What Is A Flash Tattoo?

According to a 2019 poll conducted by Ipsos, 30% of Americans have at least one tattoo while the average is four. The popularity of body art is growing each year as the taboo surrounding it slowly fades. And yet, you still can't display your tattoos everywhere. As Lawyers 24-7 clarifies, employers can enforce the covering of tattoos as a part of the workplace dress code, though exceptions include tattoos of religious expression. 

What the 2022 CROWN Act did for natural hair in the workplace, perhaps another law can one day do for tattoos in a similar manner, but there's still a long way to go. Regardless, tattoos are an increasingly popular method of self-expression. You may mull over a design for months, or you could be the type to get something on the spur of the moment. Whatever reason you have for getting inked, flash designs are always a fun option. 

There's a difference between market and collector flash

According to Chosen Art Tattoo, a flash tattoo is a design already created and typically on display in a shop, rather than being designed especially for an individual client. There are two different kinds of flash tattoos; market and collector flash. Market flash tattoos are popular designs that are usually on the walls or in lobby books at tattoo shops, per Authority Tattoo, similar to when a bakery has pre-made cake designs you can flip through and choose from. 

Market flash tattoos have universal popularity and include sought-after symbols such as a heart, crown, or skull. Even though these pieces are generic, you have the option to get your design in full color or just black and gray. Collector flash tattoos are a similar concept with one key difference. Tattooing 101 reports these flash tattoos are unique to the tattoo artist, so they will still be popular designs, just tailored to their particular style. 

Market flash tattoos will be similar in every tattoo parlor, while collector flash is different for every artist. So, if you're looking for something a little bit more unique or have a favorite tattoo artist you want to use, collector flash is the way to go. There are even associated trends like the ignorant tattoo trend that might tickle your fancy. 

Custom tattoos will always be more unique than flash

The great thing about flash tattoos is that they are done in one sitting and are usually way less expensive than a custom tattoo. Likewise, you usually don't have to book too far in advance, which is helpful for your first tattoo — especially if you've no idea what you want (via Authority Tattoo). Although, if you are a first-timer, there are parts of the body you may want to avoid getting a tattoo either way.

However, there is little personalization with flash tattoos. A custom tattoo is one you and the artist collaborate on together, as Tattoo Glee notes. Typically, the client and artist consult, sharing ideas, reference photos, and spilling their imaginations. From this, a beautiful tattoo is born unique to the client. It seems that, outside of the competition of flash and custom tattoos, many artists have a preference. 

Chosen Art Tattoo reports that tattoo artists generally prefer to do custom tattoos. It gives them the chance to create new designs, work on larger pieces, and expand their portfolio all while giving you more bang for your buck. Sounds like a win-win for both the client and the artist. Still, you can never go wrong with a flash tattoo. And, if you're still unsure, these tattoo styles stand the test of time and are popular for a reason.