Greg Nicholson, what can be said about Greg Nicholson? “I heard he once tattooed Prime Minister Justin Trudeau,” pipes up one of his 63K Instagram followers. “Oh really? Well, I heard he does tattoo machine commercials...in Japan,” offers up another. “One time, he responded to my comment on Instagram about what stencil papers he prefers. It was awesome.”
Drawing on inspiration from cities, nature, mythology, and everyday objects, Nicholson’s work is shockingly lifelike. Having the ability to create an accurate portrait is one thing, but possessing the ability to perfectly capture the way that a marble statue looks, is positioned, as well as the shadow it casts is something else entirely.
The trick to mastering realism is research, knowing each and every aspect of the tattoo like the back of your hand — and with the amount of detail placed in every single one of Nicholson’s pieces, we half expect him to be pouring over encyclopedias, museums, the subtleties of nature the weeks leading up to an appointment. We might not know much about the man behind the sleeves, but he knows a lot about what he’s putting in them.