Tiny But Mighty is our series where we take the time to appreciate the best little things in life, micro tattoos. Be sure to check out more installments, such as this article on incredibly detailed small-scale body art.
The only thing that makes me regret getting the phrase “kind soul” inscribed across my knuckles is not that it may have limited my job opportunities or pissed off my family, it’s that I didn’t save that space for a set of tiny blackwork tattoos. Getting your fingers done is one of the most daring things you can do when it comes to tattoos. Aside from the face, hands are the most prominent part of our bodies, and when people see markings there, it’s what they tend to fixate on. Stigma may surround this type of body art, but people are challenging prejudice by getting beautiful minimalist ornamentation all over their fingers.
The act of decorating people’s hands has been around for a very long time in the form of mehndi, which is better known in the western world as henna. Anthropologists have traced this practice all the way back to ancient Egypt, finding mummies with the brown dye underneath their nails. Since then, the art form spread throughout the majority of southeastern Asia and parts of the Middle East, being used for a number of ritualistic purposes, the foremost of which surrounds marriages in several cultures. As seen in Warren Morissens’ bold work, 21st-century tattooists have adopted mehndi designs, turning them into everlasting body art.
The patterns of henna are not the only sort of progressive blackwork that has appeared on people’s hands. Artists like Watsun Atkinsun and Philip Milic inscribe symbols such as magical staves, celestial glyphs, and runes of protection onto their clients’ fingers. Others drift further into the realm of abstraction, as seen in Kenji Alucky’s floral and circuit-like compositions. Though their work is extremely fine-lined and simplistic, Tati Compton’s, Malvina Maria Wisniewska’s, and Ryan Jessiman’s pieces illustrate the powerful elegance of these delicate designs.
To see more lovely little markings along people’s fingers, make sure to visit these tattooists’ Instagrams. Should you want to adorn your digits with pristine ornamentation, commission one of them to design a tiny masterpiece for your hands.