Picking your tattoo placement is not an easy task. Once you've landed on what you're getting, you have to determine where you're getting it, and there are a lot of factors to take into consideration. Do you want the design to be visible or hidden? What size is it? Do you have other tattoos that you have to think about? The ankle, wrist, hip, fingers, on the side of the ribcage, and behind the ear are all popular placements right now, especially among celebrities, and all are great for different reasons.
Sometimes when you're feeling stuck, the best thing to do is consult with a tattoo artist. After all, they are the professionals and they weigh in on things like this all day long. If you're not sure where you want to get your next tattoo but you have a design idea in mind, tattooist Ghinko of Bang Bang NYC is here to help. Read on to get some insight as to what tattoo artists take into account when suggesting placement ideas.
Tips For Finding the Right Placement For Your Tattoo
1). Think About the Size of Your Design
According to Ghinko, the placement of a tattoo often comes down to size. "The bigger the tattoo, the more limitations to the placement," she said. "The smaller the tattoo, the more limitations to detailing." The hip, ribcage, thigh, and back are popular spots for larger designs, but Ghinko added: "Different sizes can lead to different types of warping on various parts of the body."
2). Ask Yourself How Visible You Want Your Tattoo
Ghinko often asks her clients to consider how visible they want their tattoo design to be to other people, be it for personal reasons or the workplace, before recommending a spot. "Though, I feel society is becoming more welcoming of tattoos," she said. "I personally like to put tattoos where the client can see them. Especially if it's their first tattoo, I'll encourage them to put it in a spot they can see daily."
If you want the ability to easily hide your ink, consider more inconspicuous areas, like your ribcage, stomach, back, hips, or upper thighs.
3). Consider the Style of Your Tattoo
You may not think that it matters what style design you plan on getting but Ghinko said it's something the pros consider. Fine-line tattoos are on-trend at the moment and perfect for people who prefer dainty ink, but they wear better in certain areas than others.
"Fine line tends to have a harder time sticking in areas of high motion and thicker skin such as the ankle, the wrist, and the fingers," she said. It's for that reason that many tattooists warn their clients about getting finger tattoos — they look cool, but they will require touchups to keep them looking fresh as the ink begins to fade.
4). Look at the Way Your Tattoo Flows With Your Body
What sets many tattoos apart from looking just good and looking really, really good is if they flow naturally with the body. That's one of the reasons many artists love tiny tattoos — they offer more versatility in terms of placement.
"Their ornamental nature can complement any body part," said Ghinko. "My clients tend to coordinate the placement of their tattoo with visibility. Some classic spots are behind the ear, sternum, and joint areas such as the wrist, ankle, and hip." Her personal favorite spots for smaller tattoos that flow well are "anywhere on the arms, the side of the neck, the top of the foot, the upper butt bordering the hip, above the knee, and upper hamstrings."
5). Let Your Jewelry Inspire Your Decision
Tattoos are a form of permanent jewelry that allow you to decorate your body however you choose. "Jewelry itself is inspired to flow with the body, as tattoos should as well," said Ghinko. "I tend to gravitate toward subtle but eye-catching spots that differ from person to person, depending on their outfits or their profession."
A placement that works for one person, like a tattoo that peeks out of the top of a T-shirt like a necklace, may not be a fit for someone else, who'd prefer a tattoo that mimics a bracelet. It comes down to personal preference.