Why Are Watercolour Tattoos So Popular Lately?
Watercolour tattoos started to really take off in the early 2010’s, and although they’re quite popular with men, the primary clientele tends to be women. The stigma surrounding tattoos has died down in recent years and the number of women looking to get inked has increased drastically: 1 in 5 Australians have tattoos, and with women the rate increases to 1 in 4.
Sites like Instagram have also played a part in amplifying the popularity of trendy designs like watercolours. Trendsetter celebs like Kesha and Lily Cole proudly sport their watercolour-inspired designs on social media which further fuels the desire for similar designs.
Watercolour Tattoos: Pros and Cons
One of the biggest things to consider when getting a tattoo is how it’ll look in the long term. Fresh out of the shop, a tattoo will always look super crisp, since the ink is newly applied. Over the years however, ink starts to fade and lines lose their crispness. For watercolour tattoos, with their wispy lines and light colouring, the design can fade easily, leaving a splotch of ink looking more like a bruise than a tattoo.
While fading is always a possibility, working with a tattoo artist who is highly-experienced with watercolour styles can help make your tattoo last. While there are some versatile tattoo artists who specialise in multiple styles, if you’re after a watercolour tattoo, it’s always best to seek out artists who’ve really made a career out of it. This ensures that you’re getting a good tattoo from someone who really understands the ups and downs of the style, and will be glad to help maintain your body art.
Watercolour Tattoos: Price
The price of your watercolour tattoo will depend on the size of the piece and the skill of the artist. You should also consider the price of touch-ups down the line to keep your tattoo fresh.
From Paper to Skin
Now that you’ve mulled it over, it’s time to get some inspo from the best watercolour tattoos we’ve found on the net! We’ve picked six amazing tattoos for you to take a look at:
Birds have long been a symbol of freedom and adventure, and various birds also come with their very own symbolisms too: like the owl representing wisdom, or the phoenix representing rebirth. Birds have long been a staple of tattoo art and are easily adaptable to the watercolour style.
2. Abstract Designs
Abstract and geometric designs like this one really give the illusion of being covered in paint. Although they can be a little tricky to pull off, a good artist should have no trouble giving you exactly what you want! Abstract pieces can be beautiful timeless pieces, but remember that the bigger the design, the more it’ll cost.
Floral designs like these are great for people who feel attuned with nature, or honestly for anyone who finds them pretty! Watercolours serve these tattoos really well, with their bright colours and brilliant use of light and shading.
Mammals are a popular choice for watercolour tattoos because they’re often very symbolic: the fox represents wit, the elephant represents patience, the tiger represents strength, the cat represents cunning, and the wolf represents loyalty. Watercolour adds a layer of freshness to these designs, making them even cuter and more unique!
5. Insect Designs
Insects are often super colourful and detailed designs and the delicate tones of watercolour only add to the effect. Butterflies imply fragility and beauty, bees can symbolise hard work, and dragonflies symbolise change and adaptability. There’s also something about insects that makes them very aesthetically pleasing design choices, with their sharp lines and perfect symmetry.
6. Classic Designs
Feathers? Stars? Dreamcatchers? Skulls? Anchors? Beautifully symbolic objects like these can make fantastic watercolour tattoos. A few splashes of colour underneath typical black inkwork makes everything come alive. Don’t be afraid to consider watercolour when you want to ‘jazz up’ a more classic design choice.
Who Are The Best Watercolour Tattoo Artists Near Me?
Here are a few great places to get inked with artists that specialise in watercolour tattoos:
1. Tora Sumi Tattoo
If you’re in Sydney, you can check out Tora Sumi Tattoo. They have a number of artists specialising in a wide range of tattoo styles. If you’re looking to get a watercolour tattoo, make a booking with one of their specialists: Jemka, Eduardo, or Jin!
2. Stone Heart Body Art
Also located in Sydney, Stone Heart Body Art boasts a brilliant line-up of artists. Though they mostly specialise in traditional styles, artists like Frog are more than capable of giving you a quality watercolour piece!
3. Victims of Ink Tattoos
Hailing from Melbourne, Victims of Ink Tattoos work in a variety of styles, including watercolour. Look for artists like Bucky Nguyen or Marta Rzyska.
4. Fox and Moon Tattoo Collective
Fox and Moon is located in Brisbane, and they take a sustainable approach to tattooing, using no animal products in any of their equipment. Stacey Night specialises in watercolour styles, so be sure to hit her up once you get there!
5. Omen Tattoo Studio
Omen Tattoo Studio is an appointment-only studio in Perth. Juliana Beatrix is their watercolour specialist, who offers private tattoo sessions out of her small apartment. If you’re looking for something really unique and special, this is the place for you.
Aftercare And Afterthoughts
After getting your tattoo, be sure to follow the aftercare instructions and try your best to keep your fresh tatt away from direct sunlight. Taking care of a watercolour tattoo will help slow down the fading process and limit your trips back for a retouch.
While some people will call watercolour tattoos ‘just a trend’, we disagree, watercolour tattoos are versatile and beautiful styles of art that can be incorporated to create a truly timeless design.