How to Choose a Neck Tattoo Design
You’ve decided you want to get a tattoo and you know you want it on your neck. While you may have an idea for a concept, you haven’t nailed down the final design. First, you’ll want to find a respected and experienced tattoo artist. Be aware that not all tattoo artists will be comfortable working on your neck, especially if this is your first tattoo.Once you find a professional artist, talk to them about design specifics, including size, placement, and other important things to consider.
Selecting an Experienced and Professional Tattoo Artist
Decide on a style of tattoo.You may already have a good idea of the tattoo you want to get. However, your idea may require a specific style of tattooing. For instance, if you just want the outline of a star or another simple “flash” design, any experienced, well-respected tattoo artist will likely be able to provide you what you want. However, if you want a certain type of pattern or a realistic image, you may need to go a specific tattoo shop, or even a specific artist, to get what you’re looking for.
- Different styles of tattoo include New American Traditional, Japanese, and tribal.
- There are also shops and artists that specialize in even more specific styles, such as lettering or watercolor tattoos.
Find an artist with experience in that style.If you know you want a Koi fish wrapped around your throat, it’s highly advisable to find an experienced tattoo artist that has done neck tattoos before and that specializes in Japanese style tattoos. Not only will the final product be much higher quality, tattoo artists that are experienced in working with the styles you’re thinking about can help you pick a specific design.
- The more specialized an artist is, the more likely it is that they are often booked well in advance. This is especially true if the artist is particularly gifted, as people who want the type of tattoo they specialize will seek them out from far and wide.
Ask to see an artist’s portfolio.Ensure that the portfolio includes many photos of actual tattoos (as opposed to illustrations), and that they were taken in the shop in which they work. Ask about neck tattoos in particular, as this can be a challenging place to give a tattoo.
- An additional benefit of looking at an artist's portfolio is that it might inspire a specific aspect of your own design.
Keep price in mind.The more well-known and well-respected a tattoo artist is, the more valuable their time and artwork. Always ask what an artist's minimum price is, as well as their hourly rate. They will likely give you an estimate on the total cost of your tattoo. It is also customary to tip for tattoos.
- The artist will be happy to answer your questions. Simply say something like, "What should I know about your pricing?"
- Those incredible tattoo artists you see on Instagram are often booked years in advance, and charge high prices for their time. Note that there are likely gifted, professional artists in your area.
Insist on sterilized and new equipment.A final factor to consider when selecting the artist you want to work with is the cleanliness of their shop and equipment. In particular, you should watch the artist remove a new needle and tube set from its sealed envelope just before they begin working on your tattoo. Feel free to ask any questions you have about sterilization and safety. A professional tattoo artist will entirely understand your desire to ensure safety.
- Similarly, make sure your artist uses a new ink supply and a new disposable container for every tattoo. They should also wear a new pair of disposable gloves while handling the equipment and giving you your tattoo.
- Never work with an artist that is evasive about answering your questions or works in shop that does not have your complete confidence in terms of sanitation.
Deciding On Your Design Specifics
Determine the size of your tattoo.Small, subtle neck tattoos often look great. Meanwhile, large, colorful tattoos can make a prominent statement. Either way, size is important, and deciding how big you want your neck tattoo to be can help you finalize the tattoo’s design.
- For instance, if you go small, the design will need to be simpler, and have less specific details. Good small tattoos might be outlines, filled-in shapes, or lettering.
- Further, smaller tattoos give you more placement options, while larger tattoos will be much more visible.
Factor in the location’s prevalence.There aren’t many locations on your body that are more visible than your neck. This makes neck tattoos a serious commitment. In fact, many artists will be hesitant to tattoo your neck if it’s your first tattoo. If you’re certain that you want to have a neck tattoo and have an artist that is comfortable working with you, you still have to decide where, specifically, on your neck you want it.
- Popular options include the back of the neck, low on the neck near the collarbone, and high on the neck behind the ear.
- Tattoos on your neck will also hurt a good amount, especially in certain spots.
- Talk to your artist about any concerns you have about pain, as well as whether a tattoo in a certain location may fade differently than in another area.
Consider your clothing and hair style.One of the reasons that back-of-the-neck tattoos are especially popular is that they can be hidden by long hair and some clothing styles. Aside from hair and clothes, however, it’s important to think about how a tattoo will mesh with your style more generally.
- For instance, if you like to wear necklaces, think about how the location of a neck tattoo will look with the types of necklaces you like to wear.
- Further, do you commonly wear a collared shirt? You may want to place the tattoo where is will be more often hidden or where it is fully visible.
Decide on a final design concept.Think about why you want to get a tattoo on your neck. Are you trying to make a statement, express your personal style, or both? These sorts of considerations can help you decide some of the specific aspects of the design. Still, your options are almost unlimited. Fortunately, there's inspiration all over the internet.
- Aside from online artists' portfolios and tattoo collectors' social media threads, you can also search for illustrations or images of the sort of thing you're envisioning.
- For instance, maybe you know you want a knife. Even though you have an initial concept in mind, there are plenty of specifics to determine: Will the blade be curved? What will the handle look like? Are you picturing a folding knife or a fixed blade?
Have the tattoo sketched up.Whatever the style and content of the tattoo you’re planning, have your artist sketch it up on paper first. After telling them what you’re looking for, this will likely be the first step in their creative process. Once you see the sketch, you can tell them about any changes you’d like for the final tattoo. Once you have a finalized sketch, they can even transfer onto your skin with non permanent ink so you can see what it will look like.
- Be aware that most shops require a deposit to sketch your tattoo. If you decide not to get the tattoo, you won’t be charged for the tattooing fee, but the artist will keep the deposit.
- Don't worry about asking for multiple rounds of adjustments.
Considering Other Sources of Design Inspiration
Extend the tattoo beyond your neck.Some neck tattoo ideas can be developed into larger pieces that extend partially onto the neck. For instance, dragon tattoos are particularly popular, but often require a good amount of detail and need to be larger. As such, consider something like a dragon on your shoulder or back with their head reaching up and onto your neck.
- There are plenty of great options for tattoos that cover multiple body parts. The bigger it is, in fact, the more detailed the piece can be.
- Animals or any type look especially good, as the tattoo will move as you move your body.
Add to a tattoo you already have.If you already have tattoos near your neck and are looking to expand, consider extending the themes or content of other tattoos in close proximity. For instance, if you have a tree on your back, consider adding a sun or a bird to the back of your neck in a similar style.
- Similarly, add to a theme you've already started. For instance, if your back is covered in sea creatures, you could add a star fish to your Adam's apple, or get two little jellyfish tattooed behind your ears.
Talk to someone that has a neck tattoo.Another great source of inspiration, as well as advice, is someone who already has a neck tattoo. You can ask them questions about how it felt to get the tattoo, and why they chose the location they did, etc. If you already have a concept in mind, ask them what they think about it, just to hear another person’s perspective.
- For example, if you see someone with a tattoo you admire, say something like, "Hey! I noticed your neck tattoo and I think it's great. I've been thinking about getting one myself.
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