There’s no denying that tattooing is an art form, and the creators within it are called tattoo artists for a reason. As is the case with any creative, tattoo artists are inspired by the work of others. From sculptors to painters, filmmakers to architects, there are so many artists out there whose work can either be translated into a temporary tattoo or spark an idea for a permanent one from both established and upcoming tattooists. Here, six tattoo artists discuss the artists and art that inspires them.
Vince Tatwo (@vince_tatwo)
“I like artists that look outside of the box. In sculpting I admire Simon Lee Spiderzero, who makes a lot of good stuff with movement of anatomy, as well as his technical skills and ability to be close to Chinese paintings. I also like Allen Williams, for his drawing skills and ability to create faces, unique techniques, and imagination.”
Sean Gallagher (@seangallaghertattoos)
“In the tattooing world there are a lot of things that inspire us, from graffiti on the streets to fine art compositions in museums. To pinpoint a particular artist is relatively difficult because so many people inspire me everyday. But, if I were to mention a phenomenal artist who has truly inspired me on my tattoo journey I would say Guillermo Del Toro, for his unique view on monsters and the whimsical world while keeping a dark undertone in all of his works, be it movies, paintings, sketches, or sculptures.”
Lucas Dauner (@lucas.dauner)
“The most fascinating art for me is the ancient Greek art: the architecture, sculptures, coins, and so on. I love Greek art because of the symmetry, the shapes, the elegance, the geometry, and its majestic look.”
“My favorite artist is Vincent Van Gogh. I adore his ability to express so much emotion through paint. I could look at his work for hours. I wish I could show him all the tattoos I’ve made of his work.”
“I’ve always been heavily inspired by my surroundings. Whether it’s the space I’m in or the people I’m around, I’m constantly searching for inspiration. Nature and astronomy have a strong influence on my art, and I admire artists who find inspiration in the same places. As a painter, I’ve explored with color, texture, and a surrealist subject matter to stimulate the viewer’s senses and hopefully compel them to dig a little deeper. I look up to Wenzel Hablik and Claude Monet for the way they interpret space and nature, and the way they so effectively use color that people are drawn to their paintings from across the room.
“As a tattoo artist, I’m still learning, so color isn’t my focus just yet. As I gain the confidence to tattoo larger and more complex pieces, I want to focus my art on surrealism or slightly bending and skewing a realistic subject. Artists that I look up to for inspiration in this light are Noel Badges Pugh, Aykut Aydoğdu, and Tanya Shatseva, who have perfected the combination of realistic human features and nature, placing them in bizarre and unrealistic settings.”
“I love art by Jeremy Geddes. His art has something philosophical and his paintings provide the feeling of apocalypse, and loneliness. It’s very dramatic. Kelvin Okafor is the master of hyper-realistic portraits. I love Salvador Dali, Frida Kahlo, Claude Monet, and Vincent Van Gogh too. There are a lot of amazing tattoo artists who are amazing painters as well, such as Kenni Poke and Nikko Hurtado.”
While some of these artists are well known, others are more contemporary and under the radar. Check out their work and maybe you too will become inspired for your next tattoo.