In today’s world, there is such a diverse range of tattoo styles available that it can be difficult to choose the one that is best suited to your aesthetic. Ink comes in a plethora of varieties (many more than those listed below), and everyone has their own personal favourites among them. The key to getting a beautiful and distinctive tattoo, however, is to take the time to learn about each style, not just in terms of how it looks, but also in terms of its history.
Once you’ve decided on a tattoo style that you like, you can look for a tattoo artist who specialises in that style to ensure that your tattoo is as perfect as it possibly can be—both in terms of style and in terms of your emotional connection to it. For those who haven’t decided on their next tattoo yet, here’s a thorough guide of tattoo styles to help you find the look that’s right for you.
Tattoos with a minimalist design
In contrast to popular belief, minimalist tattoos do not necessarily have to be small; designs in this style are characterised by simple, clear lines and the extensive use of negative space. “Less is more,” according to the minimalist philosophy, and minimalist tattoos adhere to this philosophy by incorporating graphic motifs and widely varied degrees of delicacy into their linework.
Because minimalist tattoos tend to reduce designs to their bare essentials, they work best with designs that can be visualised with a limited number of lines or without a great deal of complexity to begin with. Minimalist tattoos can be done in any colour, though black ink is more frequent in order to keep the design as plain as possible, according to the experts.
Tattoos in the Negative Space
Designing tattoos with negative space is a technique that involves using the skin as part of the image and inking pigments into contour areas to create a visual effect. Negative space tattoos, as opposed to traditional tattoos that use an outline to create the tattoo’s image, use the skin as the outline and the pigment to fill in the spaces that would normally be left blank.
Although any design can be turned into a negative space tattoo, the process may need more preparation than simply knowing what you want. Make sure you work with an experienced tattoo artist to plan out negative space designs so that the proportions are correct and the correct areas are filled in rather than what is left bare.
Tattoos that are done by hand
Handpoked tattoos, also known as stick-and-pokes tattoos or machine-free tattoos, are designs that are made by hand rather than using a tattoo machine. Instead of the tattoo artist utilising a rotary or coil machine to insert the ink into the skin, handpoking is accomplished by attaching a needle (professionals use tattoo-grade needles) to a rod-shaped element, such as a pencil, to create an analogue tattoo machine that may be used to tattoo the skin. The tattoos are less invasive, less unpleasant, and “less intimidating” than traditional machine-done tattoos, according to Jamerson, owner of the Brooklyn tattoo business Nascent Flash.
While handpoking represents a return to the origins of tattooing, the designs themselves are not always minimal or basic; some may appear to be “handmade,” as Jamerson describes it, but there are artists whose handpoked art almost appears to have been done by a machine, according to Jamerson. In order to ensure that your stick-and-poke looks precisely how you want it, it is best to first choose an artist whose portfolio you admire.