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 CreateMyTattoo.com. 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 CreateMyTattoo.com?
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, CreateMyTattoo.com 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!
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!
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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!