What To Know Before Getting A Flash Tattoo, According To Our Tattoo Artist

Thanks to social media and mood board sites like Pinterest, the inspiration for tattoo art is nearly endless. The varying aesthetics and well crafted portrayals out there might even be overwhelming, as getting a tattoo is such a large and lasting decision. And while some choose to bring in specific, original, and personal visions to the tattoo studio, others might prefer the spontaneity of selecting one of the tattoo artist's pre-made designs from a portfolio. This is called a flash tattoo.

To learn more about flash tattoos, we reached out to tattoo artist Katherine Vargas, better known as Woahkat, for a professional take on what to know before you leap for a flash tattoo. "Flash tattoos are pre-designed tattoos at a discounted rate. These flash sheets are made for clients who have the opportunity to get a tattoo from their preferred artist and that can represent their art," Woahkat exclusively told Gliz. When choosing a flash tattoo, there's also the added plus of knowing the tattoo artist you're visiting can perfect the design you've chosen from their work with ease.

Common flash tattoo designs and who might want one

If you know you love a certain style of tattooing, like trash polka or fine line tattoos, but you're unsure what design best suits you, then selecting a flash tattoo might be the right move. Or if you're on a vacation and suddenly feel the impulse to commemorate the trip with a tattoo, then choosing a flash tattoo might be a wise option as you likely wouldn't have as much time to work with a tattoo artist on an original design. Friends who want matching bestie tattoos at a good rate might opt for flash tattoos — but you may want to think deeply before getting matching tattoos with a beau.

Flash tattoos tend to be popular or classic images that a lot of people typically enjoy. You'll also find that the artist has put their own touch on a classic image. Sometimes, flash tattoos are of a more specific aesthetic from the tattoo artist's own collection. "Common flash tattoos can be roses, angel numbers, skulls, zodiac tattoos, butterflies, and other small tattoos that are fun and spontaneous," Woahkat exclusively shared with Gliz. You can also ask if an artist might make a slight alteration to an existing flash tattoo while keeping in mind that they may decline the request. Today's flash tattooing aesthetic has also evolved to include more modern motifs, like crystals, cats, plants, and geometric shapes. 

Flash tattoos are quick and low in cost

As you explore, you might find that some tattoo artists will repeat a flash tattoo design on multiple customers, while others will not. If originality matters to you and you aren't eager to see someone walking around with the exact same daisy tattoo that you have on your forearm, then you may want to inquire about an artist's stance on the matter.

As expressed in the name, flash tattoos are meant to be quick. They will likely be smaller in size and not require a ton of detailing — hence their lower price point. "Flash tattoos usually start from $100-$350 depending on the size and detail of each design. Prices vary by artist as well and their specific tattooing style," Woahkat exclusively told Gliz.

Some studios and artists offer flash day sales, where you can walk in on a first-come, first-serve basis and sit down for a flash tattoo at a discounted rate. You might have also heard of the tattoo tradition on Friday the 13th where shops offer "13" tattoos when the date occurs. This ritual shares some similar elements with flash tattoo days and some shops will even price flash tattoos done on Friday the 13th at only $13. So, whether you're a tattoo aficionado or a total newbie, flash tattoos serve their purpose for quick, affordable designs that can be predicted to turn out well and the practice is certainly worth looking into.