Tattoo artist Devin Gouws at the South Africa International Tattoo Convention (James de Villiers, Business Insider SA)

Watercolours, compasses and pocket watches, geometry lines and blackout are all on trend when it comes to tattoos right now, says Cape Town-based tattoo artist Devin Gouws. 

"The world has really done a 360 when it comes tattoo trends. That which we'd considered outdated a couple of years ago is all hugely in demand today," Gouws told Business Insider at the South Africa International Tattoo Convention in Cape Town. 

"We've also seen a huge increase in [tattoo] artists, which means there are more diversity and skill sets to give you what you want."

See also: A tattoo can cost up to R42,000. Here's how to make sure you don't regret it later.

Gouws gave Business Insider a break-down of the current tattoo trends in the South African market. 


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"With Instagram and Pinterest, South Africans seems to be copying what happens in America," says Gouws.

Watercolour tattoos are tattoos which give the same effect as a watercolor painting with undefined colour lines.

"Watercolours are definitely top of the trend right now, but requires expert technique," Gouws explains.

Geometric lines. 

#dotstolines #lineart . . . Photo by: @kennyrodz

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Gouws says another trend carried over from America is geometric lines.

"Not anyone can do a good geometry tattoo with straight lines and defined edges."

Some of the top geometry trends include triangles and parallel lines across the forearms. 

Black-out tattoos.

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One of the latest trends is black-out tattooing where an entire part of the body part is blacked out.

"It takes a considerable amount of time to blackout an area," Gouws says.

Compasses and pocket watches.

"Anything in the old adventure style tattooing of the 90s is in fashion at the moment," Gouws says.

She says most people still prefer simple compasses and pocket watches, but intricate tattoos are still done frequently.