Here is the the thing. We all know that the tattoo business is booming. There are a very small group of people are getting good tattoos, and the rest are putting bullshit on their bodies. None of us want to put bullshit, or what can be perceived as bullshit on our bodies. So what do people do? They go to a friend or an associate of theirs that they know can draw to illustrate whatever concept they have in their heads.
The secret behind a good tat lies first in the hands of the person getting it. Sometimes the way you've conceptualized the tattoo just sucks. Either it's unrealistic, or it'll just look bad all together. That's why I suggest, even if you say you can't draw, that you TRY to sketch it out yourself. And when I say sketch, I want you to do it like a tattoo artist would. You know where you want it and how big you want it, so put a piece of paper or have someone else put a piece of paper in that spot...then draw a circle of approximately how big you wish it to be. Then after you've done that draw your design in the circle. Chances are if you can't draw a basic blueprint of the design NO ONE WILL BE ABLE TO. We are artists not magicians.
The second tip to getting a good tattoo is making sure the person actually putting the marks on your skin is legit. Do a little research for goodness sake. Ask if you can see pictures of (his/her) previous work. Ask (him/her) if you can watch while they tat someone else up. If their shit is wack then keep looking. Remember you are to good to get a wack tattoo.
My Beef with drawing them is in the whole scenario:
You (the artist) get the idea from the person...It 85% of the time makes no sense at all...but they tend to have so much confidence in you that you take on the task anyways...After you've pulled out half of your hair trying to visualize the gibberish you've been given a light bulb finally goes off and you get to drawing...In the chance you finish it and give it to them what usually happens is:
-They sit on it forever
-They lose it/damage it/etc
-They like it but not enough to put on their body
So you go through all that (usually without getting paid) for nothing. (And unless you plan on using the picture to initiate a tattoo career those sketches are usually useless as far as your portfolio)
But even if you did it and they took it to the shop...THE TATTOO ARTIST STILL HAS TO REDRAW EVERYTHING TO FIT THEIR BODY ANYWAYS. SO THE ARTIST JUST DID ALL THAT FOR NOTHING.