Tattoo Industry Analysis

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01
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Part
01

Insights and Trends Tattoo Styles - Global

Five current trends in styles/motifs for tattoos globally include line tattoos, red ink tattoos, floral tattoos, small tattoos and inspirational tattoos. Floral tattoos are preferred because of their flexibility, and small tattoos are open to one's personal aesthetic. Detailed information on the different tattoo styles is provided below.

Line Tattoos

Red Ink Tattoos

  • Black-lined tattoos remain popular, but artists are reimagining tattoos in various colored inks, including red. On Pinterest, in 2019, red ink tattoos were the most popular design being searched for, with the search for them increasing by 2401% from 2018.

Floral Tattoos

  • Floral tattoos are delicate and mostly appear in the form of bouquets, but are increasingly incorporating fruits and other parts of nature. Artists prefer them because their lines and shape are flexible, such that they can be done on any body part including the ear. On Pinterest, in 2019, floral tattoos were among the top searched designs by people who self-identify as women.
  • This was chosen as a trend because it is featured in at least three reputable sources, Refinery29, Metro UK and Elle Australia.
  • Sol Tattoo Studio in Korea is an example of a studio leaning into this trend.

Small Tattoos

Inspirational Tattoos





Part
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Part
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Insights and Trends Tattoo Styles - United States

Some of the current trends in styles for tattoos in the United States are blackwork, fine art, detailed fine lines, realism tattoos, and 90s ignorant. The following information presents details about each trend.

Blackwork

  • Blackwork is considered one of the oldest forms of tattooing. However, it saw an increase in popularity recently due to its aesthetic use and varieties, with a focus on realism.
  • Black and gray realism utilizes only black and gray ink, with an end effect akin to a black and white photo. Besides style, black ink heals better than most and allows artists to focus more on details and shading. They are especially popular for portraits and fine line tattoos.
  • According to Mike Rubendall, founder of King’s Avenue Tattoo, realistic tattoos in shades of black and gray are popular because they are “very relatable.” He further adds "For instance, if a person is getting a Marilyn Monroe portrait, you can immediately see if the tattoo is done well based on how closely the tattoo resembles that person."
  • Mister Cartoon, a celebrity favorite, points out that black and gray tattoos are an expression of the tattoo culture in L.A. and “Chicano Art.” Dr. Woo is another adopter of the blackwork style.
  • Fine line black and gray tattoos are also a trend, according to Rose Hardy of Kings Avenue Tattoo in NYC. Meanwhile, Glamour Magazine listed blackwork as one of the biggest trends for women in Chicago.

Fine Art Tattoo

  • Abstract expressionism, cubism, and ultra avant-garde fine art tattoos are thriving thanks to clients and artists seeing something unique.
  • Cubist tattoos incorporate different geometric shapes and bold colors to produce vivid art, following the steps of artists like Picasso and Braque to create one-of-a-kind body art. Other tattoo artists draw inspiration from Van Gough and Monet to create colorful designs.
  • Ami James, Miami Ink star and co-founder of Tattoodo, spoke about the trend stating, "The exciting thing about tattooing today is that many artists are working hard on innovating and creating new styles and motifs."
  • Mike Boyd creates abstract cubism tattoos, while Eva Karabudak draws inspiration from the expressionists.

‘90s Ignorant Tattoos

  • Inspired by street art and pioneered by graffiti artist Fuzi UVtpk, ignorant tattoos tend to be fun, ironic, cartoon-like imagery made with bold linework and no colors. As the style grows in popularity, talented tattoo artists have started to replicate it.
  • Johan Plenge, CEO at Tattoodo, stated that the style is massively popular now. He adds that "The style has clear connotations to old school prison tattoos, Russian tattoos, and other underground practices that mark the beginning of modern-day tattooing before it got mainstream."
  • The trend is also being driven by 90s nostalgia. Francisco Silva, known as Framacho, at Saved Tattoo in New York, is a fan of the art.

Detailed Fine Line

  • Usually small or medium black and white pieces, these tattoos require a high level of skill. Some artists provide a mixture of geometry and abstract, while others prefer portraits or illustrative designs. Tattoodo claims the popularity of this style is due not only to the details and beauty but the “incredible skill that it takes to create them.”
  • Keith “Bang Bang” McCurdy explains that the fine line work has been prevalent for years, however, artists have become comfortable with it only recently. He expects the trend to grow even further, to larger and more intricate work.
  • Daniel Winter stated that “Sharp, dark lines and minimalist body artwork are subtle stamps that stand the test of time. They often honor some of life's greatest moments or fondest memories with the softest of voices.”
  • Famous artist JonBoy also believes the trend will continue, adding, "I believe small, minimal, fine-line tattoos are certainly here to stay." New York-based Mr. K of Bang Bang is another reference in the area.

Realism

  • According to Tattoodo, realism is a “hardcore trend in the tattooing community today.” Today, the style is inspired by art movements, bright colors, and abstract shapes. Realism tattoos can be portraits, landscapes, objects, animals, or even collages.
  • There are many concepts and designs within the genre, such as dark art, horror, surrealism, portraits, among others.
  • Black and gray realism and color realism are both widely used, with the latter being the most difficult and more in-demand. Alex Rattray argues that people love realism tattoos because they have a personal meaning, like wearing iconic imagery from their favorite piece of pop culture.
  • Steve Butcher, who has over 1.2 million followers on Instagram, is known for detailed and realistic portraits and saturated colors, while Phil Garcia's art is more associated with nature and landscapes.

Research Strategy

To identify the current trends in tattoo styles in the United States, the research team leveraged several pop culture publications, industry-related sites, and artists' declarations.
We found conflicting information regarding the trends; for instance, some sources listed “anything but black” as a trend, while others included blackwork. Others mentioned white ink, while artists say the trend is dying. In such cases, we followed specialized sources such as Tattoodo and recognized artists' opinions.
Part
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Part
03

Insights and Trends Tattoo Placement - Global

Five current trends surrounding tattoo placement, globally, include ear tattoo placement made popular by celebrities and hand tattoo placement which people want to see more often as they go about their daily lives. Side hip tattoo placement and side boob placement are also trending as they can be shown off in summer and hidden at other times, with Moxy Times Square being an example of a studio that is leaning into the two trends. Detailed information is below.

Ear Tattoo Placement

  • More people are currently having ear tattoo placements. It's a placement that many people did not consider in the past until now. The trend has become popular in part due to celebrities being photographed with ear tattoos.
  • Nice Tattoo in New York is an example of a studio leaning into the trend. According to Hannah Kang who is a tattoo artist at Nice Tattoo, tattoo ear placement is difficult to execute as the location has cartilage which does not make ink settle as it does on other body locations.
  • The trend was chosen as it is featured in at least two reputable sources, Refinery29 and EceMella.

Hand Tattoo Placement

  • Hand tattoo placement is a current popular trend. Top-of-hand tattoo placement is especially gaining momentum. The common form of top-of-hand tattoo placement is having "a collage of small tattoos" instead of one large one.
  • The trend is getting popular because tattoos are expensive and people want to see them more while going about their daily life. Also, Instagram influencers and celebs are making the trend popular with their hand tattoos.
  • Fleur Noire Tattoo Parlour in Brooklyn is an example of a studio leaning into the trend.
  • The trend was chosen as it is featured in at least two reputable sources, Refinery29 and Metro.

Side Hip Tattoo Placement

  • There has been a rise in women getting tattoos placed on the side of their hips so that the tattoos can be shown off in summer while wearing bikinis.
  • An example of a studio leaning into the trend is the Moxy Times Square shop in New York City.
  • The trend was chosen as it is featured in at least two reputable sources, PopSugar and EceMella.

Side Boob Tattoo Placement

  • According to celebrity tattooist JonBoy, the side boob tattoo placement trend is still the most popular in 2019 as the tattoos can be easily shown off in summer and easily hidden at other times.
  • The trend was chosen as it is featured in Elle Australia and PopSugar, two reputable sources.
  • An example of a studio leaning into the trend is the Moxy Times Square shop in New York City.

Back of the Neck Tattoo Placement

  • There has been a rise in people, especially women, getting tattoos on the back of their neck. One of the reasons why the placement is popular is that the person with the tattoo can choose to show or hide it by styling their hair in a certain way, such as having a pixie or bob haircut.
  • The trend was chosen as it is featured in at least two reputable sources, PopSugar and EceMella.
  • An example of a studio leaning into the trend is the Moxy Times Square shop in New York City.

Research Strategy

To provide five current trends surrounding tattoo placement, globally, our first strategy was to find pre-compiled lists with relevant information on current trends. This strategy was successful as several lists were located. Our second strategy was to study the lists and locate trends that were repeated in at least two reputable sources. This strategy was successful as five current trends were located and included in our findings.
Part
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Part
04

Insights and Trends Tattoo Placement - United States

The two biggest tattoo placement trends in 2019 in the US are increases in ear tattoos and hand/finger tattoos. Other placement trends include increases in back-of-the-neck or spine tattoos, side boob / ribcage tattoos, and side hip tattoos.

Increases in Ear Tattoos

  • With 2018’s focus on ear-related beauty trends (like piercings, etc), the 2019 rise of ear tattoos is not surprising. Laura Martinez, famed celebrity tattoo artist at Fleur Noire in New York, noted in December 2018 that face tattoos were coming into flair. She notes these aren’t the “scary prison tattoos that might come to mind … but rather dainty stars, beauty marks, and freckles” in tattoo form.
  • Ear tattoos have been gaining in popularity with the rise of many celebrities showing off “classy tiny tattoos on their ears.” Some of these are Miley Cyrus and Rihanna, who have made these tattoos go “from virtually non-existent to trendy, seemingly overnight.”
  • For ear tattoos, tattoo artists use very thin needles to “adorn the lobe, helix, or outer ears” by hand. This area is very difficult to tattoo properly, however, warns New York’s Nice Tattoo’s Hannah Kang. Because of the heavy-cartilage make-up of the ear, these tattoos can be tough to execute, as the “ink does not settle well” like it does on other parts of the skin. Kang also says that these are not as painful as those on “nerve-concentrated areas like the ribs, joints, or neck,” and that this type of work requires a much thinner needle than traditional tattoos.
  • GateCity Tattoo notes that face (ear) tattoos have become increasingly popular in 2019, however, the types of tattoos that can be executed there make a huge difference in someone’s choice to place them there. Additionally, they state that some people cannot even consider these types of tattoos because of their jobs, because of the amount of possible pain involved, and because of the restrictive size of the area.

Increases in Hand & Finger Tattoos

  • Tattoo placement on the hand is not a new concept, as these have been done for years in traditional cultures like those in India, however, with the increases in “innovations in technology, new tools, inks, and a variety of styles,” they have come into fashion in 2019.
  • The beginning of the initial hand tattoo trend for the US was 2015 and 2016, some experts say, after Rhianna revealed her “shhh” finger tattoo. The major upswing in this trend happened in 2019, though, as “people started to really look at the hands and fingers as acceptable canvases for mainstream tattoos.” Micro-finger tattoos especially have been spotted “all over Instagram, as well as on the hands of celebrities like Beyonce, Ariana Grande, and Lucy Hale.”
  • Experts note that hand tattoo placement “is slowly moving the needle of public acceptance, so expect to see more men and women with decorative hand tattoos soon.”
  • Tattoos on the hand have been increasing, though most often, they are a small collage of images rather than just one single image. One popular example is Ariana Grande’s tattoo, which is a “celestial design from New York-based tattoo artist Mira Mariah,” which has created quite a buzz. PierceOfArt states that hands provide “a good space for an intricate design,” and predicted that tattoo collages “are set to be big, instead of one big placement on the hand.”
  • Getting a hand tattoo perfect can be troublesome for some tattoo artists since there are many bones in the hand to disrupt the smooth flow of ink. The skin on the hand is also bumpy and curvy, which also makes it harder to get these right, according to Laura Martinez, co-owner of the Fleur Noire Tattoo Parlor in Brooklyn, New York. She says it’s not like drawing a straight line, it’s “drawing the illusion of a straight line.”
  • Minimalistic hand tattoos are some of the most popular, according to one expert. They also state that hand tattoos that can be seen nearly all the time (except when wearing gloves), are a “powerful way to express your personality, beliefs, and passions” to the world. GateCity Tattoo notes that these very-visible tattoos are not kosher in many workplaces, even in today’s highly-tattooed society, and that this has restricted this trend in some ways.

Increases in Back of Neck & Spine Tattoos

  • In 2019, Pinterest’s Newsroom noted that searches for “side neck for guys” and “elegant spine tattoos” increased 953% and 787% respectively.
  • Along with an increase in tattoos on the spine, has come an increase of tattoos on the back of one’s neck. These are considered “one of the most highly demanded tattoos of the year” by one expert because they fit into the “slightly visible and slightly hidden” space on the body. They’re easy to hide (if hair is long, collar is high, or scarf is worn), but also easy to show off.
  • Although likely very painful to place, “spine tattoos are also seeing a surge in popularity.” These have ranged from very simple line-type or dot-work tattoos to highly-complex and detailed artwork.

Increases in Side Boob / Ribcage Tattoos

  • In 2019, Pinterest’s Newsroom noted that searches for “side boob tattoos” increased by 2337%.
  • The “very feminine placement” of the side boob (or ribcage) tattoos is causing a “rise in popularity” for this tattoo placement location. The Finery notes that these tattoos are “more discreet than hand, leg, or lower arm tattoos,” and that they highlight the “natural curve” of the body, especially on a woman.
  • These tattoos have grown increasingly popular, especially in areas where they can be shown off for longest (like hotter states with longer summers). These are also especially intriguing for those who wish to show off these tattoos while in their undergarments.
  • These tattoos are ultra-versatile as there is lots of real estate on both sides of the body, and they can be visible, party-visible, or completely hidden, depending on the clothing of the tattooed. WordyBuzz notes that the best thing about one of these tattoos is that “it’s not always in the limelight.”

Increases in Side Hip Tattoos

  • Ecemella notes their top tattoo placement trend to be the side hip tattoo. They call these “extremely sexy and trendy.” While, WordyBuzz notes that their number one pick for “hottest tattoos” of 2019 are the “side hip tattoo trend that you’re about to see everywhere this year.”
  • Cosmopolitan notes that side hip tattoos are very popular, like the phonetically-spelled word in red ink on Kylie Jenner’s hip, or stick-and-poke style tattoos with minimalist designs. They also note that script lettering, fine line artwork, flower-based art, colorful works, feminist messages, foreign words, cat artwork, watercolors, angels, message-based works, and abstract art are favorites for side hip tattoos for 2019.
  • JonBoy, a celebrity tattoo artist based in New York City at Moxy Times Square says that “peekaboo body placements [will be] everywhere” in 2019. These include back of the neck, side boob / ribcage, and side hip tattoos.

Research Strategy

To identify 2019’s trends in the US in tattoo placement, we scoured what industry and media experts stated were the most identified trends. We used all 2019 articles from January through November of this year to ensure we were culling the most popular trends. Notably, we used two December 2018 sources as they included predictions for 2019 from experts all of which were proven through the other research. Each trend was identified by multiple experts, and their information was synthesized into the five trends presented. For each trend, we've also included what industry and/or media experts have stated about the trend, or included notable tattoo artists discussing the trend, where available. Notably, we could identify very few major thought pieces written by tattoo artists / industry experts (we found two of relevance and they were included); most of the information publicly available came from articles that included interviews or quotes by artists and industry experts, so this is the bulk of what we provided.
Part
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Part
05

Most Popular Tattoo Designs - Global

Small tattoos, floral tattoos, and sun and moon tattoos are some of the most popular tattoo images of 2019. Below you will find an overview of ten of the most popular tattoo image choices.

1. Minimalist

  • Small tattoos with few lines are popular in 2019.
  • Minimalist tattoos, especially ones with geometric shapes, have always been a top tattoo choice through the years.

2. Geometric

3. Line Tattoos

4. Tiny Tattoos

  • According to one tattoo artist at Ascension, tiny tattoos are extremely popular.
  • Small dots, stars, hearts, and other symbols are often tattooed on the inside of the finger.
  • Metro and Mirror also support the current trend of small tattoos.
  • Celebrities such as Demi Lovato, Mandy Moore, and Halsey have gotten tiny tattoos recently.

5. Flowers

  • Flowers are a very popular tattoo choice due to the varying meanings that each flower has.
  • Some meanings of popular flowers include the gardenia, which symbolizes love and purity, the rose, which symbolizes love for red roses and happiness for pink roses, and the sunflower, which symbolizes beauty.
  • Each birth month also has its own flower, which is another reason people choose certain flowers as tattoos.
  • Some of the most popular flower tattoos include the rose, peonies, and flowers with bees or other animals, and sunflowers.

6. Wolves and Lions

7. Arrows

8. Semi-colons

9. Horoscope Symbols

  • Horoscope symbols, or Zodiac signs, are currently a popular way to show one's identity in a tattoo.

10. Sun and Moon

  • Sun and Moon tattoos are very popular tattoos for women.
  • The sun symbolizes strength and getting a sun with a moon together symbolizes a life balance.

Research Strategy

To provide trends for the most popular tattoo images in 2019, we consulted several well-known sources such as Mirror, Metro, InkedMag, and Glamour to find trends that were referenced on multiple sites. The majority of the trends talked about styles of tattoos instead of actual shapes, even when we searched for the most popular symbols. Because of this, we included a few popular tattoo styles, such as line and minimalist tattoos and researched what types of designs are popular within those styles.
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Part
06

Most Popular Tattoo Designs - United States

The most popular tattoo designs in the US in 2019 include nature, animals, pets, coffee and classical art among others. These and other findings are outlined below.

Top Ten Tattoo Designs in the US

Glamour listed the most popular tattoo designs across the US with specific cities for each design:
  • 1) Palm trees (Miami) - Clients are asking for palm tree tattoo designs to remember their tropical trips.
  • 2) Peonies (Miami) - Flower designs are naturally beautiful and can be rendered in different styles.
  • 3) Lions (Miami) - This design is associated with fierceness and elegance.
  • 4) Matching sets (New York) - Though considered risky for romantic relationships, people are asking for matching tattoos with friends and family members.
  • 5) Small and delicate designs (New York) - These can include flowers, hearts, or other objects with significant meaning for clients.
  • 6) Nature (New York) - Natural objects such as sage and herbs, florals, cacti and others are timeless designs that symbolize beauty or significant events in a customer's life.
  • 7) Pets (Austin) - Clients want to keep pets 'forever' through tattooed portraits.
  • 8) Feminine lunar imagery (Austin) - Tattoo clients are reportedly embracing feminized moon images.
  • 9) Coffee (Austin) - Clients celebrate their daily ritual with coffee through tattoos.
  • 10) Classical art (Los Angeles) - Art lovers ask for their favorite classical art pieces from Creation of Adam to L'Amour et Psyche among others.
  • Other popular designs include female faces with flowers or bouquets, bees with flowers, line works (Chicago), abstract minimalism, or blackwork including handwriting.

Top Tattoo Design Searches (Pinterest)

Additional Findings

  • Refinery29 identified the following tattoo designs as trending in the US in 2019.
  • Imperfect illustrations are popular tattoo design requests and defined by hollow sketches, contours, doodles or scribbles, and bursts of color.
  • Ignorant tattoos from the '90s are also becoming popular due to their retro and cheeky appeal.
  • Detailed florals are also an all-time favorite among tattoo clients in the US.
  • Bigger designs are gaining popularity along with smaller and delicate tattoos.
  • Colored ink tattoos, especially white and red ink, are being explored by US tattoo clients.
  • Pinterest's 2019 report also showed that red ink tattoos were the most-searched tattoo design on the site with 2,401% increase in search queries.
  • Statista's latest data on tattoos show that male US customers' top designs in 2017 were symbols, abstract art, traditional, animals, and letterings.
Part
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Part
07

Insights and Trends - Specific Tattoo Placements: Global

Five current trends (outside the US) surrounding the choice to get a neck, face, hand, and ear tattoo include 1) choosing small floral tattoos for a soft but tough symbolism, 2) black and grey realism tattoos that are preferred by Asians, 3) minimalist design for a sophisticated statement, 4) meaningful quotes, symbols or script on neck tattoos, as well as 5) the increasing number of tattoo artists who refuse to do hand and face tattoos due to professional and quality issues.

1. Small Floral Tattoos Mean Soft, Feminine But Tough

  • Floral tattoos signifies a perfect balance between being feminine and soft yet tough, because of the permanent body modification.
  • The delicate design of floral tattoos are chosen to be used on hands, neck, face, and ear because it can be easily adjusted based on its placement.
  • Floral designs are iconic, but being delicate it also fits the ear area.

Reason For Inclusion :

  • It is considered a current trend in choosing to get a neck, face, hand, and/or ear tattoo because many enthusiasts find this design to be easy to "slightly" change to conform with the ear's shape.
  • Artists and enthusiasts prefer floral designs when it comes to ear tattoos because of its design flexibility.

Example of Studio Leaning Into The Trend :

  • Sol Tattoo Studio is a Korean tattoo shop that does floral influences in their tattoos in delicate areas like the ears and the hands.

2. Black and Grey Realism Tattoos Are Preferred by Asians

  • While watercolor tattoo styles became big a few years ago, black and grey designs are moving back, according to experienced artists of Tattoodo, the largest tattoo community in Europe.
  • According to a Singaporean tattoo artist, black and grey realism tattoos are popular in Asia.
  • Because watercolor inks tend to dull over time on Asian skin due to its yellow undertone, black and grey colors in small, delicate areas, such as the neck, face, hand, and/or ear, are preferred.

Reasons For Inclusion :

  • Since black and grey tattoos look best in small and simple tattoo ideas, it fits best in small areas like hands, neck, face and ear.
  • Aside from its artistic appeal since it stands out, it is also known to heal better than other inks, therefore it is currently preferred.

Example of Studio Leaning Into The Trend:


3. Minimalist Design Is a Sophisticated Statement

  • Though simple, tattoo enthusiasts consider it marvelous.

Reasons For Inclusion :

  • This is a current trend among people who appreciate small art forms placed on unusual areas like the neck, face, hand, and/or ear, but do not want very noticeable art pieces.
  • This is also in demand to those who are having tattoos done for the first time.

Examples of Studios Leaning Into The Trend:

  • Wild Paw Tattoo Co in Singapore does minimalist tattoos. One of its artists, Olivia Lim, notes that they receive a lot of email messages asking for minimalistic designs and creative lines.
  • Vivo Tattoo Studio in Russia makes minimalist tattoos on hands and fingers, as well as on wrists and ankle area.

4. Neck Tattoos With Meaningful Quotes, Symbols or Script

  • Neck tattoos are still rare, but when someone has it, it usually has its own individual symbol or meaning.
  • Because the neck is elongated, it is considered the perfect place for meaningful quote tattoos.

Reason For Inclusion :

Example of Studio Leaning Into The Trend :


5. Some Tattoo Artists Refuse Doing Hand and Face Tattoos Due to Professional and Quality Issues

  • Hand tattoos are bumpier as it has curves, veins, and small muscles and bones.
  • The more bones there are in an area, the more painful it is when tattooed.
  • Since the tattoo artist's name is at stake in each of their work, some artists do not want to mess up their reputation because of the client's poor choice of placement or inadequate aftercare for tattoos placed on these areas which needs utmost care.
  • According to an experienced tattooed-hand photographer in Berlin, "When you choose to get tattooed on your hands you are giving up part of your anonymity".

Reasons For Inclusion :

  • Tattoos on the face and hands are also known as "job stoppers", therefore, artists who refuse this work is increasing.
  • It is a professional dilemma that some tattoo artists do not want to give their clients who may not yet be decided in doing so.

An Article About the Trend :

  • As published on Healthline, some of the most painful areas for tattoos are the neck and spine since these are very sensitive areas.
  • Tattooing the hands, fingers, feet, toes, head, face, lips, and ears can cause severe pain. These areas have a lot of nerve endings which can trigger much pain, and a person might undergo painful spasms.

Research Strategy:

For this request, we initially searched for recent articles (all 2019) about trends in Europe and Asia and other parts of the world other than the US. We found a compilation of popular tattoo trends from the largest European tattoo community "Tattoodo" (with 20 million social media followers). From there, we also searched for articles from industry experts in Asia and other parts of the world. Then, we consolidated the findings and chose the trends that are consistently mentioned in various recent articles. In doing so, we also considered the reasons why tattoo enthusiasts would choose to have themselves inked on the neck, face, hand, and/or ear, the designs they choose, its symbolisms, and their perceptions, as our basis for inclusion of the trends.
Part
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Part
08

Insights and Trends - Specific Tattoo Placements: United States

Some current popular tattoos include top-of-hand tattoos, fine line hand tattoos, hips, back of the neck, ribcage/side boob area for ladies, and in-ear tattoos. Below is a deep dive into each placement location, as well as the current trends surrounding the tattoo placement choice.

Top-of-Hand Tattoos

  • Refinery 29 interviewed tattoo artists and searched Instagram for tattoo trends to expect in 2019, and top-of-hand tattoos emerged as a major trend.
  • According to Mira Mariah, a tattoo artist based in New York whose clients include Ariana Grande, top-of-hand tattoos will be popular in 2019, and they'll be a "collage of small tattoos rather than a singular large image."
  • Their popularity will not only be fueled by celebrities like Ariana Grande, who got a top-of-hand moon tattoo to celebrate her Billboard achievement, but also by people's desire to see their expensive tattoos in their daily lives, so top-of-the-hand is an ideal conspicuous location.
  • According to Laura Martinez, a tattoo artist at Fleur Noire Tattoo Parlor, top-of-hand tattoos aren't entirely new. Still, they'll spike in popularity in 2019 owing to technological innovations, new tools, a variety of styles, and new inks allowing tattoo enthusiasts to explore more options than before.
  • Some tattoo studios leaning into this trend include Ariana Grande tattoo artist Mira Mariah, Brooklyn's Fleur Noire Tattoo Parlor, and Jess Chen.

Fine Line Hand Tattoos

  • According to a Jake Steele survey of 13 tattoo artists and 7 tattoo collectors, the conclusion was that 2019 was the year of the hand tattoo.
  • In addition to the top-of-hand tattoo, the fine line hand tattoo was also trending for the better part of this year.
  • Fine line hand tattoos gained popularity in 2016 when Rihanna flaunted her finger tattoo, but it was not until 2019 that the trend went mainstream.
  • This trend is being driven in part by the general acceptance of such type of tattoos by the public, and more people are likely to get fine line hand tattoos in 2019.

Hips, Back of the Neck, Ribcage/Side Boob area for Ladies

In-Ear Tattoos

  • According to Refinery 69, one major tattoo placement trend is the in-ear trend.
  • This trend is inspired by 2018's beauty trend, some of which mostly focused ear piercings. Most people are now getting ear tattoos.
  • As per Inkedmag, a reputable publication in the tattoo industry, in-ear tattoos were expected to trend in 2019, and more tattoo artists will put "their unique spin on the unconventional location."
  • According to Hannah Kang, a tattooist at New York's Nice Tattoo, more clients are requesting in-ear tattoos, proving that this trend is spiking in popularity.
  • Some tattoo studios leaning into this trend include New York's Nice Tattoo, Jess Chen, and Lara Maju.
Sources
Sources

From Part 01
From Part 02
From Part 03
Quotes
  • "Laura Martinez, co-owner of Fleur Noire Tattoo Parlour in Brooklyn, tells Refinery29 that, although hand tattoos are rad, they're a bit... bumpier to complete than other areas."
Quotes
  • "I have definitely seen a rise in popularity in women getting the side of their hips tattooed so that it can be shown off while wearing a bikini."
Quotes
  • "The best part of getting a side boob tattoo is it’s not always in the limelight. Only summer days and a special occasion can be revealed your private tattoo."
Quotes
  • "Getting tatted on your hands was seen to ruin your job prospects and single you out as especially hardcore. That’s all changed. Blame all the Insta influencers and celebs for their dainty finger inkings, but now it’s not such a big deal for body art to make its way past your sleeve’s cuff."
From Part 06
Quotes
  • "From Los Angeles to Miami, these are the designs everyone is asking for"
  • "Miami: Palm Trees"
  • "New York City: Matching Sets"
  • "Austin: Pet Portraits"
  • "Los Angeles: Classical Art"
  • "Chicago: Abstract Minimalism"
Quotes
  • "US Anatomical heart tattoos +1861% Ninja turtle tattoos +1494% Queen band tattoo +1414%"
  • "Top searched designs among those that self-identify as men Wolf Rose Sleeves Lion Old school"
  • "Top searched designs among those that self-identify as women Small Flower Rose Sunflower Finger tattoos"
Quotes
  • "Symbols and signs 64%"
  • "Graphic/abstract designs 62%"
  • "Traditional 62%"
  • "Animals 59%"
  • "Letterings 59%"
Quotes
  • "Imperfect Illustrations"
  • "'90s Ignorant Tattoos Yes, that's right: You may not be familiar with the once-popular "ignorant tattoos" of the '90s, but you can plan on hearing a lot more about them this year. A post-ironic tattoo style inspired by street art and pioneered by French graffiti artist Fuzi Uvtpk, "ignorant tattoos" are perhaps the hardest tattoos to come by on the internet and, because the style inherently pushes against the standardization of art, are even harder to fully define. "
  • "Detailed Florals Mariah puts it simply: "Floral bouquets will always be cool." Still, she's expecting to see more detailed takes on the popular designs. "
  • "Bigger & Better Designs Wachob mentions that smaller pieces of art are popular right now, but so are bigger and bolder pieces of work — though most likely not for first-timers. "
  • "Anything-But-Black Ink While black-lined tattoos will never go out of style, some artists recently reimagined their best art in a range of colored ink, including white and red."
Quotes
  • "Now, Pinterest have released a report looking towards the biggest 'ink-spiration' and tattoo trends for 2019."
  • "Red ink tattoos were the most popular design people were searching for, with a 2,401 per cent increase in searches last year."
  • "That was followed by 3-D tattoos (491 per cent) and minimalistic line tattoos (471 per cent)."