The Minimal Tattoo Trend Sweeping L.A. Right Now

Photographed by Alexandra Gavillet.
"Getting a wrist tattoo is an unusual, new, and totally fresh way to express yourself," said no one ever. The reality is, the universally popular place to get inked has tumbled in and out of vogue over the past few decades, but never truly went away. Countless people, probably even those in your inner circle, sport wrist ink — and much of it is really rad. But like all body art, not all versions are created equal.
Luckily, the latest renditions to trend in L.A. are some of the coolest we've seen, and according to some of the top artists in the SoCal tat game, they aren't going anywhere anytime soon. Doctor Woo, a celebrity favorite for his thin, dainty designs, reports that jewelry-inspired wrist ink is trending, while famed Shamrock Social Club's East Iz (the most delicate-minded artist from the trend-incubating shop) has been turning out single-needle flowers and delicate cursive names. But it's not just L.A.: Celeb tattoo artist JonBoy has been doodling numbers and letters onto the New York City's crowd like crazy.
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Ahead, the coolest wrist tat trends to consider in 2018, straight from some of the top artists creating them.
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Woo says that wrists and fingers have been trending lately for one big reason. "Kids are braver now — getting more things on their hands because it's less taboo," he told R29.
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Woo also notes that jewelry-inspired tats are blowing up in L.A. Makes sense: The look is unique on its own, and can be easily hidden by layering on some bracelets or a watch.
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Placement is also one of the biggest markers for the latest trendy take on wrist tats. "I'm seeing more people wanting to have their tattoo placed on the top of the wrist," JonBoy says.
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Iz also notes that placement is key. "I personally like an image that’s long and placed vertically on the side of the wrist when the arm is down," he told R29. "The tattoo flows better and it enhances the length of your arm."
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While design preference is based on the client, small and minimal lines like this crashing wave are some of Instagram's most buzzy.
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Spend a little time on JonBoy's IG and it's no surprise what the newest trend in wrist tats is all about personalization. "Lettering or script is still one of the most requested designs," he reports.
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L.A.'s own Oak And Poppy studio has been delivering on the trend, too. Here, a unique Leo sign is mixed with soothing lavender for BFF tats that tick all the boxes.
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A Doctor Woo classic inked onto the wrist: "Constellations are a big part of my work right now," he says.
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One of our favorites in the bunch, this infinity symbol is chic and timeless. Plus, it's JonBoy's favorite location. "My favorite placement is on the inner wrist, aligned to either the left or right (instead of in the middle like you may classically see)," he says. "When the arm is down, the angle conceals the design so I advise this location to those that prefer a more subtle placement."
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Another chic, simple design out of Oak And Poppy, this semicolon packs more meaning that you might assume.
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Now for the real question: What's the pain like? "The wrists have a bad reputation for being a painful spot to be tattooed, but with these minimalistic designs, this isn't true!" JonBoy promises.
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Every single night I look outside #stickandpoke

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This tiny creation by New York-based tattoo artist Rose Bluestone Perr is the perfect example of a minimal design that's out of this world.
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Looking for something foolproof? Script will never fall out of popularity. "The majority of my clients request my personal handwriting," Iz says.
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Another from Body Electric Tattoo, owned by Brian Keith Thompson, proves that tiny or large, the semicolon makes a powerful statement.
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"It's a great location to choose for those getting their first tattoo," JonBoy adds, but gives a warning: "Placement is key on the wrist, so people should be extra picky when placing the stencil with their tattooer."
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Take one peek at the artist's feed and you'll spot a dozen cursive designs. But Jon Boy tells Refinery29 that he definitely has a favorite script style in particular: "I always love when people come to me for my handwritten cursive script. It is an honor to even be tattooing someone but when they request my handwriting, it is a big deal for me."
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The only thing that could make a wrist tattoo cooler? A wrist tattoo inspired by Cardi B.
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Although black ink adds to the whole minimal aesthetic Instagram loves right now, this colorful text might just be a new trend in the making.
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