2023 tattoo craze

9 Surprising Tattoo Trends to Inspire You in 2023

By: Pacho Pacho Last updated: Oct 23, 2023

Trends in the fashion and beauty industry have been influencing how we alter our appearance for years.

A tattoo trend simply refers to tattoo designs, placement, and styles that are popular and fashionable at a given time.

When you constantly see something in the media or on your favorite celebrities, this might influence you to get the tattoo done. Psychologically speaking, people want to conform and fit into what is considered cool and popular, and, believe it or not, this extends to tattoos as well.

We are going to be taking a look at some of the hottest tattoo trends of 2023, and exploring the possible pros and cons of some of the not-so-hot current styles.

Key Takeaways

  • While you may be influenced by tattoo trends, you should still think about what your tattoos may mean to you, what they will look like long term, and if you may regret them one day.
  • Some tattoo trends have always been and will remain timeless.
  • Many celebrities are the reason tattoo trends emerge, especially for placement ideas.

9 Stunning Tattoo Trends in 2023

Micro Tattoos

Micro tattoos are more popular now than ever before.

Part of their popularity comes from how subtle they are, they’re easy to hide, but add a touch of whimsy to their owner’s body. We often see them on fingers and arms, but also in unconventional placements and colors. It’s pretty common to see them in bright colors, or even in natural shades to give the impression of freckles.

These oh-so-cute tattoos are great if you want to express yourself, but still need to hide your tattoos from employers or family members. Micro tattoos tend to be quirkier than bigger tattoos because of their size – they don’t feel as serious as a bigger tattoo. They’re also perfect for sentimental or meaningful tattoos, as their size lends to their privacy.

Cyber Tribal / Neotribal

Cyber tribal or neotribal tattoos are super popular at the moment due to the resurgence of Y2K fashion and aesthetic.

They are a new age take on old-school tribal, combining mechanical elements and spikey forms to create something new: the modern tribal. And just like old-school tribal designs, they are just as popular on lower backs, collar bones, chests, and below the belly button.

As a modern take on a 90s staple neotribal tattoos are usually thinner and more intricate than the tribal tattoos we used to know. They are dynamic, organic, and very cool.

Sticker Sleeves

Sticker sleeves are extremely fashionable and may be driving your local tattoo artist mad.

We often see them on young people and people with limited budgets. It’s a great way to collect a lot of tattoos from a lot of different artists or get many tattoos in one session, thus saving money. The tattoos that form the sticker sleeve can vary from millions of micro tattoos, or a handful or two of palm-sized traditional pieces. The best part of a sticker sleeve is that there aren’t really any rules.

While they can seem to be random and have nothing to do with each other, all together they can appear incredibly cohesive. It’s a great way to build up a sleeve without having to commit to the marathon that is a full sleeve tattoo. Sticker sleeves are usually done on arms, but we’ve also seen our fair share of leg sleeves emerging.

Fine Line Script

Fine line tattoos, in general, are extremely subtle and elegant, and fine line script even more so.

Because of how delicate they are, they can be placed on any part of the body. They are a great way to adorn yourself with words that hold weight – you can capture your mom’s handwriting, lyrics to your favorite songs, or words to live by. Celebrities like Rihanna have popularized these tattoos and we are seeing them appear on sensitive areas like the hands, necks, and shoulder blades.

They can also be a fun way to add a touch of color, as they are also often done using red ink instead of black. However, an important thing to keep in mind is that because they are so thin, they may not age well and can lose legibility over time.

Ornamental Designs

Ornamental tattoos are extremely popular right now. They work well on hands, chests, and fingers.

They are popular because there is such a wide variety of ways they can be done. They can be feminine and floral, or be more masculine and use elements of sacred geometry. Mandalas are an incredibly popular type of ornamental tattoo, with beautiful symmetry and intricate and subtle details.

Contrary to what people think, they can also be incredibly bold, using thick black lines to create simple but strong designs. It’s pretty common to see people mirror these on their bodies, like tattooing both of their hands with the same design. They’re often inspired by wood carvings or traditional mehndi designs.

American Traditional Blackwork

American traditional tattoos have stood the test of time and you can never go wrong with a traditional tattoo.

The imagery is usually natural elements like animals, plants, and iconic designs deeply ingrained in tattoo history. If you’re looking for a tattoo that is steeped in history, that is bold, and will age well, an American traditional tattoo is perfect for you.

Their deep history provides an almost endless supply of meaningful imagery, but they can also be customized and use newer imagery. Almost anything you can think of can easily be translated into a beautiful American traditional tattoo that is bold and simple.

Abstract tattoos

We have seen a low rise in abstract tattoo popularity, but not many people know that it has ancient roots in a Japanese practice known as Suminagashi.

Artists layer oil-based paint in water and create swirls in the ink, which they then pick up with paper, similar to hydro dipping or water-marbled nails. This creates a unique and abstract form that is commonly used in tattooing.

Suminagashi-style swirls are not the only abstract tattoo that we are seeing though, some are getting hand-stenciled organic lines that follow the curves and contours of their bodies, and we’ve also seen a splatter technique that uses wet stencil ink that’s randomly dripped and splattered onto the skin, like an elevated pitch black watercolor.

These free-form abstract tattoos have a fluid beauty and they fit the wearer’s body perfectly, and can also offer a creative and innovative way of having something truly unique and once-off.

Stick and Poke Tattoos

Hand poke tattoos, colloquially referred to as stick and pokes, are extremely popular at the moment – it is a slow, intimate, and delicate way of making tattoos.

Most stick and poke designs are predominantly line work with a bit of shading. They hurt less than machine tattoos but take longer. They are extremely unique and have a whole lot of love put into them.

We are seeing a rise in more ignorant style stick and pokes, as the style lends itself well to the technique of machine-free tattooing. A big reason for the rise in popularity is because of the accessibility, we are seeing a lot of people doing these in an at home setting, where they’ve taught themselves how to tattoo.

The downside of this of course is that a lot of the people doing these at home do not know the necessary safety precautions or techniques, which is resulting in a lot of infections and unsafe tattooing.

Glitter Tattoos

Glitter tattoos take badass designs and make them cute and sparkly. These tattoos are full of contrast and are packed with white ink to give the glittery effect. The designs tend to be playful and girly, often being cute animals or your favorite Disney characters. It’s a really fun way to add pizazz to the imagery you already love. We love how they can come in all sorts of different colors and can be added to any design. However, they are a fairly new style, and that plus all the white ink used in these tattoos means we don’t know how well they’re going to age.


Are tattoos out of trend?

Tattoos are not out of trend - in fact, they are more popular than ever before. Research shows that over 30% of all Americans have at least one tattoo.

Why is Gen Z obsessed with tattoos?

Gen Z is obsessed with tattoos as they are using them as a form of self-care and self-expression. There are more accessible and affordable tattoo studios than ever before and getting a tattoo is no longer “taboo”.

Why are tattoos so common now?

Mainstream acceptance of tattoos as well as tattoos being present in the media and fashion industry are some of the main reasons why tattoos are so common nowadays.

Are tattoos becoming less popular?

Tattoos are gaining popularity, according to research.

Which gender has more tattoos?

In the USA, statistically, more men are tattooed than women, but women have more tattoos on their bodies than men.

9 Incredible Tattoo Trends Spotted in 2023

2023 is packed with all sorts of unique tattoo trends, but American Traditional has once again proven that it is here to stay. From stick and pokes to abstract tattoos to micro tattoos, 2023 is filled with unique and creative tattoo styles. We love seeing how the trends change according to what is popular in the media and can’t wait to see what the next year will bring.


About the AuthorPacho

Based in Miami, FL and I’m a tattoo artist. I work hard and learn new techniques every day to improve my tattooing skills.On my website, you will find an amazing tattoo collection which I use myself too for inspiration and help my clients to find the perfect piece of masterwork.Learn more about Pacho here.