Enormous back tattoos and intricate sleeves are still highly sought after, but for a brief moment, micro tattoos are enjoying a bit of time in the spotlight. After a New York based tattoo artist named JonBoy gave Justin Bieber and a couple of the Jenner sisters micro tattoos, the demand for these tiny designs skyrocketed. The micro tattoo is a loosely defined term, but in general, they are smaller than a quarter and less detailed compared to larger pieces.
Oddly enough, Jonathan "JonBoy" Valena, the eminent artist riding the wave of micro tattoo success, was formerly known for his “Coleman style” tattooing, which is nothing like his micro tattoos. His “Coleman” tattoos are bold and bright, and often times quite large. Regardless of a tattoo's size, JonBoy is an artist who takes every tattoo seriously. After his recent slew of celebrity clients, he has blown up on social media and is booked for months in advance. His high demand enables him to charge a minimum of $300 for a tattoo, even if it is a measly white dot like the one Kendall Jenner had done.
The micro tattoo is ideal for anyone who might have to cover up their tattoos for work, or for anyone who is interested in getting a tattoo, but unsure where to start. It’s well suited for a first timer, because it is far easier to remove than a larger more detailed piece. As for demographics, micro tattoos are most popular among women, they are cute and badass at the same time, and that makes micro tattoos especially attractive on women. That’s not to say it’s effeminate, there are some fairly brutal gangsters out there with micro tattoos all over their face. It’s up to you to use the style in a way that fits your personal aesthetic. If that means getting a small flower on your ankle, great- if it means getting tear drops under your eye for each person you’ve murdered, that works too. Use the style however you see fit and don’t succumb to the myth that micro tattoos are for women, even though Bieber got one.
Micro tattoo design ideas are commonly very simple. Most all of the micro tattoos I’ve seen on women have been tiny symbols, arrows, hearts, animals (especially birds), and impressively small geometric patterns. Men get symbols too, but tend to be more rugged or nautical themed. Things like anchors, compasses, ships, and bloody axes are all par for the course. A few of the beneficial features of micro tattoos are that they allow for discretion, they don’t take much time to complete, and they are relatively cheap unless you use a well known artist like JonBoy. These tattoos can be completed in under twenty minutes and can be hidden from everyone in your professional life. If you are unsure about getting your first tattoo, it would be wise to start with one that is small, easy to hide, and relatively easy to remove.
Even though micro tattoos are a fad that, in part, spawned from a vapid reality TV star’s instagram account, they are still pretty cool. Unlike wearing a mullet or using baby oil to tan at the beach, this probably won’t be something you regret doing twenty years from now. As long as you do it because you want it, not because a celebrity posted a picture of one on the internet.