18 Awesome Sources for Your First (or Next!) Tattoo Inspo
Whether you’ve got a semicolon, a delicate flower or an homage to someone important to you, tattoos are an incredible way to show the world your personal style. With all those gorgeous designs out there, we know it can be tough to find the tattoo that’s perfect for you. Sure, Pinterest is a tattoo hotspot, but we’ve got 18 more sources to give you the ink inspo to suit your story and style.
Much like us, tattoo artists maintain active online presences. If you stumble upon an artist you really like, be sure to check up on their social media accounts for their best work, along with posts from artists they admire and work with.
1. Sasha Unisex: Seriously, we can’t get over how gorgeous her work is. We’ve written about geometric tattoos before, but it can’t be said enough: Her tattoos are bright, colorful and exceptionally well designed. (Photo via @sashaunisex)
2. Alice Carrier: This popular Portland artist is known for her blackwork and floral tattoos. If you’re looking for an artist whose entire portfolio is easily available online, Carrier may be your new fave. (Photo via @alicerules)
3. Bang Bang: Celebrity tattoo artist Bang Bang has over a million Instagram follows and is well known for slick lines and unique designs. If you’re in (or near) New York City, you should definitely check out Bang Bang’s artwork. (Photo via @bangbang)
4. Dr. Woo: This artist has tattooed many of our favorite celebrities. The Dr. is loved for geometric patterns, minimalism and an extremely strong team of artists. Even if you don’t get Dr. Woo, you’ll find a super-talented artist in the New York City-based shop. (Photo via @dr_woo_ssc)
5. Becca Genné-Bacon: Becca takes classic colors and lines and gives them an incredible, modern spin. Book lovers, pet lovers and tattoo appreciators alike will find something to love about her work. (Photo via @beccagennebacon)
6. Cally-Jo: Cally-Jo works in Manhattan, New York City, at Grit and Glory tattoo shop. Cally-Jo’s strong portfolio and background in fine arts will leave you confident in her skill set. (Photo via @callyjoart)
Yep, celebs are major fans of tattoos. Follow along on their Instas to discover where they got their artwork done and which styles call out to you. Tattooed celebs can serve as good examples for tattoo placement too. If you’re planning on getting multiple tattoos, it’s always best to plan in advance, so you don’t go for that wrist tattoo and then realize you want something else there a year later.
9. Cara Delevingne: When she’s not hanging with TSwift’s #squad, Cara Delevingne is definitely a regular on the tattoo scene. She even has a matching tattoo with Jourdan Dunn! (Photo via @caradelevingne)
11. Florence Welch: The super-edgy singer of Florence and The Machine, Florence Welch, sports quite a few tiny tattoos of her own. Copy her sense of style by tracking her latest tattoos on her Instagram. (Photo via @ouhoh)
Though many people think of childhood books as a source of tattoo inspiration, there are a number of reference books out there dedicated to tattoo ideas and the history of the practice.
12. The Tattoorialist: Tattoo Street Styleby Nicolas Brulez ($15): Coming out on September 1, 2015, this book promises to be a must-have for anyone looking for a text on tattoos. With over 300 photographs of various tattoo styles and designs, this will give you a close look into the culture you’re entering when you get a tattoo.
13. The World Atlas of Tattoo by Anna Felicity Friedman ($25): Get knowledgable about contemporary and old-school tattoo practices and styles in this book of over 700 photographs. It’s more than enough to comb through and get started.
14. Pen + Ink: Tattoos and the Stories Behind Themby Isaac Fitzgerald and Wendy MacNaughton ($13): Looking for a meaningful tattoo? This book will introduce you to new designs and new writers. We call that a win-win!
15. Art on Skin: Tattoos, Style, and the Human Canvas by Nancy Hajeski, Marcel Brousseau, Lisa Purcell ($11): Consider this Tattoos 101. It walks you through choosing the right style and describing that style to your artist. The stories from tattooed folks will give you insight into what it’s like to have a tattoo.
If you’re looking for a passive education on the world of tattoos, look no further than these tattoo-centered television shows. Bring on the practiced talent, the gorgeous work and the competition!
16. Ink Master: If you like competition, you’ll love this show. Get a glimpse at the huge variety of styles out there by watching the artists take on thrilling challenges. (Image via Spike)
17. Epic Ink: Pop-culture addicts will fall in love with this show. You’ll learn about “geek-chic” tattoo style and might just realize one of the artists on the team is right for you! (Image via A&E)
18. Best Ink: This series keeps up with tattoo artists from all over the country and follows them as they compete to be the very best. The guest judges will teach you how to judge a tattoo and help you buff up on your tattoo knowledge. (Image via Oxygen)
What’s your plan for your next tattoo? Let us know in the comments below!