CreateMyTattoo Review: How To Earn Over $400 Creating Tattoo Designs

There are basically two levels of tattoo designs. At the bottom are stock designs, which are based on printed patterns or “flash.” And at the top are custom designs, which are made according to the specifications of the client. While designs based on flash can still have a special meaning to the client, nothing captures the essence of a person’s personality like a custom design.

But now that tattoos have gone mainstream, it looks like tattoo artists are having difficulty keeping up with the demands for custom designs. While it’s a good problem to have, client satisfaction is always a priority.

This demand has created a market for custom designs made by other artists and designers. If you’re a creative type or have some artistic chops, you may want to look into make designs for tattoo artists. While no tattooing skills are necessary, knowing what would look good when inked on a person’s skin is of utmost importance.

One such market is I’m a web designer by day, and at night I design tattoos. I once earned $400 dollars on the site. Below are my experiences and opinions on the site.

What is

The site is an online marketplace where artists can sell their designs. It follows a crowd-sourcing method of getting designs. A person wanting a tattoo design calls for entries, and artists send in their proposed designs. The person can then select the best one.

It looks like a buyer’s market, and to a certain degree it is, but remember that these are tattoo designs. People put greater value on these types of designs as opposed to, say, a t-shirt design because a tattoo will be on them forever. That means they’re willing to pay a premium for a truly great design.

I myself made sold a design worth $400 once. The design featured modern tattoo elements like geometric patterns and even a faux watercolor background. The client was psyched when she saw my design. As a web designer, it was so exciting seeing my design on people’s skin.

How to get your designs out there

As mentioned, is a crowdsourcing site. Once you register you can look through the creative briefs uploaded by the clients. There, the clients describe what they want and the look they’re going for, plus the budget (called a “prize”) for the winning design. Take note, some of these briefs can be a bit vague. There are times the client will give some basic ideas followed up by “I’ll know it when I see it.” As a designer, I prefer clear, concise directions, but at least I have the freedom to design what I think would work best for the client.

I (and a bunch of other hopeful artists) submit a design. From this pool, the client selects the design they like the best. The client then takes the winning design to a tattoo artist to get it inked.

The designer whose submission gets chosen gets paid, minus the site’s 13% commission. It’s that simple!

CreateMyTattoo’s Marketplace

Sometimes you don’t want to compete with other artists or create a design only to have it rejected by the client. You can still sell your design on the site’s marketplace. While these designs are technically no longer custom, you can pretty much design what you want and let the market decide whether it’s worth purchasing.

Base prices start at $5.95. For each purchased design CreateMyTattoo gets a 25% commission. Best of all multiple people can buy your design, giving you more opportunities to earn.

The Verdict: Legit or Scam?


CreateMyTattoo is a legit marketplace offering designers a legit opportunity to sell designs to clients. As you would expect, competition is extremely tough, and clients can sometimes provide vague directions.

But even with those factors, the site provides a great opportunity for us creative types. Give it a shot!

CreateMyTattoo Screenshots

Your Turn

This is my review based on my own experiences. Now it’s your turn to share. Have you sold any designs on the site? What was it like seeing your designs on a person’s skin?

Let’s hear your stories!

I thought I’d be a good idea to share my own CreateMyTattoo review. I know there are other CreateMyTattoo reviews out there, but here’s mine.

The Good

You’ll know whether your designs are up to snuff - As an artist, you have lots of venues for receiving feedback - there’s social media, DeviantArt, and Behance. But the feedback you get from there will usually be from fellow creatives. Don’t get my wrong, this type of feedback is pretty important, since other artists will be able to comment on the technical aspects of your work.

But on a site like CreateMyTattoo, you get to show your designs to potential clients, which is also pretty important. You’ll be able to gauge how the public will react to your designs.

It’s a great way to build a network - Just because your design doesn’t get chosen, that doesn’t mean you’re forgotten. Sometimes, the design you pass may not be what the client wants at the moment, but if you make a good impression, they can get back to you at a later date.

So for each contest you participate in, look at it as an opportunity to advertise your skills. And if you don’t win, you can always hope that the client seeks you out at a later date.

The Bad

It’s a buyer’s market - The fact that a site like this even exists is already proof that the deck is stacked in favor of clients. Sites like CreateMyTattoo, I think, benefit clients more than artists. Most of the advantage goes to the client. They can get dozens of design pitches, but only need to pick one. Artists need to scramble to make designs while all the client needs to do is sit back and wait.

It’s hyper-competitive - There are lots of artists trying to compete for a relatively small pool of clients. It can sometimes be disheartening to submit a design and find out that there are dozens, maybe even hundreds, of other artists competing for the same client.

And I’ll be honest, sometimes quality isn’t the winning quality. I’ve seen some pretty crappy designs get chosen over really good ones. The truth is, it’s up to the whims of the client. This isn’t like a race where the first person across the line wins. A tattoo contest is purely subjective. So brace yourself for some disappointment.

Great CreateMyTattoo review! I’m an art school major, and I think contest sites like CreateMyTattoo are double-edged swords. You’ll have the potential to widen your reach, but it’s also ultra-competitive. There’s no guarantee you’ll win any contests.

The submissions of competing artists are hidden, to encourage fairness for each contest. I like that feature, because it takes away the possibility of another artist waiting for you to submit your design before copying and “improving” the design and calling it their own.

That said, you can always click the name of the artist and view their portfolio. I noticed a lot of work in people’s portfolios aren’t actually tattoos but jpegs of designs they made on Photoshop. Don’t get me wrong, this is perfectly legit — tattoo shops have that, which is called “flash.”

But if you’d like to stand out, it’s best to show what your designs look like as actual tattoos (even if the client will be hiring a different artist to execute your design).

Sample Contests

Here are a few sample contests from the site:

Hawaiian Theme - Hawaii, Love open canvas on Ankle

Juvenile Arthritis - Strength/Bravery = Lion - My 2 year old daughter has Juvenile Arthritis. I would like to support her and show her my love by getting a tattoo.

Ouroboros symbol with jaguar & panther in the middle for back - Ouroboros (snake/ dragon eating its own tail) with a jaguar & panther in a fighting stance against each other for my back

Polynesian Tribal Palm Tree - i want it to be cute, medium sized and unique.

Expanding Power/DarkSideOfTheMoon tattoo - Expanding a current tattoos (power sign and Dark Side of the Moon) on left forearm and making it a whole “unit”

Ethiopian Pride - Ethiopian Pride - Lion of Judah, Ethiopian Cross, Ethiopian characters

Contest Payouts

The amount you can earn depends on the client commissioning the contest. But they range from a couple hundred dollars, to about $50. Of course, the higher the prize, the more entries and competition you’ll get.
The Verdict

CreateMyTattoo is legit! But like I mentioned a while ago, it’s a double-edged sword.

As a person with a creative streak, I will try this out!