Artist of the Month: Kelly Smith

Kelly Smith works out of Cry Baby Tattoo in Sheffield, England. Kelly mainly does American traditional pieces, but also works in black work and Japanese styles.

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Bloody panther head and a deadly looking snake.
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Some gorgeous pink peony’s paired with solid black filler in a forearm half sleeve.
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Some old school flowers for a bold neck piece.
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Badass scorpion ready to sting for this side neck piece.
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Japanese kitsune, or fox spirit.

Kelly’s work is bright and bold as hell, mixing the traditional themes of Americana and Japan with the bright colours of a Neo-traditional style.

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Some classic clasped hands and trad flowers on the collar bone.
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Traditional geisha wearing a beautiful kimono.
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Anchor featuring Neck Deep lyrics.
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Good luck horseshoe and some mountains done in blackwork style.
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Badass Sailor Jerry inspired piece.

If you’re looking for a banging one off then Kelly is the one to see, but don’t be shy about getting a big piece! A back or torso design will be a brilliant addition to your collection.

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Toad getting that zen life.
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Lots of green in this gorgeous back piece featuring Eve and Lucifer with that dratted apple.
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A painful spot for a mean looking eagle.
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Wicked snake head with some bright colours.
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Very painful looking old school piece featuring a tiger and a snake battling it out.

If you happen to find yourself in the Sheffield area Kelly is one to visit. I know I will!

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Blackwork lady and rose.
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Namakubi hand banger. Gorgeous blue tones in that bloody head.
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Another peony, featuring a cute old school butterfly.
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More pink peony’s and solid black. These pieces are great for some heavy contrast.
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Sick traditional dragon looking ready to get into some mischief.

You can find Kelly on Instagram at @kellysmithtattoos

Alice in Wonderland Tattoos:

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (better known as Alice in Wonderland) was written in 1865 by Charles Dodgson (under the pseudonym Lewis Carroll).

Omar Orozco
Black and grey Caterpillar (Alan Rickman) done by Omar Orozco.
Ace Of Spades Tattoo Established tattoo shop located in Asheville NC. Owner operated Brian Reaid
Bright back piece done by Brian Reaid at Ace of Spades Tattoo in Asheville NC.
Julia Dumps
Bright pastel coloured Tim Burton sleeve done by Jules Boho, an Austrian based traveling artist.
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Matching Alice and the White Rabbit in a delicate black and grey design. Done by Abbo Florez.

The story follows a young girl, Alice, who falls down a hole into a fantastical land full of bizarre characters and situations.

Aleksandra Katsan
Watercolor Cheshire done by Aleksandra Katsan in Kiev, Ukraine.
Bryan at Nirvana Tattoo Studio in Glasgow, Scotland
Linework version of Disney’s Alice done by Bryan at Nirvana Tattoo Studio in Glasgow, Scotland.
Kristen Goetz
Dark and sinister looking Mad Hatter done by Kristen Goetz.
Ricardo Gomez TATTOO ARTIST @ Soledad Tattoo & Art Studio 505 front st. Soledad ca
Cheshire in Mad Hatters Hat done by Ricardo Gomez at Soledad Tattoo.

There are also films based on the book, with the most popular being Disney’s animated version from 1951.

Alex Moro
Realistic and stylized version of the Red Queen. Done by Alex Moro done in London, UK.
Efthimis Vrettos
“Drink me” done by Efthimis Vrettos in Athens, Greece.
Lucatesdiferro
Stylized White Rabbit in a teacup done by Luca Testadiferro in Jesi Italy.
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Sleeping Alice done by Lello Sannino in Italy.

More recent films Alice in wonderland (directed by Tim Burton) and Alice Through the Looking Glass (directed by James Bobin) are also produced by Disney, but take on a much darker theme.

Ben Kaye Tattooer & part owner of Ship Shape tattoo, New Zealand
Hyper realistic White Rabbit and his pocket watch done by Ben Kaye at Ship Shape Tattoo, New Zealand.
Fabio Onorini
Black and grey Disney’s Mad Hatter done by Fabio Onorini Fronte Del Porto tattoo , in Rome.
Mugs Costa
Neo traditional portrait of Alice done by Mugs Costa in Australia.
Sigbjørn in Copenhagen
Blackwork Mad hatter and teacup done by Sigbjørn in Copenhagen.
Tania Catclaw
Sketchwork/watercolour Cheshire done by Tania Catclaw.

People in the 1960’s-80’s speculated about what the story was “really” about. Many people thought that it was really a psychedelic trip. Due in large part to the frequent usage of drugs such as LSD and magic mushrooms at this time. Experts usually disagree with this theory though, as Charles isn’t thought to have been a user of recreational drugs.

Brent O'Leary I am an artist, custom guitar maker, and musician. I'm currently working at Blue Collar Tattoo in Plainfield IL
Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland sleeve done by Brent O’Leary at Blue Collar Tattoo in Plainfield IL.
Gina Gila 💔 Tattoo Artist at Riverwest Tattoo Company Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Linework version of the Walrus and the carpenter with their tasty clams. Done by Gina Gila at Riverwest Tattoo Company Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Nick imms Fumbling through life. Owner of @thechurchtattoo ☦️ 1
Brilliant black and grey version of the Mad Hatter done by Nick Imms at The Church Tattoo.
Nick imms Fumbling through life. Owner of @thechurchtattoo ☦️
Queen of Hearts and White Rabbit, also done by Nick Imms.
Nick Imms
And a third done by Nick Imms.

Popular characters include the Mad Hatter, Cheshire Cat, Red Queen (Queen of Hearts), the March Hare, White Rabbit, the Caterpillar, and many more.

Bruno Corvalan Tattoo artist Currently working at MISSION INK in San Francisco
A partial watercolor style March Hare and a lovely cup of tea done by Bruno Corvalan Mission Ink in San Francisco.
Jack Goks Pearce
Neo traditional Red Queen done by Jack Goks at Cloak and Dagger Tattoo in London, UK.
Oash Rodriguez
Brilliant neo traditional White Rabbit hand piece done by Oash Rodriguez.
Steve LaMantia
Hatter’s hat, pocket watch, and painted rose done by Steve LaMantia at Ever After Gallery, Spring Hill, FL.

Who is your favourite character?

Artist of the Month: Oscar Hove

Oscar Hove is co-owner of Ondo Tattoo in Barcelona, Spain. His work is mainly surreal Japanese blackwork, mixing traditional Japanese themes with macabre surrealist work.

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Matching feet. Stylized noh mask with horns.
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Noh mask on snake body.
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Split mask down the middle.

A great deal of his pieces are Japanese masks, split in half, or more, and making them terrifying.

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Five split noh masks with horns in brilliant chest piece.
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Horned mask with facemask common in Asian countries, with kanji lettering.
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Brilliant blackwork Japanese oni backpiece.
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Detached jaw noh/hannya inspired mask.
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Beautifully dark mask and peony flower.

Other than Japanese inspired work, Oscar also does some neo traditional, and American traditional blackwork.

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Blackwork bird and skull on thigh.
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Traditional blackwork butterflies.

While his styles vary every once in awhile, his work is all dark both in colour and theme.

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Mask split down the middle by Japanese knife.
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Terrifying split hannya mask.
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Yokai inspired rotting face.
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Split hannya on stomach, releasing inner monster.
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Matching hannya and noh masks with kanji lettering.

Oscar is a must visit artist if you find yourself in Barcelona!

Tiger Tattoos:

Tiger’s make a fantastic design and can be done in many different styles including Japanese, Chinese, Korean, American traditional, neo traditional, black and grey, photo realism, dotwork, geometric style, and watercolor.

tiger Adam Guy Hays
Neo traditional scalp tiger done by Adam Guy Hays at Red Rock Tattoo.

Tiger tattoos can also carry many different meanings. When done in an Asian style a tiger represents strength, courage, long life, and are also meant to ward off evil spirits, bad luck, and even disease. When done in a more Western style such as American traditional, black and grey, realism, etc.. the tiger is tattooed for its beauty, power, and intensity.

tiger Adrian Bascur
Watercolor space tiger done by Adrian Bascur in Chile.
tiger Alex Gotza
Huge neo traditional three-eyed tiger head by Alex Gotza done at Dirty Roses Tattoo Studio.
tiger Brian Flores
Beautiful neo traditional tiger head by Brian Flores in Spain.
tiger Sandra Dauksh
Photo realistic tiger head with flowers done by Sandra Daukshta at Home of Tattoos in Latvia.
tiger Mikey Holmes
American traditional tiger fighting a snake done by Mikey Holmes at coast to Coast Tattoo in Charlotte NC.
tiger Stefan Johnsson
Another American traditional tiger fighting a snake done by Stefan Johnsson at California Electric Tattoo Parlor in California.

Tigers are one of the biggest predators in the world, and are a solitary creature, so are often seen as symbols of strength and resilience. Tiger tattoos are often done just as a head, but can also be done as a full body. Generally tiger heads are done in a more Western design, with a full body tiger being done in an Asian style, though both can be done in any style.

tiger Apro Lee Seoul
Korean style blackwork tiger done by Apro Lee in Seoul South Korea.
tiger Eli Ferguson Ichi Tattoo
Japanese tiger done by Eli Ferguson at Ichi Tattoo in Tokyo.
Tiger Sean Cushnie Kapala
Unfinished Japanese backpiece done by Sean Cushnie at Kapala Tattoo in Winnipeg.
tiger Jakob Holst Rasmussen
Realistic black and grey tiger head by Jakob Holst Rasmussen done in Aarhus, Denmark.
tiger Mark Ostein
Geometric dotwork tiger head done by Mark Ostein at Wozen Studio in Lisbon.
Tiger Matt Jordan, Ship Shape Tattoo New Zealand
Realistic full back piece with skulls done by Matt Jordan at Ship Shape Tattoo in New Zealand.

What is your favorite style for a tiger tattoo?

Virgin Mary Tattoos:

In the Christian faith Mary is the mother of Jesus, also called mother of God.

In the story of Christmas Mary is visited by an angel and told she will give birth to the son of God.  Jesus is then born in a barn, amongst animals and wisemen. Throughout the bible Mary is constantly seen at her son’s side during his soteriological journey.

Images of Mary often show her praying, or mourning the death of Jesus, sometimes crying tears of blood. She is also often seen wearing blue, crown of 12 stars, pregnant, or surrounded by roses.

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Crying black and grey Mary and angel by david Drohan at Kingdom of Ink in the UK.

Artists such as Michelangelo and Botticelli, and now, tattoo artists all around the world.

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Neo traditional Mary in mourning by Jacob Gardner from Australia.

In tattoo form Mary is often done in black and grey realism, photo realism, American traditional, or neo traditional.

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Black traditional Mary on the back of a head, done by Chris Stuart at Ace Custom Tattoo.
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Full body black and grey Mary with roses and stars by James Armstrong at Holy Mountain Tattoo in the UK.
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Realistic black and grey praying Mary and Rosary by Seyer at Living Dreams Tattoo.
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Realistic black and grey Mary and dove by Tomas Sanchez Pineiro.
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Black and grey Mary with script on the scalp by Nene.
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American traditional Mary with rose by Kanye Sherwood at Flamin’ Eight in London.
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Dark traditional Mary with Sacred Heart by Philip Yarnell at Skynyard Tattoos, UK.
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Full American traditional back piece of Mary with Christ by Zach Nelligan in Austin, Texas.

Which is your favorite?

Artist of the Month: Carlos Torres

Carlos Torres is a hyper realistic black and grey artist from San Pedro CA. He is almost entirely self taught with 18 years of experience behind him. He is a tattoo artist and a painter who specializes in realism and surrealism.

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Angel riding horses in a full back piece.

His work is incredibly detailed and realistic. He creates brilliant original pieces. He has been to numerous tattoo conventions around the world and won the first place black and grey in London. His work has the feeling of a painting come to life, thanks to his experience with oil paintings.

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Chest piece with skeleton, sword swallower, and fire breather.

Carlos has even done head and face tattoos, which can be daunting as it is extremely visible and will be one of the first things people see when looking at his clients.

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Surrealist face.
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Full face with a Mayan style.
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Full leg sleeve of warriors.
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Another brilliant (not quite finished) back piece.
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Lady head and tiger.
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Huge horse with surrealist design within.
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Huge motorcycle on the belly.
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Mayan temple style rib piece.
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Surrealist puppet master.
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Healed full torso piece with Victorian woman, ship, skulls, angels, and surrealist filler.

Which is your favorite piece by Carlos?

Artist of the Month: Ichi Hatano

Ichi Hatano is an artist working out of Tokyo, Japan. He has been tattooing since 1998 and has tattooed around the world in the United States, England, and Germany.

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Backpiece featuring a samurai.
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Japanese woman backpiece.
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3/4 sleeve with a fantastic dragon.

His specialty is the traditional Japanese style of irezumi. His work is bold and precise. Ichi has brilliant attention to detail, and his work is full of the Japanese culture and tradition that people go to him for, from around the world.

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Brilliant koi backpiece.
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3/4 sleeve with beautiful clouds as the background.
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Half sleeve of cherry blossoms, clouds, and wind.
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Colourful Oni looking ready for a fight.
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Samurai and a dragon in a delicate embrace.
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Gruesome Namakubi.
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Beautiful, tiny peony flower.
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Great contrast in this sleeve between the bright and dark.

Ichi Hatano is a must see artist if you’re in Tokyo.