If you’re interested in getting a tattoo, it may feel like there’s a whole world of stylistic possibilities out there. With so many options, it can often be difficult to determine what tattoo style is right for you. Luckily, that means that there’s bound to be a style out there that perfectly embodies your vision in your quest for self-expression. While there are a myriad of styles today, let’s start with a few popular ones.
Traditional tattoos, also known as “old school” tattoos, are characterized by bold black outlines, a strong color palette, and iconic imagery. This style originated in the early 20th century with key elements including anchors, roses, swallows, and nautical themes. These designs often represent a sense of nostalgia, with their roots in the American tattooing tradition.
Neotraditional tattoos are a modern twist on the classic style. They retain the bold lines and vibrant colors but incorporate more intricate details and shading. This style often features a broader range of subject matter, including animals, flowers, and pop culture references. Neotraditional tattoos are known for their three-dimensional appearance, making the images pop with depth and texture. Artists in this style use creativity and innovation to reinterpret classic tattoo motifs.
Japanese tattoos are not only visually striking but also deeply rooted in cultural and mythological symbolism, expressing Japan’s rich history and culture in its art. This style is characterized by vibrant colors, intricate designs, and storytelling through images. Common imagery includes koi fish, dragons, cherry blossoms, and mythical creatures. These tattoos often cover larger areas of the body.
As the name suggests, blackwork tattoos are primarily all-black tattoos that use the contrast between black linework and negative space to create bold, eye-catching imagery. The imagery of blackwork tattoos have a wide range, with designs anywhere from portraits to geometric patterns.
If you don’t see your future tattoo as one of these styles, not to fear – there’s plenty more! Your tattoo artist will be able to turn your vision into the tattoo of your dreams, whether it’s Japanese, blackwork, or another style entirely.