It has become very common to get tattoos. This also means much more variety in tattoo styles. The creativity of tattoo artists and their clients is flourishing like never before. It is not only the styles that change, but how and where the styles are applied is also evolving.
In this article, we look at some of the popular styles and how they are evolving.
Traditional and neo-traditional style
The traditional style is among the most popular tattoo styles. It is characterized by its strong and clear lines and strong colors. Designs such as roses, anchors and beautiful women’s heads are typical in this style. Traditional tattoos are beautiful, traditional, and they hold up very well over time.
The neo-traditional style is based on, and preserves some of the most famous features of the traditional style, such as strong lines and colors. In addition, an element of illustration is often added. You can recognize this style by the many details and natural elements such as pictures of animals and flowers.
Realism has found its way from the traditional canvas into tattoos. This relatively new style has become extremely popular for tattoos lately. You now see wandering works of art with incredibly realistic reproductions of everything from celebrities to nature. Realistic style is found in both black and white and full-color.
Blackwork and tribal styles
Blackwork is what one often calls tattoos that use only black color. It is actually quite amazing what a creative tattoo artist can achieve with just this one color. Some tattoo artists specialize in only working with black color. Within the Blackwork category you will find everything from modern abstract or geometric patterns to ancient patterns with religious significance from forgotten religions.
Tribal tattoos represent the world’s oldest tattoo style. Tribal tattoos is often seen as a collection of different styles. One common thing aboutTribal tattoos is that they originate from different indigenous tattooing rituals over the millennia. They also have in common that they are almost always done in black, and often have intricate patterns.
Traditional Japanese tattoos are based on stencils dated as far back as the 17th century. The motifs often include heroes and mythical creatures from Japanese mythology. Each tattoo tells a story of Japan’s proud history.
Hand- and ear-tattoos
Having tattoos has long been a bit of a taboo. For a long time this meant that even the biggest tattoo enthusiasts avoided getting tattoos on clearly visible places such as face, hands or neck. This was, in many cases to prevent the tattoos from adversely affecting career opportunities and social life.
Over the past few years, views on tattoos have changed dramatically, especially in western societies. It is now very common to get a tattoo. This has led to an increasing number of people now daring to tattoo their hands. In most cases this does not seem to have had any significant consequences for career opportunities. It is nevertheless important to remember that this is a place that will be difficult to cover up, so it may be worthwhile to think carefully about which motifs you might choose to display on your hands.
Another place that is gradually becoming a popular spot for getting a tattoo is the ear. Like the hands, this is a place that has traditionally been avoided for tattoos as it is not easy to cover, but this is now changing. As with your hands, it’s still important to think carefully about what you might want a tattoo on your ear to show.
The ear is also a difficult area to tattoo. There is a lot of cartilage. You should therefore make sure to use a tattoo artist with experience in ear tattoos. You should also be warned that getting a tattoo on your ear can be quite painful.
Illustrative- and Watercolor-Tattoos
The tattoo artist is the painter, you are the canvas. The illustrative tattoo style is most easily recognized by the fact that the tattoo literally looks like something that could have been drawn on paper or that one could see on canvas in an art gallery. This is a very wide area, and you will frequently see that this style mixed with other styles and techniques.
A particularly popular trend within the illustrative tattoo style is watercolor tattoos. This style is especially popular with the younger generation of people getting tattoos. These are, as the name suggests, tattoos using effects that make them look like watercolor paintings. The style gives the tattoos an imperfect touch that makes them unique and beautiful in their own way. The water color effect is also often seen in combination with clear drawings, often in black. The watercolor style is a new tattoo style, and successful execution requires a highly skilled tattoo artist.
Humorous and ironic tattoos
Humor will never go out of fashion. There are countless examples of good and bad humorous tattoos. One of the new trends at the moment is simple tattoos with writing, where what is written is the focus, rather than the visual art.
Detailed Florals and Flowers
Flowers will never go out of fashion. It is by far one of the most popular tattoo motifs. You will find flowers present in many different styles, but flowers have become particularly popular as a motif in recent times in the form of very detailed floral tattoos. Flowers are also a very popular element to be combined with other types of designs, such as skull tattoos or traditional tattoos.
Large, but discreet tattoos
It may sound contradictory with large tattoos that are discreet, but this is actually a type of tattoo that is very popular. This style is all about creating tattoos that fit your body in such a way that it looks like a natural part of the body.
Traditionally, tattoos have been two-dimensional, but lately it has become very popular to create three-dimensional tattoos that give the tattoo a sense of depth. These tattoos, in combination with the skin, create fascinating illusions that attract lots of attention.
Negative space tattoos
A lot is going on nowadays when it comes to tattoos, and one of the new and very popular trends is “negative space” tattoos. This is a technique of reversing the image and using the skin’s own color in an illustration or figure.
Skull tattoos are very popular. Some people associate these with death and something scary. Some people therefore choose to have a skull tattoo because they want to look a little scary and cool, and possibly like to intimidate people. For others skull tattoos have a very different symbolism. In fact, a skull is also the symbol for the end of an era in life and the beginning of something new. For this reason many see the skull symbol as something positive. Skull tattoos are often found in combination with other styles such as traditional, neo-traditional or realistic style. Skulls are also often seen in combination with flowers, especially roses.
Hundreds of years after the end of the viking ages norse tattoos are still popular. In fact, these tattoos are becoming increasingly popular as people’s fascination with this period in Nordic history increases. Known as a protection symbol from the viking ages, the valknut is one of many popular norse symbols and patterns. Other popular motifs are Mjølnir, the hammer of Tor, dragon-like creatures, and other distinctly norse patterns.
No tattoos are alike
The majority of people who get tattoos are looking for something unique. Most tattoo artists consider themselves artists and will rarely like to do the same tattoo on two different clients. Making identical tattoos is in fact impossible as the skin of every person is different. Tattoos are also crafted by artists, and will always have small and unique variations, even if the idea is for them to be identical.
Choosing a tattoo can be difficult, so hopefully the information above can help both you and your tattoo artist with some useful reference points in the creative process of deciding what your tattoo will look like.