Wednesday, October 27, 2010

How To Find The Perfect Tattoo Design

Now that you’re ready to get inked, the first step is finding your perfect tattoo design (or designs). You likely have at least a vague idea of something you think would be great and now you can make it a tattoo-friendly reality! However, finding that perfect tattoo design is a complex process with many considerations and it may take some time to find something that will also result in a great tattoo. So don’t rush it! Many people even make it a point to mull over an idea for months or even years before actually making the leap to permanency. And if you’re still looking for inspiration, it’s sometimes a good idea to trim the fat right from the beginning and think about what you won’t have tattooed. Eliminating possibilities is often a good first step. Is there a chance you would want a skull tattoo? Nope. Great, you’re now one step closer to finding your perfect tattoo design.

There are many ways to search out design reference for your new ink. The Internet has become an easy resource of information and you can find a lot of images that appeal to you — often a myriad of photographs, drawings and animated images that all somehow relate to the tattoo vision you have in your mind. Magazines, books and all other types of media can contribute even further. But, unfortunately, not everything you’re going to find online or at the newsstand can translate into a fantastic tattoo. The amount of detail, the line work and shading involved and the size of the image will have to determine how “tattoo-friendly” your design reference actually is. Often, the images you find will need to be re-worked by a knowledgeable flash artist or tattooist to make them work well when translated to your skin.

To avoid the disappointment of realizing that your “perfect” design isn’t actually a realistic tattoo possibility, bypass mass media searching and go for the most direct method: consulting tattoo-friendly collections of flash art. These designs were created specifically to be tattooed and will work within the possibilities and limitations of a tattoo needle. Other types of art and images that you find as design reference may contribute to your tattoo vision, but you should be aware of their limitations in advance.

Melissa browses for the perfect design

Melissa browses for the perfect tattoo design.

Ten Steps to the Perfect Tattoo Design

  • Know your tattoo design resources … and their limitations.
  • You may find design inspiration in many places, but you won’t always find tattoo-friendly artwork. Magazines, books, Internet searches and all other forms of media are full of images, but you should ultimately rely on artwork that is intended to be tattooed and is created by flash artists and tattooists who understand the limitations of a tattoo machine. has a database of thousands of tattoo-friendly designs, which all come with the stencil your tattooist will need to apply them to your skin. Limit your resources to those most reliable for a design-to-tattoo translation, and make sure that you’re only seriously considering artwork that you know is tattoo-friendly.

  • Be realistic about your tattoo design vision.
  • Skin is a living canvas, so there is a natural limit to what will work and what will not work as a tattoo. Be realistic about the size and complexity of your tattoo design with respect to the size of the tattoo you ultimately want. Commonly, people want to put more complexity and detail in their tattoo design than will conceivably work for the small size they want it tattooed on their body.

  • Make sure your tattoo design reflects your desire for ink.
  • People get tattoos for many different reasons — be it identity expression, rite of passage, shock, memorializing, or simply because they like the idea of having one. Think about your reasons for getting tattooed while you work through the process of choosing a design and you’ll find something that really expresses your original desire to get one. If you want to create a “bad girl” look, chances are a cute butterfly tattoo won’t get the response you're looking for.

    Artist Edward Lee traditional old school dagger tattoo design

    Check out more daggers, roses, and
    Check out more of
    Edward Lee's tattoo designs!
  • Determine what your tattoo means to you now, later and forever.
  • Think about the meaning your tattoo will have and how it will apply to you in the future. While some people want their tattoo to always represent them, others will get tattooed to commemorate a period or event in their lives (like a mile marker). Just like points on a lifeline, tattoos can tell a story of your personal growth and development. Using this perspective, a tattoo never really becomes “irrelevant.” So what’s important to you? And how important do you think it will be long into the future? Some things that might inspire your tattoo include hobbies and interests, stories or folklore you identify with, your religious or spiritual beliefs, special achievements and your cultural (or sub-cultural) identity.

  • Identify your style.
  • Identify different styles of artwork you’re naturally drawn to. Many designs can be represented in various ways and you might be more attracted to a traditional and vintage look, modern or urban styles, photo realistic forms, buoyant cartoon designs, delicate and feminine-looking work or “simulation” (designs that simulate watercolor, airbrush and oils). There are probably as many styles as there are tattooists and flash artists to create them, so find those that feel right to you.

  • Keep in mind the importance of a tattoo-friendly design stencil.
  • If possible, select a design that is “stencil ready.” Tattoo design stencils are blueprints of your tattoo that don’t include color or shading, but give subtle direction to the tattooist in how to create the design on your skin. The process is similar to how engineers use the “language” of a blueprint to make sure the intended measurements, guidelines and details of the project are translated into a finished masterpiece. Providing your artist with good design references and stencils increases the likelihood that your tattoo is an accurate representation of your original design. All of the tattoo artwork you’ll find on includes a tattoo-ready stencil with your purchase.

  • Be aware of multiple interpretations of your design choice.
  • Most people select a tattoo design based on what the design symbolizes to them. You might decide to commemorate your summer in Spain with a fantastic tattoo design of a black bull, but you might get a lot of people misinterpreting your tattoo and wondering if your zodiac sign is Taurus. It’s important to understand the various symbolic interpretations your design may take on and what others might think after seeing your tattoo. Inform yourself before you commit to a permanent tattoo and do some research on your ideas.

  • Location, location, location!
  • Where you decide to put your tattoo will determine how visible it is to everyone else. How easily do you want to be able to show off or hide your artwork? The location will also affect your tattoo design options and what can feasibly fit there. A complicated and highly detailed design simply can’t be squeezed onto your ankle and is probably better suited for a larger space. Some designs simply work better aesthetically on different places of the body. Will your design enhance the curves of your body or draw attention to (or away from) certain body parts?

    Don’t hesitate to pull out a non-permanent marker and try a few things out! also gives you the ability to access our image manipulation tools after you’ve found your perfect tattoo design, allowing you to create and print out unlimited versions for you to “try on.” Try a few options and think about the limitations of your canvas.

  • Consider your tattoo future . . .
  • After you get your first tattoo, beware . . . you may very well want to get more. If you’re prone to “ink addiction” and think this tattoo may lead to another, think about how the tattoo design you’re considering now will fit into your larger “tattoo future” in terms of style, theme, balance of color and size.

  • Take responsibility. Take time.
  • You’re going to have this tattoo forever, so take all the time you need to find something you love. While the final choice is ultimately your responsibility (and your prerogative), it may not hurt to get opinions from trusted people in your life. Then again, you should also be prepared to ignore the opinions of others.

    And beware — if you don’t have a general idea of the tattoo you want, you may be more susceptible to pressure from your friends and from your tattooist. Don’t get talked into anything. Long-time tattooist Guy Aitchison explained this to us succinctly when he said, “You’re the owner of your skin. Don’t get sucked into anything you don’t want.”

Tattoo design

Tattoo Designs

X-small Tattoo Designs (less than an inch)

Tattoo Design

Tattoo Stencil / Line Drawing

Small Tattoo Designs (1 to 3.5 inches)

Tattoo Design

Tattoo Stencil / Line Drawing

Medium Tattoo Designs (3.5 to 6 inches)

Tattoo Design

Tattoo Stencil / Line Drawing

Large Tattoo Designs (6 to 8 inches)

Tattoo Design

Tattoo Stencil / Line drawing

X-Large Tattoo Designs (8 to 10 inches)

Tattoo Design

Tattoo Stencil / Line Drawing

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Tattoo Competitions at Hell City Tattoo Convention



Various times all weekend Tattoo Competitions will be held. If you would like to enter your tattoo in one of the many competition categories, simply sign up at the main stage prior to the competitions starting. If you are entering your tattoo, it must be fully healed or it will not be judged, see rules below. Registration for each tattoo is $10 which is non refundable & Tattoo of the Day is free if you are an attending Hell City artist!! Hell City uses state of the art computer judging programs that judge different artistic aspects of tattoos. Hell City along with Solin Systems has developed this web based service for judging competitions accurately and fairly! This software has been such a succes that various tattoo conventions and other trade shows are using this system for their own competitions of all types, from tattoos to cars, to toys, to any style of competition that needs to be judged. Hell City helped pioneer this state of the art technology to judge tattoo competitions this way. A panel of carefully selected tattoo artists will judge the tattoo competition. The competing tattoos will be displayed to the attendees on our giant big screens and will be announced over a P.A. system to keep attendees informed on details of the competing pieces. Live results will also be published over RSS. All competitions are as impartial as humanly possible. No sore losers please!! Winner will receive custom Hell City Awards, given by Official Suicide Girls, as well as taking their place on the "podium of death" for magazine and website photography.

State of the Art Judging Program

Hell City uses state of the art computer judging programs that judge different artistic aspects of tattoos. Hell City is the only tattoo convention using this technology to judge tattoo competitions in this way. This state of the art judging makes all contestants judged fairly and accurately! A panel of carefully selected tattoo artists will judge the tattoo competition. The competing tattoos will be displayed to the attendees on a large screen and will be announced over a P.A. system to keep attendees informed on details of the competing tattoos.

Podium O’ Death

Those who take home Hell City awards will take their place upon
the Hell City Podium O’ Death during the awards ceremonies. Contest
winners will also be photographed on the Podium O’ Death for magazine
coverage and post Hell City website photos. Custom Hell City awards will be given to winners by Official Suicide Girls!

Official Trophy Girls of Hell City


Hellions! Welcome the incredibly sexy women of Suicide Girls as the official trophy girls of Hell City! These vixens will be handing out all the custom awards to the lucky winners throughout the festival weekend. Don't miss your chance to meet all the Suicide Girls at their booth and possibly get your photo taken with all of them on the podium of death!

Master Tattoo Judges HC 2010

Chris Longo "The Mayor of Tattooville"

Chris Longo "The Mayor of Tattooville" will join us again this year to judge the hundreds of amazing tattoos that will enter to win one of a kind awards. Chris Longo is one of the most heavily tattooed humans on the planet! He is not only a dedicated collector, convention MC at many tattoo shows, he is also a tattoo artist himself. His expert opinion and outlook on the art of tattooing is respected worldwide, which really makes him "One Hell Of a Good Judge" at this years tattoo competitions! The Mayor has carefully chosen the perfect judges every year at Hell City, he has brought legendary artists to the main stage for some intense tattoo judging! Be sure to say Hello to "The Mayor of Tattooville" as he will be joining the Hellions all weekend long!

Custom Hell City Trophies

Designed by Don Pendleton




Designed by Don Pendleton

Designed by Don Pendleton



BEST FUSION - Black n' Grey w/ Color Tattoos

Hell City presents a brand new category, Black & Grey/ Color Fusion! This new category to be added to our 2011 competitions was brought to us by our fellow artists Juan Salgado and Ryan Hadley! This new category will invigorate a new judging approach to viewing a fusion of both color with black and grey tattooing. Now both schools can finally be at peace! Time to express your skills and give this elegant style a home and standing point in competitions. We think it would be interesting to see what has been done and can be done with this new tendency. It can be adapted to any style so no more limits.

Runway Trend: Temporary Tattoos

Temporary tattoos were all over the runways this year! TEMPTU did tattoos for some awesome shows during fashion week….Check out the pics below

TEMPTU backstage at Odd Molly Spring 2011

A combination of the TEMPTU Adorn Temporary Tattoo Kit, TEMPTU PRO Transfers, and custom made tattoos were used.

Wayne Spring 2011

Odd Molly Spring 2011

Odd Molly Spring 2011

Temporary tattoos are such a hot trend right now! They are the easiest way to add some edge to your look without the permanent commitment. You could apply new tattoos to go with each outfit, and simply wipe it off at the end of the day!

They are great for photo shoots when you want to create a different character for each shot.

Temporary tattoos are the new accessory! Use your body as a canvas and express yourself in a new, hip way!

Odd Molly Spring 2011

Check out this video of TEMPTU Pro Tattoo Transfers being used at the Ashton Michael Black Label Spring 2011 Show

Get your hands on these temporary tattoos asap! Or should I say, get these temporary tattoos on you!

Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry and Megan Fox get new tattoos to show their love

Miley Cyrus (l.), Megan Fox (m.) and Katy Perry (r.) are all expressing their love through their new tattoos.

Katy Perry and Russell Brand are hoping their love is permanent -- because their matching tattoos certainly are.

The sexy singer flashed her new ink Tuesday in New York while performing on top of a car to promote the new 2011 Volkswagen Jetta.

Raising her arms over her head, Perry revealed a Sanskrit tattoo identical to the one Brand showed off this month on the cover of Rolling Stone Magazine.

The inscription, which reads Anuugacchati Pravaha, is said to mean Go with The Flow.

The lovebirds aren't the only ones showing their affection through body art. Miley Cyrus just added to her tattoo collection by getting the word 'LOVE' inscribed inside of her ear, a possible nod to her Australian boyfriend, Liam Hemsworth, who she has been gushing about since 2009.

Even Megan Fox, who just announced her engagement to Brian Austin Green, is sporting a telltale tattoo - the brunette bombshell says she went under the needle to pay tribute to Mickey Rourke.

"I actually got a tattoo that is sort of in honour of him," she told "I just love him very much and think he's very special."

Fox's tattoo is said to read, "Those who danced were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music" and comes from a quote by poet Angela Monet.

Tight-lipped celebrities regularly use their body ink to speak for them. In April reports swirled that rumored couple Avril Lavigne and Brody Jenner had confirmed their relationship with matching tattoos, though pictures never surfaced.

But sometimes tattoos can last longer than relationships. In 2008, rollercoaster couple Lindsay Lohan and Samantha Ronson reportedly got matching black heart tattoos to affirm their commitment to each other, though their love affair ultimately came to an explosive end.

Britney Spears and ex-husband Kevin Federline were photographed sporting matching dice tattoos on their arms -- pink for her, blue for him -- before they ended up battling it out in divorce court.

And Angelina Jolie, queen of relationship ink, has had to etch over plenty of past decisions.

Before she and Billy Bob Thornton exchanged tattoos of each other's names, Jolie and first husband Johnny Lee Miller reportedly had matching Japanese characters inscribed.


Most Tattooed Woman In The World

The winner of the title the most tattooed woman in the world by the Guinness Committee Julia Gnat held in New York photo shoot,
which showed their tattoos. Tattoos cover 95% of the whole body of Julia.
In such cases, it was nicknamed "The Illustrated Maiden.

Julia Gnat was born with hereditary disorders of the skin pigment metabolism - porphyria. When the disease is allocated a toxic substance, which erodes the subcutaneous tissue. The skin begins to acquire a brown color, becoming thinner and from exposure to sunlight breaks, so the patients over time the skin is covered with scars and sores. It is for that to divert the attention of others from such scars on his legs, Julia, and began to apply for a tattoo. And a little carried away.

Julie covered with tattoos not only legs, but all my body. "I have a dependence on the tattoo," - admits she is now.All tattoos Julia containing your favorite toon characters and famous people, made a master.

Immortal Tattoos - 2011 Calendar Girls

In this time team Full Body Tattoo was get a review about a candidate who happens to new mothers experiencing pregnancy new one month old, in that image of the mother's stomach is not too swollen but he forced himself to tattoo pregnant at the time, looks very sexy is not the prospective mother is pregnant with underwear and a bra that is designed for nursing mothers tribal tattoo on the thighs very well with the clothes in which he looks very fit

The prevalence of women in the tattoo industry, along with larger numbers of women bearing tattoos, is changing negative perceptions.A study of "at-risk" adolescent girls showed a positive correlation between body-modification and negative feelings towards the body and self-esteem; however, also illustrating a strong motive for body-modification as the search for "self and attempts to attain mastery and control over the body in an age of increasing alienation."

Rihanna Gets Inked… Again


have been a hot topic this month already. And thanks to Rihanna the trend shows no signs of letting up. The stylish songstress showed up to a number of events in New York last week rocking an amazing pompadour and a very visible new tattoo.

Rihanna, who reportedly already sports somewhere in the family of ten tattoos, told People that her new Maori-style all-black hand one represents strength and love, and was incredibly painful. What do you think of Rihanna’s latest ink? Would you ever get a tattoo on your hand? Or, as Ryan brought up recently, would you care if your guy did?

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celebrity tattoos

Guess the Celebrity Tattoo!
These tattoos belong to some of the loveliest ladies in Hollywood and beyond. Can you guess to whom each tattoo belongs? Click on the picture to find out if you've made the right guess.


Butterfly Art Tattoo Sponsored by Mansur Caem