The tattooing tradition was built upon the works of gorgeous irezumi, American traditional a la Sailor Jerry, and other bold, clean foundations. However, illustrative tattoos have gained immense popularity with tattoo artists across the globe perfecting the style, while also pushing the boundaries of what tattooing, and tattoos, can look like. While some illustrative tattoos are built with fine lines and an aesthetic that looks very similar to ancient etchings and engravings, others are like great swaths of soft charcoal upon the skin...blacks and greys are carefully used to create a piece that looks more like a museum piece than a tattoo.
Perhaps one of the most inspiring aspects of these illustrative tattoos is that it proves that within tattooing there is something for everyone. If bold clean lines aren't your thing, check out these pieces to spark ideas. The incredible thing about any art form is that any aesthetic can be found. There is always something for you to be found...you just have to know where to look. And considering Tattoodo has the largest online tattoo community, as well as one of the largest tattoo image archives on the globe, it's true that if you seek you will find it.
Of course we don't expect everyone to be fans of these illustrative tattoos...that being said, it's hard to be enthralled by these pieces. The fluidity, the expressive value of the linework is like being transported back to the days of Expressionism where artists like Egon Schiele, Paul Klee, and Kandinsky used line and color to dig behind the meaning of the world to find a place of true, authentic release. Their artworks, and the artworks of thousands of artists, help to inspire the artists of today...including tattoo artists creating pieces like these illustrative tattoos. It's always interesting to see what develops from what came before, and as an art form all itself, tattooing is surely also leading the way with its innovating embrace of all styles.