The quest for individuality combined with reckless disregard for the indelibility of tattoos has sometimes led to some, well, questionable designs. While we’re not saying you should play it safe and follow the crowd when it comes to tatts, the latest and greatest trends and techniques can provide valuable ink-spiration for your next piece and ensure you won’t stand out for the wrong reasons. Here are four that are making waves in the tattooing world right now.
Tattoo trends for AW16
By Sam Higgins, 3 September 2016
While minimalist designs have reigned supreme in recent years, conceptual compositions that push the boundaries of tattooing are still a very popular thing. Take this ‘double exposure’ style demonstrated by tattooist Caroline Friedmann, which combines two themes in one – grand landscapes and human silhouettes layered over each other – for an ethereal, unique feel. Although we’d hope there’s at least some sentiment to the piece, it can – worst-case scenario – also act as the perfect bail-out design should you wise up halfway through getting that portrait of your partner on your bicep.
Size isn’t everything. No, seriously – it’s no longer all about full-sleeve tattoos or huge works decorating your torso. Right now, the tatt game is all about packing a intricately designed composition down into a more intimate, less shouty, 'oh my god, look at my new tattoo' design. And if you needed more convincing, Dr Woo – one of the most in-demand tattoo artists in the world – has been inking Hollywood’s finest for years and, judging by his Instagram, tiny tatts are becoming more and more of a regular request.
Remember sitting trying to perfect line drawing in GCSE Art? You weren’t allowed to take your pen off the paper. Hard wasn’t it? Now imagine someone grasping a needle and permanent ink, ready to etch something onto your skin that’ll last forever. We’re not trying to put you off. In fact, the reward of this brilliantly minimal technique is worth the patience and trust in the artist. Berliner Mo Ganji exemplifies this in his work, which sees him ink everything from animals to portraits in the single-line style, committing only the essential details to skin and showing less can definitely be more.
Paint by numbers
Dive back into childhood memories again and recall those paint-by-numbers books your nan used to get you. Well, that style of colouring in abstract shapes, which eventually converge to become a distinguishable whole, has picked up considerable traction as a tatt trend recently. Sasha Unisex, here, is a master of the style, piecing together different-toned fragments to create bold, playful designs that provide a fresh alternative to your everyday all-black inking.