Bold will hold, and not just when it comes to tattoos. This tried and true statement has proven itself time and time again — in animation. Yogi Bear, Beavis and Butthead, Bob Belcher — through the ages, these characters remain classic, memorable, and appealing to the eyes because of the way they’re stylized. Annie Burkhard of Fountain Square Tattoos in Indianapolis, Indiana, has fused these two classic styles from two different worlds.
Only a year and a half into her career, Burkhard has already carved a niche out for herself. A self-proclaimed “cartoon nerd”, almost all of Burkhard’s tattoo work is deeply pop culture influenced. Popular American cartoons, like King of the Hill and The Simpsons, inspire Burkhard’s content, as well as her style. “I like to combine my favorite elements of cartoons and tattooing,” Burkhard says. She captures the essence of these timeless characters flawlessly. “Half the time I’m drawing that kind of stuff, I’m watching the show,” Burkhard explains. “So it’s playing and I get motivated from that.”
Pop culture bleeding over into tattoos isn’t necessarily a new idea. “Tattoos kind of go through phases with which cartoon characters are popular for tattooing,” Burkhard says. “Whether it’s like, the Tasmanian Devil or another character, you know? My goal is to bring some newer cartoons into that mix.”
Working in a specific style with a specific piece of content is its own challenge, but Burkhard is unflappable. “It’s like doing a mash-up of both,” Burkhard explains. Her paintings, tattoos, and artistic passions all run along a similarly inspired vein — tattooed King of the Hill characters painted onto woodblocks pose next to the mounted heads of Rick and Morty’s Mr. Meeseeks. Burkhard’s consistency and pop culture prowess is apparent across mediums.