Trends don’t last forever, but tattoos certainly do. However, there is a sneaky workaround when you get a tattoo you kind of regret with tattoo removal being so popular and accessible. That means that tattoos don’t technically have to be forever anymore. Regardless, you should be proud of your tattoos and want to flaunt them if you can. They are art after all.

But you should still be sure of what you want to get and how you want the piece done before you walk into the tattoo shop. It’s true what they say about being sure about a tattoo. You’re going to want to make sure it’s something you love because it’s about to be on your body for many years to come (if you so wish). It’s also a chance to highlight some of your best parts.

Although there are certain trends in tattooing that are staples in the practice, there are always new trends that come around. The tattoos of the 1940s are far from the stick and pokes that ravaged the 2010s, though stick and poke existed in both eras. Where maximalist might have been a hotter trend in the 2000s, the 2010s saw the rise in minimalist, tiny tattoos.

These waves of trends come with their own connotations, devoted followers, and variations on technique. As tattoos become more popular among the masses, artists become more skilled, creative, and in high demand.

In fact, tattoos are a much more acceptable trend than they’ve ever been. More and more people are getting them, with face tattoos now even a norm in popular culture. Gone are the days in which tattoos were a marker of bad behavior or a low class marking. Everyone and their mothers are getting tattooed now, and there’s a trend for everybody.

Tattoos these days are complex, elegant, and a mark of the appreciation of body art. There are even trends that give certain tattoo movements a more meaningful, more powerful reason for the people whom are getting inked.

Whatever your reasoning and whatever your style, you’ll want to get the perfect and most “you” tattoo you can. If you’re interested in what’s hot in tattooing right now, then you’ll want to know the tattoo trends of 2020.

Watercolor Tattoos are Out

Remember when watercolor tattoos became a major trend? While the latter half of the decade saw this feminine technique disappearing a bit, we’ll continue to see this trend become less and less sought after.

Watercolor tattoos are a lot of work to upkeep, and it can be difficult to find an artist comfortable or willing to tattoo in this style. While it did become a major trend among both men and women, people looking to get tattooed are looking for something a little more minimalistic with less of a chance of fading or mistakes.

Stick and Poke isn’t Sticking

Stick and poke is another trend that we saw explode in the late 2010s, especially in 2018 and 2019. The trend is going away a bit however, as it’s becoming more and more popular to stick and poke yourself or a friend and less so done professionally. All joking aside, stick and pokes have definitely had their heyday and there’s nothing wrong with that, but we’re seeing this trend disappear a bit more as the rise to more complex designs and artworks are in higher demand.

Micro Tattoos are Here to Stay

The trend that absolutely took over 2019 was the micro tattoo. These tattoos are tiny, dainty, and can be put pretty much anywhere on the body. While mostly reserved for the hands, neck, ankles, and arms, the micro tattoo is something that you can see on some of your favorite celebrities, even just for reference.

Micro tattoos are also great entryway for people who want to get tattooed but don’t want to commit to a large piece. For example, even having a constellation of micro tattoos isn’t as noticeable (just look at celebrities like Zoe Kravitz and Miley Cyrus).

Micro tattoos are generally associated with more feminine bodied people, but that doesn’t mean that men don’t like them and get them at a high rate also. The micro tattoo can accommodate an array of different styles and can really fit anywhere on the body. It’s a great way to get a starter tattoo and it’s a great way to have a secret tattoo just for you.

Micro tattoos also provide the ability to get tiny images or words tattooed without having people notice and dissect them right away. (And just a tip: tattoos are meant to be personal and completely for you. You don’t owe anyone an explanation as to what your tattoo means and if it’s as meaningful as it should be. Tattoos are an art form, and are different for everyone).

If you’re looking for a great micro tattoo artist, chances are they will be easy to find via social media or word of mouth, because this tattoo trend is here to stay.

Hyper-color Realism Could Replace the Simplistic

Where the simple tattoo (like stick and pokes and micro tattoos) reigned supreme in 2019, we see more trends appearing out of this one in 2020. Using a single, small needle is a way to keep the tattoo minimalistic, clean, and detailed, and this might be a trend that we see more so than the stick and poke this year.

Hyper-color realism means that the color embedded in the tattoo is vivid and vibrant. This makes the tattoo look hyper real and extremely artistic. As tattoos become more popular and widely accepted, the art itself has gotten better and better. The enhancement of details by many artists tattooing around the world has opened up the expectations of those getting tattoos and also the standard of tattooing.

Objects Replacing Fantasy

While tattoos might have started out as a more fantastical way of highlighting one’s body, minimal tattoos that reference household items, plants, and even food are more in demand nowadays. That’s right. If you have a coffee obsession, you might just want to ink a small cup. If your cactus is the only plant you’ve been able to successfully keep alive, you can commemorate it on your body.

The move from epic pieces to smaller ones was actually built up over time. The move away from lots of color, detail, and size gave way to a want and appreciation for the smaller, more delicate or even looked up parts of our life. There’s a cheekiness involved in this trend that has to be noted — because tattoos are not as big of a deal to get or to have anymore, people are having a bit more fun experimenting.

Hidden is in

Although tattoos are more popular than ever, there is still a bit of a want to keep them hidden. Not only because there can be a private meaning behind them, but also because people are still a bit worried about the connotations of having tattoos. Keeping tattoos hidden avoids having to provide any explanation and it can keep them away from the eyes of potential employers.

Even if not for the above reasons, having a more secretive tattoo can allow the person getting the tattoo some privacy about their body art. And even if none of the aforementioned reasons matter to the person being tattooed, it’s also quite interesting to have a tattoo that’s put on a more secluded place on the body. It also protects it from sunlight and wear and tear.

Handy Hand Tats

Tattoos on the hands are also quickly losing their negative connotations. For example, hand tattoos can be simple and quite pretty. Where the hand tattoo used to be associated with the tough biker type, it’s now more closely related to the henna style that’s been popular in Indian culture for centuries.

Hand tattoos can also be hidden tattoos in that they can be placed on the inside of the fingers, although most people are going all out and are getting tattoos that are on display for everyone to see. These can be a whole piece or series of tattoos as well as small tattoos that sprinkle across the hands, wrist, and fingers (very similarly to henna).

Hand tattoos are also branching out to the inside of the hands. For example, many people are choosing to tattoo the palm of their hands. These are often more detailed and complex. Wherever the tattoo is on the hand, the overall hand trend won’t be going anywhere.

A Note on Trends and Art

Tattoos, at the end of the day, are art. We choose to put them on our bodies because they can become, in a sense, a road map of our lives. Tattooing is personal for everyone. While it is nice to know what’s popular and attainable at the moment, there’s also nothing wrong with following the beat of your own drum when it comes to getting tattooed. Make sure it’s something you want and screams “you.” Whatever you choose, don’t let trends deter you too much.