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A tattoo artist shares the 4 biggest mistakes people make when getting floral designs

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  • NYC-based tattoo artist Barry Hua specializes in floral designs. 
  • He told Insider the biggest mistakes people make when getting floral tattoos.
  • He said people often try to cram too many flowers into one design.

There’s nothing more timeless than floral tattoos, according to Barry Hua, a tattoo artist in New York City who goes by the alias Unloveable.

Hua specializes in floral designs, and he was one of the first fine-line artists to introduce large-scale fine-line floral tattooing to NYC in 2019, according to his website. He has more than 13,000 followers on Instagram at the time of writing, and many people travel from other states to get his custom designs inked. 

A post shared by @unloveable.nyc

“Trends come and go but flowers are here to stay,” Hua told Insider. “They are not only beautiful but hold so much symbolism for people who get them.”

“Flowers have been tattooed for so long and in so many different type of styles. It’s always constantly evolving but the concept, for the most part, stays the same,” he added. 

Hua shared with Insider the biggest mistakes people make when getting floral tattoos — and how to avoid them.

Don’t be turned off by a waiting list

Hua said clients should first decide what style they want, whether that’s fine line, realism, or traditional. Once they’ve settled on a style, Hua said clients should be selective when choosing an artist. 

“Don’t settle for an artist just because their studio or shop is closer to you and they can kinda do what you want,” he said.

A post shared by @unloveable.nyc

“Find the right artist that can do what you want so you can get what you want. If there’s a waitlist, it will be worth it because you’ve been eyeing their work for a reason,” he added. 

Some people won’t consider traveling to another state for their dream tattoo — but they should

Hua said many people will compromise the style of tattoo that they want because they can’t find an artist in their local area to do it. Instead, he said you should take travel into consideration if possible when budgeting for your dream tattoo. 

“Don’t be afraid to fly out a few hours to get the floral tattoo you want,” Hua said.

A post shared by @unloveable.nyc

“A few hours of minor inconvenience with a lifetime of happiness with your new tattoo is better than a tattoo that you end up hating because it’s not what you wanted,” he said.

“I often see clients go to realism or traditional artists and request fine line style floral tattoos and end up hating their tattoos because it’s not soft, elegant, flowy,” he added.

Hua’s clients have traveled from all over the US, including Utah, Texas, Ohio, and California, and he wrote on Instagram that one client made the trip from Australia.

Be considerate with placement

Hua said it’s important for floral tattoos to flow organically on the body, so be considerate when choosing the placement of your ink.

“I see too often that some floral tattoos look like stickers,” Hau said, adding that many clients will ask him to fix a pre-existing floral tattoo because it doesn’t properly fit where it’s placed on the body.

“For my style of fine-line floral tattoos bigger is better, as the more room I have to work with to flow the tattoo the better,” he added.

Don’t cram too many flowers into one design

Hua said some people will try to cram between 10 and 20 tattoos into one design, which he said often ends up looking like a “hot mess.” Instead, he recommends choosing one classic flower that you love and sticking to it.

“There’s a lot of people who want to cram in as much as possible, like their whole family’s birth flowers, and it doesn’t look good in my opinion. When in doubt just go with the classic flowers, roses, and peonies,” he said. 



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