It took me one day to make my drum and 6 years to paint it.  I don't have any tattoos (yet) just because I haven't found anything that I would like to have on my body for the rest of my life.  I guess there was a similar feeling when it came to painting my drum.  In the end I decided that I wanted to create a deeper connection to the four elements so that I can be a more balanced person and walk in harmony with spirit.  I added the eye in the middle to represent consciousness as the 5th element.  To my mind the eyes are the one thing that I can look into and recognize the presence of another awareness or perhaps the extension of my own. This was a very beneficial meditation that continues every time I play my drum.