A few key considerations come to mind when thinking about a new tattoo, and chief among them is where to place it. If you’re looking for something small, you could always go with a cute thumb tattoo. They may not be the most common within the world of hand tattoos, but artist Jaz Paulino of High Hopes Tattoo in New York City says that the element of surprise works for some body art.
“This placement feels more unique compared to where you'd typically get finger tattoos,” Paulino tells Bustle. “I find thumb tattoos to be so unexpected, yet they have the potential to leave a really big impact depending on the design.” And the design options for thumb ink are plenty: you could go with dot work, fine linework, geometric designs, portraits, you name it.
Since these tats feature more micro-sized designs, Paulino recommends scouting a tattoo artist who specializes in hand and finger tattoos. She also notes that thumb tattoos — and any hand tattoo, really — are more likely to experience fading. It’s exposed to sunlight more regularly, and, as she explains, “We use our hands for literally everything, and that has a lot to do with the healing process.”
To better your chances of winding up with the eye-catching design you sat for and making sure it lasts, remember to follow your artist’s aftercare instructions. Those could vary by design or even climate, but, as general rules of thumb (ahem), you want to avoid swimming, baths, and direct sunlight, and to keep your new ink properly moisturized.
Now, the fun part: Scroll ahead for 20 thumb tattoo ideas that are sure to inspire your next ink.