Tattoos come into fashion and tattoos go out of fashion, but if you’ve got a tattoo on your own body, then it’s there for life! Hipster tattoos are in fashion right now, with finger tattoos with things like mustaches and SHHH written on them, and nods to silliness and pop culture. They’re fun, playful and when done right, look amazing.
What is a hipster?
Hipster is a new word in recent years that describes a subculture that is actually becoming more and more mainstream. It used to be your local barista, your “not so cool” kids, your creatives but nowadays, more and more people are breaking out of social norms and doing what makes them happy. And if it means riding a bike and wearing a flowery dress or suspenders, then so be it.
Being a hipster simply means you enjoy things that aren’t mainstream. You typically wear clothes that aren’t totally in fashion, you eat at the locally owned mom and pop shops and you enjoy indy music. It’s gotten so popular to be a hipster that the trend has taken Western culture by storm. It’s almost mainstream these days to be a hipster. The hipster movement has encouraged the culture to break the norms and see life through a different lens. If you ever want to see the original hipsters, be sure to check out the local farmers market in Portland, Oregon.
See if you notice any of these tattoos below as being more fashionable than they used to be- you can thank the hipsters of Instagram for making them famous. Or just head to a local coffee shop that isn’t a Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts. Most hipsters aren’t going to be seen in a chain store when they could support local instead. The variation of the tattoos we’re sharing will show the wide range of genres among hipsters today.
- This is half man wolf, half beautifully decorated girl wolf. Hats off to the life like appearance this artist did with the wolf’s face. It’s such a unique piece and probably means something quite significant to the person. The thigh is a common place that hipsters like to get inked. You’ll see how they wear their shorts in such a manner to hide part of the tattoo.
2) These are beautiful in their golden foil look. Arrows are super popular among females because they represent elegance and grace. They’re very popular right now and don’t seem to be losing steam as more and more girls get this image inked. The forearm is another spot that is very popular among young girls right now. Perhaps it’s because they can easily look down and be reminded of the significance and meaning of their art.
3) The small heart on the forearm has grown in popularity as it represents love. It doesn’t necessarily mean that the person has a lover, but it’s just a whimsical hope for the future. Hipsters tend to be dreamers with lots of vision and high hopes. This piece encompasses that.
4) The felt hat is a hipster go to item. If you’re ever in LA, you’ll see lots of hats and most of the females wearing them will have unique art like the girl below. There’s an alluring mysterious about this girl’s art as it’s so creatively strewn across her body.
5) Gotta love the shoutout to Buzz Lightyear! To infinity and beyond! This is such a great example of how to weave any saying or word you want into the infinity sign. What word would you use? This is a fun image to get because it’s simple, relatively easy to cover and has special meaning. She’s placed it low enough from her hand that she can cover it up if there’s a policy at her workplace that doesn’t allow body art. Just like the infinity sign means eternity, that tattoo will be there forever.
Where does a hipster place a tattoo?
That’s the beauty of not being mainstream. You can literally place your tattoo anywhere you want to. It’s becoming more and more popular as of late to get a random assortment of tattoos that mean nothing together and have no particular fluidity in placement. To some this might be irritating, but for others it’s an expression of going against cultural norms to be uniquely them. Though it’s rather typical for hipsters to place them in random places, there are some keys spots that they usually place them. The top areas most hipsters get inked is somewhere on their arm, calf, thigh or even their neck. You may see beautiful imagery that inked on their legs so be sure and ask them about the story behind it. The cool thing about tattoos is that you can always assume that there will be a unique story associated with it. A few hipsters will ink their hands and of course, there are plenty with full sleeves.
Hipsters can be thanked for helping make tattoos more mainstream and accepted by society. Their carefree attitude and willingness to break the mold has helped pave the way for everyone to feel comfortable inking their favorite sign, image or saying onto their body. In the past, it was not as accepted to have one tattoo, much less a sleeve, but thanks to hipsters, sleeves and full body art has become more and more popular among mainstream culture. Their is literally a whole generation that is growing up with tattoos being very normal and cool. It’s quite a giant leap for the industry as a whole and it will be interesting to see how this particular trend continues to gain momentum. As hipsters become moms and dads, one has to wonder if they’re kids will grow up and follow in their parents artistic footsteps. Will tattoos continue to be embraced as they are or will it skip a generation? Only time can really tell us these answers.
When choosing placement, just remember…
Whether you consider yourself a hipster or just someone who loves body art and want to get some done, there are a few things to think about and we’re going to share some of our favorite tips. There are a lot of things to go over when getting inked but one of the most important is placement This may seem like a pretty rudimentary comment but think about it for just a second. You’re getting permanent ink in a spot that you will literally have forever so it’s totally worth thinking about it for more than just five minutes. Here’s a couple things to remember to help you decide the best spot for you. Placing art on the bone hurts, so places like your elbow is going to be rough. It’ll look awesome once it’s done but be prepared for it to be a bit painful. Choosing unique spots like inside your mouth or even on your hands, know ahead of time that it’ll fade faster than other spots and you’ll have to get it retouched. The cause of this is mainly due to the fact that those spots are constantly being rubbed and touched. Also, as a rule of thumb, take this as food for thought. If you get pinched and it hurts, it’ll hurt to get a tattoo there as well. Places like the inner arm are giong to be way more sensitive than a place that doesn’t have super soft skin. And the last tip we have for you is if it’s on your back, you won’t see it quite as much as everyone else. The back is an excellent location but it will be more for your viewing audiences pleasure than for yours unless you have a pocket mirror so you can admire the work from time to time.
6) The hipster movement has a tendency to be more whimsical and dreamy. They can often give off a bohemian look and like these Indian dream catchers with the feathers flowing from them. The way the top of the dream catcher is black and then flows into the flowers that are a deep blue really makes the tattoo stand out and look beautiful.
7) This is an homage to Alice in Wonderland. It’s absolutely beautiful. This genre of artwork often gives a shoutout to cartoons from their childhood. The imagery here is quite beautiful and irresistibly real. A big drawback to covering your entire leg is that you can’t hide it unless you have pants on. This may not bother some people but others may have an issue with this. It’s important to take into consideration these types of things when choosing your placement. But overall, this is gorgeous and we love it.
8) The back of the arm is a popular placement for artwork. It’s a very indie look that’s very popular among the hipster culture. It’s that beachy, windblown hair matched with a boxy tattoo that gives hipsters that cool factor. It’s fairly simple yet it’s so appealing and eye catching due to its placement.
9) This full length arm art is a mixture of tribal and ancient eastern religion. It’s trendy and urban and you’ll pass many hipsters with full sleeves. It’s a beautiful inward expression displayed on the body for the world to see.
Coloring for a hipster tattoo
There isn’t a rhyme or reason for the coloring of hipster ink. This probably is due to the fact that they don’t want to be like the cultural mainstream tattoos. They vary in size, shape, color and also vary between imagery and words. As you can see by the art shared today, there are all sorts of styles to hipster tattoos. The most popular is black with very little shading although as you can see there are several with vibrant, dark hues that really pop.
The coloring of a piece of body art tells a lot about the person who’s wearing it. A lot of time and consideration goes into deciding what color palette is right for your tattoo. Think about how you want it to contrast with your body or with the other pieces on your body. You definitely want your image to pop and to be skillfully done. Be sure to think about the shading and line work you want to have done and find out ahead of time what type of art and skill level your artist is capable of. Something else to consider about the coloring is, you want the color to stay in over a long period of time. Are you picking a color that will fade quickly and you’ll have to get retouched or is it one that will hold it’s rich color over time?
10) The geometric shapes are making a full comeback and we love the trippy look to this one as well as the red and blue line work. It’s edgy, hip and super cool. The red and blue colors only add to it’s overall sense of coolness. Make sure your artist is cool with drawing this type of image and then have fun!
11) Head to any Farmer’s Market on the weekend and you’ll see a plethora of thigh work. This back and white picture makes it hard to tell if that tattoo has any coloring but it’s unique placement probably has lots of people asking what the tattoo is and what it means.
12) The infinity symbol is very popular among this group. It’s simple and classic and means forever. As you’ve probably noticed, some of the art is very elaborate and then some is very elegant and not very flashy though it probably encompasses a wealth of emotions.
13) The mustache is a key component to every hipster- male or female. The tendency within this group is to take something that’s not popular and make it cool. Hence the mustache. Would you get a mustache tattoo?
14) The owl is another staple look. The owl represents wisdom. They may not really take the meaning into consideration as much as the fact that the owl is just part of hipster culture. Although, a lot of hipsters are feelers on the Meyers Briggs scale so the fact that this is an owl, placed on the forearm probably has a lot of meaning.
15) A lot of males within this sect tend to have beards or mustaches, are typically rather thin and are covered in tattoos. You probably see them at your local coffee shop and there’s a good chance he’s your barista. Next time you’re in there, ask him about his tattoos.
What’s the common genre among hipster tattoos?
As much as hipsters want to be different, the growing popularity of being outside mainstream has helped us target a few of the more common looks. The owl across the chest is very popular right now. As you’ve seen, the infinity sign by itself or with a word is also another runner up. The feather and boho looks have gained momentum, as well as arrows, trees and random placement all makes up the hipster look. The artwork tends to have darker colors and deeper hues or are just black in nature. Have you noticed the solid black lines that mark a lot of these pieces of work? Robots are also very popular among this genre as well as shapes of all sizes. Have you seen the different cartoon characters? We love that aspect. It’s like a shout out to childhood yet it makes the wearer of the art look awesome. It’s a win win.
16) This ship on the ankle is not a typical placement but it looks totally awesome with the skinny jean look. It’s simple and fun and is a great accessory to her overall look. It would be a fairly simple tattoo to ink and would definitely be completed in one appointment. A lot of times the ship represents a journey of some kind. The ship is powered by the wind and led through the great waters of the mighty ocean by the rudder and captain that steers the wheel. This has a wealth of imagery that one can use to signify various events in their life. We wonder what this ship means to her?
17) Incredible line work on this thigh and upper hip region. Wow, the line detail here is very well done. If this was yours, would you add coloring or keep it just outlined? We kind of love how dramatic it is without the color but we want to know what you think. This is pretty great placement too. If you need to cover it up, it wouldn’t be hard at all.
18) If you’re a fan of Instagram, this picture is pretty textbook. The top of the arm is a great place to have a tattoo and will definitely be a conversation starter. People love to hear about tattoo details. Do you love sharing them?
19) Antlers and a triangle wouldn’t have been something we’d originally thought of but it looks pretty great. The ribcage can be a rough spot for a tattoo. Nice job to the artist and the girl. This is very well done. It’s easily hidden but also fun to show off with the appropriate attire.
20) The simplicity of the arm band is so in. It looks awesome and chic. It’s like having permanent bangles on. The coloring is great contrast against the backdrop of the skin.
21) Straight up the spine tattoo with excellent lines. The back is a pretty common place for a hipster tattoo and this is a great example. It’s clean, straight forward and edgy. We like the different angles and shapes. It’s like it’s thinking about going geometric and then at the last second, changes it’s mind.
22) The wishbone placed just above the elbow is another unique placement. The shading looks really good and is a fairly simple piece of art to ink. What do you think? Where would you place it?
23) His whole arm tells a story. This is a great example of no real rhyme or reason to the outside eye but we’re sure the artist have a special meaning for each. It’s cool in that funky, hipster sort of way. We totally dig it!
24) Classic arrow on the outer arm. You can’t tell what color it is because the picture is black and white but it looks pretty great to us! It’s a great start if it’s your first tattoo. It’s nothing too flashy or out there and it’ll give you some time to get used to being inked. But just know, once you get one, you’ll be wanting that second one soon after!
25) Whoa those lashes look like they are blinking off his arm. Every single aspect of this art is so cool. The coloring is rad, the realness of it is fabulous and it just rocks. Fantastic work!
Some hipster tattoos are becoming so mainstream that they can’t technically be qualified as hipster much longer. Before you get your tattoo, make sure you’ve read up on what your work policies says about getting inked. Choosing the placement is an important element in your decision so take time to decide what’s best for you.
The fun part about tattoos is that you can get them wherever you want because they are significant to you. The possibilities are limitless. If you’re interested in getting a piece of body art, take some time to consider what best describes you. Do you want your ink to be a blast from the past in the form of a cartoon? Is the earthy, more edgier look right for you? What about just random looks, shapes and images? Keep looking around for inspiration, dream and have fun. There’s not a wrong or right answer here which is why the hipster movement is so popular. In a way, it’s freed people up to be them without society judging them. They can wear what they want, tattoo wherever and be them and no one judges. Really, they’re kinda considered the cool kids now. Once you’ve figured out your design, head to your tattoo shop and have fun!