Tattoo Trend Forecast 2021 – Part I

Tattoo Trend Forecast 2021 – Part I

As the year is drawing to a close and we all wonder, or rather dread, what more mischief it could possibly get up to in its final two weeks, we begin to look ahead, cautiously optimistic about spring and a much-needed reboot. 

Skull & flower tattoo
By Amy from Vivid Ink Wolverhampton

We’ll skip the 2020-bashing and launch straight into the good stuff that we hope 2021 will bring. Although, we are certain there will be some pieces proclaiming lockdown survival and zombie apocalypse references coming at a tattoo studio near you. Dystopia is humanity’s way of saying “oh well it could be worse” after all. 

What blog worthy of the name does not play at predictions at this time of year? While we don’t engage in tarot readings or horoscopes, we do not want to be any worse. So, we thought we would take a look at what the internet (that is an authority on things, right?) believes the biggest trends in tattooing for 2021 will be.

2020 may have taught us to let go…   

Some say one of the biggest trends for 2021 will be… not exactly a new tattoo, but cover-ups. Although in all fairness, it is a new tattoo that just either incorporates or, as the name would imply, covers an existing tattoo. Of course, ‘just’ is not entirely accurate. Cover-up tattoos take a lot of skill, planning, and some adaptability from the client.    

Why we could see an uptick in the number of requests for cover-ups is because people have been spending much more time at home, probably wearing clothes with less coverage than usual, perhaps catching glimpses of themselves in the mirror, repeatedly spotting that one piece that somehow just doesn’t vibe anymore. 

Either way, this year has given most of us more time to think about who we are, and what are the things that matter to us today as opposed to ten years ago. Even Kat von D recently revealed a nearly entirely blacked out forearm, covering up some of the tattoos she “got back when she used to drink.”  She did leave the portrait of her father on her inner arm though. While a black out is an intense form of cover-up, everyone is allowed to change their mind, and should feel good about their body art. 

…and that life is too short not go big

Dragon back piece tattoo
Large-scale back piece by Dorian from Vivid Ink Birmingham

As people come out of lockdown with somewhat of a nothing-to-lose attitude – roaring 20’s references, anyone – several artists think we will see a pivot away from last year’s minimalism to large-scale pieces.

Think Cheryl’s huge English rose tattoo over her lower back, hips and buttocks, or Cardi B’s recently touched-up peacock piece or her latest addition of a massive floral design flowing all the way from her shoulder, down her back, and across her upper thigh. Like Cheryl said when asked about hers: “Life is too short, I wanted a big tattoo.”

It seems that Madonna was just in time to still be on-trend for her very first tattoo ever: a minimal font with her children’s initials across her wrist. The Queen of Pop had it done at the legendary Mark Mahoney’s Shamrock Social Club in LA just this week. 


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