7 Major Tattoo Trends You're About To See Everywhere

Butterflies are in.

Originally Published: 

If 2022 feels like your year to get a tattoo, rest assured there are plenty of fun trends to pull from for inspiration. Whether you like the look of abstract designs or are more into the ’90s butterfly aesthetic, the choice is yours. Or, hey, you might even want to get both and then go back for more.

While 2021 was all about simple floral and astrology-inspired ink, many of the tattoo trends of 2022 are a bit more over-the-top. One explanation could be how prevalent they are on social media, says tattoo artist Lorena Lorenzo of Indigo Art Tattoos. “A lot of my clients will come to get a tattoo and show me a board they have created on Pinterest or send me screenshots of Instagram posts,” she tells Bustle.

Lorenzo says she’s been doing a lot of large pieces throughout 2021 and into 2022 — some so big her client has to come back several times before it’s finished. That being said, delicate fine line tattoos certainly aren’t out of style. “I have an equal amount of requests for more delicate, small, and minimalistic tattoos that can be more discrete,” she says. “The people are loving them. I’ve noticed a lot of linework tattoos with less shading, so everything has to be impeccable and sharper. This was super trendy in 2021 and I believe it will continue in 2022.”

Here, a look at all the new 2022 tattoo trends, featuring nostalgic throwbacks, splashes of color, and more.


’90s-Style Butterflies

Genesis, a Fleur Noire tattoo artist, says she’s had a lot of requests for ’90s aesthetic tattoos, including arm band and tribal tattoos. But she’s also noticed an onslaught of butterfly tattoos in every shape and style. “I think that butterfly tattoos will come back with a vengeance this year due to their timeless design and symbolism,” she tells Bustle.


Micro Realism

Micro realism tattoos execute the photorealistic approach in tattooing while only covering a small area of the skin,” Ken Go, a tattoo artist at Fleur Noire, tells Bustle. “It's trending right now because it’s following the trend of fine line tattoos that have dominated in the past few years.”

While micro-realism tats can be a small work of art, there is one thing Go’s clients request most. “A lot of clients recently want a small portrait of their family or pets,” he says. “Just like with small fine line tattoos, it can be seen as a piece of jewelry for just how small it is, especially in certain placements.”



Whether it’s a black and gray design or has splashes of color, abstract tattoos will also take over in 2022. “Abstract tattooing is an unpremeditated free-forming design composition without formula, aka no stencil,” says Brian Steffey, a tattoo artist at Fleur Noire. “This trend is becoming popular because it’s different and nonrestrictive to a particular ideology.”

It’s also really fun for the tattooer, which means you’ll end up with something completely unique. “This expression of art allows us to free ourselves from the mental blocks placed around what we know to be right or wrong,” Steffey says.



Lorenzo says colorful tattoos are having a resurgence, which is a big change from all the black and gray tats that have dominated in recent years. “I love working with bright colors, so I am happy to see this being a trend,” she tells Bustle. “I think this is bigger now than it was in the past as clients see that color tattoos can not only be bright and bold, but also stay that way with proper care for years to come.”



Nic El, the owner of Gorilla Tattoo Paphos, says spiritual tattoos are also big for 2022 — think mandala, hamsa, and lotus designs. “They are deeply associated with healing, balance, growth, rebirth, and positive energies, therefore many people associate with them,” he tells Bustle. “They’re usually tattooed in the dotwork style, an extremely detailed work that incorporates a massive amount of dots to create the image.” While it’s time-consuming to execute, the result is impressive.



Keep an eye out for dotwork in a wide variety of styles. “My clients love the decor and all the details that these pieces have incorporated, plus you can pretty much create any type of element — animal, florals, etc.,” Lorenzo says. “This style of tattoo has been around for a long time, but I notice it becoming more and more popular as people see others getting it done. The concern in the past was the fine details bleeding together but with the right artist, this can be avoided.”



While folks may be getting more comfortable with bigger tats, remember that more discrete minimalist tattoos aren’t going anywhere. “We get a huge amount of requests for small minimalistic tattoos, sometimes just outline or with some additional shading,” El says. “These tattoos are easy to hide, are very delicate, and great for those that don’t want to commit to a bold design.” Consider these if you really want some ink but don’t want to spend hours in the chair.

This article was originally published on