As someone who couldn't draw a convincing stick figure to save their life, color realism tattoos are completely unfathomable to me. It seems impossible that there are tattoo artists capable of creating tattoos that are almost indistinguishable from actual photographs, the main difference being that people start to get a little creeped out when you stare longingly at their tattoo for too long.
Just like in the world of photography, the difference in subject matter between tattoos can be quite striking. Artists like New Zealand's Steve Butcher love to capture our beloved pop culture icons — the sports heroes, movie stars, and rock gods whose posters once covered our bedroom walls — much like an AP photographer trained to catch the perfect moment. While others, like Megan Jean Morris, tend to give us glimpses of everyday life with their work, similar to the types of photos that made Life Magazine a phenomenon in its heyday. John "Yogi" Barrett's tattoos often look like they belong in the pages of National Geographic, it takes even the most trained eye a little while to recognize that they are looking at a tattoo and not a wild beast.
No matter what subject matter floats your boat, a tattooist has to be supremely skilled to even attempt pulling off a color realism tattoo. In the wrong hands, and without the proper respect for the craft side of tattooing, these tattoos will look like absolute garbage within weeks, not to mention years. That's why we are tipping our hats to skilled artists like Jamie Schene, Alex Lagaza, and the rest of the artists featured in this gallery. If it weren't for their persistent dedication to their craft we wouldn't have such beautiful art to enjoy. We hope you like this week's spotlight gallery on color realism.
Pretty amazing, right? Don't forget to check each artist's Instagram out (links in the captions) and maybe go and get a realistic jaw dropper for yourself. And be sure to come back next week for our next Spotlight Gallery on color realism.