Tattoos: Breaking into Mainstream Art

Tattoos are a type of body modification where people can adorn their bodies with designs by inserting ink, dyes, and pigments into their skin. This art form has been around for ages, with the earliest tattoo tracing back to the 4th millennium BC. There are many depictions of tattoos, with some cultures using it to ‘brand’ prisoners, indicate ranks or titles, or decorate bodies. However, in today’s world, tattoos are seen as a symbol of individualism that many embrace with zeal.

Although modern artists have paved a broader pathway to tattoos, critics still deem tattoo art different from other forms due to its ‘outsider status,’ because many people saw modern tattooing as a ‘rebellious form of art.’

However, tattoos are slowly losing their “outsider status” in the world of art and are increasingly becoming a means of personal expression and artistry. Tattoo supplies can now be found alongside supplies for metal printing, calligraphy, and even pyrography.

Additionally, with the Internet, rapid idea-sharing for the newest designs for or the latest art trends are becoming the norm. However, tattoos seem to be ‘trending’ at a much higher rate than other art forms. People now accept tattoos as an art form, with many diving into it as an artist or a living canvas.

Here are the reasons why individuals are getting into the unique art form of tattooing more:

Story Telling

One of the main reasons tattoos became as popular as they are now is that it can tell one’s story to the world through a visual representation of memories, loved ones, or moments. Several professional tattoo artists have said that most of their clients get tattoos for this very purpose. Tattoos are a form of self-expression. They’re more communal than conventional art, meaning it involves everyone in the process, making it more intimate and memorable for both artist and client.

dipping tattoo gun in ink


Part of tattoos becoming mainstream may also be due to the ever-increasing cultural capital of popular TV shows like LA Ink, or influential individuals like Kat Von D.

Trending Art Form

Tattoos have become so famous in specific scenes that many deem getting a tattoo to be ‘cliché,’ leaving the art form to lose its real meaning, which is to express oneself and their love for the art. Although tattoos were a taboo subject before, with many consider it as a form of rebellion, due to it “trending,” many people are diving into the art more, making it less intimidating or surprising. This situation paves the way for more people to explore the world of tattoos.

Because of its increasing popularity, this unique art form has reached its peak of creativity, with artists creating tattoos that have little difference from any work you’d find at the top galleries across the globe. This new-found level of creativity has allowed the most talented artists to have their work exhibited with live models at famous museums, alongside other art forms — including photographs, sculptures, and paintings.

Moreover, it has opened a new door for niche markets to showcase and create demand for their ideal clients, meaning more tattoo artists are available than ever. Whether you’re looking for traditional, realistic, or a humorous one, there’s a tattoo artist out there for you.

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