Each decade seems to bring with it new trends in tattoo art, including styles, colours and techniques. Here, we round up some of the most popular current tattoo trends.
Spiritual tattoos, such as the hamsa hand, mandalas, chakra, tree of life, Buddha and so on has steadily been growing in popularity and hit its peak in 2021. We predict it's definitely here to stay for a while. As people become more conscious and spiritual in their thinking, these symbols will continue to hold meaning.
People have had bible verses and significant dates and names tattooed onto their skin since tattoos became mainstream, but we are seeing more and more script finding its way onto bodies, including opening lines from books, song lyrics, quotes and single words like “Freedom” or “Vegan”.
Delicate little (like really little) tattoos have been growing in popularity over the last year or so and show no signs of slowing. It’s a relatively “safe” way for people to express themselves, without too much of a commitment. These tattoos can also be hidden more easily, and – probably one of the biggest reasons they are so popular with ladies – they are pretty cute!
With improvements in tattoo technology and equipment, microrealism has become more possible, with tattoo artists able to be more creative and detailed in their work. This is realistic tattooing in a small size that uses a variety of details and techniques, a lot of planning and plenty of skill. If you want a tattoo that looks exactly like your cat, down to the last whisker, make sure you research thoroughly and choose an artist who specialises in this type of tattoo.
These minimalist tattoos have been trending for a few years already, but really hit their peak last year. They’re made up of very fine lines and mostly created using just a single tattoo needle, as opposed to three or more needles needed to create the bold lines in traditional tattoos.
As a natural progression from fine line and single needle tattoos, we are seeing really delicate and intricate designs. Some tattoo artists specialise in what one might call “delicate ornamental”, each with their own style, of course. These tattoos may be made up of stripes, dots, rays, stars, geometric patterns and “twinkles”, surrounding or part of whatever else you might want, be it a moose head, scorpion or mountain. As with fine line tattoos, if this is the style you are after, choose a tattoo artist who works in this style. You are not going to get what you are after if you go to an artist experienced in heavy tribal tattoos.
Watercolour tattoos are relatively new and seem to be hitting their peak at the moment. This kind of tattoo requires quite a bit of work and many different shades of ink. For instance, if you want a watercolour wave, the artist will likely use 4 or 5 different shades of blue to create the watercolour effect.
Yip, it’s true. Lower back tattoos, tribal, dolphin, butterfly, sun and barbed wire tattoos are very much back in fashion, but (usually) with a modern twist – in other words, using one or more of the other popular styles mentioned above. For instance, whereas in the 80s, we mostly saw barbed wire around the bicep, we are now seeing barbed wired hearts, tiny barbed wire rings and other iterations of this 90s trend. Butterflies and suns are being done in minimalist or tiny tat style; or you may see fine line and very decorative lower back tattoos or a dolphin done in watercolour.
Of course, the more masculine trends of Hyper-realism, tribal and trash polka are still prevalent, but as the number women getting tattoos increases, and the number of female tattoo artists increases, we are definitely seeing a trend towards lighter