Will a Tattoo Artist Design a Tattoo For Me?

If you’re a tattoo enthusiast, it can be confusing to decide upon a design for your next design. Nevertheless, it is fun to think of the different possibilities. Often, people scour the internet for the best tattoo designs, while others come up with unique ideas.

In some cases, people lack the creative skills to draw out or explain the design they want. If that’s the case with you, it’s always possible to ask your tattoo artist for help. This involves asking your tattoo artist to illustrate a design for you, keeping your ideas in mind.

Some tattoo artists have their own customized designs, which they make at a client’s request. If you want your tattoo to come out looking great, consult your artist, as they are the best at giving you new ideas. If you plan to do this and want to know how tattoo artists design a tattoo, read further below.

How Long Does It Take a Tattoo Artist To Draw Up a Tattoo?

How long a tattoo artist takes to create a tattoo depends on a few factors, such as the size and type of design. Drawing a tattoo may seem easy, but in practice, artists must consider different factors. If your tattoo artist draws a small tattoo with simple details, it should only take him/her 30 minutes to complete it.

This is the shortest amount of time it takes to draw up a tattoo, especially grayscale tattoos that are small with simple details. These tattoos usually consist of symbols, quotes, or other word tattoos. If you ask your tattoo artist to copy out a design for you from their own gallery, it will take even lesser time. Of course, it depends if you want any other modifications made.

If you’re getting a bigger tattoo with lots of detailing, it could take your tattoo artist around four weeks to complete. Your tattoo artist may complete the drawing within two weeks, as well, but the maximum time it takes to complete a properly detailed tattoo is four weeks. Large tattoos usually consist of colors with lots of realism and fine details. It takes a longer time to get all realistic features in order, so your tattoo looks real. This is especially if the tattoo is large and takes up plenty of space on your body.

Sometimes, it takes longer because the tattoo artist has to draw up the design according to the placement. After all, they must make sure to adjust the design according to the contour of your body. The same applies to smaller tattoos as well, as getting the details right according to a specific placement can get tricky sometimes. Adding color to the design also takes a lot of time, especially if you’re choosing a unique technique such as the watercolor tattooing technique.

The tattoo artist will have to apply this in their draw up to give you an idea as to what you can expect in the final result. It’s not about how much time it takes for the artist to draw up a design, but how good they are at getting all your ideas into the design. For this, you will have to choose a tattoo artist with plenty of skills and experience.

Do Tattoo Artists Draw it First (before performing the tattoo)?

Usually, tattoo artists draw up your tattoo first before beginning the tattooing process. If you’ve already given the artist a design and shown them a tattoo flash, they will simply outline the tattoo first, so you know what to expect. If you need any alterations in the design, the artist may draw up the whole tattoo with the right detailing to make it clearer. If you’ve asked your tattoo artist for a customized design, they will draw it before tattooing it.

Some tattoo artists have their own set of rules. While some prefer drawing before tattooing a design, some don’t. But as a client, you must always request a draw up or a simple outline if you’re showing them a design. This will give you a better idea of what to expect, and if you’re not happy with the way they have designed it, you can correct it or choose another design before it gets too late.

Does It Cost More Money To Ask The Artist To Draw The Design For You?

Tattoo artists usually charge a small fee when asked to draw up a design for you, but the amount is different for every tattoo parlor. If your tattoo artist draws up a big tattoo with lots of details, they may ask you for something around $100-$200 or even more, depending on the design’s detail. Large tattoos often include a lot of realistic features that sometimes take hours to complete.

Small tattoo draws up will cost a bit less as these tattoos usually contain subtle details and a simple design’.  The cost for a small tattoo draw up would be around $50, again depending on the type of tattoo parlor you’re going to. If your tattoo artist isn’t sure about what amount to ask from you for the draw up, it’s best to pay them on the basis of the time they took.

Tattoo draw ups usually don’t cost more than the real tattoo itself, but you will have to expect to spend more than usual. If you were to give your tattoo artist a design drawn by you or one found on the internet, then you won’t have to worry about paying extra. Paying extra shouldn’t stop you from getting a  tattoo to draw up. Some of the best tattoos are designs that tattoo artists customize and draw, as they specialize in it and are aware of the different tattooing trends.

Can You Bring Your Own Design to The Artist?

Yes, many tattoo artists are cool with clients bringing in their own design and making any changes to the design if requested by the client. Some tattoo artists usually don’t prefer this, especially those who have a reputation for only creating custom tattoo designs. Your artist may refuse to copy another artist’s design. Hence, to avoid something like this, you must always communicate with your tattoo artist before going in for an appointment.

First, ask them if they allow other designs or only work with customized ones.  Tattoo artists shouldn’t really have a problem if you bring in your own design as at the end of the day, it’s your tattoo, and you have to like it. Just make sure to consult your tattoo artist or the parlor before going in, as every tattoo parlor works differently.

Can You Get A Draw Up From a Tattoo Artist Faster?

As mentioned earlier, draw-ups sometimes take longer, depending on how big and detailed your tattoo is. But, the good news is that you can request your artist to carry out a draw up on the spot. You can do a few things that might help your tattoo artists draw up faster than usual.

Firstly, present your tattoo artist with a flash design or communicate all the details you want included verbally, which might not be the best option as this may take time for the artist to comprehend. To make things easier, you can provide them with a reference picture you can get from the internet, or you could draw out a simple one on your own.

Secondly, it’s best to keep your design as simple as possible if you want it instantly. As let’s be realistic, you can’t expect your tattoo artist to pull off ”The Flash” move if you present them with a realistically detailed design that has lots of features. Giving them something like this and expecting them to do it fast might make them miss out on the crucial details, and you wouldn’t want that.

You can also give them some space to put in their own ideas, as allowing them to be creative with your design might push them to finish it faster. If you’re not with your tattoo artist during the draw up, make sure to send them a small reminder through email or text, as tattoo artists have pretty busy jobs with different clients constantly coming in. Asking updates from them constantly will give the feel that you really need one as soon as possible.

What Should You Avoid Doing If You Want The Best Tattoo Draw Up?

If you want the best tattoo draw up from your tattoo artist, you should avoid doing a few things as they may confuse your tattoo artist. If you’ve given your artist a design or asked them to create something on their own, don’t constantly keep asking them to make tiny changes. This could cause a lot of confusion and may also tick off your artist. It would help if you communicated all of this before they start off with the draw up.

Secondly, don’t ask them to directly copy someone else’s design as this may offend them. This may cause them to doubt their artistic skills, and you don’t want your tattoo artist to lose their confidence during the tattoo process. It’s best if you design something simple on your own or verbally give them ideas.


If you plan to ask your tattoo artist for a draw up, you’re now more than prepared on what to expect from them and how to ask. Make sure to choose the right tattoo artist who is good and experienced at draw up’s and customized tattoo designs. The skills of your tattoo artist will play an essential role in the outcome of your tattoo.