There are so many tattoo options out there, and the possibilities continue to expand if and when you decide to design your own ink. As 2021 is on the horizon, think of the new year as a time to get that tattoo you’ve always wanted, to update an old design you’ve outgrown, or try out a new artist. There are so many tattoo-related possibilities looming on the other side of January 1st, so why not just go for it? Whether you want to get that trendy tattoo you saw on Instagram or finally get that matching ink with your significant other, here’s all the inspiration you need to go confidently into the new year and towards your new tattoo!
Why not try something fresh with your ink in the new year? Consider getting finger tattoos, which can be anything from geometric designs like these to more intricate, tiny details. Plus, you can always hide them with rings if you need to.
While this tattoo only uses black ink, the line thicknesses are varied to give a layered effect on the bouquet. The hand design also gives the tattoo a little something extra so it’s not just a typical floral design.
Snake tattoos are making a major splash in the inked community, so consider getting the popular design as the new year begins! A snake armband is a great way to add movement and depth to an otherwise pretty stagnant design.
Bow And Arrow Tattoo
A bow and arrow design is a great way to pay homage to your strength, to your commitment to moving forward, or another fun detail about you. This tattoo uses light shading and white-ink details to give the bow and arrow a more realistic look.
Girl In Floral Bottle Tattoo
If you like flowers but want to incorporate a more personal design, designs featuring linework bodies are very popular. Here, the artist also added a phrase/quote beneath the ink to give it an even more customized feel.
Tiny Elephant Tattoo
Small, minimal tattoos are just as much of a statement as huge designs! This tiny elephant tat is hidden away on the ankle, but its whimsical design makes it pop in contrast to its minimal linework.
If you’re interested in a popular hand design but want to personalize it, try adding a second of the same tattoo but in a different color! The red pops in contrast to the black while still being visible on its own, and the ink gains a 3D effect.
Paper Airplane And Globe Tattoo
For world travelers, consider getting a tattoo that shows off your wanderlust. A paper airplane and crisp dot detailing give a whimsical feeling to the otherwise simple globe.
Floral Calfband Tattoo
Want a floral design but tired of the same old arrangement? Getting a band of flowers around your calf is a unique placement, and this design uses shading and heavy blackwork to add detail.
If you like flowers but don’t want a typical rose, pick one of your favorites! This design is all irises, and the sketch-like linework and the large size make it feel personal and breezy.
Cherry Blossom Tattoo
If you’d prefer less dark linework and more colors, this cherry blossom design is the perfect mix of watercolor design and realism. The pastel colors make it feel dainty, while the shading and thin outlines make it feel true to life in terms of design.
Still-life tattoos are another big trend in the community, and this is a great example of a simple but interesting still-life. The scribbles used for shading give the tattoo a hand-drawn feel, and the negative space gives it room to breathe without feeling too large or spread out.
Butterflies are a common tattoo at this point, but a great way to customize your creature is by attaching it to a specific design style. Here, the butterfly has a very geometric feel thanks to the crisp lines and no filled-in sections.
Human And Dog Tattoo
Are you an animal lover? Go for a unique take on the pet tattoo by getting a design of your pet giving you a high-five, holding your hand, or something else special to you two!
Rainbow Circles Tattoo
Sometimes the simplest designs have the biggest impact. This design takes a few simple circles and pumps them up in rainbow colors. At the same time, the unclosed and overlapping lines give it a hand-drawn vibe.
If you want something simple that makes an impact, flames are always a good idea! This design arranges the flames in an armband, giving even more movement to the wavy fire.
Whether you’re a Scorpio or just a fan of creepy-crawlies, scorpions are bold and impactful design ideas. This one relies on crisp linework to make it pop, considering it’s otherwise fairly simple.
Small Rainbow Tattoo
Rainbow tattoos are a great choice for LGBTQ+ people looking to express their identity or even just for people who love all of the colors! A small rainbow on the back of the neck feels dainty, and it can easily be hidden by hair.
Famous Artwork Tattoo
Getting a famous piece of artwork is a great way to show off your passion for art, but sometimes there can be a lot of detail lost in translation to tattoo. Instead, opt for a minimal, linework version that gets the artwork across without being bogged down in details.
Colored Snake Tattoo
Want a snake tattoo but don’t want a plain or all black ink one? This snake design draws influence from American Traditional tattoos thanks to the use of color, negative space, and thick blackwork.
A pansy flower is a symbol for love, so if you love the flora or just want to show your love for their design, try getting a minimal linework tattoo. The abstract shapes used to create the design make it obvious that it’s a simple version of a more complicated design.
Anatomical Heart Tattoo
Like heart tattoos but tired of the same old simple design? This ink uses the anatomical heart as the basis for this design, and the shading and vein details make it feel realistic. This design also mimics the phases of the moon — another added layer!
Paper Airplane Tattoo
If you’re someone who can’t stop moving — whether that means you can’t stop traveling or you can’t stop exploring — a paper airplane is a whimsical tattoo idea. Its simple design makes it easy to replicate and personalize however and wherever you want!
You’re a gift! Don’t let anyone forget it with this bow tattoo. The dark black outline stands in stark contrast to the pastel pink pigment of the bow, but the slightly darker pink shading manages to add depth.
Delicate Branch Tattoo
If you want a tattoo to give you the air of a wood nymph or forest goddess, why not go for a delicate branch on your clavicle? The thin lines and small size of the overall design make this feel dainty, but the blackwork still makes it stand out.
Floral Circle Tattoo
Floral wreath circles are another popular tattoo design, which means there are a million and one ways to customize your ink! This one has a wreath of mostly leaves, and the red ink pops against the heavy blackwork.
Rainbow Line Tattoo
If your love of tattoos is more about the statement than the personalized design, try taking a normal or basic shape—like this line—and colorizing the lines. For extra oomph, color it rainbow like the one pictured here.
Lightning Bolt Tattoo
A lightning bolt is a popular design for those wanting something small and minimal but still bold. By placing this design somewhere extremely hidden, like the top of the thigh, it makes the design feel more intimate and personal.
Another popular break-out tattoo design this year was a beautiful and fat little cherub. You can customize them in so many ways: color or no color, flying or resting, trumpets or no. This design is all about the blackwork and focuses on the figure to make it feel realistic.
Camping Under The Stars Tattoo
If you love camping or have a fond memory attached to the outdoor hobby, a simple little vignette tattoo may be your perfect match! Everything in the design is done in black and kept relatively simple, though the shading and sizing of elements give it a real sense of depth.
Ear tattoos are another emerging trend in the tattoo industry, and it’s a great idea for those who want something minimal and intimate. Because the space is so small, in/on-ear tattoos tend to be simple, like this design with two lines.
Musical Heart Tattoo
Hearts are always a great design idea because of just how customizable they are. This design looks like a music sheet turned into a heart for those who love music, but there are a world of personalization opportunities.
Two Of Swords Tattoo
For those who are fans of tarot or just fans of medieval weaponry, this sword tattoo is a great way to show off your love. This design manages to make the traditionally clunky item feel very delicate due to the extra-thin lines and light shading.
Fingers Crossed Tattoo
If you have good (or bad!) luck with luck itself, a fingers crossed tattoo is another popular design choice. This hand is done with sketch-like lines, making it feel less cookie-cutter and more personal.
Hokusai Wave Tattoo
Hokusai waves, based on the artwork, have been popular tattoo choices for centuries. If you want to get the beautiful work on your arm but want to customize it, try getting it done in an interesting color combo.
Picture Frame Tattoo
Picture frame tattoos have had a following for a while, but there are so many ways to personalize them that no two truly look the same. This design utilizes heavy blackwork and linework to create a simple but beautiful frame tattoo.
Behind The Ear Tattoo
Sometimes a tattoo is all about expressing your love for something permanently. If you want something small but meaningful, behind the ear is a great placement idea—it’s intimate but intriguing.
For fans of waves tattoos that want something a bit more minimal, this design is a great idea. Both featured waves are different shapes to add an interesting element, and the small dots vary the design so it’s not just one line.
Geometric Hand Tattoo
If you like the look of henna tattoos but wish they were more permanent, consider getting a geometric hand tattoo. Geometric doesn’t have to mean crisp, straight lines; this design uses curves and dots for the same—but softer— effect.
Eyes are another common tattoo idea because they mean so many things: seeing, knowing, the future, the past — anything! They’re also completely customizable in shape, color, and design, like how this specific one has a sketch-like overlapping line structure.
Some tattoo designs can be overly fancy, even if they’re only done with black linework. This bicycle tattoo is the perfect example of a tight and clean black linework design that doesn’t feel overdesigned; it feels impactful yet simple!
Random Shapes Tattoo
Intriguing geometric shapes are quickly becoming another mainstay in the tattoo world because of the ease of customization. Here, the shapes vary between having corners and being fluid, giving the design a sense of movement.
Moon tattoos are perfect for everyone: witches, space lovers, and just those who love the moon! The dot detailing on the bottom half of the moon gives it an interesting texture, and the cat sitting in the center adds a bit of whimsy.
Semi-colons have been popular tattoo designs for a long time, mostly because they symbolize something so universally true: Nothing is ever the end, it’s just a pause. Semi-colon designs are typically seen on the wrist, like the one pictured here.
A cherry tattoo has a slew of meanings, but when mixed with a fun and intimate placement like this one, it tends to have a more fun and surface-level meaning. The colors make it feel whimsical, but the lack of black outline also gives it a sense of realism.
Show off your passion by getting a tattoo of one of the most important instruments related to whatever it is. These embroidery scissors have a very ornate flair, thanks to the blackwork shadows, crisp lines, and curved edges.
If you have a connection to a specific chemical reaction — like serotonin, the one pictured here — they make for very fun geometric tattoo designs! Show off your favorite reaction with a visible placement, or make it feel more for you by getting it somewhere intimate.
For a reminder of the house that you call, or called, home, a simple linework tattoo creates a minimal and meaningful design. You can base it off your house or one you’ve seen before, and the simple lines that are all the same size give it a simple and polished feel.
Word and phrase tattoos have been popular forever because of the ability to make it say whatever and look however you want. The placement and the script font of this design give this a delicate feeling.
Love the look of two people in love or want to celebrate you and your partner’s love? A small vignette of lovers kissing is an expressively and beautiful way to do just that. The entire piece is composed of dotwork, making it feel like a pointillism painting right on your arm!