Spring is almost upon us which means it’s time to start accessing your summer time game. Bikinis, shorts, crop tops, skin will soon be in and that means any tattoo plans should be in motion like now. Your new ink is going to need time to heal, so better now than later, feel me? But please, do us all a favor and actually put a little time and effort into the design process. The following 60 ink ideas are all exceptional, so get inspired, get creative, and get inked!
A wolf and the moon
Besides the occasional Instagram moment, there aren’t too many opportunities to put these corresponding designs on full display. Well, the beach will obviously turn into your second home, and your name may just become synonymous with super high crop tops.
A beautiful x-ray flower
Oscar Akermo does everything well. So it doesn’t come as much of a surprise that his x-ray flowers are unspeakably good. This design appears to be a calla lily—which has wonderful lines and is well-suited for this particular style of design.
A heart-shaped green gem
This style of gem has become my new obsession as of late. The way the artist illustrates the reflections is everything in gemstone tattoos. And Puch Nguyen over at Recycle has demonstrated that he has more than simply a firm grasp on the concept of light and its reflective properties.
A purple peony
Sol is constantly coming up with new and interesting ways to illustrate anything and everything. Peonies have long been a fan favorite, which isn’t too surprising given their beautiful layered and uniform appearance.
A red house
Here we have another work out of Sol Studio by the much lauded Saegeem. Just when you thought Eva Krbdk had a monopoly on landscape designs, Saegeem introduces a new and interesting style that’s highly original and oh-so-memorable.
Small branches twisting their way around your hands is anything but ordinary. In recent months, the talented Lindsay April has created a number of iterations of this style which are all quite inspiring.
A botanical design
Speaking of creative and envelope-pushing botanical designs, this piece from Balazs Bercsenyi is all sorts of epic. This top view doesn’t really do the entire design justice but it does represent the best single perspective that was available.
A blackwork rose
About as far from a little red rose on your ankle as you can get, this stunning example of black work creativity is something that isn’t easily forgotten. Would this inverted blacked out rose look quite as cool without a blonde cropped bob? Probably not.
All my love all my life
You know who’s a sucker for an elegant cursive script? Pretty much everyone who has or will ever live. And as someone who has personally sat through the pain of a rib cage tattoo, I can tell you that even a design of this size in this particular location is a true testament of love.
The only word that truly describes this floral design is “magical.” De Souza’s masterfully colored designs appear minimalistic in their use of color but are in fact anything but. Intricate details and wonderful color gradients are De Souza’s calling card.
Fancy yourself a mermaid? Then you should know that the transformation from homo sapien to mermaid begins like this. Mermaid scales aren’t a rare design concept by any means, except when they’re executed like this.
Elegance isn’t something that everyone’s familiar with. But you can just picture the champagne lunches and lavish lifestyle that must accomplish a design as tasteful as the one above. The contrasting styles of design mesh beautifully when done in the same weight.
An embroidery design
Cross stitch tattoos are something Eva Krbdk introduced us to a while back, but this iron-on style of embroidery design is truly a sight to behold. This design is still so vivid and crisp that it appears as if you could reach out and peel it off.
A peacock feather
As far as birds go, peacocks are extra. Perhaps the most well-placed feather tattoo I’ve yet to come across, this top-of-the-shoulder peacock feather is packed with exquisite little extras that make things even more special.
If it’s a dragon tattoo you’re after, then make sure that your next stop is Yintat’s Instagram page. Out of all of the dragons Yintat has created, this central back piece is definitely my favorite. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t oodles of excellent designs still to be discovered.
A lotus flower
When it comes to lotus flowers, there isn’t much that can be said about their beauty that this image doesn’t summarize by itself. Banul does gorgeous floral tattoos with the best of them, and this might just be her most beautiful creation to date.
A floral band
Ann Bravo has been creating beautiful black ink floral masterpieces for as long as I can remember. Gorgeous clusters of flowers are what she does and each of her designs have a soft and elegant completeness to them that just ooze feminine appeal.
How clean is this little video game character? Mario is without a doubt the coolest brother, but what you may or may not have known is that his name was almost “Jumpman.” That’s right, during the early stages of development, Mario was Jumpman before he got his iconic moniker.
Stars make for great sternum tattoos, and powerful symbols of inspiration. This star is reminiscent of a compass—with its many sub points. And the wiggly lines lend it an air of originality.
“Daffodil” is often used to describe any flower which falls into the narcissus family. Daffodil also happens to roll off the tongue a lot easier than “narcissus,” which is why daffodil is used so frequently that many people have no idea what a narcissus is.
A cat and crescent moon
Contrast can be a powerful tool during composition. This little kitty wouldn’t be quite as cool on its own, and the same goes for the crescent moon. But when paired together, the lightly illustrated crescent moon creates a beautiful context for the small black cat.
There was once a time when sunset tattoos were far more rudimentary. It’s almost difficult to believe that someone would even attempt to create an image where so much detail is required with a needle and ink, but yet here we are. Sol’s sunset is nothing short of magical, I just wish we had a close up to appreciate.
There are bicycle tattoos and then there are bicycle tattoos. This is the latter. I’ve been collecting bike tattoos for quite some time now in the hopes of one day creating a list. As you can imagine, high quality bicycle tattoos aren’t easy to come by but hopefully I’ll have enough for a list by the end of the year.
A floral shoulder piece
Crescent moons and beautiful florals go together like Frank Sinatra and Las Vegas. You can have one without the other but it’s just not the same. The talented Korean tattooist Grain is one of my favorite artists and the first I followed on Instagram.
This grayscale cluster of roses is everything you could possibly hope for in a floral tattoo design. If you like this design, then make sure to check back in a few weeks as I’m in the final stages of releasing a list of some truly fantastic rose tattoos.
Banul took a page out of Eva Krbdk’s book and graced us with this gorgeous and super colorful circular landscape. Lavender fields are every photographer’s dream. In fact, there’s a lavender field in Japan thats sole purpose is to be photographed in background of visitors photos.
Here’s a little more of that Lindsay April wandering botanical goodness for you. This is a great example of how you can make almost any subject matter look great as long as you put a little thought and effort into it.
Blooming blue roses
The whole “blooming flower” concept has been done to death, but that doesn’t mean I don’t stop to stare every time I see one. And I have to say, this is one of the better examples of the concept you will ever see.
A minimalistic wine glass
Okay, so you’re out with your besties and you’ve all decided to get matching tattoos. But what should you get? Something quick, affordable, and of course fun. Oh. I know! This!
An x-ray magnolia
The thing I love most about x-ray floral tattoos is that it shows you a completely new perspective of one of nature’s most beautiful creations that otherwise would go mostly unseen. The lines of this magnolia are beautiful, elegant, and almost magical in nature.
A watercolor eye
Since we spend so much time staring at eyes all day, even the simplest illustrations of eyes have a certain air of life to them that gives even the most rudimentary of designs life-like qualities.
Orchids are one of my favorite flowers—mostly due to their unique layout and tidy appearance on the stem. And it’s that unique layout that makes them perfect candidates for the ever-popular x-ray treatment that looks so fantastic on flowers.
Faith, hope, love
In one of my favorite font pairings in the entire tattoo world, Georgia Grey uses a compact solid black cursive font to expertly compliment the broad brushstrokes of a large watercolor script.
A ruby-throated hummingbird to be more precise. Did you know that hummingbirds are the only birds that can fly backwards? That’s a widely circulated fact, but I swear I saw a video on Reddit of a pigeon flying backwards and even doing a backflip.
A white ink cat
White ink tattoos are the perfect excuse for the introvert looking for a little ink without making mom too sad. This small cat is as elegant as it is beautiful and something I’d get tomorrow without hesitation.
Look closely and you’ll discover that this stunning wolf has icy blue eyes. I put together an article a few months back dedicated to wolf tattoos, and if I had had this design back then, it would definitely have made the list.
When it comes to peonies, no one does them quite like Ira Shmarinova. Peonies by themselves, or in any matter for that case, are some of nature’s most beautiful works of art. So when Ira adds a few extras to the mix you can bet things are going to get extra special.
A simplistic wrist piece
When I first laid eyes upon this design I instantly saved it to my little folder and knew it was going to make my next list. Why? Because I have two almost identical designs on my own two wrists and they both happen to be among my favorite and most complimented designs.
Here we have an oldie but a goodie. Or at least I think it’s an oldie—either that or it’s a throwback to a previous design. There are spiritual tattoos and then there are spiritual tattoos, this is the latter. You can practically hear the sounds of an eagle screeching just looking at this design.
A floral moon
Me: “One gorgeous ankle tattoo please.” Grain: “Coming right up!” I like to think it’s that easy when working with the amazing and uber-talented Grain. That’s probably due to the fact that all of his designs are quite good.
A Bob Ross landscape
Anyone who was born in the 80’s has tried to get their Bob Ross on at least once in their life. The experience usually lasts about a full 20 seconds before you realize that painting is actually hard, and that Bob Ross is secretly a magician.
A coffee branch in a gin bottle
Because why not? This reminds me of one of my budget attempts to decorate my apartment. Everything seems great at first until you have to answer the “What is this?” comments followed by the LOL’s.
Koalas are super cute and super smelly. Their claw-like grip is also a little scary if you find yourself on the receiving end. All of these factors make them ideal for photographs and artwork but less ideal for pets.
If there’s a tattoo that says “Everything’s going to be okay,” then this is it. This design is actually a screen grab from a K-POP music video by BTS, but it’s the artist’s skill and technique that caught our attention.
I have to admit, I have a weakness for flanking tattoos of all shapes and sizes. That, coupled with my other weakness for peonies and, well, let’s just say my fondness for these designs cannot be overstated and if this woman was to punch me in the face I would have to fight the strong urge to thank her.
Another x-ray flower
I’m not quite sure what type of flower this is but being that it’s a well executed x-ray floral tattoo is about all that really matters. Taking floral tattoos to new levels. What will they think of next?
A dotwork flower
About as tasteful as you can get in regards to a facial tattoo, this half mandala flower is super clean and creative.
A green-eyed cat
They say that dogs are man’s best friend. And if that’s true, then cats are a woman’s best friend. Cat tattoos come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, but it’s the creative ones that often leave the most lasting impressions.
A wave in a bottle
A ship in a bottle is cool. But a Hokusai wave in a bottle, now that’s next level. This wonderful creation is an excellent example of just how splendid Cally Jo’s shading game is.
No floral tattoo would be complete without a beautiful butterfly making an appearance. If you’re in the market for a flower design, incorporating a little fauna into the composition is always something to consider.
Roses, peonies, cherry blossoms, in that order are the most commonly tattooed floral designs. But if I had the opportunity to get this particular cherry blossom design right now, right here, I can’t think of any other floral design I would rather have.
A hand piece
I’m not going to lie, top-of-the-hand tattoos are more of a guy thing, but for no good reason of course. It just happens to be that men are more inclined to ink their hands than women. But as you can see here, an elegant design goes a long way no matter whose hand it’s on.
A floral garter
If you’re going to go the floral garter route, this is how you do it. Delicate and dainty, a naturalistic approach that features little to no extras is in extremely good taste. The placement farther down on the thigh is also something to note.
Planets and a fish
Again, I may sound like a broken record if you’re a frequent reader but when you have an artist as talented as Nando, literally any design you choose is going to turn out well. Planets and a fish sounds like a pretty cheesy design choice, but hey, the results speak for themselves.
A floral dragon
Game over. Pack up your needles and ink. This year’s award for the Most Epic Tattoo Design Ever has been decided. Seriously I’m already spoken for but if were to ever cheat on my SO it would be with this tattoo right here.
A floral armband
Floral armbands will never go out of style. While they’re not as popular as they once may have been, I’m feeling a strong comeback over the next few years. But don’t worry, barbed wire bands will never be cool.
It seems as though every time I log into Instagram I’m greeted with a new lion tattoo—each one better than the next. Dragon does everything exceptionally well so it’s no surprise that his interpretation of a lion is quite good.
A branch of leaves
This is a good example of how a plain black and grey ink branch of leaves can be just as beautiful as one full of colorful flowers. For quite some time now, these seemingly basic botanical designs have been growing in popularity.
By far Mexico’s most recognizable artist, Frida Kahlo is probably best known for her wonderfully full eyebrows—which were even more exaggerated in her self-portraits.
Butterflies are one of nature’s most beautiful creations. Their colorful symmetrical wings have made them one of the world’s most photographed insects and an ever popular inspiration for art and design.