Say what you will—but long gone are the days when getting inked is considered anything but a taboo topic. In the days of old, the very idea of a tattoo will conjure up skewed images of a male-dominated scene, oft associated with the idea of a gang or individuals that pose an intimidating presence; a sentiment probably imbued by one too many negative portrayals on the silver screen, coupled with the fact that the likelihood of our Asian parents ever accepting the idea of us getting one ourselves, would be close to zero.
But even with such misconceptions aside, there’s the strange, almost-archaic notion that getting a tattoo has to mean something to its wearer. After all, why can’t they just be cute, youthful and a visual representation of something someone likes? In recent times of course, a light-hearted approach to getting inked has swarmed the in-crowd, with more and more people leaning towards tattoos that are framed like art pieces on their body, more than anything else. And the range varies: from graphic, geometric line work to quaint, kitsch-like drawings boosted with vibrant hues. Evidently, the latter steers clear of any manic stereotype; rather, it imbues a fresh perspective that tattoo art is indeed exactly that—art. The permanence of it all, is but a mere indication of how much it stirs up your senses from within.
As of late, an explosion of quirky maximalist imagery have started to rule the roost, some with a penchant for building upon existing animated characters whilst others enacting a dark, comical twist on usually saccharine sweet motifs such as their much-adored pets or favourite scenes from a movie. And when you think about these ink designs as art—it’s hardly unsurprising that many of these are dosed with a splash of colour here and there, bringing with them a whole new realm of potential inspo for tattoo artists to try their hand at.
However, to enter this abstract, kitschy world via means of a fresh ink all on your own might pose to be a tad intimidating—especially when there are a plethora of designs to choose from out there. That’s where we come in; scroll on to glean a Vogue-approved curation of quirky and maximalist tattoo designs that might just tickle your fancy, before booking your next ink appointment.
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Your most-loved animals in their natural habitats might just do the trick.
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We've got a homebody over here
If it’s the homebody in you talking, perhaps dream up a quaint little portrait of yourself at home (with your cat).
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For those of you who love your animated characters, don’t be afraid to incorporate them into your body art—see Calcifer here from Howl’s Moving Castle, imbued with a cute look that’s contrary to his character.
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The bigger, the better
If you’re a maximalist at heart—this is the only mantra to keep in mind.
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Get in touch with your femininity with an abstract portrayal of the woman within you.
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A duck, on a skateboard. Need we say more?
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Through the lens
Perhaps consider an alternative way of inking a gorgeous landscape onto your body—by means of using a polaroid film frame.
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For the new mom
Mark a new milestone in your life with this personified floral imagery.
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Halloween is upon us
We’re reaching the month of October, which only means one thing: it’s the perfect time to get some terror-infused ink. The Scream-like character with a scythe surely does it.
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Fresh ink, but make it fashion
Express your love for the sartorial realm not just via your wardrobe, but through some fashion-forward ink as well.
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Shark meets shark
Be smarter with your body art: there are three different tattoos here, not just two.
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When in doubt, some good old nostalgia brought about by your most-loved childhood snacks will do the job.
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Imbue a mysterious mood: where a human face is used to reveal whatever lies beyond.
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Going abroad? A surefire way to remind yourself of home: some local treats.
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Your favourite mushroom is now the resident gardener. What more could you possibly ask for?
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Dial up all the way on the quirky: in strangely-drawn characters and bold, eclectic hues.