Design A Tattoo Biography
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Discover the top tattoo art designs from around the world, from typography to abstract shapes to a monkey in a hot air balloon.
Inspired by our collection of free tattoo fonts? Thinking of getting ink like those of these top designers? It can be a tough decision on what to get tattooed on your body parts. Especially as a creative - you want something cool that reflects your personality and (perhaps) taste in digital design and artwork.
So, whether you're after a tattoo design in the style of your favourite artist, or want to peruse the latest styles and trends, check out these examples of fantastic tattoo art design - and discover the creatives who are pushing the artform ever further…
Check out all our tattoo articles here
01. Paul Booth
American artist Paul Booth began his own sign making shop at the age of 15 and subsequently learned airbrushing and Repo work. He's since become one of the most sought-after tattoo artists on the metal scene, working for bands such as Slipknot, Mudvayne, Slayer, Pantera, Soulfly, Lamb of God, and Sepultura.
02. Dmitriy Samohin
Hailing from Odessa, Ukraine, Dmitriy Samohin is a master of bold, realistic pieces with incredibly intracate detail. A self-taught artist, he's been in the business for more than 10 years and his workshops are much sought-after at tattoo conventions.
03. Bill Baker
Bill Baker is renowned for his large-scale tattoos
Bill Baker has been tattooing for over 30 years and is the co-owner of Pearl Harbor Gift Shop in Toronto. Over his career Baker has produced beautiful large-scale tattoos, making them work in his own innovative manner. Above is a truly stunning piece, influenced by Japanese tattoo art, of a koi surrounded by waves and flowers. For Baker, tattooing is a craft rooted in tradition.
Japanese tattoo designs
Horitata's work echoes the Edo period, the golden era of Japanese tattoo design
Based in Tokyo, Horitata is a huge fan of American design, but his work is mostly inspired by the Edo period (1600-1868), the golden age of traditional Japanese tattoo design. The character here really stands out from the background, making it instantly recognisable, even from a distance.
05. Matt Houston
Matt Houston brings his own unique style to traditional tattoo art
Matt Houston is a tattoo artist originating from London currently working at Gastown Tattoo Parlor in Vancouver, Canada. His work reflects the traditional style whilst integrating his own influences. One of our favourite pieces is shown above - a wolf wearing a feathered headdress whilst spitting blood. Matt Houston is constantly pumping out decent work, so don’t be shy to check out his blog.
06. Jean Le Roux
Jean Le Roux takes an original approach to animal and portrait-based tattoo art
Jean Le Roux has an original illustration style that's generally focussed on animals and portraits, exaggerating the expressions of his subjects in a captivating manner. Jean Le Roux graduated as a graphic designer and followed his passion into illustration, which led to an apprenticeship at Black Garden Tattoo. Jean is constantly posting illustrations on his blog so give it a gander.
Japanese tattoo designs
Gakkin's work mashes up traditional styles with manga, graffiti and graphic design
Gakkin, who works at Harizanmai tattoo studio in Kyoto, takes a new approach to traditional Japanese themes, strongly influenced by manga, graffiti and graphic design. But although his tattoos are defiantly 21st-century, Gakkins still follows many of the traditional rules of Japanese tattoo design, such as: "Never put momiji [message dolls] and sakura [cherry blossom] in the same drawing", and "Tigers should always go with bamboo".
While the background of this design is reminiscent of traditional Japanese prints, the colourful maple and the steaks of bright red on the koi makes it stand out as strikingly modern.
08. Ollie Munden
Sugar Skull by Ollie Munden
Sugar Skull by Ollie Munden, commissioned by Luke Olney and inked by Into You Tattoo
Ollie Munden, or MEGAMUNDEN as he's known to many, is a prolific illustrator and artist and his tattoo art designs have graced the body parts of such designers as Aardman's (and CreativeBloq regular) Gavin Strange. Check out this cool skull design, entitled Sugar Skull, commissioned by Luke Olney and inked by Into You Tattoo.
09. David Hale
David Hale's beautiful tattoo work is on a par with his outstanding illustrations
David Hale is an artist living in Athens, Georgia, where he runs LoveHawk Studios. This is just one of his incredible tattoo art designs and its symmetry and almost geometric feel makes it classy for such a large piece. This particular piece is also slightly reminiscent of the work of the brilliant Aske of Sicksystems but in all, Hale is a remarkably original artist.