The process of getting a custom tattoo designed can be a very personal journey, one that you embark on with an artist that you trust. But how can you trust an artist that you’ve never met? That’s wher...

Jeff’s Tattoo Journey

The process of getting a custom tattoo designed can be a very personal journey, one that you embark on with an artist that you trust. But how can you trust an artist that you’ve never met? That’s where we come in – by connecting you with the best artist to match your request. Jeff G. was looking for an artist to design a memorial tattoo for him, so he gave Custom Tattoo Design a shot. This is the story behind Jeff’s experience with Custom Tattoo Design, the inspiration for his ink, and how the tattoo itself went, complete with photos of the final piece.

How it All Started

Jeff’s journey with Custom Tattoo Design started by chance. He was searching for tattoo designs and ideas and he happened across a company he hadn’t heard of, “I found out about CTD from Google. I had contacted…quite some time ago for a different tattoo idea, but I wasn’t sold on the idea at the time and did not hire CTD”.

When his grandma passed away a short while later, he remembered that site he had come across, “I knew right away that CTD was one of the artist resources I wanted to pursue and I contacted them right after I decided it was time for ink”.

The Inspiration

It had been many years since Jeff’s first tattoo, and he’d been thinking about getting some new ink for quite a while before taking the plunge. He didn’t want to get a flash design, but he wasn’t 100% sure what his next tattoo should be, “I’m not given to just walking into a shop, pointing at the flash on the wall, and saying ‘That! Put that on me forever!’”

Woman in White Dress who is Jeff's Grandma

It wasn’t until his grandmother sadly passed that he got his tattoo idea, “When my Grandma passed away, I knew almost instantly that I had been given my inspiration. Honoring her and her legacy via a tattoo was something that spoke to me very profoundly. It was time”. His grandmother was a nurse, and an important figure in Jeff’s life, so he wanted to memorialize her legacy by combining her lifelong profession and her love of frogs to make the perfect tattoo.

Getting the Design

Though the start of Jeff’s design process was somewhat rocky, he still feels that it all “went very well”. He explains that:

…the first artist they paired me with was not working out. I know, that’s an odd thing to say right after ‘it went very well’ but it points out something about CTD I really appreciated. When I contacted them and said the artist wasn’t working for me, they gave me a new artist within hours, if I remember correctly. It was obviously very important to them that I was happy and that the work their company was producing reflected well on them.

Gif of Jeff's Tattoo Process

Once he was matched with a new artist, he was off and running, “This second artist was amazing. The quality of the work, the thought processes, and the reception to my critiques were amazing. Within a very short time we went from some thumbnails starting with the frog itself to the final, ready-for-approval draft. I was impressed”.

When you’re having a tattoo custom designed, it’s not just the artwork that’s important – communication with your artist is essential as well. You need to be able to provide them with feedback and send them your ideas, which is one thing that Jeff was happy to have found with CTD, “I really liked the system(s) that CTD has for artist communication. It’s like a forum post, almost, and it allows me to upload reference and communicate desired edits clearly. The artist can also post work very quickly. What state the project was in (draft, final approval, etc.) was also very clear”. He felt like he was a part of the design process from start to finish, and in his words, “It didn’t hurt that the 2nd, final artist was also a very nice person”.

The Tattoo

Final Draft of Jeff's Tattoo

There’s a common misconception that it’s a faux-pas to bring a pre-drawn design to a tattooist, but that’s simply not the case. In many instances, tattoo artists who are presented with quality artwork, with permission granted by the original artist, will have no problem completing that tattoo.

Many are even excited at the prospect of tattooing something cool and original, as Jeff learned when he brought his design to Deluxe Tattoo in Chicago, “I first brought the art to the shop’s owner who looked at it briefly and said ‘Yeah! Jason would love to do this.’ When I met and showed Jason…it was pretty clear I had found my guy. He was super excited to work on it”. They tweaked the design slightly to make the frog a little more front and centre, and the final piece is a work of art that Jeff couldn’t be happier with.

Jeff's Final Tattoo Design

Jeff’s tattoo took a total of 6 sessions, and 27 hours to complete, and he revealed the finished product on what would have been his grandmother’s 94th birthday. In terms of how he feels about the tattoo journey now that it’s over, “I will say that I was impressed enough with the work done at CTD to put the art permanently on my body, and to use it to honor my Grandma. I can think of no higher praise I can give”. Neither can we.

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