Your Body: The Perfect Ink Canvas

A tattoo is, like all other works of art, a medium of self-expression. Whether by the artist or by the person being inked, a tattoo often holds meaning that cannot be expressed in words.

Tattoo by Steve Moore Tattoo by Steve Moore

Tattoo art varies greatly across the world, depending on the artist, the culture and the current trends. Classic designs such as tribal art, portraits, and Oriental elements have stood the test of time with its popularity among the tattoo world. For example, portraits rarely go out of style because each tattoo is unique to the person getting inked. The subject is someone the customer wants to be remembered or honored. Meanwhile Oriental tattoo art (dragon, koi, Japanese Kabuki mask, tiger, to name a few) is as popular. Not only because the imagery looks amazing when inked, but also because they usually have a deeper meaning. Customers attribute virtues such as courage, beauty or love to their chosen Oriental design.

Tattoo by Chad Woodley Tattoo by Chad Woodley

Tattoo art is still evolving, much like its counterparts in visual arts such as painting, drawing or sculpture. More and more tattoo designs move away from classical themes and go toward contemporary art. Starting with Americana themes such as pin-up girl tattoos, which were famous in the 50s up until now, tattoos can also be just about fun. Other examples of colorful tattoos are comic and cartoon characters. Random shapes are also thrown into the mix; heart tattoos on the wrist, small cartoon birds behind the ears, a different star shape for every finger.

Tattoo by Chris Trevino Tattoo by Chris Trevino

Other artists are still pushing the boundaries of what tattoo art can look like. Guy Aitchison, an artist from Chicago, does what he calls “biomechanical tattoos.” His work is an eclectic mix of geometric shapes and organic/natural elements, all done in vivid color with usually one focal point. The designs are meant to adapt to the body and how the muscles move.

Tattoo by Guy Aitchison Tattoo by Guy Aitchison

Jade Tomlinson and Kev James, a duo from London, create surreal, geometric and cubist artworks. The pair uses their client’s stories to conceptualize the tattoo art. When applied to the body, the elements are whimsical, often out-of-this-world. Another artist, Jaya Suartika, uses very fine dots and clean lines to create original pieces, sort of like a modern day Pointillism.

A lot more talented artists truly create tattoo art and deserve more recognition. Whatever used to be the stigma in having a tattoo, all these artists contribute an important part in creating the history of this type of artwork.

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