New year, new momentum! Or greater momentum? Or none at all? 2019 was a rollercoaster for me: lots of good, plenty of bad and a little confusing. For the first time, I feel that the new year has truly turned a new leaf in my life, to be filled as someone more informed. Many of my biggest dreams and wishes have come true. It is time to enjoy the fruit of my labour – take more time to draw, to self-reflect, to improve.

On the contrary, the new-born that is the Estonian tattoo scene will not cease to grow. Having followed with interest any new events and changes in the local tattoo landscape, I hope to see new artists and work that shakes the norms this year. On that note, here are a few predictions, or rather hopes, of what 2020 could bring!


Tattooing Continues on Steady Increase

Don’t have to be a genius to know that tattoos aren’t disappearing anywhere anymore as increasing numbers of fans are reaching adulthood. One pro of living in a tiny country is that despite tattoos only being popular here for a short time, interest has grown rapidly and the younger generation typically views it as an art form. Occasional grumpy comments from the elderly and conservative are quickly taken as a joke and life goes on. I think even a predicted economic downturn will not change this trajectory, as most Estonians are always willing to spend on self-expression.


Backs by Sten-Martin Sinisaar.



Small tattoos have always been trendy, but Koreans are giving them a whole new life. Ultra small, thin lines and simple designs will find their way onto people’s bodies. Many don’t mind the likelihood of fading over the years. The tattoo will remain sweet, small and personal.



Tattoos are increasingly becoming one with art, whether the critics like it or not. The body as a whole will turn into artwork, the process being part of the creation. Meanings will become deeper and more layered, reflecting people’s complex personalities and creative outputs.




Tattoo events.

Street Mirror Expo has consistently gotten more popular every year and the 2020 event will definitely be no exception. Held in Kultuurikatel as before, the venue attracts visitors from every area of life. 2018 was the first year I participated and it was nice to hear it was also when a record number of tattoo artists attended the event. I believe that 2020 will bring even more artists in to show their masterpieces.

Different projects held in salons have been a rising trend, inviting new people and widening the public’s perspective. I’ve been especially glad to witness the popularity of charity events and think there will be even more of those to take part of in the new year.


Street Mirror Expo 2018. Photo: Andri Allas


Homework and planning.

Thanks to images and overviews found online, clients are much more informed regarding their choices and do more research before getting anything needled into their skin. Questions are asked, consultations are taken seriously and planning is a long process, accounting for financial possibilities.


Fake tattoo artists.

As always and for anything, rising popularity attracts fakes hoping to profit. Fake accounts and tattooists are becoming more common in Estonia, using well-known artists’ works to find victims. It is also the case for less-than-adequate tattooists using stolen work to do “giveaways” in order to attract clients. The consequence is unfortunately always either blown money or ruined skin. It is important to make sure the images you see are the artist’s own work and that their skills comply with what’s advertised.

What are your expectations for 2020? Was one of your resolutions a new tattoo?