We have all been there. You're dying for some fresh ink but are stumped about what to get. Here's a few tips on what to do to come up with an idea you will feel great about, permanently!
1. Think about what is meaningful to you. What are some personal attributes you would like to represent? Are you looking for something symbolic? What kind of animals do you like? What are your reasons for wanting a tattoo and how can you best translate that to something visual? Are you representing your culture? What about something humorous? Political? Scary? Start racking your brain with ideas of what direction you want to go in.
2. Visit a book store or library and check out some art books and magazines. They don't have to be tattoo-specific, just whatever you're into. I have seen some awesome tattoos based off unexpected sources like Renaissance oil paintings and 15th century anatomy sketches. I'd suggest reading up on symbolism and color theory as well.
3. Use the internet wisely! Websites like Pinterest are great for gathering ideas, but if you snag a tattoo design straight off the internet, chances are that 1000 other people have the same one. Plus, you run the risk of stealing from another artist who might not have wanted to share their design with the whole world. If you absolutely can't live without THAT design, message the artist who originally made it and ask if you can use it. If that isn't an option, ask your artist to change the design, or make a new drawing based off the one you liked.
4.Visit a tattoo shop and ask if the artists have any designs available. Every artist loves getting the opportunity to tattoo something they hand-designed. Look through what they have and pick something that resonates with you. Not only will you be getting the best possible quality work, you will also be getting something totally unique.
5. Just form a basic idea. Your artist needs SOMETHING to work with, if you walk in and say "freehand whatever," you most likely wont be on the same page. Maybe your artist thinks a tattoo of a shark would be super cool, and you hate sharks. They'll waste their time designing something you don't even like, and you'll both be frustrated in the end.
6. If you still haven't come up with something, maybe waiting is your best option. Impulsiveness can lead to regret, especially when it comes to something as permanent as a tattoo!