Where do you go when you have a tattoo idea, but no way to translate it onto paper? Jacob’s hunt for a new custom tattoo started with a simple question, “I wonder if there is a website that specialize...

Jacob’s Out of This World Experience

Where do you go when you have a tattoo idea, but no way to translate it onto paper? Jacob’s hunt for a new custom tattoo started with a simple question, “I wonder if there is a website that specializes in custom art/tattoos”. The answer was easy enough to find – a quick Google search for custom tattoo designs brought up a number of results, although only one stood out to Jacob as what he was looking for, “only one seemed professional and legit”. That site was CTD. After looking through the website and gathering some details, Jacob “got excited and started the process” by reaching out with a request.

From Draft to Final

Jacob's First Draft

Before going ahead with anything, Jacob did a little bit of research into the company so he knew what to expect, “I will admit I was still a bit hesitant at first, so I started sending…messages telling them what I wanted, and enquiring about how the process works – cost, payments and all that”. Two things encouraged him to take the plunge into working with CTD, “ I had a really fast response [with] straightforward, helpful, no hassle answers, without out any pressure or obligations from the company”. All it took to be paired with an artist was a deposit, a description of what he wanted his tattoo to look like, and a few reference photos, and Jacob was matched up with CTD artist Zlatko, “…pretty much straight away they gave me an artist and direct contact with him. He asked for some more details, and then immediately started working on it. Within 24 hours he had sent me [a] rough first draft, with the basic layout and elements for my approval. I was blown away”.

After providing some feedback, Jacob gave Zlatko approval that he was on the right track with the design. From there he was getting updates on a daily basis, “he was sending through pictures for me to approve as he finished each element of the drawing, making sure I liked every element before moving onto the next part. After of a few days of this, he had finished the drawing in black and white and waited for me to approve before adding in the colour”. Again, before adding any color to the piece, Zlatka made sure that Jacob okayed the design and the chance to make any other changes he might want to make. After the piece was completed and everything was finalized, “they sent me high definition copies of it, in black and white and colour, and also a copyright certificate with my name. I was blown away, and extremely happy with the service”. As far as artist communication goes, Jacob has nothing but great things to say about working with Zlatko, “Even though we live on opposite sides of the world all responses were fast and efficient”.

Going The Custom Route

There are many reasons why someone would choose to go with a custom designs versus flash, but for Jacob, it all comes down to personal expression, “I am a unique and individual kind of person, and I wanted a tattoo that expresses my personality, and something that none else has”. Flash designs are always a good option if you want fresh ink and don’t mind having something pre-drawn that you didn’t personally design, but it isn’t something Jacob ever considered, “I have always been against flash designs, tattoos are supposed to be more personal than that. Custom designs are the only way to go for me – #noregrets”.

Jacob's alien tattoo in color

Jacob had a very specific idea in mind, but isn’t the most artistically skilled, “I had an idea in my head for a long time of what I wanted, but [I] can’t draw, so this was the best option for me”. With frequent communication and a clear picture of what Jacob was looking for, “the artist took the idea out of my head and put it to paper”. While this isn’t Jacob’s first tattoo, this piece and his experience, he says “is by far by best…Using CTD to design my tattoo has been a much better experience than using tattoo shops, as it is exactly what I wanted – 100% mine and no images from magazines or online”. Jacob has nothing against going the more traditional route of using an artist in a tattoo parlor, but explains that “In my experience, tattoo shops generally don’t have the time to do 100% custom tattoos, and don’t spend the time to drag the image out of your head…[they] generally draw what they think would look good. But CTD designs are all for the customer’s satisfaction”.

Design Inspiration

As a life-long sci-fi fan, Jacob had no question that he wanted a sleeve tattoo that reflected his love of the genre, “My whole life I’ve been…obsessed with space and the cosmos…My favourite TV show is Stargate – I’ve seen every episode at least twice. My favourite movie is Starship Troopers, my favourite game is Mass Effect, and my favourite book is Seven Ancient Wonders by Matthew Reilly. Basically, if it’s sci-fi, I’ve seen it, read it or played it”.

Jacob’s enthusiasm about space doesn’t end at media and pop culture. He considers all things space to be his biggest interest and passion, “I also believe in aliens and have a lot of theories about aliens, human history and religion all being connected. My ultimate dream is to go to space and make contact with an alien race, and or colonise another planet. The universe is too big for us to be alone”. That being said, “I had to get a sci-fi/alien/space themed tattoo, and I am blown away at how well it turned out”.

Getting Inked

Given that Jacob’s sleeve design incorporated a ton of intricate detail, he wanted to be sure he chose the right tattoo artist for the job, “I did a bit of research and decided to go on a tattoo holiday to Thailand. I went to Bloodline Tattoo in Patong Phuket, and got their award-winning colour realism artist Chiang to do it for me”. There was a perk of travelling to get his ink done, aside from the obvious vacation lure. As a native to Australia, Jacob particularly liked that Bloodline Tattoo is Aussie-owned, but located in Thailand, employing local Thai tattoo artists, “I was not disappointed. It is a highly professional, clean, shop with really friendly and easy to talk to staff, with some of the world’s best artists”.

Jacob's Completed Tattoo

Some people think it’s taboo to bring a design into a tattoo shop that wasn’t done by an artist in that shop, but that’s rarely the case. In reality, it often makes their life easier, as was Jacob’s experience, “The tattooist thought it was great…as he didn’t have to spend time drawing something up and try to get an image out of my head. He loved the idea of it being completely custom with its own copyright, rather than some images from the internet. It made it more fun for him to do”. He adds that “In fact, a few other artists from the shop approached me and asked how I got a design like that with my own copyright certificate, they loved the idea”. Being able to prove that you own the rights to your design can help if a tattoo artist is hesitant to ink what they believe to be someone else’s work.

If you’re in the market for a tattoo, and you want a design that’s not only custom, but something that you have complete control over, CTD could be the best route for you. There are huge benefits in working one-on-one with an artist who isn’t limited by time constraints, and is open to any and all changes that you might want to make to your design before you approve the final draft. Join Jacob in getting a 100% custom tattoo design, and getting blown away by the results.

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