The Do’s and Don’ts of Aesthetic Line Art Tattoos

aesthetic line art tattoos

Did you know that millennials are the most likely age group to get tattoos? Due to the huge surge in popularity of tiny “aesthetic” line tattoos, many of these tattoos will be fine-line art pieces. These aesthetic line art tattoos are subtle and many people like having them for their first tattoos.

Making these little tattoos isn’t as easy as it may seem, however. If you’re a new artist, you shouldn’t jump right into creating tattoos like this without proper preparation.

We’re here with a few helpful dos and don’ts that can prepare you. Read on to learn more.

Do: Explain Risks to Your Client

Many people who get fine-line tattoos are fairly early in their tattoo journeys. For many people, a small aesthetic line art tattoo will be their very first tattoo. This means you need to spend extra time explaining the risks of this tattoo style if you want to be a responsible and trustworthy tattoo artist.

Fine line tattoos, especially those with delicate details, may be more prone to fading and smudging over time compared to thicker lines. The ink particles in the skin can spread and blur slightly, affecting the tattoo’s clarity and sharpness.

In some cases, the ink used in fine-line tattoos may migrate into the surrounding skin over time. This can result in a loss of precision and definition.

This is true whether you’re a new artist or one with years of experience. It can be due to the ink, the client’s body, aftercare, and many other factors.

Fine-line tattoos may not show up as prominently on darker skin tones due to the contrast between the ink and the skin color. If you don’t have experience tattooing people with various skin colors and pieces in your portfolio displaying your experience, it can be helpful to mention this to your client.

Don’t: Take On Fine Line Tattoos Before You’re Ready

Line art tattoos can be tricky. Many new artists think that they’re easy to start with, but this isn’t the case. As a matter of fact, you have to be so much more steady and precise with linework tattoos that inexperienced artists should avoid them altogether until they’ve had ample practice on fake skin or their own bodies.

Don’t overestimate your abilities. You need a delicate hand and a lot of confidence to do this type of tattoo art. Creating tattoos from fine lines gives you much less room for error.

Never be afraid to tell a potential client that you don’t think you’re the right choice for their tattoo when you’re still pretty new to tattooing. It’s far better to refine your craft and turn down a few clients so you can truly give amazing tattoos once you’re actually ready.

Do: Take Your Time

Experienced artists can do aesthetic line art tattoos fairly quickly. Newer artists, however, need more time. Don’t rush a tattoo just because it seems small and simple!

Because the tattoo is only going to be made of fine lines, you need to take your time to make sure the lines are perfect. When you’re still a beginner, set aside more time than you think you’ll need.

Make sure you clarify this with your clients as well. Some clients who are new to tattoos may think that they’ll be in and out of the tattoo parlor in no time when they’re getting such a minimalist tattoo style, but this isn’t always the case. Let them know that you plan on taking your time so it can be perfect, and they’ll likely be happy to wait.

Don’t: Use Too Much Ink

Tattoos with fine lines don’t require as much ink as other tattoos. As a matter of fact, releasing too much ink into the tattoo can make the lines blurry or misshapen.

The first time you do a tattoo like this should be on fake skin. Your first real skin linework tattoo should ideally be on yourself, a coworker, or a practice client. This way, you can understand how much ink you need to use to make the marks you’re trying to make.

Remember that you can always add more ink but you can’t take ink away from a tattoo. Go in with a light hand, and don’t be afraid to make a second pass over the tattoo if it needs more color.

In other words, you can be a bit prudent or conservative here.

Do: Be Aware of Your Pressure

Just as you shouldn’t use too much ink, you also shouldn’t use too much pressure! Be very aware of how much pressure you’re using when you’re creating aesthetic line art tattoos.

Some artists err too much on the side of caution and don’t use enough pressure. They barely press down at all! This can result in tattoos that have a lot of fallout and end up looking patchy or dull even right after they’re done healing.

If an artist uses too much pressure, the tattoo can look uneven and blotchy. Ink can pool where it isn’t supposed to, and the fine lines won’t look very fine at all.

Once you get used to doing tattoos in this style, you won’t have to be as cautious. While you’re still new, however, it never hurts to be safe rather than sorry. Pay close attention to your pressure.

Don’t: Go Too Big or Too Small

This is something you’re going to have to work out with your clients, but it’s important. Sizing matters with these line art tattoos, so make sure you aren’t going too big or too small while you’re still learning.

Many people want tiny line tattoos. While some skilled artists are excellent at creating tattoos like these, not every artist has the same ability. If you’re still new, you don’t want to start with those “micro tattoos” that are so popular on social media.

On the other hand, you also don’t want them to be too big, especially if they’re simple. The bigger the line art tattoo, the more noticeable any mistakes in the lines are (but the mistakes are also easier to fix, which is an important consideration).

Let your client know about your size restrictions when they book an appointment with you. If the client wants the stencil to be smaller than you’re comfortable with, explain the risks before complying or consider talking to a more experienced line art tattooist for advice.

Most clients, upon learning your reasoning for your suggested tattoo sizes, will understand and opt to go with the size you suggest. If they choose not to, they’ll already know the risks, and it will no longer be your responsibility.

Don’t: Be Afraid to Make Suggestions

You’re the artist here, so never be afraid to make suggestions if you can think of something that will make the tattoo better.

Some people will enter your shop with ideas that seem excellent on paper but won’t necessarily translate into good tattoos. That’s okay! You’re free to make suggestions to present to the client.

Often, clients (especially those who already have tattoos) are incredibly receptive to reasonable changes. They understand that tattoo art sometimes needs to be different from the art that they created themselves or found online.

Sometimes clients won’t take suggestions well, even if you explain them. That’s okay too, but again, make sure you explain everything to your client before you commit to the tattoo, especially if their ideas come with risks.

If you’re not comfortable with what the client wants and they’re unwilling to make any modifications based on your suggestions, it’s okay to reject the tattoo and recommend a different artist.

Do: Listen to Your Client

As we mentioned, it’s totally appropriate to make suggestions to your clients. However, with that in mind, your clients are the ones who are going to have the tattoos on their bodies forever. When possible, you should try to listen to what they want to the best of your ability.

Try to read between the lines with your client when they ask for their tattoo, especially if they haven’t come in with a completely clear design or vision. You’re an artist, and that means that you’re responsible for bringing their ideas to life.

If something is unclear, always ask for more information. If the client is asking for something you can’t do (or even something that’s impossible) try to find a compromise or send them to someone who can help them.

On the topic of listening to clients, you also want to listen to them during the actual session. Pay attention to what they say as well as their body language.

Do they seem comfortable? Do they look like they’re feeling faint? Do they seem like they need a break?

Many tattoo artists get “in the zone” and forget about their clients’ comfort. Even though it’s a line art tattoo, it can still be intense and your client may still need a break.

Don’t: Use Low-Quality Supplies

When you’re a new tattoo artist, you may not feel ready to splurge on expensive supplies. You may also think that they’re not that important when you’re “only” doing aesthetic line art tattoos.

We recommend that you spend the extra money and buy supplies that you and your clients deserve.

These tattoos may be simple, but with that simplicity comes more emphasis on each individual line. The better your machine and the better the ink, the better each line will look.

Remember that tattooing is (generally) quite profitable. The more money you spend on your craft, the more money will come back to you later on.

Do: Give All Proper Aftercare Instructions

Make sure your aftercare instructions are top-notch. Again, aesthetic line art tattoos are often some of the first tattoos that people will get. Many people aren’t familiar with proper aftercare if they’ve never gotten tattoos before.

Many people also think that linework tattoos don’t require significant aftercare! This also isn’t true, of course.

There are many appropriate ways to care for fresh tattoos. Recommend the aftercare methods you prefer and make sure you tell your clients how to keep their tattoos clean and dry.

Tell them to keep their tattoos out of direct sunlight and make sure you wrap the tattoo well before they leave (if you generally wrap tattoos).

Never assume that a client already knows something. It’s a good idea to provide an aftercare sheet as well if this was their first tattoo.

Bonus “Do”: Encourage Touch-Ups

Aesthetic line art tattoos are beautiful, but they are prone to fallout and they may need touch-ups. That’s okay! It doesn’t mean that the tattoo wasn’t done well.

Some artists choose to charge for touch-ups, while others do touch-ups for free. This is a personal choice and there’s no right or wrong way to do it. Give your clients your business cards and let them know when they should contact you if their tattoo needs a touch-up. It’s best to wait until the tattoo has healed.

Are You Ready to Create Aesthetic Line Art Tattoos?

Aesthetic line art tattoos are quite popular, so it’s likely that you’ll be asked to do several of them during your career as a professional tattoo artist. This list of dos and don’ts won’t completely prepare you, but it will set you on the right track so you can create awesome line art tattoos for your clients.

Are you ready to start your journey toward being a professional tattoo artist? Florida Tattoo Academy can help. We can give you the tools and education you need to thrive in the industry.

Contact us to request more information today.