These Subtle Shoulder Tattoo Ideas Are Artsy & So Personal

by Tessa Harvey

In your 20s, you spend a lot of time getting to know yourself. It's time to go on vacations tailored to soul-searching, spend time with your family and friends, take different classes, and choose a career path. Once you get around to figuring out who exactly you are, you also spend time trying to make sure others know who you are. You may do it in the way you dress, the way you wear your hair, and the bumper stickers you choose to put on your car. Of course, another big way many of us express our own identity is by getting tattoos. A tattoo is a unique way of showcasing your personality or something that's really symbolic to your life. You may want to choose something simple if it's your first tattoo, which is why subtle shoulder tattoo ideas are really a great choice.

The shoulder is one of the best places for a tiny tattoo. Let me make my case for you. Your shoulder can often be hidden when you want it to be, so it's a bit more personal. It's also an ideal place for any and all Instagram shots you want to take after you get it done. What more do you need? If you're still deciding what kind of ink to get done, these five ideas just might spark some inspiration.

Smiling Never Goes Out Of Style
sheridenchanel on Twitter

When you have a tattoo, whether it's subtle or big, colorful or monochromatic, people are bound to ask you some questions about it. I'm not sure what it is about having ink on your skin that invites questions, but they happen, nonetheless.

I have a super-small tattoo of my own, but I still get questions. One of the most common questions is, it's permanent and what if you have any regrets? It's your choice, though, and you can go for whatever design you'd like. If you are unsure, a subtle tattoo of a special phrase or saying like this one may be a perfect place to start

You Have The Entire Alphabet To Choose From
accioirwiin on Twitter

Don't you just love how small this shoulder accent tattoo is? If you weren't looking for it, you may not even notice it's there. If you're looking for something really subtle, this just might be a good idea for you.

The good thing about choosing a letter for your tattoo is that the meaning is completely up to you. It's so completely ambiguous that it can be as personal as you want it it be. Maybe you're getting it for your SO, or maybe it's in honor of your childhood pet. It's up to you where you want to go from here.

Be Like A Cactus
breannamariep on Twitter

OK, this small tattoo may not be on a shoulder, but it totally could be. If you're a big plant momma or really love the dessert, and just can't get enough, this just might be your thing. Succulents are a big trend right now, so naturally they also make super cute tattoos. Try a succulent, cactus, or maybe even a Boston fern. They'd all make simple, subtle tattoos everyone you know will swoon over.

Embrace The Flower Child In You
northside_ncl on Twitter

How much do you love this tiny bundle of flowers? Flowers are a perfect tattoo choice; they're sweet, they're varied, and they can be the colors and size that you want.

If you're leaning towards this tattoo, it's probably because it matches your free spirit. Just like a flower, you like to spread a little happiness and vibrance wherever you go in life. This little shoulder art just confirms what everyone around you already knew.

Your Go-To Catchphrase
floralshark on Twitter

So maybe your own go-to catchphrase isn't "Stay gold," but that's OK. This tattoo is super interchangeable with whatever your motto may be. Switch out the font and the sizes to make it even more personal. Or even better, have it written by someone you love.

Whatever design you decide on, make sure you're totally happy with it and it speaks to your soul.