madmaxine

Need designer help!

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Posted (edited)

Hi all - zero tattoos as of yet but have wanted one for years. Want to make sure I do this 100% right! I wanted to get feedback on finding a designer. I have an artist but I have a very specific subject matter in mind (a particular video game) that’s outside of his normal stuff. Here’s the thing though - I know the subject matter but within that? No idea! I’m confident my guy could do anything specific I ask but asking him to design something with almost zero useful input from me seems like setting him up for failure. And I’m utterly uncreative so I’m useless in this sense. So, how do I find someone who can translate my very high level, unorganized ideas into an actual design? I feel like I might even need someone who is familiar with the game. I def don’t want to insult anyone (like is it rude to ask an artist to do someone else’s design if the designer is ok with it?) and would be sensitive to time and effort (i.e. would pay), IP, etc.. I may be unfairly underestimating my artist so I’m going to sit down with him regardless, but I also don’t want to set him up for failure, or be THAT GUY who is impossible to please, so I’m trying to do this right. Any ideas how to approach this? Is this really an impossible ask? If I am already being THAT GUY and need to check my expectations please tell me! Thanks!

Edited by madmaxine
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5 minutes ago, scottyg said:

welcome.

 

whataya thinking about getting?

Hi! Thanks for the response! Just added a bunch of detail to my original post. If you have thoughts I’m all ears! 

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Pick an artist based on their portfolio matching the style of tattoo you want not necessarily subject matter. Know that whatever you are imagining will need to be adjusted at least some to be adapted into a tattoo. Bring the artist references. The more specific you want your tattoo the more references you should bring. Bring references for subject matter as well as tattoo style. Bring references you like and maybe some you don’t so you can talk through it with the artist. Be open to suggestions from the artist as well. Definitely don’t bring someone else’s artwork and expect him/her to tattoo it on you. Don’t even ask.


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4 hours ago, madmaxine said:

So, how do I find someone who can translate my very high level, unorganized ideas into an actual design? 

That's what a good tattoo artist does. 😉

Find someone that is good in the style you are looking for. Why on earth do you want to go to someone for something outside their "normal stuff?" The whole point of choosing an artist is to pick someone that is good at what you want.

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Hey! Thanks for the response. Totally hear you. I think I poorly represented the guy here - he’s someone who’s extensively worked on at least five people I know, has tons of experience, and is also a friend, so I just trust him and his abilities. And this isn’t to say he can’t hit the mark, like I said I haven’t even sat down with him yet, it might be a breeze for him. You’ve nailed my whole problem - I don’t know WHAT I want, just that I’ve got a good artist lined up! I think it’s more that I don’t trust myself to be articulate enough than a reflection of him! But I think what’s clear is I just need to talk to him first and go from there. Thanks! You just helped me untangle my thoughts a little. Can you tell I have no idea what I’m doing? 😬

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3 hours ago, snyderju89 said:

Pick an artist based on their portfolio matching the style of tattoo you want not necessarily subject matter. Know that whatever you are imagining will need to be adjusted at least some to be adapted into a tattoo. Bring the artist references. The more specific you want your tattoo the more references you should bring. Bring references for subject matter as well as tattoo style. Bring references you like and maybe some you don’t so you can talk through it with the artist. Be open to suggestions from the artist as well. Definitely don’t bring someone else’s artwork and expect him/her to tattoo it on you. Don’t even ask.


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Thanks for replying! By references do you just mean general pics and stuff? That’s a really good point to give some ideas of what I don’t want, I can easily do that 🤔. That’s exactly how my husband picked out my engagement ring and that worked out great 😂

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11 hours ago, madmaxine said:

Totally hear you.

I don’t know WHAT I want, just that I’ve got a good artist lined up! 

Can you tell I have no idea what I’m doing? 😬

1) I don't think so.

2) If you don't know what you want then you don't know if you have a good artist. I've seen people that are fantastic with Japanese style that are not so good at other things. If you don't know what you want, you don't know if the artist is any good at it and so you don't know if you have a good artist.

3) Yes.

You seem fixated on this artist. That's a recipe for disaster.

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If you don't know what you want, it's probably not a good idea to get a tattoo. You'll be posting on here after you get it about not being happy with it and pissed at the artist for not knowing what you wanted.

I don't think it's a good idea to swing for the fence on your first tattoo. For your first, get something small and generic. Learn that process and see if this artist is really all you think they are. If all goes well, then start planning the "one you've always wanted." Jumping before you're really ready is just going to result in you coming on here and asking about lasers and cover ups.

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2 hours ago, JAC1961 said:

If you don't know what you want, it's probably not a good idea to get a tattoo. You'll be posting on here after you get it about not being happy with it and pissed at the artist for not knowing what you wanted.

I don't think it's a good idea to swing for the fence on your first tattoo. For your first, get something small and generic. Learn that process and see if this artist is really all you think they are. If all goes well, then start planning the "one you've always wanted." Jumping before you're really ready is just going to result in you coming on here and asking about lasers and cover ups.

Thanks, this was constructive. I’m not going to do anything I’m not 100% on for sure, hard stop. Which is why I’ve been sitting on this for several years. My point is I’ve been kind of noodling on it for years and it’s become clear to me nothing is just going to spontaneously come to me on my own. I just do not have that creative vision and I need help with it. I mean, I cannot be the only person out there in this position so I’m trying to get some guidance on how people get that help. For what it’s worth I know myself well enough to know when it’s right I will be like, THERE IT IS. At which point I intend to sit on it some more. If I don’t get that feeling I’m not getting one. Sounds like I just need to take a step back and have these conversations with a variety of artists first and then see where I land? In any event thanks for your feedback. It is helpful to hear from a position of experience.

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1 hour ago, madmaxine said:

Thanks, this was constructive. I’m not going to do anything I’m not 100% on for sure, hard stop. Which is why I’ve been sitting on this for several years. My point is I’ve been kind of noodling on it for years and it’s become clear to me nothing is just going to spontaneously come to me on my own. I just do not have that creative vision and I need help with it. I mean, I cannot be the only person out there in this position so I’m trying to get some guidance on how people get that help. For what it’s worth I know myself well enough to know when it’s right I will be like, THERE IT IS. At which point I intend to sit on it some more. If I don’t get that feeling I’m not getting one. Sounds like I just need to take a step back and have these conversations with a variety of artists first and then see where I land? In any event thanks for your feedback. It is helpful to hear from a position of experience.

Step one - narrow down the style. Do you want Japanese, Traditional American, Realism, New School?

Step two - find an artist that specializes in that style.

Step three - ask for a consultation. Be open minded. I went in for a Kokopelli and wound up with a Japanese sleeve. Now I'm 3/4 of the way through a Japanese body suit.

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On 8/27/2019 at 9:11 AM, madmaxine said:

For what it’s worth I know myself well enough to know when it’s right I will be like, THERE IT IS. At which point I intend to sit on it some more.

This^. And keep in mind that tattooists are just like other artists. Most are not good in all styles. We don't know about your friend, but look at it like this = as talented as they are, you probably wouldn't hire AC/DC to do a wedding gig. 

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2 hours ago, SStu said:

This^. And keep in mind that tattooists are just like other artists. Most are not good in all styles. We don't know about your friend, but look at it like this = as talented as they are, you probably wouldn't hire AC/DC to do a wedding gig. 

Gotcha. The stuff this guy has done on my friends, while none of them were for me in my layman's eyes they were well executed. One of these people is my husband, so his work is kind of in my face on a daily basis! I'd obviously just prefer to give a friend my business. If we don't have a meeting of the minds I move on. Plus this is a two-way street, right? I know / trust the guy well enough that he's not going to want to do anything we both feel confident about either, and he'll tell me that, as I hope any professional would. And no, I wouldn't hire AC/DC to do a wedding, but I'd sure as hell go to one. 

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Posted (edited)

having an ideal for a perfect design is going to set yourself up for disappointment. i've seen it happen often for first-timers, they carry this idea of the perfect tattoo for years and years and try to incorporate every single idea/detail that jumps in their head into the perfect tattoo to give it some idealistic meaning, to justify the tattoo to themself and others. that sets the artist up for failure if they try to cram all these dumb details into an undersized tattoo. And it will leave you disappointed because it will not match the idea of the perfect tattoo in your head.

there is a degree of trust you need to have in the tattooer, so choose well and choose wisely - trust that this tattooer will design and make you a nice tattoo, with nice layout that fits your body, a good composition, proper execution and (also very important) a positive, exciting experience for you to remember how you popped your tattoo cherry.

my advice -

keep it simple and you should be able to articulate what you want in a couple words.

be flexible and open to the tattooers interpretation of your concept.

 

Edited by bongsau

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17 hours ago, bongsau said:

having an ideal for a perfect design is going to set yourself up for disappointment. i've seen it happen often for first-timers, they carry this idea of the perfect tattoo for years and years and try to incorporate every single idea/detail that jumps in their head into the perfect tattoo to give it some idealistic meaning, to justify the tattoo to themself and others. that sets the artist up for failure if they try to cram all these dumb details into an undersized tattoo. And it will leave you disappointed because it will not match the idea of the perfect tattoo in your head.

there is a degree of trust you need to have in the tattooer, so choose well and choose wisely - trust that this tattooer will design and make you a nice tattoo, with nice layout that fits your body, a good composition, proper execution and (also very important) a positive, exciting experience for you to remember how you popped your tattoo cherry.

my advice -

keep it simple and you should be able to articulate what you want in a couple words.

be flexible and open to the tattooers interpretation of your concept.

 

Wow your first paragraph - you nailed it. That’s exactly what I’m worried about, that I’m setting everyone involved up for failure. I’m trying to find the balance between finding the right thing and being totally sure and at peace, and having unrealistic expectations. Thanks for the very clear, specific advice!

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