From purely a design standpoint, the quality of a design rarely influences whether a tattoo on Pinterest or Instagram is able to accumulate envious amounts of shares and saves. Photo composition, exposure, luck, and a whole lot of other aspects go into creating a viral image. But for the sake of this article, we’re going to take a look at tattoos that have really excited the social media scene, and would be considered “viral” in anyone’s book. So grab a seat (you’ll only need the edge), and be prepared to take in some of the most popular tiny tattoo designs currently in circulation.
An assortment of tiny tattoos
Why get just one tiny tattoo when you can get four? It’s actually pretty surprising that people can walk into Donghwa’s studio, get one tattoo, and walk back out. I like to think my willpower is relatively strong, but there’s no way I could get just one of Donghwa’s adorable little tattoo designs.
Yes you can
It never hurts to have a constant reminder of what you can and can’t do on your finger. I don’t know what I’m more in love with, that font or those nifty little arrows. Full disclosure: these are temporary tattoos. But that doesn’t make them any less inspirational!
A grayscale arrow
For artists, inking arrows is all about showcasing your fluffy feather texture skills. We all know how extraordinary Flower is. But what she did with this arrow’s feather is nothing short of spectacular.
Boo! Is what this cute ghost would probably say if it could talk. Tiny tattoos are extra if they’re both cute and fun. This little ghost checks both of those boxes and seriously bolsters your Halloween game when the time comes.
I think it’s the spherical nature of the peony bud that makes it such a devastatingly beautiful flower. Peonies are anything but common in the real world but when you have one side by side with a rose there’s simply no question which flower gets all the attention.
I have top scientists working on whether that’s an eye or a crescent moon on the forehead of the cat. I’m going to guess it’s a crescent moon, but I have seen a cat with a cyclops eye before (real story). Everything from the perspective of the cats body to the subtle fading of the ink makes this design truly unique.
A floral lightning bolt
You can fill anything with flowers and it automatically becomes desirable. Perhaps that’s why Bryan chose to stuff this lightning bolt with tiny pink and purple peonies. There are a couple more views of this design in Bryan’s portfolio if you’d like to take a closer look.
A gradient bar
If you’re seriously considering getting a tiny tattoo design I highly recommend paying Saegeem’s Instagram profile a visit. Saegeem works out of Sol Studio in South Korea and, well, let’s just say that some of the best tattooing in the world gets done there.
A melting clock
In case your culture level is hovering right around zero, this is one of Salvador Dali’s famous melting clocks which can be found in his painting The Persistence of Memory. What a cool and interesting tattoo.
If you look closely you can actually read the writing on that page. Okay, I’m lying. But as needles get slimmer and slimmer with every passing year, it’s only a matter of time before itty-bitty text becomes a reality.
Many people ask me “Are inner lip tattoos painful?” My answer is always yes, since all tattoos are painful in reality, but what they probably want to hear is that they are usually on the low side of the pain spectrum as they relate to various tattoo locations. However, the inner lip is a difficult place to ink and the detail that can be achieved on dry skin doesn’t transition well to the wet slippery surface of the inside of the lip.
A colorful feather
This still was pulled from a video so I apologize if it appears a little blurry. Flower, hook us up with a static snap so we can blast it into eternity on social media!
Tattoos of eyes always creep me out in the most wonderful way. I always feel as if there’s a personality behind each eye tattoo I see. But for some odd reason I don’t get that vibe from this design. Hmmm.
The easiest and most comfortable place for first-time inkers to get tatted is usually the wrist. Why, I couldn’t tell you. But I’ve noticed that wrist tattoos are incredibly incognito and their ability to easily fly under the radar probably has something to do with it.
Speaking of good places to get inked. How cool is this under-the-chin location? I’ve always dreamt of getting my initials tattooed on my neck (it looks amazing) but then I think about the sad face my mom would give me and I put that dream back on the back burner, for now.
What’s not to like about a series of colorful watercolor hearts? The quality of this snap is desperately lacking but the watercolor nature of the design lends it a little slack.
Artichokes dipped in warm butter is one of my guilty pleasures. However, I didn’t know that artichokes were purple during the early stages of growth, which led to a lot of Googling on my part which in turn stirred up a massive craving.
A paper airplane
In the unspoken race to create the cutest and most loveable watercolor paper airplane tattoo, artists have been pumping out enormous amounts of these designs over the past few years, which means that I’ve seen my fair share. So listen up when I say that this is the best example I’ve seen to date.
“You better wrap those bracelets ’cause they don’t come off.” Sorry, just trying to recreate the moment. Who would have thought that a dancing penguin could be such a delightful little tattoo design?
If you’ve got the script, text stem floral designs can be an elegant and attractive way to tattoo a word. I mean, how much cooler is this design than if the word “always” was just sitting there all by its lonesome?
Sad fact: Hedgehogs die from cancer at an alarming rate. Which is sadly what happened to my pet hedgehog which still managed to enjoy a playful and energetic 3 years of life. I’ve never seen another hedgehog tattoo but I have to say that I would be surprised if anything anywhere approached the quality of the design featured above.
These barely-there bracelets are the epitome of sophistication and class. I mean, if Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II got these bracelets tattooed onto her wrist no one would even be surprised.
The silhouettes of various birds in flight always makes for a beautiful tattoo design. And it’s usually the shoulder or right below the collarbone where most people choose to display their flock. Lately I’ve been seeing a lot of colorful examples but these black ink birds are just as beautiful.
A small pink rose on the wrist is about as ordinary as it gets. But that doesn’t mean that a design like this is anything but out-of-the-park amazing. And it’s when you take a closer look at this design that the small details start to come out and really blow your mind.
A purple lotus
This is the type of design that makes you wish that tattoos kept their crisp edges forever. It’s a sad reality that tattoos soften up over time. Which is why it’s always important to get a good snap before some of the finer details start to fade.
I have yet to discover why, but people just can’t seem to get enough of waves on ankles. I’m not even going to lie to you. This design looks pretty ordinary to me and I can not for the life of me see what’s led so many others to save and share it across social media. What gives?
This is a great motto to live by, which will no doubt save you heaps of disappointment and frustration in the long run. But with that being said, I can’t help but notice how easy it would be to forget that this tattoo even existed from the owner’s perspective.
A creative arrow
Arrow tattoos come in all different shapes and sizes. Some feature wonderful fluffy feathers and others are made up of numerous smaller designs. The example above is yet another creative rendition of the fan-favorite arrow, which by the way was my first tattoo ever.
The stunning level of detail artists are able to achieve these days with their ultra slim needles never ceases to amaze me. I don’t think you could possibly improve on this design purely from a technical standpoint. Flower is an absolute machine.
A red heart
There’s a lot of amazing art on this list, but as you probably know, it takes a special kind of artist to pull off most of these designs. What’s important is to choose a design that your tattooist will be able to execute properly. And when in doubt, a simple red heart is always a safe bet.
A purple heart-shaped gem
Facets galore! Tattoos of precious stones can have quite an impact when done well. Many tattooists are known for their gorgeous gems and sparkling crystals, but this is the first piece I’ve seen from Kozo, and I’m impressed.
Tingker with me
I get that this script is supposed to have an underlying meaning but I just hope it’s not a full blown double entendre ’cause of course this is a family friendly site. The spelling of “tingker” has me a little concerned but oh well.
A minimalistic vase
Minimalistic tattoos like the one above always come off so elegant. If there’s a design that oozes more sophistication and class than this little vase, please, point the way. Nando always shoots his designs with zoom lenses which give his photos a beautiful bokeh effect.
If you’re looking to make a bit of a statement, consider getting two flanking designs below your collarbones. Regardless of the context, I rarely see these types of flanking designs that don’t turn out well.
Here we have a cascading arrangement of blue and grey ink feathers. I’ve seen a lot of feather designs in my time but nothing quite like these five feathers. Originality always goes a long way. If you can think it, someone can ink it.
A micro airliner
Airliner tattoos have been absolutely everywhere these last few years. I chalk it up to the travel explosion across social media, which has flooded every aspect of every platform with people enjoying themselves in places you wish you were.
A baby rose
You should never regret any tattoo you get. And the list of tattoos that are guaranteed to satisfy you for the rest of your life starts right here with this delightful little red rose.
You can literally get anything inked in this typewriter font and it will instantly elevate you to hipster status without so much as a beard, guitar, or vinyl record player. It’s also a great reminder to embrace one of the most underrated virtues.
If I had a dollar for every cherry blossom tattoo I’ve ever seen on social media, I’d have enough money to build a spaceship and fly to a planet made completely out of cherry blossoms because I love them so much!
That’s the problem with tattoos. You can’t get just one. They’re addicting in a way that only the initiated can understand. It all starts with a tiny tattoo, and before you know it, you’re getting calls from a traveling circus asking if you can come in on Tuesday because Karen called in sick.
A slice of watermelon
If your childhood wasn’t filled with slices of ice-cold watermelon than you owe your parents a serious sit down chat. Tiny tattoos should be fun, and if this little slice of watermelon doesn’t scream fun, I don’t know what does.
I didn’t know what a bell flower was until today, but I do have to say, it’s quickly becoming one of my favorite flowers. Kozo is a jack of all trades when it comes to the design aspect of things. His portfolio is as diverse as it is awe-inspiring—which is something you don’t see too often.
A chili pepper
It’s quirky little tattoos like these that make you want to run out and get that super original and ultra cute tattoo design that you just know everyone will instantly love. This is one of those tattoos that only people you tell will know of its existence.
A mini hummingbird
It’s a little hummingbird. How cute? In case you didn’t know, Masha Vivo is the absolute queen of tiny tattoo designs. Her portfolio is filled with nothing but itty-bitty works of wonder and what better way to make a living than through tiny tattoos that don’t take 9 hours to create?
Tiny matching tats
Lara Maju does these gorgeous little ornamental designs which I’ve grown to love over the years. If there’s an artist who has managed to trademark a signature design, it would definitely be Lara. Her portfolio includes hundreds of these little scrolling designs which are almost all identical in nature.
Here we have a small bouquet of flowers which was carefully placed in a location that you rarely see inked. Originality is a design’s best friend—either relating to the nature of the design or the location it’s placed in.
A lightning bolt
This design isn’t just any ordinary lightning bolt. It’s the only evidence left of a magical murder attempt by He Who Must Not Be Named. Okay, so this is a Harry Potter reference for any of you who were denied a childhood or don’t have kids.
If I had a family crest, it would look something like this. Everyone gets their little floral designs tattooed on the side of their ankles. But this location is so much sweeter, don’t you think? Luckily for me, my ankles have yet to be inked—which makes this image a keeper.
An adorable butterfly
The butterfly is nice. But the letters it’s dropping in its wake are what I’m looking at. HYYH means nothing to me, but maybe it’s one of those cute sounds that adorable little emoticons make that no one else can understand.
Be here now
It doesn’t matter that this specific design belongs to a man because it’s one of those unisex designs that looks great no matter what your gender happens to be. Romantic lovey-dovey tattoo designs are oh-so-powerful.
I hope you enjoyed this list. Don’t forget to save and share your favorite designs so that others can enjoy them as well!