Tattoos are the ultimate form of self-expression, so much so that the decision can seem seriously intimidating. Case in point: It took four years of research and thought before I decided on my first tattoo (three very small hand-drawn stars on the inside of my wrist).
And while tattoos are all about individuality, it doesn't hurt to see what everyone else is doing for inspiration, especially when it comes to design and placement. And a particularly popular spot for tattoo artists and Team Tatted? The playful and understated ankle.
As easy to show off with a pair of dainty heels as it is to cover with the roll of your pants, the ankle is a prime spot for tattooing, especially since the skin doesn't wrinkle or sag much with age. Although it was extremely popular in the '90s, tattoo artist Dillon Forte said the area is coming back in a big way: "Whether it's part of a larger piece that goes up the leg or a group or stand-alone design, I'm seeing a lot more pop up. I've seen a lot of cool designs there."
Although the cost depends on the artist and their hourly rate, ankle tattoos tend to be less expensive simply by the nature of the smaller canvas. That being said, a more complex design may take a few hours and ultimately cost more. Be prepared to spend anywhere from 150 $ to 2,500 $ per hour depending on the design and artist you choose, and be sure to do your homework ahead of time: you will for your money.
Mira Mariah, a New York City-based tattoo artist, says that while it's certainly not the most pleasant area of the body to tattoo, ankle tattoos aren't too bad when it comes to the pain factor. That being said, it's hard to predict pain levels because we all have different tolerance and sensation levels. Regardless, Mariah and Forte agree that it's a particularly great spot for beginners because it's small, concealable and relatively gentle.
Looking for the perfect design for you? Scroll down for 19 of our favorite ankle tattoos, from bold and bright to subtly sweet.