy. However, we prepared Top-7 the most popular tattoo styles that will touch your imagination:

😶 What Is the Least Painful Place To Get a Tattoo?

The least painful places to get tattooed are your forearms, stomach, and outer thighs because they have the most fat, fewest nerve endings, and thickest skin.

🔍 Where Can I Find the Right Tattoo Artists?

Before getting a tattoo, make sure of the professionalism of your tattoo artist and his sufficient experience. After all, the quality of the tattoo, which will stay with you for life, primarily depends on it. We found the best tattoo artists from the whole country on our site. Experience, skills, and customer reviews — we considered everything to help you choose the suitable tattoo artist.


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