This is arguably the cheesiest and nerdiest analogy we’ll ever make, but we’ll throw caution to the wind and ask who remembers the absolutely brilliant show, Avatar: The Last Airbender (definitely not the live action one, just so we’re all clear. Our movie taste is much more refined than that)? For those who don’t know, Avatar: The Last Airbender was a beautifully conceived story of a small nation divided by four elements: earth, water, fire, and air that lived in harmony, but as we all know, “everything changed when the fire nation attacked.” Only the Avatar, a small boy named Aang, would be able to master all four elements and restore peace to the nation. And much like the Avatar, it takes a true artist to master every element of tattooing, and (here’s where the extreme nacho cheese factor kicks in) artist Sarah Herzdame has mastered almost every element of tattooing there is. What? We told you it was a cheesy analogy.
In all seriousness, one glance at Herzdame’s Instagram, and you’d expect this level of talent to come from a curated selection of tattoos from different artists of various backgrounds, but nope, it’s just Herzdame. Covering everything from geometric patterns, illustrative work, dot work, ornamental pieces, and even some neo-traditional elements, Herzdame’s portfolio covers almost every single style under the sun.
Favoring black ink work, but not completely opposed to some color (remember, she’s an elemental master), every single piece she makes is highly detailed regardless of style. Illustrative pieces come to life with dot work and beautiful shading, while ornamental and geometric beauties tessellate and mirror themselves perfectly. Although all of her subject matter varies from style to style, there seems to be a natural and organic flow to all of her material. While there are the obvious wildlife tattoos that are organic in their own right, the patterns in her geometric work are reminiscent of patterns found in nature, similar to a magnified snowflake in intricacy, each one unique.
Similar to her tattoo portfolio, her fine art and flash work is comprised of mandalas and illustrative botanicals, although her flash contains a few more traditional elements like bold lines, daggers, hands, and geometric flowers. And although she’s based out of Berlin, Herzdame tends to frequent New York quite often. So don’t be too eager, because much like the Avatar, Herzdame is worth the wait.