The Sleeve-Style Tattoo Trend Celebs Are Loving Right Now

Including Miley and Ariana.

Why patchwork tattoos are summer 2021's hottest body art trend.
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Patchwork tattoos are dominating the body art world. Unlike traditional sleeves, these involve separate images spaced apart, a style tattoo artist Gianna Caranfa sees as a trend thanks to the many celebs with patchwork tattoos (like Miley and Ariana). Scroll for ink inspo.

Ariana Grande has more than 50 tattoos, including a handful on her arms which are done in a patchwork style. She’s got a Pokemon character, two butterflies, and the words “just sing” in Japanese.

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Caranfa points to Justin Bieber as a prime example of someone with patchwork-style arm tats. His eclectic mix of ink — which includes an eye, the word “believe,” and a tiger — proves the body art style can feature any images you like in one space.

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Miley Cyrus gets the appeal of patchwork tattoos — which, according to Caranfa, is that there are endless options to choose from. “Patchwork ink involves finding an image you like and then placing it where it fits, rather than make a cohesive tattoo that fills all areas,” she says.

“A lot of popular celebrities are role models for patchwork tattoos, such as Halsey,” says Caranfa. The singer-slash-entrepreneur’s arm ink includes the word “brat,” a quote from Romeo & Juliet, music notes, and a colored-in image of Mars (and more).

Compared to typical sleeve tattoos, which usually blend into each other, patchwork ink is placed anywhere it fits, says Caranfa. “They’re meant to be breathable, rather than filled in with shading,” she tells Bustle. This combo of outline drawings is a cute minimalist example.

This patchwork tattoo sleeve features an eclectic mix of a mouth drawing, a hand holding a sword, a snake, and a dainty phrase, proving you really can go with any art you want.

Your patchwork tat doesn’t have to extend along your entire arm — this one features a cluster of micro designs on the upper arm, which is an easy way to dip your toe into sleeve ink.

Caranfa says she’s seeing lots of florals, words, and abstract art designs in the patchwork tattoo realm. This sleeve includes a vase of flowers placed above a shell, as well as a bottled butterfly wing.

You can go with any sort of placement your heart desires with patchwork-style ink — take, for instance, this pair of spaced-out sleeves with letters, symbols, outlines, and more intricate art. Pro tip: “Choose what you love,” says Caranfa.

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