While some tattoo work is about sketching meaningful characters or phrases into your skin, this latest craze, as identified by Daily Mail Australia, is about something entirely different. Having racked up over 1,000 tags on Instagram, the blackout tattoo trend has arrived. Originally used as an alternative to laser removal for unwanted ink, the blackout method does just what its name implies: blacks out part of the body. Increasingly, though, people have been viewing those swaths of ink as art on their own.
Some are citing accepting attitudes towards tattoos a cause of the technique's rise. And while that may be true, acceptance doesn’t make the operation any less painful. According to Chester Lee, the tattoo artist behind Oracle Tattoo in Singapore, a “proper” blackout piece could take hours to achieve the perfect amount of evenness. But for those wanting something unique, it’s all worth it.
"People start to appreciate the fact that black is nicer and everlasting to look at," Lee told Mic via email. "As I say, [it's an] acquired taste." Mixing the blackout technique with more traditional art is another approach people have tried, such as skateboarder-turned-model-and-writer Scott Bourne. His blacked out sleeves, which feature a detailed crucifix on his left bicep, create a unique look that brings attention to the central piece, which couldn't be achieved on a fully crowded armed inked with other designs.
Whether or not this will ever go widespread is to be determined (after all, media said that glitter beards were a trend and I have still not seen someone wear that purposefully), but it’s definitely an eye catching look.