160+ Totally Unique Abstract Tattoo Design Ideas to Try Out

Over the last half-century, tattoos have gained so much popularity even though quite a number of people still bear some skepticism about them. There are several types of tattoos including abstract tattoos. These tattoos are very unique which has led to them being so high in demand.

So many tattoo lovers turn to these abstract body art when they want to step out of the norm. The tattoos are usually made up of lines, geometric shapes, and brush strokes drawn by the artist. Mostly, these tattoos represent hidden messages or even humans.

If you plan on getting one, then you should have a design in mind that passes your message in the best terms. This is because there is really no specific representation of the message and mostly you have to give an explanation to the viewer.

In this post, we will look at a few abstract tattoo design ideas that should inspire you.

Origins of abstract tattoos

So many people have wondered what abstract tattoos are and how they originated. This is probably why many of them still wonder why they should ink these tattoos on their bodies. A lot of controversies surround these tattoos as people find it difficult to understand the inscriptions.

When you take a close look at these tattoos, you discover that they are quite easy to understand. From the definition of the term abstract, these tattoos are simple or complex shapes drawn to the body. The shapes are mostly vectors or organic in nature. Usually, the wearer has these tattoos on to signify some important detail or message.

These tattoos don’t look realistic at first glance and may seem a bit confusing even though they are really attractive. To understand them fully, we must take time to trace their origin.

Tracing art back to its earliest origins, it has been discovered that the earliest forms of art were made up of abstract drawings. These were discovered in caves and the paintings date back a few thousands of years.

At this time, the man was known to represent animals and other objects using lines and funny shapes. They also used this means to represent heavenly bodies. The man had to employ this means because they lacked the technical know-how to produce detailed realistic images, neither did he have the instruments to use.

Many centuries after this, an artist who wanted to gain respect and recognition had to produce photorealistic images. This was the beginning of the transformation of art in the western world. A new revolution occurred in the nineteenth century, artists were bent on producing images they desired, not what everyone wanted.

Best abstract tattoo design ideas


Watercolor couple abstract tattoo

These tattoos will be incomplete without each other even though they’ll still be so beautiful. The tattoos are drawn in watercolor, predominantly blue. It is made of lines and a beautiful horizon with the sun at the climax. It obviously means hopes for a new life and the love they share will last to infinity.

Flowery skeleton abstract tattoo

The skeleton is a bit scary but then, the artist gets creative by adding a couple of colorful flowers as the head instead of a skull. Isn’t that just beautiful?

Clock and numbers abstract tattoo

This is a great idea if you are a lover of numbers and a stickler to time. The tattoo is drawn in complete black except the hour and minute hands and one line of the numbers. The placement of the tattoo is great when you want to hide it at work with a long sleeve shirt or sweatshirt.

Tree of life abstract tattoo

The tree of life is very significant, especially among Christians. Wondering why this tattoo is referred to as the tree of life? Check out the fountain beside the tree and the fruits on the tree. It is definitely a means to get a new life for the wearer.

Colored haphazard lines

This tattoo obviously has no specific pattern. The lines are drawn in a haphazard manner, going in all directions. Some of the lines are thicker than others and most of them are broken. This probably implies that the wearer is at a crossroads and has no idea on what decision to take.

Bee and flower in perspective

If you are a lover of nature, then this tattoo will definitely work for you. Bees love to visit flowers basically for the nectar. While the bee is drawn in full color, the rest of the tattoo is drawn in black. Can you see how classy this looks? You should absolutely try this out.

Circular flowery wreath

This tattoo is made of flowers arranged in a circle and surrounded by shades of blue and purple. It speaks of life and how life unfolds from one stage to another. This is a beautiful tattoo for a lady.

Beautiful lady tattoo

This man must have tattooed the face of his lover or someone he has a huge crush on. Below the face of the lady, which huge by the way, is a picture of a man and woman obviously in love. This is probably his dream or desire for this lady that clouds his thoughts.

Also See: 55+ Zelda Triforce Tattoo Ideas That Show You Are a Devotee

Fading rudder abstract tattoo

A rudder is the only way to control the direction of a ship. It is so small yet so powerful. The rudder in this tattoo seems to be fading and it is overlain by several thick lines. It seems the wearer is seeking direction but has some fears that direction is fading away. However, abstract tattoos have different meanings to different people, so what do we know?

Women in love abstract tattoo

The wearer of this tattoo must be in love with another woman. The tattoo has two women kissing each other passionately. On the background us a thick line which doesn’t interrupt their love and a shade of blue and yellow. You could try this if you are disposed to being in love with someone of the same sex.

Abstract heart shape with text tattoo

The heart shape in this tattoo is drawn in the most abstract manner. It has a spiral line connecting it to the highlight of the tattoo which is a name underlined by a number. The name and number could mean anything to the wearer of the tattoo, it all depends on the message to be passed.

Laugh out loud

It is obvious, the wearer of this tattoo loves to laugh. The tattoo has a mouth laughing so hard and the text “ha” scattered around the whole tattoo. If you consider yourself a very happy person, then you should definitely get this, the message clear.

Air balloons abstract tattoo

Are you a lover of adventure? Then this is probably one tattoo that should appeal to you. There are several air balloons in this tattoo showing the wearer is a lover of air adventure. How cool can a tattoo get?

Other Abstract Tattoo Design Ideas

What can Abstract Tattoos Symbolize or Mean?

Every tattoo, abstract or not, always carries a meaning. Sometimes it is very obvious, at other times, it is a hidden mystery that must be unraveled. When you intend getting a tattoo, it is important that you take time out to find out what that tattoo means. You don’t want to show off body art that bears a controversial meaning or the opposite of what you had in mind.

For abstract tattoo, you should be able to guess the meaning for the object forms that make up the art. With the image shown, you can easily decipher the message behind the tattoo. A simple example of this is when you have a fox as your abstract tattoo, the meaning will be one associated with the animal.

In some other cases, the wearer of the tattoo has a second meaning to the tattoo. This is mostly because of a feeling of detachment to the image that is portrayed, or simply has no understanding of it.

Generally, these tattoos are made up of geometric shapes drawn in different patterns. Each of these shapes bears a peculiar meaning. Whatever shape you choose will determine to a large extent the final meaning of your tattoo.


When a person inscribes a tattoo made of circles, it is most likely to mean the circle of life or something having no end, or beginning. Single line, on the other hand, may symbolize the infinite nature of life, with one end of the line speaking of life and the other, death. A triangle faced up stands for masculinity, while it depicts femininity when inverted.

Already, we know that straight lines can be perceived differently by different people. Since one tattoo can mean ten things to ten people, critics see them as nonsensical and of no relevance. Notwithstanding this argument, so many people see abstract tattoos as attractive, thus making them extremely popular.

To make them easier to understand, more people are adding text to their tattoos these days. With these text and accompanying colors, there are hardly any misconceptions.

Best Location to Place an Abstract Tattoo

When it comes to placement of abstract tattoos or any other tattoos, there are really no specifications. You really cannot go wrong with placement because it usually depends on what you are comfortable with. These tattoos are versatile so they can fit anywhere.

Many people have their abstract tattoos on their hands, chest, thighs, feet, back, or shoulders. Sometimes they have them so large that they spread from one hand to another, connected by lines through the chest or back.

Even though there is no hard and fast rule for placing tattoos, a few tips wouldn’t hurt. If you want a huge tattoo, then you should consider your back or chest. The back is the largest space on the body to draw a tattoo. So it is a great spot for that large abstract eagle or skull you have in mind.

If you desire something not too large, about medium size, then you should consider your upper arm, calf, or lower arm. A small tattoo will sit perfectly behind the ear, on the fingers, or the feet. If are considering a place to keep your tattoo hidden, then you should be thinking of your thigh, lower belly, or neck.

Choosing a tattoo artist for your abstract tattoo

One of the most important decisions you are faced with when getting an abstract tattoo is picking your tattoo artist. There are so many individuals that parade themselves as tattoo artists these days, you have to be really careful about who you choose.

Stories abound of people who have regretted getting a tattoo just because they had their tattoos done by the wrong artist. So many of the artists out there are not as skilled as they claim to be, even though there are so many skilled artists also.

The question that begs to be answered is, how do you choose your artist? Abstract tattoos are quite complex and require a lot of creativity to pull off. To this end, you need an artist that is not just experienced, but skilled and highly creative.

The first way to find an artist is by speaking to someone close, friend or family, who has gotten a tattoo. Ask who their artist is and how good the artist is. Usually, these reviews give you a first-hand description of the artist.

You could also go through a directory or search through Google for artists in your locality. A couple of artists should come up and then you can begin going through their portfolios and charges. It is best to choose one that offers services within the range of your budget.

Note that you should be willing to pay handsomely for your abstract tattoos if you want the best quality. Some artists claim to be cheap, but reviews have told us that many of these fellows end up being mediocre. This is not to say that a few aren’t credible, it is just going to take some detailed research on your end.

Factors affecting the cost of your abstract tattoo

Usually, these tattoo cost between $50 and $100, sometimes they could cost way more due to the complexity of design or the pedigree of the artist. These might be farfetched if you are working with a budget. We’ve got your back and have brought you a few factors that may affect how much your tattoo will cost. This should help you draw up a workable budget.


This is about the most prominent factor on this list. It shouldn’t be so difficult to understand, with complex designs comes high prices. If you want something detailed and attractive, then you must be willing to pay for it. This is why some people prefer just having outlines, they are far cheaper.


The price of your tattoo will rise with an increase in the number of colors used in the design. Mind you, the cost increase does not lie in the changes in color but the detail the artist infuses into your tattoo. This is probably why tattoos drawn in black are very famous.


When your tattoo is big, a lot of ink is used in the making. This means the artist spends more on ink which means you have to pay more. It will even cost more when you require details in the design. You can strike a negotiation with your artist depending on how detailed the design will be in the end.


This is another very important factor that determines the price of abstract tattoos. When the tattoo is to be inscribed on a sensitive part of the body, it will definitely cost more than when it will be placed on a regular part. This is because the more sensitive the body part, the more attention and care the artist needs to apply. This means you are paying for the caution the artist takes.


Your geographical location determines to a large extent how much you’d be paying for your tattoo. Studios located in urban cities tend to charge more than those situated in rural areas. The reason for this is that so many other costs are included in the urban areas other than the cost of the tattoo.

The artist

If the artist is famous and very skilled with lots of experience, you’ll be paying more than what you’ll pay a newbie. Most artists charge per hour while others charge based on the complexity of the tattoo. You should have a budget and figure out who will be your artist based on this budget.

Abstract tattoos wrap up

The ideas above must have proven to you that though abstract tattoos are simple, they can be quite complicated. They will definitely catch the eye of any viewer while helping you to pass your message easily. Choose one of the designs above and share your experience with your artist in the comments section.

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