Scrolling through Pinterest, Tumblr and even Facebook can give you some awesome ideas about your next tattoo. But since a tattoo is with you for life, you want to get something that represents something important to you and isn’t just a trend. Here are some ideas to help you through your next pre-tattoo parlor brainstorming session!
If you plan on working in a conservative workplace in the future, or just aren’t one of those people who enjoys huge, colorful tattoos, try something small with a big meaning.
Jamie Kravitz, a senior at Emerson College says, “As a writer, I wanted something that would represent my love for words, but I also wanted something small and simple. I decided to get quotation marks on my wrist in Times New Roman.”
A simple symbol, shape or number can hold so much importance, and it can be easily covered or even be something secret that only you know about!
2. Flower Child
Flowers are classic, whether they are sitting in a face or inked on your body. Picking your favorite flower for your next tattoo can lead the way to a lot of creativity, cool placement and most importantly, represent your favorite memories.
Getting your favorite flower as your next tattoo can represent your childhood, pay tribute to a family member or simply make your body more beautiful than it already is.
“I got a hibiscus flower for personal reasons and went to a tattoo artist who specializes in flowers, in order for it to be the best,” says Isabel Calkins, a junior at NYU. “I think that if your tattoo has meaning or if you find it beautiful, cliché is only something others can call it.”
Flowers may seem basic, but there’s a reason a lot of people get them instead of trendy pieces: they never go out of style. Flowers also let you play around with color and size, so you can choose whether or not you want a statement pieces or small piece.
What your traveling experiences have meant to you can’t always be conveyed through great Instagram photos or the stories you tell when you get back. Paying tribute to one or a few of your favorite countries by getting a tattoo that represents your time abroad can take you down memory lane or spark an interesting story.
“When I studied abroad, I got the German word ‘Fernweh’ tattooed on the side of my foot. Fernweh means an ache for distant places, sort of like ‘wanderlust’ in English,” says Lauren Wingo, a graduate of Marymount University. “Germany was the first country I ever visited and learning the language, I was obsessed with the beauty and realness of that word.”
If a word isn’t what you had in mind, think about landmarks you visited, animals and pieces of nature that stood out or a mini map of the city or country. If you want something more simple but still profound, try getting the coordinates of your hometown, your favorite place or country!
4. Nature lover
Similar to the traveler, nature lovers often have a lot of experiences that they can’t represent in just photos and stories. Maybe it’s a national park, a hiking trail or a wonder of the world, but honoring Mother Nature through a tattoo is the way to go if you’re constantly strapping on your hiking boots.
“I had an internship in Denver, CO. I lived there for 11 weeks, worked and explored the beautiful state I had the privilege of living in for a short time. I fell in love with the mountains and the city,” said LuAnna Gerdemann. “A friend of mine was going to get a tattoo, and I went along with her to schedule her appointment. Within the 10 minute walk to the tattoo shop, I was contemplating getting a tattoo of the mountains. I had finally found something I was passionate enough about, so I said why not, just do it!”
Mountain peaks are great and can be as simple or as detailed as you want them to be! Plus when you’re too old to go hiking or adventuring one day, you can look at your tattoo and remember your time outdoors.
Take a break from your next masterpiece or novel of the century and pay tribute to your passions. Honoring your awesome writing skills or your Picasso-esque painting skills in a tattoo can keep you focused on your goals and remind you of what you love.
Micki Wagner, a junior at the University of Missouri-Columbia got a tattoo that shows her love for writing. “I chose a typewriter because I love that romantic, old-school idea of what a writer should be,” she says. “I’ve always had a fascination with typewriters too. I just love the way they look and the way they sound. There’s something so classic and beautiful about them.”
Think outside of the box when paying tribute to your craft, do some research into retro tools people used back in the day to write, paint, sew or do makeup! If you want something more detailed, look into retro ads for products you find yourself using while producing art and see if any of them fit your style.
Getting a tattoo can be a big commitment and the more unique, the better. Tattoos can be artwork within in themselves, or be simple yet pack a big meaning. The best way to get a unique tattoo that fits you perfectly, do a lot of research outside of your social media networks. This may require you to be creative and sketch out your next piece of ink. So, start brainstorming, schedule an appointment and get a tattoo that’s important to you!