You have a lot of options when it comes to deciding what to get for your next, or first, tattoo. From tiny tats to bold and colorful pieces, the sky is the limit with this art form. And if you’re looking for a simple tattoo, the designs can run the gamut, so Bustle spoke with artists to hear how they define “simple tattoo,” why it doesn’t just mean small, and who it might be good for.
Alysha Howard of Ink and Dagger Tattoo says that, for her, a simple tattoo isn’t just something small — though it can be — but rather, something that requires only one machine and takes less than an hour to do. “‘Simple’ for me are line work designs, lettering — like typewriter-style or anything without varying thickness — and shapes,” she says.
Royal Heritage Tattoo’s Huka recommends flowers, bugs, and landscapes in addition to line work. But simple, she says, doesn’t have to mean a lack of detail: Adding dot work or pepper shading can add depth to a design.
She says simple tattoos are good options for many reasons. “Simple well-done tattoos age well,” she says. “If applied correctly, your line work flower will still look like a flower [for years].”
Howard also says they make for a great first tattoo, telling Bustle they’re great to “just to get an idea of how it feels, if [getting a tattoo] is something you’ll even enjoy.”
If you’re sold and ready to find your next (or first) piece, check out these 20 simple tattoos.