NEW TATTOO TRENDS FOR 2017
By Sam Higgins, 18 May 2017
Unlike with fashion trends, following the crowd isn’t always the wisest thing to do when it comes to tattoos. But that’s not to say you can’t take inspiration from others. So, to ensure you’re fully in the loop before committing to an indelible inking, we’ve done our research and found five tattoo styles that are becoming regular requests.
2016 was a upsetting year for many reasons – not least the deaths of some of our most-loved musical, film and television legends. In the tattooing world, respects have been paid in various degrees, from full portraits to the more subtle, symbolic references. Judging by her Instagram page, Georgia Grey of New York’s illustrious Bang Bang tattoo studio is one artist who’s seen a wave of this recently, including this lightning bolt which, to those in the know, is a neat nod to David Bowie. But, to everyone else, it’s still a simple, well-designed piece.
While last year we saw lots of precise, paint-by-numbers-style designs, this year, it’s all about breaking away from the archetypical style of full sleeves and tribal prints. 2017’s inking comes with a more artistic approach, right down to pretending the skin is actually a sketchbook and painting in watercolour. Less emphasis is placed on neatness here and more on tweaking the usual structure to produce an aesthetically pleasing piece of art.
Right up there with removing a plectrum from the body of a guitar, or retrieving your drawstring from your hoodie after a wash, choosing a tattoo is one of the toughest, most frustrating tasks there is. Their permanency piles on the pressure so, often, opting for something small to test the waters is a safer start. Sentimental text, as Bieber’s go-to artist JonBoy shows, is best displayed in a minuscule fashion, easily hidden by rings, cuffs or socks when desired. Much better than blown up, placed inside a heart and needled onto your neck.
Some people still struggle to choose one single style and design, which is completely fine. That’s because the quest for originality has led to a wave of style crossovers, leaving drawings that seem relatively unfinished, but – on closer inspection – are actually a clever composition that drifts between simple tattoo template and detailed design. Max – also from NYC’s Bang Bang studio – is one purveyor of this new style, and shows the effectiveness of toying with basic line-drawing and realistic artwork in the same imposing piece.
However, we must anticipate that some are willing to go the extra step and really use their bodies as a canvas. As you can see from Servadio’s brand of inking, there’s room for artistic masterpieces that are markedly different from your simple stick and poke. Adorn your back in an abstract Picasso-esque piece like this and the results could be so good they’ll be trying to place you in an exhibit at the MOMA.