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Hand-lettered Tattoo Design

custom tattoo design, tattoo design, minimal tattoo, grace tattoo, handwritten tattoo, wave tattoo, hand lettered tattoo

When I was asked to help design a tattoo, I was so excited and terrified at the same time. On the one hand, what an honor for my work to be permanently inked onto someone’s skin for all to see! On the other hand, tattoos are very permanent – you can’t mess that kind of thing up, and that’s a lot of pressure!

Christina knew she wanted something small and simple that would be meaningful to her, but other than that, she only had some vague ideas. She really liked the idea of incorporating water in some way as a reference to her favorite Bible verse, Isaiah 43:18-19. We added in the word “grace” so the wave would have more context to anyone else looking at the tattoo (especially since wave tattoos by themselves are pretty trendy right now), and she liked the idea of having it as a constant reminder of one of the tenets of her faith.

We started with a more compact design, as her original plan was to get the tattoo on either the area where her thumb connects to her wrist, or on her inner ankle. However, as we fleshed out the design, she decided along the bottom of her foot was actually where she wanted the tattoo. Once we had a clear idea of what she wanted – a wave running into the word grace – I went for it with a black sharpie directly on her foot. Talk about nerve-wracking! The instant she saw it, she knew that was the tattoo she wanted, so I snapped a photo and created a digital design from there.

Not having any tattoos myself, I was unsure how things would work from here. It turns out, the tattoo artist turned the print-out of my digital illustration into a stencil and directly traced it onto Christina’s foot. I find the whole process fascinating – it’s really sort of like designing a logo, but instead of telling the story of a company in one simple illustration, you’re telling the story of a person. I feel truly honored that my illustration and hand-lettering will be showcased on Christina for the rest of time!

I always really love working on unconventional projects – I love the challenge and have such a blast trying something new or different. I never ever thought I would be designing tattoos for anyone, but I would do it again in a heartbeat!

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