Damien J. Thorn tattooing a Geisha Mask at Sang Bleu pop up shop in LA, photo via Obey Magazine. DamienJThorn blackwork japanese sangbleu geishamask

The Cold-Blooded Neo Japanese Blackwork Tattoos of Damien J. Thorn

Sang Bleu's Damien J. Thorn creates imposing Japanese-inspired blackwork crawling with demons, masks, and mysterious ladies.

Xavier in Tattoo Artists

Originally from France, Damien J. Thorn entered the tattoo scene under the tutelage of renowned blackwork artist, Guy Le Tattooer. 

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Japanese blackwork by Damien J. Thorn. DamienJThorn blackwork japanese sangbleu demon
Japanese blackwork by Damien J. Thorn. #DamienJThorn #blackwork #japanese #sangbleu #demon

Having come from a background in multimedia, Damien broke from the monotony of it all to experience a kind of buzz he's never felt before. Like many tattoo artists, Damien gave tattooing a try after somebody suggested he pick up the machine after having seen his drawings — a decision he'd never regret.

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Japanese blackwork by Damien J. Thorn. DamienJThorn blackwork japanese sangbleu
Japanese blackwork by Damien J. Thorn. #DamienJThorn #blackwork #japanese #sangbleu

Since taking the apprenticeship with Guy, Damien went on to set up his home studio, travelling Europe, making good connections with tattooers like Lea Nahon and Maxime Buchi, and then making his way to Sang Bleu London a while after. Damien was blessed to have had doors of opportunities open for him as he started out as a tattoo artist — he was closely guarded by some of the best.

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Japanese blackwork by Damien J. Thorn. DamienJThorn blackwork japanese sangbleu
Japanese blackwork by Damien J. Thorn. #DamienJThorn #blackwork #japanese #sangbleu

Since starting at Sang Bleu, Damien developed the highly contrasted neo Japanese style he's now known for, taking cues from his his mentor, Guy, at the start. He was also inspired by the alternative blackwork styles of other artists at the shop, such as Maxime Buchi. He values the depth and exactness of the blackwork he puts into a piece, setting his work apart from most Japanese-inspired pieces.

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Japanese blackwork by Damien J. Thorn. DamienJThorn blackwork japanese sangbleu
Japanese blackwork by Damien J. Thorn. #DamienJThorn #blackwork #japanese #sangbleu

In an interview with Sang Bleu Magazine, Damien expressed his love for Japanese tattoos, admiring their versatility in terms of themes and imagery. “I have always been a big fan of the Japanese style. I love the absolute side of it.”

“The fact that it contains really strong codes which have been used for a thousand years, even if some artists tweak it a bit time to time. It can be done with colours or simply black and grey, the themes can be both poetic or super gory, and you can have huge full body parts composition – full sleeves, back, torsos, body suits- or just small patches.” 

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From Tattoodo App
Japanese blackwork by Damien J. Thorn. DamienJThorn blackwork japanese sangbleu demon
Japanese blackwork by Damien J. Thorn. #DamienJThorn #blackwork #japanese #sangbleu #demon
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Japanese blackwork by Damien J. Thorn. DamienJThorn blackwork japanese sangbleu dog demon
Japanese blackwork by Damien J. Thorn. #DamienJThorn #blackwork #japanese #sangbleu #dog #demon
Xavier
From Tattoodo App
Japanese blackwork by Damien J. Thorn. DamienJThorn blackwork japanese sangbleu
Japanese blackwork by Damien J. Thorn. #DamienJThorn #blackwork #japanese #sangbleu
Xavier
From Tattoodo App
Japanese blackwork by Damien J. Thorn. DamienJThorn blackwork japanese sangbleu
Japanese blackwork by Damien J. Thorn. #DamienJThorn #blackwork #japanese #sangbleu
Xavier
From Tattoodo App
Japanese blackwork by Damien J. Thorn. DamienJThorn blackwork japanese sangbleu
Japanese blackwork by Damien J. Thorn. #DamienJThorn #blackwork #japanese #sangbleu
Xavier
From Tattoodo App
Japanese blackwork by Damien J. Thorn. DamienJThorn blackwork japanese sangbleu skull
Japanese blackwork by Damien J. Thorn. #DamienJThorn #blackwork #japanese #sangbleu #skull
Xavier
From Tattoodo App
Japanese blackwork by Damien J. Thorn. DamienJThorn blackwork japanese sangbleu
Japanese blackwork by Damien J. Thorn. #DamienJThorn #blackwork #japanese #sangbleu
Xavier
From Tattoodo App
Japanese blackwork by Damien J. Thorn. DamienJThorn blackwork japanese sangbleu demon
Japanese blackwork by Damien J. Thorn. #DamienJThorn #blackwork #japanese #sangbleu #demon
Xavier
From Tattoodo App
Japanese blackwork by Damien J. Thorn. DamienJThorn blackwork japanese sangbleu
Japanese blackwork by Damien J. Thorn. #DamienJThorn #blackwork #japanese #sangbleu
Xavier
From Tattoodo App
Japanese blackwork by Damien J. Thorn. DamienJThorn blackwork japanese sangbleu mask
Japanese blackwork by Damien J. Thorn. #DamienJThorn #blackwork #japanese #sangbleu #mask

Images of Damien's sensual Japanese style blackwork from his Instagram. Quotes from Damien's interview with Sang Bleu Magazine.

Xavier

@Xavier

When she's not writing for Tattoodo, Xavier likes experimenting with art and organizing local music shows. We're kidding, she's probably asleep. Follow her on Instagram @claudia_strife

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