As the adage goes, life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all. And for the tattoo enthusiast, this just might be the ultimate maxim to live by. Once associated with countercultures, the scene has fast evolved over the past few years, presently recognised as the utmost form of expression in the world of beauty. With its surefire delivery for showcasing an expansive range of creative designs and making a bold statement, the tattoo has become one that sits in perfect tandem with the artistic and experimental nature of its less permanent cousin: make-up.
Whilst make-up might see the face as the ideal canvas to be transformed as per one’s whimsies, the tattoo simply sees the entire body as potential for more decisive storytelling through the art form. With its permanence, comes the risk—but with the advent of technology these days, it’s nothing an aesthetic procedure or cover-up can’t fix. Furthermore, despite its permanence, one should not undermine the amount of preparations that goes into actually getting a tattoo in the current day and age.
Rather than simply walking into a parlour and picking out a design from a limited catalogue, more and more tattoo artists with a social media presence are also uploading the designs that they’ve done for various customers. Hence allowing others to consider their options, understand what art styles they can expect from different tattoo artists and make more educated decisions before finally deciding on the tattoo artist they eventually want to get inked by. “They seem to know a lot more about the artistry, hygiene practices and tattoo execution that can ensure longevity in their choices,” offers Singaporean tattoo artist Jared Asalli.
With this uptick in self-education, also comes clear showings of preferences from the tattoo-inclined. As part of a larger tattoo artist collective at Fingers Crossed Studio, Asalli shares some of the insights he’s gathered, on the art styles that picked up in popularity over the last year and what he’s expecting to see a lot more of in the future.
What were the tattoo trends that recently rose in popularity?
The past year has probably seen many individuals hopping onto trends that have surfaced during the Covid-19 period—mainly hand-poked designs, smaller fine-line colour realism and cutesy art styles. A large number of the younger generation who have recently joined the workforce seems to desire this impromptu experimentation with tattoos, causing a surge in smaller hand-poked or micro-realistic pieces, as they are also more discreet and easily hidden.
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What sort of tattoos do your customers opt for as of late?
I specialise in a broad range of blackwork and grey tattoo styles. These range from fine-line geometry to micro-realism and ornamental work. Even with such diversity, the most common theme that most of my clients opt for are actually nature-themed—think botanicals, marine life, animals and the like. These somehow never go out of style and still seem to hold a lot of meaning to many.
What are some tattoo types that you think might pick up in popularity this year?
With the rise in popularity of smaller, more “random” pieces from the past year, we could possibly expect clients requesting for styles that can help combine these tattoos into a larger, more cohesive piece.
We might also notice an increase in the demand for cover-ups, seeing how “ignorant-style” tattoos—which refer to more simplistic, graffiti-like designs that give a DIY feel—have been popular in the past couple of years. Cover-up requests are getting more common as people grow to better know themselves and their preferences.
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How do you think the tattoo scene will evolve in the future?
With the increased exposure on social media and limitless availability of information on tattoos, I have noticed that consumers are becoming more and more well-informed. In particular, they seem to know a lot more about the artistry, hygiene practices and tattoo execution that can ensure longevity in their choices. With all that being said, we can certainly expect a trend of higher quality artwork being pushed out by many of our local artists too, to meet the higher expectations of the tattoo-inclined.