Bexter

Turning 10 years of ideas into 1 tattoo

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Hi everyone,

So I've waited well over 10 years to get my first tattoo but I'm now booked in.

In the meantime I have had loads of ideas. I'm not an artist and I don't know that much about tattoo themes/ ideas or how to give a reference appropriately so I wanted to get some people's thoughts and opinions before I go to meet my artist and give her my references early next week if that's ok?

First, placement: Right arm. Pretty much the whole thing, not really on the shoulder and I do like negative space and the 'flow' of a tattoo and how it compliments the body, So I'm not sure saying a "full sleeve" would be the right terminology.

Second, themes: Winged unicorn and tropical plants. This idea actually came from a My Little Pony toy I've cherished since I was little :D and since then I've collected bright, tropical My Little Ponies. I have a bunch of reasons behind it too that are vaguely more sensible! I guess I was thinking of a black and grey unicorn and colourful plants. (ferns, frangipani)

I've also been looking at Japanese tattoos and would like to incorporate some of the grey background style.

I also wanted bees and lightening bolts... but I think that's a different tattoo(s). Already thinking I'd like more stuff elsewhere too (especially left shoulder)

I guess my questions are, does my placement make sense? And do the themes work together? Or which themes might work best together? And what do you think? My artist is great, I totally trust her and I'm sure she'll have her own ideas but I just wanted to check there weren't any glaringly obvious stupid ideas in what I'm thinking.

Thanks!

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I think the most important thing here is to go to an artist who does tattoos that you get excited about and that you trust, give her your ideas and let her figure out what will or won't work. In general though, I'd say that it's better to keep things simple and not try to fit too much in a single tattoo, because that's what other tattoos are for. Also, don't worry about giving her ideas that in retrospect might seem stupid...I'm sure we can all look back at some of our tattoos and think "what the fuck was I thinking asking for that"...part of the fun of getting tattooed is that there's this whole learning process involved that you can really only get from actually getting tattooed.

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Also: relax! You seem like you want to listen to her, so you'll be fine. :) You're a client who's put thought into what she wants to get and what you like seems to go with her style - I'm sure she gets stupider questions from people who have no idea what they want all the time...

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Oy. What is it with cranky receptionists? I have a customer service job, too - it's not that hard to be polite, and you're not king of the castle. Unless you've been told to chase away business or something. I understand the need to sort of patrol for lurking kids/jerks, but you're not either of those things.

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Yeah, I dunno. I've seen it mentioned in a few threads here, which was a relief, I was starting to think it was just me.

What is with that?

I am a bit of a jerk though. :p

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It is better to throw it all out there and let your designated Artist's Tattoo filter (and taste/style filter) pick through the ideas and find something inspirational to them. If your Artist is struck with a unique vision of your concept, and they are excited about it, you will more than likely be happy about the results (since you choose them to do your art based on something about them you like, unless it was random, then who knows, lol). The ideas that are trimmed off ( do not fit in the theme for this tattoo) can be stored for your next tattoo project.

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Sounds like you're at the point I was for the last couple years, and you really need someone to take it to the next level. I knew I wanted sea life and a couple critters in particular for emotional reasons (spotted eagle ray, clownfish) and I knew I wanted something on my back but I couldn't get the ideas to settle in my head artistically. When I met the guy who is doing my back piece, he showed me a similar sea scene he had done previously and said that client sent him around 50 pictures of stuff that he could choose from. He did the same with me - I sent him probably 70 pictures of underwater critters I've photographed underwater and told him the 2-4 that I REALLY wanted in the piece. He picked and chose and created a scene and helped me understand that the shape and content in my head wouldn't really work on my back. He spent a lot of time explaining perspective to me and as a result, the placement and content changed several times until we settled on something that worked. Some critters I thought I wanted aren't realistic, and another I only partially liked, he showed me how it would fit in really amazingly and now I'm really excited!

So, bottom line, lay it all out for your artist and get the advice of someone who understands construction and how the tattoo would flow on different parts of your body. You'll get ideas you hadn't thought of.

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@SeeSea this is what I did, my artist has done an excellent job. I could never have imagined it this great. It seems like your artist has done the same? (Saw on your thread :)

Yup! Glad to hear your artist could work up something you love - it's hard to imagine it myself I find, but some people are just amazing and constructing a cohesive whole from disparate parts in any type of medium.

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