Yer custom is def the go. did a lot of consult with the artist with each of mine - detail, colours, shading. (Good) Tatt artists know a good few things that can help a design look good on the area and skin tone it is being inked into. there is actually a lot in the technical side if you want a quality piece that is as close as possible to the design you have on a 2d (two dimensional) white piece of paper. Even variation in the tone and thickness of the base outline All sorts of stuff.
I remember on one of the many times I was waiting to have a chat to Tony about the development of one of the designs, a bloke came in off a Navy boat. Big american sailor - just wanted work from whoever in one of the rented out chairs. He was a character - Big mofo cigar. He had a quick look through the wall designs and a flick through one book, pointed at one that fitted in the lessening clean space on his leg and said "that one'. only an outline and an hour later it was done. It fitted the theme of all his other random classic Navy-type tatts, but not my sorta gig personally.
On the other hand we were out at a restaurant on a hot summer evening and one of the waitresses came over to ask me about my ink - absolute doll she was, french chick travelling. she had been looking for an "old-school" tatt for about a year (even though se looked about 19yo) cos she said that was what she really wanted to go with her others. She had just found a pair of swallow birds the other week (when i was growing up a lot of harder blokes used to get those on their necks) and was getting it done the next day, funnily enough i reckon they would have suited her heaps, cos even though a classic, she had put a lot of thought into what she wanted... so ya never know I spose.
...and defo boogs:
And yeah... Its always time for a new tatt mate