2019 Tattoo Trends
From white ink to ‘90s Ignorant Style designs, these tattoos have been flooding our Instagram feed.
Although the popularity of tattoos has skyrocketed in recent years, humans have been adorning their skin with tattoos for thousands of years! Evidence suggests that long before ancient Egyptians began decorating their skin with sacred symbols, prehistoric civilizations may have marked their bodies with ink inscriptions for therapeutic benefits.
Over the years, the art of tattooing has evolved and expanded. In the last 50 years alone, we’ve witnessed tattoos grow from symbols of counterculture to mainstream fashion. Today, around one in five adults and nearly 40 percent of millennials in the U.S. have a tattoo.
We’ve seen tattoo trends rise and fall, from the black freehand tribal ‘80s and ‘90s to the neon colors of the New School in the early 2000s.
When it comes to tattoo trends, it’s clear the only constant is change.
So, what’s next in the world of tattoo artistry?
To find out, we scoured Instagram and rounded up ten rising tattoo trends that we love:
White Ink tattoos
Once notoriously tricky to execute and challenging to maintain, white ink tattoos have become increasingly popular as tattoo artists develop and improve on white ink techniques. These rare, delicate tattoos are made up of a single, white-ink color that creates a visible relief on the skin. When handled by an experienced tattoo artist, white ink tattoos appear bright on light skin and vivid on dark skin, and they glow under UV lighting.
Simple but bold, the one-line tattoo is one of our favorite trends to flood our Instagram feed. They may look deceptively straightforward, but one-line tattoos take a great deal of precision, skill, and oftentimes—multiple needles to render. To create the effect of a contiguous, single-line, tattoo artists must typically create on- line tattoos in one sitting. For those with the patience and a trusted tattoo artist, these long, clean lines make an eye-catching finger, arm, or thigh tattoo. We love the understated elegance of the thigh tattoo pictured above.
Tiny Ear Tattoos
Introduced to the mainstream by celebs like Miley Cirus and Rihanna, tiny, intricate ear tattoos have gone from virtually non-existent to trendy, seemingly overnight. To generate these delicate designs, tattoo artists typically use thin needles to adorn the lobe, helix, and outer ears with thin lines by hand. Miniature ear tattoos come in many styles, from spooky spiderwebs to the pretty petals featured in the above image.
Like many trends, single-needle is thought to have started in Los Angeles but has since spread around the globe. As its name suggests, the single-needle method involves one needle rather than many. This creates an ultra-fine line ideal for intricate floral designs, minuscule symbols, and precise shading. One of the perks of fine line tattoos is that you can achieve a similar level of detail on smaller areas, like the knuckles and ears. Check out the level of detail in the single-needle arm tattoo above!
Ignorant Style Tattoos
In the mid-1990s, Parisian artist Fuzi UVTPK caught the eye of the world with his Ignorant Style graffiti. Fuzi started making the transition from painting subway cars to bodies in 2008 and has since tattooed the likes of Scarlett Johanson with his post-ironic, cartoonish artwork. Ignorant Style tattoos, which can be recognized by edgy, dry-humor cartoon drawings with bold lines, have gained mainstream appeal in the last year or so. As the style grows in popularity, more and more talented tattoo artists have started to replicate it. This means you don’t have to hunt down Fuzi UVTPK himself to get a groovy Ignorant Style arm, chest, or thigh tattoo.
A close cousin of tiny ear tattoos, small, delicate finger ink tattoos are having a moment. We’ve been spotting these micro finger tattoos all over Instagram as well as on the hands of celebrities like Beyonce, Ariana Grande, and Lucy Hale. But while these tattoos may be playful and hip, they tend to be painful and fade faster than arm or thigh tattoo designs.
Inspired by the early 20th-century style and revolutionary art movement, cubist tattoos incorporate geometric shapes, interlocking planes, and bold colors to produce vivid, often surreal depictions of a subject. Tattoo artists follow in the steps of iconic cubists like Picasso and Georges Braque to transform portraits, landscapes, and more into one-of-a-kind body tattoo art—like the arm tattoo pictured here.
From full-sleeve arm tattoo designs to back pieces, big, bold large-scale tattoos are also becoming increasingly vogue among the younger generation of tattoo fans. While a stark contrast from the tiny knuckle and ear tattoos, the best big tattoo designs can still be detailed and dainty.
Popular among the hip youths of Japan and South Korea, we’ve watched watercolor tattoos take off in popularity worldwide in the past few years. Vibrant and colorful, these tattoos are challenging previous notions that tattoos look best when restricted to black, gray, and neutral colors. Watercolor tattoos, such as the thigh tattoo above, recreate the appearance of watercolor paintings, with brilliant color that bleeds slightly beyond the lines.
More discreet than a hand, leg, or lower arm tattoo, ribcage or “side boob” tattoos sit just below the line of the breast, highlighting its natural curve. The placement means rib cage tattoos can be shown off or hidden according to the wearer’s desire. Adding to their mystery, many side boob tattoos are subtle and small.
Now that tattoos have shed their stigma and are moving into the cultural mainstream, new tattoo trends are popping up seemingly every day. But as new ink styles come into the limelight, tired, older designs are falling out of favor.
Tattoo trends don’t last, and your tattoo doesn’t have to, either.
If you’re hoping to retire a Chinese character or barbed-wire arm tattoo to free up space for a new style, consider having it removed!
At The Finery, we offer professional laser tattoo removal and fading services at locations across the Northeast.