What You Need to Know About Fine Art and Tattoos

What You Need to Know About Fine Art and Tattoos


The world of tattoos is constantly changing and evolving, with innovative techniques being developed each year 2019 was a fantastic year for tattoos in particular, as we got to see an abundance of new artists emerging through social media platforms.

Whether you were looking for glittery, girly neo traditional tattoo work, horror themed stick n pokes or painterly surrealist tattoos, there will have been the perfect artist for you in 2019. We’ve never been in a more exciting time as an industry, and there are surely going to be some fantastic artists rising to the top in 2020.

One particular style that rose to prominence in the last year was fine art tattoos. This is a fairly generic term, but it refers to any tattoo that is heavily inspired by traditional fine art. They’re often very painterly or illustrative, and can be inspired by almost any era in art history.

Today, we’re going to be taking an in-depth dive into the world of fine art tattoos.

We’ll be looking at how fine art tattoos are helping to break down negative stereotypes, how social media has helped the rise of illustrative tattoos, important tattoo styles to keep an eye on and where tattoos could be going in the future.

Negative stereotypes surrounding tattoos

First things first, what negative stereotypes are there surrounding tattoos?

One of the main bits of stigma that surrounds tattooing is that having tattoos makes you an inherently bad person. People often associate tattoos with criminals or dangerous individuals, and that is simply just not true. This is especially prominent in countries like Japan, where the history of tattoos has been linked to crime in the past.

Furthermore, tattoos are often looked down upon by ‘higher class’ individuals. Teenagers and young adults with tattoos are often treated very dismissively, and can even face discrimination in the workplace. It’s unfounded and outdated, yet still happens to this day.

There are also some stereotypes surrounding tattoos that originate from religion. Some religious people view tattoos as ‘immoral’ and declare that people with tattoos are sinners. There is no basis for this, as it’s perfectly possible to be a sinner with no tattoos at all.

How fine artists and illustrators are breaking down these stereotypes

The rise of fine art and illustrative media in the tattoo world is helping to break down a lot of stigma surrounding tattoos. The idea that tattoos are only for street punks and edgy teenagers is dissipating as the years move on, and this is partially thanks to these newer art styles.

These newer styles are a lot softer and more elegant. They have moved away from old school techniques with heavy outlines and simple color schemes, and have embraced daintier lines and minimalistic palettes.

Fine art tattoos are also encouraging a wider range of people to get interested in tattoos. Nowadays, illustration graduates and professional designers are looking into becoming tattoo artists, which is widening the range of art that’s available even further.

The importance of social media

Social media has been incredibly important for the rise of fine art tattooing.

In 2020, it’s more important than ever for artists to have a portfolio on social media for potential clients to look at. If a studio doesn’t have a digital presence, it’s easy for clients to assume that the artists are behind the times or outdated.

Social media marketing is an essential part of success as a modern studio, and can open up an artist’s portfolio to all sorts of interesting pieces of feedback. Being able to take critique from other artists who have had entirely different experiences and training is an important part of growing as a creator.

Having work on social media can be great for influencing artists across the globe too. An artist in England can view work from an artist in Italy, for example, and absorb fine art influences that they might not have otherwise been exposed to. 

Interesting types of tattoos to know about

With the rise of illustrative, conceptual tattooing, there have been some interesting styles that have shot to prominence. The styles that we’ve seen become more popular as of late are;

  • Blackwork. Blackwork was arguably the most popular style of 2019, and it’s showing no signs of slowing down in popularity yet. Blackwork features heavy, solid lines and little to no color at all. Themes range from horror films to botanical subjects
  • Illustrative. Illustrative tattoos are beautiful to look at, and they take inspiration from traditional illustration and childrens book imagery. They tend to use fine lines, water-color style palettes and lighter shading.
  • Fine art replicas. One trend that really shot to prominence last year was the rise in replicas of famous paintings. This particular style uses painterly strokes and jewel tone palettes, and aims for realistic replications of iconic paintings.

To put it plainly, the influx of new and interesting tattoo styles has been fantastic to see. There is so much creativity on show in the industry, and it will be fascinating to see where it goes in the future. What type of styles could we see in this coming year?

It’s likely that we’ll start to see multiple styles being fused together this year, as more artists try to carve out their own niche. Think neo traditional color palettes fused with anime style linework, or realistic shading on top of illustrative pieces. The possibilities really are endless.

To sum up

As you can see, tattoos have evolved in such a manner that they’re almost unrecognizable from where they once were. Tattoos are no longer associated with just one type of person or a particular career. They’re being embraced by all kinds of people and are being transformed by every art style imaginable.

The rise of fine art tattooing has been particularly great to watch. There have been some fantastic artists emerging lately, with intricate, illustrative styles. Social media has particularly helped these types of tattoos rise to prominence.

If you’re looking for a beautiful, custom tattoo to start off 2020 with, make sure to come and visit our studio. The best tattoo shop in NYC is dedicated to creating bespoke pieces of art, and we’ve got a wide variety of artists to help our clients realize their dream tattoos. Feel free to drop by our studio to have a chat, or drop us a message through our website to find out more.


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