Back in the day, tattoos were only for sailors and hardcore manly men. Now the art form has become something completely different. Delicate, aesthetic tattoos are the new normal.
We found these gorgeous, artsy tattoos in the corners of the internet, and we’ve compiled them in one place for your viewing pleasure. Go forth, and get inspired. Keep reading to see beautiful single needle designs and colorful floral art that will knock your socks off.
The Most Gorgeous Whispy Mermaid
Photo Credit: @sarahgaugler / Instagram
Sarah Gaugler is a Filipino-American tattoo artist. She’s also a designer, an illustrator, a model, an actress, and a musician. She is best known for her signature line art and being the singer of the electronic rock duo Turbo Goth.
This stylized mermaid is like nothing I’ve ever seen before. I really wish that was my leg.
Tiger, Tiger Burning Bright
Photo Credit: @_dr_woo_ / Instagram
This gorgeous tiger was created by acclaimed Los Angeles tattoo artist Dr. Woo. This guy has been called “the most in-demand tattooist in the world.”
He has a two-year long waitlist, and he’s tattooed the likes of Miley Cyrus, Emilia Clarke, Sarah Hyland, and Frank Ocean.
Abstraction At Its Finest
Photo Credit: @peteraurisch / Instagram
Peter Aurisch is a tattoo artist from Berlin who creates Picasso inspired designs. He works in color and in black and white.
This guy doesn’t just work on skin. He also paints gorgeous canvases— in case you like his art, but you’re a bit squeamish about needles.
This Sad Girl Reading A Book Is All Of Us
Photo Credit: @_kobrah / Instagram
Ketzia is a tattoo artist based in Toronto, Canada. Her designs are the epitome of #aesthetic. This lady wrote her Master’s thesis on body modification and now she’s bringing those book smarts to the street.
Her “sad girl” collection is nothing short of adorable. Everyone who has one is part of an exclusive “sad girls” club.
Just Keep Swimming
Photo Credit: @lindsayapriltattoo / Instagram
Lindsay April also lives and works in Toronto, Canada. Her designs are delicate and ornate and absolutely gorgeous. Check out her Instagram for single needle flowers, foliage, animals, and so much more.
Her stuff is so my style it’s unbelievable. What do you think about it?
An Elephant Never Forgets
Photo Credit: @release852 / Instagram
Mr. Koo’s tattoos evoke the intelligent design behind the most impressive feats of nature. His work juxtaposes soft and hard, and uses precise lines and organic lines.
Really though, is there anything better than an elephant? I mean all animals are great, but elephants are particularly majestic.
Photo Credit: @tiffleetattoo / Instagram
Tattoo artist Tiff Lee’s bold designs are always on point. This robot is just the beginning. Her work expertly combines whimsy and depth.
Her style is so distinct that I could spot a Tiff Lee tattoo anywhere. Definitely check out her Instagram if you’re into unapologetic coolness.
A Little Bit Dangerous
Photo Credit: @clarecastello / Instagram
Clare Castello uses black ink like nobody else. If you’re not afraid of a little darkness, Clare is your lady. She is a tattoo artist and an illustrator, so if you like black, but you don’t like it injected into your body, you could always admire her work as wall art.
Check out her Instagram for more info.
Colors And Flowers And Negative Space, Oh My!
Photo Credit: @_jesschen_ / Instagram
Jess Chen’s nature-centric designs are a thing to behold. She uses negative space so beautifully. I love everything about her gorgeous floral designs.
Her art celebrates skin in a way that is totally unique. Keep reading to see a tiny tattoo that packs a big emotional punch.
Photo Credit: @gagama / Instagram
Ma Ga Ga is a tattoo artist and graphic designer based in Hong Kong, China. Sometimes her work is more realistic, and sometimes it’s more abstract, but it’s always absolutely gorgeous.
I love the sketched look of this adorable sleeping girl tattoo.
The Head And The Heart
Photo Credit: _kobrah / Instagram
Ketzia is back at it again with this gorgeous (although anatomically incorrect) tattoo. I love everything about this tattoo— the design, the execution, everything is picture perfect.
Sometimes I feel like my brain is just a little too heart-like. Maybe we all need to sort out our emotions.
We Are The World
Photo Credit: @ziv_tattooer / Instagram
Ziv_tattooer (as he’s known on Instagram) is a Korean tattoo artist with a real knack for drawing humans.
His faceless people tattoos capture a side of the human experience rarely seen in body art. There is something about the universality of his designs that makes my heart happy.
A Row Of Tiny Dinosaurs
Photo Credit: @laurenwinzer / Instagram
Lauren Winzer is an Australian tattoo artist with quite a large Instagram following. Noah Cyrus has become close pals with Lauren, and Lauren has given her at least five tattoos over the years.
Lauren works at Hunter and Fox Tattoo in Sydney.
I Wanna Swing From The Chandelier
Photo Credit: @bangbangnyc / Instagram
Sanghyuk Ko, also known as Mr. K, is a tattoo artist based in New York City. His work is delicate, precise, and out of this world gorgeous.
I especially love the little white highlights in the flames of this chandelier. This tattoo would make Sia proud.
Head In The Clouds
Photo Credit: @suflanda / Instagram
Susanne Suflanda König is a tattooer at Redwood Tattoo Studio based in Manchester in the UK. Her designs are compact and impactful.
They always have at least a touch of whimsy, and they’re always expertly executed. Check her out if you’re into cool shading and unique designs.
No Tears Anymore
Photo Credit: @johnnygloom / Instagram
Johnnny Gloom is an Insta-famous tattoo artist based in Paris, France. His work is dark and edgy and strangely seductive. He definitely has a dark side.
He says he’s super inspired by emotions, and that definitely shows in his work. Keep reading to see a hand poked tattoo that’s too cool for school.
Half And Half
Photo Credit: @matt_pettis_tattoo / Instagram
Matt Pettis is a tattoo artist from London, England. His bold, graphic designs are sure to impress even the most tattoo-wary among us.
He does a lot of these half skull tattoos, and they always look superb. I wonder how long it takes him to complete something like this?
Small But Mighty
Photo Credit: @jonboytattoo / Instagram
Jon Boy works at Bang Bang Tattoo in New York City. He’s completely embraced the teeny tiny tattoo trend. If you’re looking for something super understated, Jon Boy is your boy.
He does small text, abstract designs, and recognizable shapes. I love these abstract mountains… or are they just triangles?
Stick And Poke Monster
Photo Credit: @taticompton / Instagram
Tati Compton is an artist who exclusively does hand-poked tattoos. That means she doesn’t use a tattoo machine— she does everything with a needle held in her hand.
This monster is completely epic. I love her pointy fingernails and crazy hair. I kind of want it.
Foxy Flowers Meet Geometry
Photo Credit: @inshaanali / Instagram
Inshaan is a tattoo artist at Ink and Water in Toronto, Canada. I love these animal-inspired designs— especially this foxy fox.
The combination of nature and geometry is so “right now,” but also so timeless. Check out Inshaan’s Instagram for tons of other cool tattoos.