Gara is a South Korean artist working out of Lighthouse Tattoo in Seoul. His work is black and grey, dark in both composition and subject matter, often featuring skulls and skeletons, beasts, and weapons. Much of his work is surreal, creating tattoos that look 3D, and some very realistic looking pieces. He also draws influence from both Korean and Japanese art and style.
Gara has clients from all over the world and is a highly sought after artist thanks in part to his ever growing Instagram following.
(Beautiful set of hands with skulls, webs, flowers, and snakes.)
If you are in South Korea, Gara is a must see artist.
James Mckenna is an artist at Foothills Tattoo Byford – Western Australia. James is a painter as well as a tattoo artist, with a focus on surreal and horror themed pieces, mixing American traditional and neo traditional styles.
The majority of James’ work features skulls, often hidden within designs. Other work includes lady heads, animals, and demons.
James is a must see artist if you’re travelling through Western Australia.
Nissaco is a tattoo artist based in Shinsaibashi Osaka at an unnamed private studio that goes by the name room_23_26 on Instagram.
Nissaco does mainly large scale pieces such as full sleeves, back pieces, and even body suits. His style is black geometrical work and it is extremely detailed.
His work is hard sought after with visitors going to see him from all around the world. Along with having clients from around the world, he also travels, going to various tattoo conventions. Most recent he will be at the 13th London Tattoo convention in September 2017.
Along with being geometrical in design, Nissaco’s work also often features classic Japanese elements such as dragons, waves, flowers, snakes, koi fish, and hannya masks. These pieces are almost entirely black, but occasionally feature a small amount of red to make them really pop.
Nissaco is a must see artist in Osaka, Japan, but book well in advance as his books fill up fast!
Clemens is an artist working out of Electric Circus Classic Tattooing in Mannheim, Germany. Clemens specializes in neo traditional, traditional, and blackwork, with some Japanese thrown into the mix. Clemens does fantastic work using timeless designs mixed with new techniques and styles. He doesn’t shy away from tough designs or locations including full sleeves, bellies, ribs, back pieces, and even hands and faces for those whose lifestyles can afford them.
If you’re in Germany Clemens Hahn is a must see artist!
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 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.
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.
Pokémon is a Japanese video game, card game, and television show, that was started in 1996 and is now one of the most popular forms of children’s entertainment in the world. Pokémon features fantastic creatures that need to be caught, trained, and battled against other people. In the video games, people can now even battle and trade with their friends, making it more of a community than it previously was.
Fans of Pokémon are very dedicated, and some show that dedication by having their favorite Pokémon tattooed on themselves.
The majority of these tattoos are from the first and second generation of Pokémon, but some people who are fans of the more recent games and generations will get the newer Pokémon tattooed.
These tattoos are usually done in a new school or neo-traditional form as the subjects are cartoons and are bright and colourful.
Jade Harper is a tattoo artist and owner of House of the Rising Sun in Winnipeg. Jade does mainly blackwork American traditional pieces, but has been doing more bold colourful works recently as well. She’s also very well known for her cowboy and cowboy girl pieces.
Due to the current pandemic (April 2020) Jade and other artists cannot tattoo temporarily, but she is still selling paintings. Check out her Instagram to do so, linked above.
Jade has a large amount of her own tattoo flash to choose from, and she also takes ideas, and will make changes to her own flash to suit the client’s needs.
Jade focuses on being inclusive in her shop, and is proud to be the owner of the (currently) only queer owned and operated shop in Winnipeg. She acknowledges that tattoo shops can be a (sometimes) intimidating place, particularly for those in the LGBTQ community, as well as people of colour, so she’s created the space to be a welcoming place for all.
Jade is a must-see artist in Winnipeg if you’re passing through, or a local looking for someone great!
Horitsuki is a tattoo artist and owner of Galaxy Tattoo 3 in Hong Kong. He studied under Nicckuhori, the god son of the brilliant Horiyoshi III, in Singapore before finding his own style within Japanese traditional art, despite working in China.
He has gained recognition throughout Asia and Europe, travelling as a guest artist. He does all the classic Japanese designs such as hanya masks, snakes, koi fish, fu dogs, and flowers. However it is dragons that he is most famous for. He is nicknamed the Dragon King in Europe.
Horitsuki is the guy to see if you’re in Hong Kong.
Based on archaeological evidence found in plains all over North America, tattoos can be traced as far back as 1000-200 BCE. Native American peoples were using tattoos for strength, religious and spiritual reasons, as well as combat and as a rite of passage.
As with many ancient cultures, supernatural being such as gods and deities in Native American mythology are adorned with body markings such as tattoos. The forms and styles of the tattoos done on people then function as a template that identifies the realm that these beings reside in.
Body modifications for ancient and modern Native American peoples can be put into three categories. The first is body decoration which is colorful paints used for rituals and war. The second, tattooing is permanent, which therefore marks that individual, linking them to a specific group, lineage, or kinship. Tattoos can also indicate honors and achievements in war or battle, as well as rituals and politics within the tribe. The third category is body piercing, which is used for hanging ornaments which is lineage or ritual specific. These piercings can also lead to scarification (also seen in many other cultures, particularly prominent in African culture), which can help identify which rituals occurred during the piercings.
Earliest accounts of what these tattoos may have looked like come from drawings of Native American peoples done by European explorers from france and England. These artists were employed to draw the nature of the land, as well as the people, so we can assume that their depictions were fairly accurate. Early settlers mainly noted the chiefs and their beautiful indigo, blueish ink, with their rich patterns of hieroglyphs representing animals, the sun, moon, and battle.
To read more, read the book “Drawing with Great Needles: Ancient Tattoo Traditions of North America”.