Small tattoos are growing in popularity as more and more people gravitate towards smaller designs for their first or next piece of ink. Small tattoos are popular because they are discrete, take less time to complete and are fairly easy to cover up depending on the location of the ink.
As there are a number of unique things to consider when designing a small tattoo we felt like it’d be best to provide you with some insight into the process.
One of the most critical things to consider when getting a small tattoo is placement. Small tattoos are great because they can be done almost anywhere on the body due their size, but there are certain areas that are best to avoid.
While we often hear requests for small tattoos on hands and feet, you should know that the texture and quality of skin in these areas of your body tends to change as you move from the top of your hand or foot to the bottom. Tattoos on the bottom of your hands and feet will fade or wear more quickly because of the heavy use that those areas of your body see.
It’s not recommended to place small tattoos in the middle of a big muscle, especially if you’re thinking about getting other tattoos within the same area in the future. If a small tattoo is in the middle of a large area, that means it’s blocking any future tattoo from occupying that area.
Some great areas for small tattoos are the lower forearm and wrist, inner biceps, collarbones, lower pelvis, behind the neck, top of the shoulder, top of the back, under the chest, and on the lower legs and ankles. These parts of the body are great to tattoo on because the quality of the skin is less prone to fading and they compliment smaller tattoo designs.
The tattoo design is another important consideration when getting a smaller piece. Small tattoo designs are often restricted due to their size so the simpler the design, the better the result will be. This is also because small tattoos are not always conducive with aging, if the design is too complex, then close together sections can ‘bleed’ ink in to each other and ruin the effect. Make sure that you work with your tattoo artist to ensure the design has adequate spacing so it will look great for years to come.
When searching for tattoo inspiration, there are a number of large tattoo styles that can be scaled down and look great as a small tattoo. Text and script tattoos often work very well as small pieces. Tribal designs are also simple to scale down properly as they are often very simple in nature.
There are also some tattoo styles that don’t lend very well to small designs such as realism due to the high amount of detail required. Asian tattoos as well have difficulty scaling down as the style is meant to be big and powerful which is difficult to recreate in a smaller design.
Once you’ve decided on the tattoo placement and design, the rest is up to your tattoo artist. Small tattoos take the same amount of time to prepare as a large tattoo as the artist must design it with your ideas and expectations in mind. It can also end up being more challenging than a larger design, as small tattoos must be simple in nature, which usually requires more innovation and thought from your artist.
When it comes time to get the tattoo inked, you won’t find yourself sitting in the chair for as long as a bigger piece. On average, most small tattoos take anywhere from 45 minutes to 3 hours to complete depending on how complex the design is.
If you have any questions about small tattoo designs and other considerations, please feel free to drop us a line.