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The Best Place on the Body for an Abstract Tattoo

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At first glance, you may think that all spots on the body are equally as good for displaying and maintaining an abstract tattoo but this is not always the case. Certain areas of skin can stretch and warp over the years while other regions are exposed to a tremendous amount of damaging UV radiation from the sun that will cause premature fading of an abstract tattoo. In this guide, we will touch on what an abstract tattoo is as well as the optimal body placements to help with the presentation and longevity of your tattoo.

What is an Abstract Tattoo?

Abstract tattoos are a style of ink that covers a large span of potential tattoo ideas. The possibilities vary greatly, but the key aspect of the abstract style is that the art doesn’t attempt to depict reality around us, but instead aims to use colors, forms, shapes, and textures to install a feeling into the piece. In this sense, there are no concrete rules for how an abstract tattoo must be approached, which leaves a lot of room for creativity and uniqueness.

The size of abstract tattoos is also highly variable. Some abstract pieces are small and contained while others are large and winding. The size of the piece you choose to get will certainly disqualify certain body areas and elevate others. The colors used are also highly variable for abstract pieces as realism is not generally a goal of the piece. However, not all skin tones are equal in how they display colors. Your undertone, or the color of your skin and underlying veins, creates a filter through which any tattoo would be seen. This means that some individuals may want to select different colors for their piece based upon their undertone.

Optimal Areas of the Body for an Abstract Tattoo

As mentioned, not all spots on the body are created equal when it comes to displaying and maintaining a good tattoo. The general rules are as follows: make sure your location won’t experience major stretching as your body ages. This most commonly includes the stomach, abdomen region for men and especially women, if you should decide to have a child. Major fluctuations here can dramatically stretch out and warp a tattoo. Make sure that your tattoo can be covered from the sun. UV radiation is a killer for tattoos; the rays break down the ink in a tattoo over time causing the design to prematurely fade. With these rules in mind, let’s explore body parts that excel with abstract designs!


The shoulder is one of the premier tattooing locations on any body. Shoulders allow us to check some rules: the skin in the area generally is stable overtime barring any significant weight gains. This will ensure your design doesn’t get super stretched or warped. Your shoulders are generally easy to hide from the sun; this means that you can, if you choose, wear a shirt to protect your design, which will make the design last longer with its vibrancy. Also, while you can choose to cover your shoulder tattoo, you can also choose to display it to the world. What’s more, the shoulder boasts a respectable surface area to work within, giving potential for larger or smaller designs as you see fit. Overall, shoulders are a very versatile, strong place to get an abstract tattoo.

Inner Arm

The inner arm here refers to your forearm and on the bicep. This is another great location for an abstract tattoo for similar reasons to the shoulder. For one, the inner arm is another area that won’t experience any major stretching or warping as you age. This area, while it may be exposed to more sun than a shoulder design, can also be protected from the sun with long sleeves. On the same note, an inner arm tattoo can be covered or displayed depending on the social setting, which gives great flexibility in this regard. While it has a smaller surface area than the shoulder, the inner arm still has plenty of room for medium to small pieces.

Some Areas to Especially Avoid

We touched on a couple of the best tattoo placements on your body. A lot of locations are neutral, with some advantages and some drawbacks, but there are also a few locations that are mostly negative for abstract tattoos. Let’s briefly touch upon these as well.


Abstract tattoos are hard to properly execute and maintain when they are placed on your hands or feet. While these areas may not stretch and warp over time due to weight fluctuations, the skin on your hands and feet is rather thin. This makes it hard for the artist to be able to properly insert the ink under the skin causing fading must faster than other areas. What’s more, the thin skin and increased nerve endings make these tattoos among the most painful to receive. To add more, your hands and feet are often exposed to not only rays from the sun that will fade your design, but the constant rubbing on your hands and feet from socks, shoes, gloves, etc. will cause a tattoo to fade faster. Lastly, these areas generally have a very small surface area making your design options limited due to space.


As previously mentioned, your abdomen can be particularly bad for housing a tattoo. This is because of the change in shape that most people will experience in their stomach region as they age. This will cause a tattoo to stretch, warp, and probably look ridiculous at some point. While a stomach tattoo can be easily shielded from the sun, you may not want to display the piece anyways if it has been stretched enough.

Apply the rules we outlined to see if your desired spot is good for longevity and presentation of a tattoo. Ask your artist for their opinions on anything regarding your tattoo; they’ve seen a lot of ink on skin and know what looks right and what holds up over the decades.

Contact First Class Tattoo in NYC Today!

For an abstract tattoo from the premier tattoo artists in NYC, look no further than First Class Tattoo. Our expert artists can not only ink top tier art on your skin, but they have the knowledge and experience to guide you through the entire adventure. They can help with selections of subjects, colors, and placements that work well for your design and your body. Tattoos are a serious commitment, so choose the best and get the best at First Class Tattoo!

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