Predicting trends in fashion and beauty demands we look to the past, the present, and the future. In fashion, it is widely regarded that what was once old will eventually become new again. Many style watchers and bloggers have (controversially) predicted that low rise jeans are likely to make a comeback soon. The idea of this once popular style coming back into fashion inspires disdain from many who feel this early 2000s fashion staple is very unforgiving for normal women.
All the recent trends in fashion were also popular in the past. Choker necklaces, cargo pants, and crop tops--styles that were popular throughout the 90s and early 2000s--have all experienced resurgences in the past year. Just like fashion, the tattooing industry has seen various trends rise to popularity only to be maligned. If we look to the past for possible tattoo trends, then we may predict that former tattoo fashions will make a comeback. When we consider how present trends in tattoos will give way to new styles, we must look no further than popular artists, who naturally lay the groundwork for trends since others look to them for inspiration. Finally, in looking towards the future of tattoos, we must question what new technologies will make their way into the industry.
2019 will likely see a return and revamp of the iconic tribal tattoo, a reset on fandom art, and a growth in vegan ink and art.
The tribal tattoo trend has a controversial history. They are frequently rebuked because they are often associated with low culture. In the past, tribal tattoos have been met with quick, negative judgments. However, the tribal trend has an inarguably influential place in tattoo history. Because they are quite common and often make for simple tattoos, they assisted in the influx of tattoos into mainstream culture. Though the recognizable tribal designs that typically feature curling black lines are largely a thing of the past, blackout patterns remain popular. For the most part, old school tribal patterns have been replaced by patterns more akin to true indigenous tattoos. The contemporary tribal trend reflects a greater appreciation for indigenous cultures, as those who seek out these tattoos often examine the unique significances of each pattern. However, tattooing indigenous art on non-native clients is a politically controversial task, so as artists and clients become more knowledgeable about different cultures and the complexities of appreciation versus appropriation, the trend remains contentious.
Low-Key Fandom Tattoos
Combine cute Spirited Away soot sprites, the silhouette of Totoro, and the iconic Hokusai wave, and you’ll get a tattoo that shows an appreciation for historic Japanese art and contemporary anime. The past few years have seen an overwhelming popularity of fandom tattoos. This trend shows no signs of letting up, as many artists dedicate their entire careers to tattooing anime, comic, and music-inspired artwork. However, all trends eventually fade or take on new characteristics in order to maintain relevance. A major reason why tattoos like this one have become so popular in recent years is the crossover that anime and comics have made from nerd culture to the mainstream. Most fans are no longer ashamed of their love for these genres and wear their dedication proudly--whether it be in the form of tattoos, fashion, or simply attending conventions and special screenings. Fandom tattoos are already out-and-proud as it is, I would venture to say we will see fewer large character portraits and an influx of more subtle fandom tattoos that are enmeshed with other tattoo styles.
Though tattoos inspired by nature have always had a place in the industry with the prevalence of flowers and animals, innovations in ink formulas have made vegan ink a sought-after commodity. Artists and shops entirely dedicated to providing cruelty-free tattoos have sprung up. In addition, there is much crossover between those who pursue the tattooed, alternative lifestyle and those who follow a vegan diet, but tattoos have not always been totally cruelty-free. It follows that with the rise of vegan inks, tattoos celebrating nature, and especially animals, are likely to gain popularity.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the official position of PainfulPleasures.