Traditional work is what we think of when we think about "a tattoo." It’s what the majority of people have in their head when they envision their best friend getting their first ever tattoo, and while it is one of the most popular styles out there, there’s no denying that seeing the same thing over and over again can get a bit redundant. Artist Martina Ekenberg of Pretty Electric Tattoo in Sweden may be tattooing in the traditional style, but her approach is anything but redundant as she puts her own twist into each of her tattoos. With bold colors, beautiful imagery, and a certain finesse for flora and fauna, Ekenberg’s tattoos are absolutely brilliant.
There’s something about Ekenberg’s work that’s reminiscent of a much loved children’s book. Maybe it’s the way she illustrates her animals, taking time to detail each with an ornateness that adds that extra layer of depth. But come on, let’s be real. There’s a reason Ekenberg puts the word pretty in front of her shop’s name, and it isn’t in the name of vanity. Her color technique is absolutely insane. Looking at her Instagram is like peering through a kaleidoscope of color. Bold teals, daring reds, and beautifully solemn greys find their way through her work, but our favorite is undoubtedly the tiny parakeet and its radiant feathers.
A perfect gradient isn’t an easy thing to accomplish on paper, let alone skin, but somehow Ekenberg has done it. The stunning plumage of the tiny parakeet effortlessly transitions from one tone to the next, in a way that almost seems organic, like maybe the wearer was just born with that beautiful piece on their arm (silly, we know, but tell us that’s not how it come across, we dare you). It’s the weirdest way to describe a tattoo, but Ekenberg makes it look natural. Sweden is quite a ways away, but we’d argue that it’s worth it. You can only see the northern lights a handful of times a year, but we think it’s pretty safe to say that you might be able to catch a glimpse in Ekenberg’s studio.