33 Tantalizing New School Tattoo Ideas for Men & Women to Inspire You in 2023
New School tattoos have actually been around for quite a while. Some have said that they date back as far as the 1970s, lending elements from the American Traditional style The criteria for a design to be considered New School are vivid colors, over exaggerated features and heavy outlines. All of this makes for the perfect tattoo that will withstand the test of time.
But before you go and get your own New School tattoo, let us help guide you in choosing the perfect piece of ink. Below we’ll show you the craziest, most unique and coolest New School tattoo ideas for 2022. You’ll surely be inspired with the perfect idea of which tattoo style to get, as well as where to get tattooed on your body.
With that said, let’s begin.
Custom Scar Cover Up Snake and Flowers Tattoo Ideas
Deep, lively colors are a trademark of the New School style, and here we can see a perfect example. The subtle use of dark red for the outlines of the second flower is a great decision; it creates a lovely contrast while also complementing each other. I like that the snake is making its way through the flowers, it’s a subtle addition, not taking away from the centerpiece, the flowers.
Awesome New School Leela-Inspired Futurama Forearm Tattoo Ideas
Leela is one of the coolest female characters from Futurama, and here, the artist captured her aesthetic and characteristics perfectly in this New School tattoo. I love how vivid the colors are. There are a few inconsistencies with the linework, but the shading and color packing definitely make up for it.
Garfield Breaking Out New School Tattoo Ideas
Garfield has always been a national treasure, so why not honor that with a tattoo? The lines are solid, as one would expect in a New School design, and the colors are popping like there’s no tomorrow. I love the little highlights in the eyes and nose, it adds a three-dimensional feel to a tattoo that is meant to look like it’s coming out of the client’s skin. Really cool!
Black and Gray Groucho Marx-Inspired New School Tattoo Ideas
The 1930s was a great era for cartoons and animation. From Walt Disney to Groucho Marx, we’ve come a long way. So much so that people are showing their appreciation by getting tattoos. The black and gray shading is so smooth and consistent, and I like that the artist added a white highlight behind the character to bring it to the foreground. What a brilliantly done piece!
Gorilla Playing TV Games New School Calf Tattoo Ideas
Monkey see, monkey do, right? That’s exactly the message I’m receiving here. How cool is this tattoo, though? Like a true New School tattoo, some features of the gorilla are exaggerated, like the size of his head. The “always tired” is a cool little play on how tired he looks and the fact that staying up all night gaming will have that effect on you.
Vintage Cartoon-Inspired New School Tattoo Ideas
Another vintage cartoon-inspired tattoo. Do you know this one? It’s adorable how the acorn is riding the pig, they look like they’re having so much fun. There’s nothing I can say about this tattoo that I don’t like, the lines are smooth and clean, the color is packed well, and the overall design reminds me of a kid’s storybook. I absolutely love everything about this piece, including the shadow under the pig, really adding depth to this piece.
1930s Cartoon in New School Style Tattoo Ideas
New School designs seem to really enjoy cartoon characters; I suppose it comes from the fact that they’re already greatly exaggerated. The placement of this piece is really nice and quite unusual, especially because of the fact that it warps the design slightly, but that doesn’t mean this tattoo is doomed to be labelled as a “bad” tattoo. Quite the contrary, I love the colors and how the artist created a golden sheen with the use of various shades of yellow. Great tattoo by a great artist.
Calcifer from Studio Ghibli New School Tattoo Ideas
Any Studio Ghibli fans in the house? How adorable is this New School rendition of Calcifier? He’s even cuter as a tattoo! The lack of solid lines in this piece is really nice, even though the style it’s in is characterized by bold linework, the artist took her own stance on it and created something truly adorable. I love the three-dimensional feel and solid color packing, especially the yellow as it’s a difficult color to work with.
Awesome Itchy and Scratchy-Inspired New School Tattoo Ideas
Itchy and Scratchy are the most iconic characters ever to brace the 21st century. Your immediate reaction when someone mentions them is The Simpsons. The artist keeps with the theme that they’re always trying to kill each other, this time, Scratchy wins! How cool are those colors? I love the turquoise glow on Scratchy, overall, such a cool tattoo. If you need more, Artist IG: @ tonyjusticetattoo, has all the inspiration you’re looking for.
Lilo and Stitch Cross Star Wars New School Calf Tattoo Ideas
A Stitch tattoo that’s also a Star Wars tattoo? Where do I sign up? I love it when artists mash genres together to create something as cool as this. The colors are extraordinarily vivid, which really makes this tattoo stand out. Regarding placement, this is definitely the perfect spot because there’s enough room to go big. Well done!
Funny Police Satire New School Tattoo Ideas
A popular tattoo these days is one that satirizes police. If you’ve been wanting to get one, then this is a pretty cool version to get. It reminds me almost of Homer Simpson, but as a police officer. Maybe it’s the pink donut? Either way, this is one awesome design that deserves credit. The color packing is phenomenal, and the linework is even better, definitely the perfect spot to place it as well. The back of the thigh can be quite a sore area to get done, so make sure you’re prepared for some pain if you decide to get something in this spot.
Adorable Baby Yoda New School Tattoo On Woman’s Forearm Tattoo Ideas
Where do I begin with this tattoo? Do I comment on the amazing color? The perfect linework? Or how adorable it is? I think I’m going to keep it simple by complementing how cute this piece is. I love that it’s placed on the outer forearm so that everyone can see it and that it’s placed facing inwards, the way tattoos should be. There’s nothing to dislike about this piece, the added watercolor is absolute perfection.
Black and Gray Sloth Holding a Medical Mask New School Tattoo Ideas
This is such a fun tattoo, the sloth is grinning while taking his mask off, super adorable. Unfortunately there are a few notably shaky lines but that doesn’t take away from how smooth the shading is and how great the design is. The artist may need to improve the lines in this one, but he certainly pulled off something unique and quirky at the same time.
Amazing New School Garage Steam Tattoo Thigh Tattoo Ideas
There’s a lot going on in this tattoo which makes it slightly difficult to see what it is at first glance, but when you take a step back and look at it you begin to see that it’s some sort of mask. The color palette is amazing, each color complements the next. I think the placement is beyond perfect, the entire design flows so well with the side of the thigh. This piece really encompasses the New School style.
Badass Masculine Bart Simpson New School Thigh Tattoo Ideas
It’s a known fact that Bart Simpson is quite the handful, but here we can see that the artist has turned him into one badass kid. He’s got a knee tattoo and a hat that would make Marge cry, sorry Marge! This tattoo screams New School, from the color palette to the bold outlines and design. Here we can see that the client’s original designs are in a more American Traditional style but because New School borrows a few techniques from it, they actually complement one another.
Colorful Majestic New School Deer Tattoo Ideas
There’s something magical about this tattoo, it may be the eyes, the color of the deer, or the way the cherry blossoms are flowing around it. This piece has a very Neo Traditional feel to it but becomes New School with the use of bright colors. I adore the background of the antlers, it almost looks like the sun setting, credit to the artist for being able to pack yellow so well. All-in-all this is a beautiful tattoo that would suit both men and women.
Gorgeous Goddess of the Universe New School Cover Up Tattoo Ideas
Have you ever seen a tattoo so bright and bold before? The way the artist did this piece is absolutely amazing; the colors are in your face while the varying line weights create depth. The lines themselves are smooth and consistent. I love how this piece is working its way up the client’s leg, as you can see this tattoo is huge, and is acting as a cover up for a previous tattoo he didn’t like. Amazing work by this artist, go check him out on IG: @carlosbreakone for more colorful New School art.
Orc Babe from World of Warcraft New School Tattoo Ideas
It seems animation and cartoons are a popular theme within the New School style. If you know World of Warcraft, you’ll definitely know this babe. Orcs are a strong group of warriors pledged by their loyalty to the Horde, and the artist captured just how badass they truly are in this amazing piece. I love the subtle green pigment of her skin contrasting against the solid red war paint. The artist did a magnificent job, deserving lots of credit.
One Piece- Zoro-Inspired New School Forearm Tattoo Ideas
This one is for all the One Piece fans out there. Here we’ve got an amazing New School rendition of Zoro and wow is this a nifty tattoo! The artist is clearly skilled when it comes to color and shading because this tattoo has such depth to it, it’s almost unreal. I think the placement is absolutely perfect as it creates the illusion of a half sleeve. Truly amazing work.
Massive New School Feathered Dinosaur Thigh Tattoo Ideas
Look at how massive this tattoo is and how it flows so smoothly with the shape of the client’s body. The colors are bright and the linework is phenomenal. I love the blue, pink, turquoise and yellow; they’re sensational and are striking. The spaces left open on the edges of the wings are a very Neo Traditional feature. Compliments to the artist, this is an otherworldly piece!
Cheeky Feminine Cat With Horns New School Tattoo Ideas
Is this kitty meant to be scary? Because if that’s the case, the artist failed. Is this not the sweetest cat with horns you’ve ever seen? It might be the pink glow in her eyeI or that precious bell around her neck. Whatever it is, this is a lovely design that fits so snugly on the forearm. I really like the addition of the horns.
Adorable Devil Dinosaur New School Calf Tattoo Ideas
This is such a fun tattoo, the dinosaur suit was definitely a cute choice, especially since the devil is always viewed so negatively. Here he’s just goofing around. I love the skateboard and how the artist added motion marks to give the design movement. Awesome colors, great concept, and beautifully executed. Give the artist some love on IG: @85tattooer if you love this piece as much as I do.
Stunning New School Dark Vampire Heart Tattoo Ideas
There’s nothing cooler than a vampire tattoo. What’s unique about this piece is the fact that her nose is almost cat-like so she could actually be a cat-hybrid woman. The solid blackwork is really nice and contrasts with the fine line work and details found in the rest of the tattoo. Placement is also great as the design is acting as a gap filler on the back of the thigh, quite the spicy area to get tattooed.
Amazing Kitsune-Inspired Half Sleeve New School Tattoo Ideas
I love that this was inspired by Kitsune. The way the artist did this piece is phenomenal; the colors are fantastic and so well packed. What I love the most is the bold outlines of the mask, they contrast well with the thin line work in the rest of the tattoo. There’s a mix between Autumn and Winter with this design. Truly a gorgeous tattoo that fits the client’s arm so well.
Beautiful Feminine Goddess of the Woods New School Tattoo Ideas
Is this not such a beautiful Goddess of the woods tattoo? It’s got a lot of New School to it but I feel this is very much a Neo Traditional tattoo. I love how beautiful her face is, it’s feminine, and suits the character of a Goddess. The light blue on her fingers gives this design a magical touch. Don’t mess with this gal because she has the power of nature! This is such an amazing tattoo, all the credit to the artist!
New School Japanese-Inspired New School Fox Forearm Tattoo Ideas
I’m not entirely sure what animal this is but I’m assuming it’s a fox. Whatever it is, this tattoo is astounding. I absolutely adore the colors, they’re so vivid and at the same time muted as you would find in a Neo Traditional tattoo. I love how well it flows on the client’s arm.
Heart in Hand New School Calf Tattoo Ideas
This is the perfect example of a New School design; it has an element of graffiti to it that embodies this style so well. From the colors to the actual design, one cannot ignore how great this tattoo is. The hand clutching the heart has a significant meaning. Mixing these light colors together could have turned out dull but the artist made sure to add some brightness and contrast, making this a perfect New School tattoo.
Masculine Manekineko Samurai New School Calf Tattoo Ideas
Another Japanese-inspired New School tattoo. As you can see here, the artist created a samurai Manekineko cat that looks like he could kick your butt if you tried to mess with him. The cheeky look on his face is what really drew me in. As with most Asian-themed tattoos there are the typical elements such as the koi, which really adds character to this piece.
Stunning New School Succubus Tattoo Ideas
A succubus is a sexy devilish woman that’s able to draw men in with her sexuality and here we see the perfect example of that. Her sullen gaze draws you in while her horns remind you to back off if you don’t want to have your heart broken. The artist did an amazing job at executing this design, from the line work to the shading and beyond. There’s no doubt that this is a gorgeous design that truly embodies badass feminine energy.
New School Shiba Inu Sorceress Calf Tattoo Ideas
A wizard dog? Wait, a wizard Shiba Inu dog to be precise! How amazingly adorable is this rendition of one of the internet’s most beloved dogs? The magic it wields is almost as magical as this tattoo, truly amazing work by an incredible artist.
Lovely New School Kingfisher Neck Tattoo Ideas
Neck tattoos are truly a “look at me “ statement. Not in a bad way though. One thing that I will say about this piece is that the Kingfisher is done really well, but the line work in the waves is quite inconsistent. Luckily a bit of thickening or shading could fix that. I love that the client went with this design; it’s truly beautiful.
Vivid New School King of the Jungle Tattoo Ideas
Imagine a tattoo so vibrant? I’ve never seen something as bright as this before. The lines are amazing but the color is what really catches your eye. Placing it on the forearm is a brilliant idea because it fits the shape of the arm so nicely. And even better, the client still has enough space on his arm to add more, creating an entire sleeve.
Sweet New School Pet Memorial Thigh Tattoo Ideas
Our final tattoo on the list of New School designs and it’s a beautiful memorial tattoo. Clearly this owner really loved their dog to get such a massive portrait on one of the biggest areas you can get tattooed. The little rainbow melts my heart but what I really enjoy is the mix of styles, there’s New School, Watercolor, and a dash of abstract.