While tattoos are a unique, personal decision, there are always some that end up being more popular than others. Recently, tattoo artists have noticed that some of the
most popular tattoos are perhaps a bit out-of-the-box, more unusual, or more creative than they have been in the past. With the availability of tattoo designs on the internet, and the familiarity clients can achieve with different tattoo artists' styles on places like Instagram, more diverse requests have been coming through.
"A new thing that’s been happening is the client is educating themselves — more often than not — before they pick there artist or come into the shop," Jason Ackerman, general manager and tattooer at
SOHO INK, tells Bustle. "That’s a trend that needs to stay! [It] makes life easier for the artist and the client." But when clients are getting creative, sometimes the designs get a bit outré.
Tattoo artists have differing specialties, and along with that, different ideas about what is and isn't quirky. And since it's a creative profession, "out of the box" isn't necessarily a bad thing. Getting creative can mean all sorts of things, so learning what's popular doesn't always mean learning what's cliché. There are some cool, unusual tattoos out there for people who are willing to get experimental. There are also some popular tattoos that are a lot more impractical than you may think.
Here are 12 out-of-the-box tattoos that are getting really popular.
Extremely Delicate Fine-Line Tattoos
Minimalist tattoos can be gorgeous. And they're really trendy right now. But extremely delicate fine lines, although popular, are seen as a bit odd to tattoo artists.
"[One] trend that is weird to me in the tattoo world are these super delicate fine line tattoos," Ackerman says. "Yes, most of the time for the first month or so they are beautiful to look at if they are done right; however, more often than not, they end up healing poorly." Ackerman says that mosts artists will try to explain this issue to potential clients, but the trend continues.
LightField Studios/Shutterstock "Trash polka" tattoos are a very specific style of tattoo that originated in Germany. They are really bold and distinctive, but are tricky to get right.
"I would have to say the most unusual style that is kind of trendy right now is Trash Polka," Ackerman says. "It’s stark black imagery, sometimes and actual image other times just movements [...] using dot patterns and splashes of red or blue." Ackerman says they can end up looking a bit sloppy, so you'll want to make sure your tattoo artist really knows how to do this style before committing.
Kiss lips are a tattoo trend that spiked in popularity about ten years ago. So you may be seeing them around more than you'd think.
"I met several guys from that got kiss lips tatted on them in the late 2000’s," tattoo artist
Miryam Lumpini, tells Bustle. Having a lipstick kiss is definitely a very particular tattoo choice. wavebreakmedia/Shutterstock
The era when everything "hipster" involved mustache imagery is not gone forever. It was really popular recently to get mustaches tattooed on the finger, and since tattoos are forever, there are a lot of people still walking around with those jokey little
"[I] thought it was weird that everyone thought [this tattoo] was so funny," Lumpini says. "I thought it was funny too the first time I saw it too, but after that suddenly everyone had it." So even if you think a cheeky trend is hilarious, you may want to think twice about its potential longevity.
You may think that people are generally more inclined for subtle, minimal tattoos. And while there are definitely trends up that alley — like the fine line tattoos — there is also a surging popularity for extremely bold tattoos.
Some tattoo artists are all about this, though. "I’m loving the fact that people are being a little more bold with their tattoos and placing them in more visible areas of their body," tattoo artist JonBoy, who’s new studio is now
Moxy Times Square, tells Bustle. So if it's your aesthetic, go with it.
As much as tattoo artists hate them,
couples tattoos just don't seem to be going away. While they're thought of superstitiously in the tattoo world, getting your partner's name tattooed is somehow still quite popular.
"I would have to say by far the most annoying 'trend' that has been popular since the first person put ink to skin is putting your wife, husband, boyfriend, or girlfriends name on your body," Ackerman says. It may be timeless, but it's still happening all the time — and might potentially
annoy your tattoo artist. Theo Wargo/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
While you may consider face tattoos to still be uncommon, they're actually way more popular now than ever before.
“Face tattoos have been on the rise!" JonBoy says. "I support it, but make sure you’re set on having a career for creativity. because as far as I know, the corporate world can still be a little too conservative.” Like most tattoos, being cognizant of how a face tattoo might affect your job prospects is important — even if it's not necessarily fair.
As tattoos are becoming more socially acceptable
across social settings, and across generations, matching tattoos are no longer just for couples. Whole families, or family pairs, are coming in to get tattoos together.
“My favorite is when I get to tattoo mother [and] daughter, father [and] son, [et cetera]," JonBoy says. "It’s always better when it becomes a family affair!” While it may not be something you've considered, this popular trend can actually be really sweet.
It probably won't surprise you that small flowers are popular tattoos. And getting a small flower tattoo may not seem that out there idea, but for tattoo artists, they're a bit confusing.
"Small flowers are a big trend right now that is going to age poorly," tattoo artist
Jordanne Le Fae, tells Bustle. "[... It] will be the next big thing to do cover ups in about five years." Tattoos like this, that might be more popular online than in tattoo shops, are another reason it's important that you properly discuss all of your tattoo decisions with your artist.
Astrological tattoos may have previously been reserved for astrologers and intuitives, but now these designs are becoming more popular among lay people, too.
"Lots of people right now have been getting sun, moon, stars, or some sort of astrological type finger tattoos," tattoo artist
Jordanne Le Fae tells Bustle. While finger tattoos are contentious, these designs with a deeper spiritual meaning may not be for everyone, but really hit home to some. adriaticfoto/Shutterstock
Getting your favorite food tattooed is a cute, fun thing to do. But pizza is a standout in terms of popularity.
"Tattoos of pizza slices are an 'in' thing," Le Fae says. The trend might be odd, but pizza is a great food. Like all other tattoos, you'll just want to make sure it's something you want on your body for life.
You may remember 3D glasses from movies from your childhood, but the idea that goes behind those red and blue lenses is being used for an increasingly popular style of tattoos.
Anaglyph 3D is the name given to the stereoscopic 3D effect achieved by means of encoding each eye's image using filters of different (usually chromatically opposite) colors, typically red and cyan," tattoo artist Michaelle Fiore at NY Heart and Dagger, tells Bustle. "Anaglyph 3D images contain two differently filtered colored images, one for each eye. For an anaglyph tattoo, there is usually a linework image with both a red outline and a cyan background. It can achieve a lot of interesting affects and has gotten increasingly popular over the years!" It may look a lot different than most tattoos, but it's a fun, out-of-the box design.
There's nothing wrong with getting a popular tattoo. But tattoo artists often know a lot more about the details and nuances of each tattoo design and concept than their clients, so it's important to listen when you can. They may have ideas about styles and trends you haven't thought of, as well as reasons why popular styles aren't always practical.