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Navigating the plight that is choosing your next tattoo can feel like a solo journey in maples territory. There is no GPS to meaningful body art; no Complete Encyclopedia to Dainty Ink You Won't Regret, like the one Hailey Baldwin has seemingly forgotten to release to the public.

What you can do, of course, is look to the pros to tell you which designs will see a spike in popularity in the coming months, plus which ones to ditch, and let that be your tattoo guide. That's where we come in. So what trends can you expect in the new year?

"Watercolor tattoos are slowly disappearing, as well as the hype of the stick-and-poke tattoos," said Trudy Lines, a top tattooist at the celebrity-favorite Bang Bang Tattoo in New York City. "But minimalistic tattoos will continue in 2020. The illustrative black line-work style will stay."

She added that this year, more and more people will be going back to "thoughtful and strategic tattoo planning" than they have in the past. "The design process and the pre-tattoo phase will become more important as opposed to just getting a bunch of smaller tattoos to start with."

Hypercolor realism

The future in colored tattoos, according to Lines, is looking colorful — and wildly realistic. "2019 was the year of boundless possibilities of micro tattoos, which started in black and gray and will turn into a trend of hypercolor realism done with single needles," she said.

Modern Objects

Henri Matisse need not apply; modern objects are getting their own callouts in tattoo form come 2020. "We'll be seeing traditional flash designs simplified and re-created in a modern way — like everyday objects such as a coffee mug, or a planted pot — which are a meaningful or ironic choice to the person wearing it," Lines said.

Peek-a-boo designs

"People are getting more visible areas tattooed, but not extensively," she said. "Delicate and simple tattoos in visible and unique placements that aesthetically emphasize the body part are going to be a major trend this year. For example, a flying bird, placed off-centered on the back of the hand as opposed to placing it on a more discreet body area."


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