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In 2015 we saw a ton of spectacular tattoos. Incredible designs were unleashed into the tattoo world on the daily. It's safe to say that the artists of today continue to defy expectations of what a tattooer can do with human skin. Ten years ago, many would have assumed that tattoo styles such as realism would not translate well on the human body, yet Nikko Hurtado, Bang Bang, Yogi Barrett and more have defied the odds.
There is no doubt that the tattoos of 2016 will continue to reshape our idea of what a tattoo can and cannot be. We expect to see trends from 2015 carry over into 2016, as the tattoo world has already been exposed to some of the great feats within the industry.
Individuals from around the globe tend to gravitate toward some of the hottest tattoo trends every year, so we rounded up some styles and designs that you should keep your eye on for 2016.
We've seen a huge surge in minimalistic tattoos over the past few years, with tattoo artists like Bang Bang and Dr. Woo inking microscopic designs onto the bodies of some of the most prominent figures in young Hollywood. And because this tattoo trend is literally taking over the world, we can expect that it will continue to grow within the next year. This trend reaches an untouched demographic of people who would have never before stepped into a tattoo parlor, and in 2016, it is inevitable that more and more people will get tattoos in this celebrity-endorsed style.
Single Line Tattoos
Another tattoo trend that relies on a minimalistic design with expert execution is single line tattoos. This style has been perfected by tattooer, Mo Ganji and already we can see an increase in demand for tattoos composed of one continuous line. These simplistic tattoos have the same appeal as the minimalistic designs of Dr. Woo and Bang Bang and we can expect clients from around the globe to flock to this up-and-coming style.
Double Exposure Tattoo
In addition to being an artist who caters to tattooing the stars, Bang Bang is an artist who strives to tattoo the impossible. He works primarily in black and grey, and this year he dabbled in creating double exposure tattoos. Many artists from around the world have taken inspiration from double exposure photography and replicated the technique in tattoos. This style is extremely difficult to execute yet if it is done correctly, it creates a truly unbelievable tattoo. We can only expect that more artists will attempt to create double exposure tattoos in 2016.
Cubism may be a painting style that was created by Pablo Picasso during the early 20th century, but did you know that it's also a growing tattoo style? In recent years, tattoo artists like Sasha Unisex have modified this painting technique for the skin and have created one of the most in-demand styles of today. Sasha Unisex's tattoos rely on the general principles of cubism, using blocks of color to shape exquisite portraits of animals and flowers. Many artists have borrowed from her style in their own work. Unisex's tattoos have gained popularity globally because they are undeniably feminine and unique in their execution. We have seen other artists use cubism in tattoos to get the same graphic effect and it is likely that in 2016, cubism will only continue to grow in popularity.
Geometric tattoos have surged on social media and you have artists such as, Corey Divine and Thomas Hooper to thank for that. Geometric tattoos stray away from the familiar styles like American traditional or realism, bringing something new to the table. On social media platforms like Instagram, we have seen an increased amount of tattoo enthusiasts turning to this style—it has even made it's way onto the skull of Benji Madden. The geometric style allows the artist to create a 100% unique pattern that can be executed into both small-scale pieces and full body designs. This style isn't going anywhere.
While 2015 had it's fair share of black-and-grey designs, it was also a year that celebrated vibrant color tattoos. One of the most notable artists who uses to color to her artistic advantage is Katie Shocrylas, a Vancouver based tattooer who takes vibrancy to another level. Shocryla's tattoos literally jump off of the skin because of the bright and bold pigments that she packs into the skin. Her designs prove that a hyper-colorful tattoo can be just as elegant as a black-and-grey one. Shocryla's designs appeal to today's tattoo market because they exemplify the vibrant exuberance of the 21st century and provide a refreshing change to other popular tattoo styles. Let's charge into 2016 with some stunning hyper-vibrant tattoos.
We have all seen cityscape tattoos which depict our favorite places but not quite like the ones done by Thieves of Tower. Thieves of Tower uses astounding blackwork technique to depict haunting, gothic architecture in ink, bringing an element of literary fantasy to the skin. This California artist has evolved our understanding of what a skyline tattoo should look like. We look forward to seeing this style catch on in 2016.
We have all seen about a million American traditional and realism tattoos over the course of time, but have you seen these two very diverse styles merged together? In 2015, Yogi Barrett broke all rules in creating tattoos which incorporate the classic techniques of traditional tattooing with photo-realistic subject matter. Barrett's tattoos combine these two styles in a way that has never been done before. Now, they're a great way for tattoo enthusiasts to pay tribute to multiple styles at once. The tattoo industry as we know it is changing before our eyes.
Another tattoo style which has risen in popularity is surrealism (thanks, Ivana). Despite being based off of a classic artistic movement, the style of surrealism tattoos is actually quite broad. A surrealism tattoo can encompass realism, black-and-grey, and abstract styles. This style expands our imagination and uses irrational juxtapositions of creative imagery in every design. Dare to dream with your new ink in 2016 .
Optical Illusion Tattoos
Similar to surrealism tattoos, optical illusion tattoos play with your imagination, but what separates them is that optical illusion tattoos are executed to trick the eye into thinking that the design has three dimensional depth or is moving. One artist in particular that nails optical illusion tattoos is Jesse Rix. His tattoos look like they are emerging out of the skin. Other optical illusion tattoos are constructed using geometric pattern work or bio-mechanical designs that bring steampunk to the skin. This style has been in demand over the past few months and it will easily be one of the most popular styles for 2016.