You have a lot of options when it comes to deciding what to get for your next, or first, tattoo. From tiny tats to bold and colorful pieces, the sky is the limit with this art form. And if you're looking for a
simple tattoo, the designs can run the gamut, so Bustle spoke with artists to hear how they define "simple tattoo," why it doesn't just mean small, and who it might be good for. Related: Everything To Know About Getting A Finger Tattoo Alysha Howard of Ink and Dagger Tattoo says that, for her, a simple tattoo isn't just something small — though it can be — but rather, something that requires only one machine and takes less than an hour to do. "'Simple' for me are line work designs, lettering — like typewriter-style or anything without varying thickness — and shapes," she says.
Royal Heritage Tattoo's
Huka recommends flowers, bugs, and landscapes in addition to line work. But simple, she says, doesn't have to mean a lack of detail: Adding dot work or pepper shading can add depth to a design.
She says simple tattoos are good options for many reasons. "Simple well-done tattoos age well," she says. "If applied correctly, your line work flower will still look like a flower [for years]."
Howard also says they make for a great first tattoo, telling Bustle they're great to "just to get an idea of how it feels, if [getting a tattoo] is something you’ll even enjoy."
If you're sold and ready to find your next (or first) piece, check out these 30 simple tattoos.
1 Floral Tattoos
Floral tattoos are a popular simple option. While this tattoo is large, the clean lines and dot work make it a perfect choice for those who want more than a tiny tat but not a full-color floral design.
2 Wave Tattoos Wave tattoos have gotten increasingly popular. These matching designs are a perfect example of something small and simple. 3 Landscape Tattoos
Howard also calls out landscape images as popular simple tattoos. This mountain-inspired piece with its minimal line work is a great example.
4 Animal Tattoos
For those looking for animal-based tattoo inspiration, check out this single line, Picasso-inspired bull from celebrity artist
Winter Stone. 5 Kite Tattoos
This stunning piece by Bang Bang New York artist
Okan Uckun is proof that simple doesn't always mean understated. The gorgeous line work that moves from the kite down to the wrist is dramatic but uncomplicated. 6 Star Tattoos
Stars are a classic tattoo option, but this long string of line work stars also makes the design feel particularly unique.
7 Feather Tattoos
This stunning feather from celebrity tattoo artist
Dr. Woo is a great example of the shading technique. 8 Pop Culture Tattoos
If there's a character, television series, movie, or book you love, try a simple design that embodies it — like these
Harry Potter-inspired glasses and lightning bolt. 9 Phrase Tattoos
Simple script is, of course, a classic choice — and an uplifting phrase you can peek at throughout the day can serve as a little dose of inspiration or motivation.
10 Pet Tattoos
If you want something personal, a line work portrait of your pet — like this dog tattoo — is a good option.
12 Food Tattoos
matching to minimal ink, food tattoos pop up everywhere, and that's true of simple bits of body art as well. 13 Shape Tattoos
This collection of lines, stars, dots, and arrows marry multiple shapes to make for a stunning tattoo. (This one happens to belong to
Hailey Bieber.) 14 Moon Tattoos
moons are popular symbols in the tattoo world. This piece from Johnny Dagger may be simple, but it features the shading technique Huka mentioned. 15 Colorful Tattoos
This rainbow ink is proof that colorful tattoos can definitely still be simple.
16 Date Tattoos
Getting artwork that commemorates a notable date or year is an understated and impactful way to honor it.
17 Vine Tattoos
Like florals, vines and spiraling botanicals are simple standout pieces.
18 Tree Tattoos
The shading on this simple tree from Howard make it anything but minimal.
19 Hand Tattoos
aIf you're searching for simple tattoo inspiration, you'll find that outlines of hands and hands entwined with vines pop up frequently. This set made from delicate lines is just one example.
20 Constellation Tattoos
exWith their dots and lines, constellations are an obvious choice for a simple tattoo.
21 Coordinate Tattoos
Name a cooler way to remember a special location than inking its exact coordinates.
22 Pasta Tattoos
ngertly any In this case, it
is all about the pasta. Pay homage to one of the best dishes of all time with this adorable decal. 23 Pokémon Tattoos
FiThis may be super niche, but there’s no denying how cute this Pokemon tattoo is. It’s sure to make die-hard fans instantly nostalgic.
24 Fire-y Finger Tattoos
Spice up a fire decal tattoo by opting for red ink, which is currently having a moment.
25 Evil Eye Tattoos
ednic nWard off any bad vibes with this simple and small outline of an evil eye.
26 Musical Notes
Whether you’re a seasoned musician or a music fan, musical notes are just so aesthetically pleasing.
27 Abstract Art Tattoos
Picasso-inspired face prints are super on-trend. Put a unique twist on it and mix up lines with a floral design on one side.
28 Soundwaves Tattoos
This is a frequency everyone wants to be on. Opt for sound waves for a super cool and dynamic design.
29 Math Tattoos
Can a math equation be cool? Absolutely. Written in minimal script across a collarbone, this tattoo is proof.
30 Chess Pieces
Chalk it up to recency bias (and an obsession with
Anya Taylor-Joy), but this outline of the queen chess piece will make anyone want to sign up for a tournament ASAP.
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This article was originally published on
Oct. 6, 2020