Art Off the Canvas

Tattoos have become increasingly popular over the last few years. It is uncommon to walk the streets of New York and not see at least one. A 2017 Statista Survey shows that four in ten Americans aged 18-69 have at least one tattoo. Along with this more liberal view on tattoos, people can be more vocal when it comes to their expressive decisions.

These works of art date back to the earliest humans. But, what do tattoos mean? Some are personal, some are abstract, some are blatant, and some are discreet. There are various reasons behind why an individual might get a tattoo; however, there is a common thread between each and every one—they serve as a symbol. 

The widespread cultural acceptance of tattoos is allowing today’s generations creative freedom and the opportunity for self-expression. And rather than trying to find a spot where a tattoo can be easily hidden, people are now taking the art form to more extremes—for example, tattooing their faces, and still getting hired for jobs.

Rappers are the face of this specific trend. All puns intended. Face tattoos are nothing new, but are quickly emerging in the music industry. Popular artists such as Post Malone, Tekashi69, 21 Savage and Lil Xan display ink ranging from images of daggers to words saying “Always Tired” under their eyes and across their foreheads.

Lexie Ellman, 34, from Manhattan, currently owns and operates her own clothing boutique, Lexie, located in Greenwich Village. She has never been opposed to tattoos, even when hiring employees to work in the store.

“I had a corporate job once where dress code said I couldn’t wear open-toed shoes, and I hated it,” she said. “I would never want to stop someone from wearing what they like.” 

Her job experiences prior to having her own store were all positions held within a creative department.

“I’ve never worked in a place where people don’t have tattoos,” Ellman said. “I was the weird one for not having any.”

Tanner Mayone, 23, from Saugerties, New York, shared his opinion as a consumer on visible tattoos in the workplace. 

“I personally feel more comfortable being serviced by people with tattoos because it shows the company is more in tune with my own views,” said Mayone. 

Because of the increasing popularity and acceptance of tattoos, we can better see trends arising within the industry. Minimal designs are among the most popular trend at the moment. Artists claim that a lot of the tattoo ideas clients bring to them are heavily influenced by designs they find through Instagram and Pinterest. Check out a few of these artists who have shared their works that fall into the trend from Instagram:

Via @evanpaulenglish, @albatattooist, @cagridurmaz, @tattooist_arar, @lucidlines on Instagram.

So whether you have tattoos or have none at all, fear no longer, there is still promise for you and your future career. Hopefully, you’d never settle for something that wouldn’t accept you as a creative anyway.