When you design a tattoo piece for someone, there is an aspect of collaboration between the tattooer and the client. It’s important to work together to find something that fits the artist’s style and skill set, and satisfies the image in the imagination of the client. The best tattoos are made when there is a trust given from the client combined with a willingness to create something lasting from the artist. This collaborative effort can come in the form of freehand tattooing, which is a way of designing a tattoo directly onto the person’s body, rather than printing a stencil of an already made design.
Freehand Tattoos as Space Fillers
If you have an awkward shaped space to fill between some of your existing tattoos, freehanding is a great way of making sure your new piece flows with your existing tattoos, and everything feels cohesive and uniform.
Obviously, not everyone cares about making all of their tattoos evenly spaced or uniform, but if that is something that you look for when getting a tattoo, try looking for someone to freehand your piece. When you have an artist design a gap filler piece for you, they often will take a tracing of the space, or a picture if they are designing it digitally, and use this as a reference for the amount of space they can take up with their design. While this is a tried and true method, someone with less experience could easily mess this up and design something that feels wonky or too crowded in the space. Even the best tracing or photograph can’t capture the exact contours of a human body. If your artist designs your tattoo directly on your skin and around whatever tattoos you may already have, or wrapping around whatever body part, you are pretty much guaranteed a piece that fills a space evenly and flows nicely.
All of this considered, it’s still important for you as the client to do your research and find an artist who is experienced in drawing on tattoos, and puts out solid work already.
Freehand Tattoos as a Way of Connecting with People
There is a sort of magic that happens when a tattooer you trust draws an art piece directly onto you. You are able to watch your piece come to life from start to finish, and watch the artists process the whole way. A kind of energy channeling happens naturally, which can bring the art more life and connectivity to the client. It’s exciting to watch the process of a tattoo come to life, from the loose shapes in the beginning to the final shading or color at the end. This is also a great way of seeing an artists full skill level, as they are able to tap into their creative side on demand and make a piece of art under the pressure of being watched by the person who is going to wear it for a long time.
The experience of receiving a freehand tattoo is certainly a memorable one, and if you are a tattoo collector who is thinking about getting one, do your research and find someone who has some freehand tattoos in their portfolio already, and someone who you trust and get along with. Prepare to have a longer than normal appointment, as you’ll be a part of the creation process as well as the tattoo process. If all goes well, you will be left with a beautiful piece of art that flows with your body and other tattoos that you can wear forever.
Most of the artists at Diego Tattoo perform some sort of freehand tattooing. Chance Quinn specializes in freehand and is always happy to answer any questions you have.