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In short tattoo reference can be found anywhere and everywhere!

Reference imagery allows us a small insight into your mind, how you are envisioning your tattoo, the styles you like, the colours you prefer and how you are interpreting the desired outcome of your piece.

We have all read books that we have been totally engrossed in, that through the words on the page our imaginations have created characters appearances, voices and scenes. Only to have the book turned into a film and the characters, their voices and the scenery created by the film crew, be absolutely nothing like you had created in your imagination.

This principle applies to us when interpreting your tattoo purely from a verbal perspective. How our mind creates your design based on your description is likely to be a complete 360 compared to how yours has. You could give three artists your verbal brief, and I guarantee that each one would come up with something different.

We want to be able to use your reference as a basis for design. So that we can see what you like, go away and create and come back with something customised just for you! It is our job to give you the best that we can, so if you have 20 plus images and within each image you only like a certain position, colour or shape; send them all over!

When it comes to reference it is important to remember that “what translates well on paper, doesn’t always translate well on skin”. This could be for many reasons, that include but are not limited to; size, placement, detail, finish and unique factors such as skin tone and body shape. We will go through your reference, taking what we can and explaining to you what will and will not work in order to give you the best result.

We encourage reference to come from a variety of sources and over the years have seen reference from vintage video games, boxes of matches, post cards, children’s drawings, fine art, theatre tickets, ketchup bottles and much more!

The Fine Matchbox Company. A clients inspiration for their latest tattoo.

If you want to have a chat with one of the team about a tattoo idea or some reference imagery, please feel free to get in touch with the studio. Our consultations are free of charge and we highly recommend them for discussing your tattoo ideas through in more detail.


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