2015 is the year when tattoo artists went big on minimalist tattoos. Imagine inconspicuous tiny dots forming a constellation, geometric shapes with nary a shade, linear patterns and delicate curves. 2016 doesn’t seem to be any different as more and more people are embracing the art of minimalism. It’s easy to see why. Minimalist tattoos are subtle, can easily be hidden – really useful when you’re trying to avoid a lecture from your parents at dinnertime or when you’re trying to penetrate the corporate world (because, face it, people are going to judge). Micro tattoos inspire you to get as much creativity as you can squeeze into such little space. And yes, micro tattoos = micro pain. Fans of the minimalist tattoo movement include celebrities Kendall Jenner, Cara Delevingne, Miley Cyrus, Chanel Iman, and Selena Gomez.
Here are 25 minimalist tattoos that are just too beautiful, they have to be shown off:
1. That evasive Tetris piece
If you were a child of the ’80’s and ’90’s, you would understand how real the struggle was keeping your Tetris pieces from building up and reaching the top. More important, you would know how immensely important this four-block vertical piece was. This tattoo makes for a great conversation piece, especially with the short attention-spanned kids of today – “Ever heard of Tetris, brah?” – or whatever cool moniker they use now.
2. A paper plane that can be controlled by the middle finger
It is many kids’ dream to be able to fly a plane and tread through the fluffy white clouds, but probably less than one out of ten children gets to fulfill that dream once they grow up. Thankfully, though, no one’s too grown up for paper planes.
3. That the sun and moon will always be within reach
You remember how, as a kid, your mom would tell you to always reach for the sky – and the sun, the moon, and all the stars in it – but then you learned it was never easy, especially with gravity constantly pulling you back to earth? Well, this girl decided to put the sun and the moon always within her reach, right there on her middle finger.
4. Save the whales
A whale tattoo, even as adorably little as this one, can mean so many things. Some people believe it to be a symbol of oneness with nature. Ancient tribes believed whales were the reincarnation of their ancestors, coming back to earth as guardians of nature. Others see whale as a symbol of man’s quest for perfection. Whatever a whale might mean to you, this minimalist whale tattoo is just beautiful – and we must definitely save the whales.
5. For the romantic voyager
The olden folk complain that the romance of travel is lost in these modern times, with low-cost airlines, harried passengers bustling in and out of ports, and a growing fear of hitting icebergs. It doesn’t have to be that way, folks, it doesn’t have to be that way.
6. The subtlest pair of flowers
It takes a special kind of man to have a delicate pair of flowers tattooed on his arm. It can signify sensitivity, being attuned with one’s emotions, or a simple reminder of a loved one.
7. To always be reminded to make waves
This water tattoo can be subtle, but its meaning is all too powerful. It signifies strength and power, a symbol both of rebirth and destruction. A wave tattoo can be a reminder to create a forceful, positive impact in this world, very important in this age where humans act like drone-controlled slaves to gadgets and technology.
8. When you gotta tell it as it is
Sometimes, subtlety just doesn’t cut it. You have to be blunt, totally and sharply frank. Can’t help but feel sorry for this dude whose 2014 sucked, probably in the most epic way.
9. A reference to the ubiquitous social media
This symbol is a clear-cut and effective demarcation mark between the young and the old generation. In the early days, this was referred to as the pound sign as it was the symbol for the abbreviation of weight. In this tech-advanced generation, it is called a “hashtag”, used to mark important words and phrases in social media posts. Ever heard your grandma say, “What the *&^* is a hashtag?!”
10. To be a unicorn in a race of horses
A unicorn is more than just a reminder of the good ol’ ’90’s when Lisa Frank was all the rage in girl’s school supplies, but that is not at all a lame reason for such tattoo. Actually, that would be dope! The unicorn is a beautiful mythical creature often associated with purity of heart, nobleness of intentions, and courage of spirit.
11. To always have faith
In the words of the great Alanis Morissette, “life has a funny way of sneaking up on you when you think everything’s okay and everything’s going right,” but you have to keep faith, no matter how darned frustrating it gets. If an “I believe in miracles” tattoo helps, by all means, go for it.
12. “I stare in the mirror as I try to remember who I am and who I am not.”
Katniss Everdeen, loved and admired for being “The Girl on Fire”, changed the game for heroines. At a young age, she bravely stood up to protect and care for her family, all whilst discovering things about herself and the world around her. Who wouldn’t want that kind of inspiration?
13. For the feline lover
For a non-cat person, some people appear to have a rather weird relationship with their feline friends. For most cat people, however, a feline-human bond can be one of the most satisfying things in this world. What other subtly grand way is there to show your appreciation for your cat than an exact tattoo replica of it? Look how much Kitty loves her portrait!
14. Matching tats for the forever young
Residing in The Happiest Place on Earth, Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse are a great symbol for joie de vivre. It can mean not letting go of your childlike wonderment, of your quest for your idealistic dreams; it can mean a promise to always find ways to have fun despite adulthood and stressful bits of reality.
15. To always be directed to the right path
An arrow is a symbol of always moving forward in the face of obstructions, represented by the bow. As the bow pulls the arrow back, the latter uses the force to propel itself forward. In the Native American culture, the arrow signifies protection of oneself and one’s family; remember Katniss Everdeen?
16. “There is nothing dark about the hallows.”
J.K. Rowling has successfully elected Harry Potter into pop culture. One example by which is the popularity of the Deathly Hallows symbol as choice of tattoo design. In the final novel of the series, this sign is the unity of three powerful magical instruments: the Elder Wand, the Resurrection Stone, and the Cloak of Invisibility. Whoever shall possess these three becomes the Master of Death.
17. A hug and a kiss
The origin of the X and the O as symbols for a hug and a kiss is somewhat blurry, but digging deep, history tells us that in the ancient times, the Christians, not all of whom could write well, affixed letters and documents with an “X”, which meant “in Christ” and sealed it with a kiss. On the other hand, the Jews, to avoid making the sign of the cross, affixed letters and documents with an “O”. Somehow, these two letters found their way together to stand for hugs and kisses, which are commonly used now, especially in social media.
18. A parent’s guiding hand
No one can undermine the importance of a parent’s guiding hand in the growth of a child. This minimalist tattoo of a parent bear holding the hand of its little bear cub serves as a creative symbolism for a parent’s guidance, a child’s respect for his parent, and for that special bond between parent and offspring.
19. Geometric Bambi
A geometric representation of one of the most graceful and beautiful creatures on earth is an innovative and creative approach. The deer have always captivated man, with records of cave drawings tracing back to the Neanderthal age. A doe tattoo is a symbol of meekness, grace, and beauty, while a stag tattoo symbolizes virility, strength, and passion.
20. So you never forget
Sometimes, the human mind has the tendency to forget about the simplest yet truly important things. At times like that, a very literal, straightforward reminder might be necessary. Look at this beautiful scribble of the word “smile”; it actually makes you smile, doesn’t it?
21. To always reach for the moon and beyond
If man could land on the moon, who’s to say that your dream is too far to reach? Down with the skeptics, and just go for it! Oh, and this tattoo of an astronaut holding a “moon balloon” is totally cool, too!
22. To conquer the wild
The wilderness is a scary place. It takes a special kind of person to conquer that fear and just tread on – a special kind of person like Alexander Supertramp, don’t you think so? Well, he did eventually perish, but not without leaving us with valuable wisdom, such as, “So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned by a life of security, conformity, and conservatism, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future.”
23. Planets aligned
If the dude wanted a tattoo of all planets aligned, then the discussion of whether or not Pluto is actually one might have been truly daunting.
24. To infinity, twice
The infinity symbol is one of the most common tattoo designs, attributing to its simplicity and beautiful meaning. Well, this person was not content with just one infinity, so he went for double that.
25. A reminder of the most beautiful thing in life
Love still is, and always will be, the most beautiful thing in life. This geometric illustration of a heart that seems to be an amalgamation with a diamond is a subtle, non-cheesy way of putting it. The location is surprisingly sensual, too.