Artist of the month: Samuel Christensen

Samuel is a German artist who has been tattooing since 2008. He has tattooed in Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, and Thailand. New Zealand was where he cemented his interest in Maori/Polynesian tattooing, which is what he mainly does now.

Blackwork100
Full bodysuit, including hands and feet. Lots of blackwork is incorporated into this Polynesian style suit.
Blackwork101
A front angle of the same suit.
B23
Dotwork style forearm piece.
Dotwork1
Dotwork/mandala full back piece and 1/4 sleeves.
Sudsee18
Polynesian neck piece makes for a bold design.
Sudsee48
Half sleeve including the chest, with traditional Polynesian folklore faces.

Samuel is drawn to the thick bold lines and black work of Polynesian tattoos, and the possibility of creating full bodysuits in this style. Along with Polynesian work, Samuel also does dotwork and blackwork pieces, including lots of mandalas and henna inspired pieces.

B11
Bold hand designs with some blast over work above.
B29
Full sleeve, heavy on the black!
B30
3/4 sleeve, right up onto the shoulder.
Blackwork12
Polynesian sleeve with some dotwork mixed in.
Sudsee3
Full leg sleeve.

Most of Samuel’s work is large, half or full sleeves, back pieces, and even full bodysuits. Though he will do some smaller designs, mainly mandalas.

B20
3/4 sleeve in Polynesian style.
B41
Half sleeve with some dotwork up top and into the chest.
B48
Full leg sleeve, top fresh bottom healed.
Mandala9
Stand alone mandala.
Sudsee43
Incomplete 3/4 sleeve including the armpit.

Samuel works out of his studio in Ravensburg, Germany.

B21
Intricate finger designs.
B55
Mandala dotwork sleeve.
B57
Geometric back piece.
Mandala100
Mandala sleeve.
Sudsee46
Beautiful blackwork/dotwork back piece.

Homer Simpson Tattoos:

Homer Jay Simpson, beloved fictional father of the Simpson family. He was created by Matt Groening and named after his own father, Homer Groening.

Alex Strangler
Homer and his love of donuts done by Alex Strangler done in Venice, CA.
Josh Herman Blackwood Tattoo, Denver
Hyper realistic Homer from Treehouse of Horror episode recreating Stephen King’s The Shining. Done by Josh Herman at Blackwood Tattoo, Denver.
Matthew Hockaday
Homer and Krusty! Done by Matthew Hockaday.
winston thw whale
Chromatic shift, trippy Homer done by Winston (the whale).

Homer was born in 1956, and has been making the world laugh with his wacky antics since his t.v. debut in 1989.

Anna Plienko
Homer and a nice frothy Duff beer. Done by Anna Plienko.
Jasmine Keats •23 year old Tattoo Artist at Shogun Tats tattoo and piercing studio
Homer as Santa Claus, strangling Bart. Done by Jasmine Keats done at Shogun Tats tattoo and piercing studio.
Michela Bottin
Creepy ghost Homer done by Michela Bottin.
Zane Donnellan
Picasso inspired Homer portrait done by Zane Donnellan at STR Tattoo and Art Studio, Wyong, NSW, Australia.

Homer can often be seen either at home with his family, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie; at work with Mr. Burns, and Smithers, or at Moe’s tavern with his pals Moe, Barney, Carl, and Lenny.

Ariana Tormenta
Homer and Plopper sharing a carrot. Done by Ariana Tormenta.
Jed Squire Desbrow Vintage Inx
Young Homer in his grunge band, Sadgasm. Done by Jed Squire Desbrow at Vintage Inx.
Rodrigo Bittencourt de Azeredo
Super creepy Duff beer/Homer portrait done by Rodrigo Bittencourt de Azeredo.

Along with Moe’s tavern, some of Homer’s hangouts include Apu’s Kwik-E Mart, and Krusty Burger.

Atena Bazofia
Tattooed Homer and Marge done by Atena Bazofia.
JON SPROUL ネオン黒 NEON BLACK ➕ LA, CA - Clandestine Rabbit Tattoo
Neon Homer as Mr. Sparkle, his Japanese soap mascot. Done by Jon Sproul at Clandestine Rabbit Tattoo in LA, CA.
sassybury
Snuggly Homer in bed done by Chanel (sassybury).

Homer is most well known for his love of beer and donuts, and his job at the powerplant. BUT, Homer has also been a musician, an astronaut, a truck driver, actor, mobster, carny, coach, farmer, and so much more!

black bones custom tattoos UK
Fancy Homer portrait done at Black Bones Custom Tattoos in the UK.
Joshua Davis at Wicked Inklination
A Flanderised Homer from another Treehouse of Horror, done by Joshua Davis at Wicked Inklination.
Sebastion Camargo
Dot/linework zombie Homer done by Sebastian Camargo at Chronic Ink in Toronto.

As a tattoo, Homer is mainly done in a new school design, as he is a cartoon character. He can also be seen in neo traditional, American traditional, realistic, linework, hyper realistic, and blackwork.

Erin Davies La Belle Tattoo Studio Melbourne, Australia
Homer and his pink donut done by Erin Davies at La Belle Tattoo Studio in Melbourne, Australia.
Kelly Doty ▪️BOOKS CURRENTLY CLOSED▪️Ink Master Angels . Owner of Helheim Gallery. 28 Norman st, SALEM MA
New school giant headed Homer done by Kelly Doty at Helheim Gallery, in Salem MA.
Thomas Bates
Matching Marge and Homer linework portraits done by Thomas Bates at Five Keys Tattoo Studio, Norwich.

What’s your favorite Homer moment?

The Lord of the Rings Tattoos:

The Lord of the Rings, written by J.R.R Tolkien is one of (if not the) most iconic fantasy stories ever written. The story was written as a sequel to another novel of his, The Hobbit. The Lord of the Rings was written in stages between 1937 and 1949.

Jesse Rix
Magnificent realistic back piece featuring Gandalf, Gollum, the ring, and the eye of Sauron. Done by Jesse Rix in Keene, NH.
Ben Kaye Tattooer & part owner of Ship Shape tattoo, New Zealand
Hyper realistic portrait of Gimli done by Ben Kaye at Ship Shape Tattoo in New Zealand.
Heath Clifford
Solid neo traditional hobbit hole done by Heath Clifford at Fat Ink Tattoo.
Kristian Kimonides Tattooist | Leviathan Tattoo Gallery | Melbourne | Australia
Elrond portrait done by Kristian Kimonides at Leviathan Tattoo Gallery in Melbourne, Australia.
Onnie O'Leary
American traditional Witch King done by Onnie O’Leary.

Tolkien fought in WW1, and this was extremely influential in his shaping of Middle Earth. As an example, WW1 was fought not by heroes, but by civilians. This reflects the hobbits who are quite literally the “little people”, who then step up to fight a war that they had not asked to be a part of.

Fong Vang Tattoo Artist @Inkarnate Tattoos 2211 11th ave E, #120, north Saint Paul, Mn
Black and grey portrait of Aragorn, featuring Gimli and Legolas. Done by Fong Vang at Inkarnate Tattoos in North Saint Paul, Mn.
Carles Bonafe
Terrifying portrait of Gollum and his precious. Done by Carles Bonafe.
Iliya Astafiev Tattoo Artist. N.Chelny city, Russia
Terrifying and realistic portrait of a nazgul. Done by Iliya Astafiev Chelny city, Russia.
Lauren Gibler Tattooer & Permanent makeup artist at Inkeeper_s in canton OH
Broken shards of Narsil. Done by Lauren Gibler done in Canton OH.
Róbert A Borbás
Graphic black and grey sleeve featuring Gandalf fighting the balrog on the bridge of Kazan Dum. Done by Róbert A Borbás done at Rooklet Ink, Hungary.

The films were directed by Peter Jackson, starting with The Fellowship of the Ring in 2001. They were filmed back to back on location in New Zealand, making for fantastic landscapes and scenery.

Alex Rattray Owner:Artist at Empire Ink EDINBURGH
Hyper realistic colour portraits of Sam, Frodo, and the ring. Done by Alex Rattray at Empire Ink in Edinburgh.
Cody Young Emerald Tattoo
A very green ent done by Cody Young at Emerald Tattoo.
Izhar Rott Owner of Manifacto Amsterdam Tattoos
Black and grey Gandalf amidst a geometric background done by Izhar Rott Owner of Manifacto Amsterdam Tattoos.
Lauren Melina
Blackwork Barad Dur (dark tower) done by Lauren Melina done in Perth, Australia.
Samantha I Love Mom Tattoo Studio in Dovercourt Village, Toronto
There and back again, inspiration taken from The Hobbit book cover. Done by Samantha at I love Mom Tattoo Studio in Dovercourt Village, Toronto.

Some of the most popular characters include Gandalf, Frodo, Gimli, Legolas, Gollum (Smeagol), Sam, Aragorn, Elrond, Saruman, Witch king, and Sauron. Fantastic creatures include the ents, the balrog, and the nazgul. Popular items include the swords sting, and the shards of Narsil, as well as the Witch King’s flail, and quaint hobbit holes. Of course we also can’t forget the ring itself, which makes a stellar tattoo, especially when paired with a portrait.

Alexandra Skarsgård
Sting and flowers done by Alexandra Skarsgård in London.
Dan Mawdsley Pop Culture Tattoos in Melbourne✖️The Black Mark Tattoo Northcote
Black and grey Gandalf portrait done by Dan Mawdsley at Pop Culture Tattoos in Melbourne, Australia.
Jerome Chapman
Linework version of an ent. Done by Jerome Chapman.
Maksims Zotovs
Hyper realistic Gollum done by Maksims Zotovs.
Tony Sklepic Pop culture inspired tattoos and artwork. EDMONTON ALBERTA
Hyper realistic matching portraits of Saruman (and the eye of Sauron) and Gandalf. Done by Tony Sklepic done in Edmonton, Alberta.

Lord of the Rings tattoos are often done in a photo realistic or hyper realistic style, as well as black and grey, dotwork, linework, American traditional, and neo traditional.

artist--khail-tattooer--legolas-tattoo_17190113824
Black and grey Legolas done by Khail Tattooer at Young bloods Tattoo in Perth, Australia.
Dave Swambo
Witch King hand and Morgul blade done by Dave Swambo at Stronghold Tattoo in Cardiff, Wales.
Jess White
Bright and bold hobbit hole done by Jess White in Sacramento, CA.
Nick imms Fumbling through life. Owner of @thechurchtattoo ☦️
Gorgeous portrait of Frodo and the ring done by Nick Imms at the Church Tattoo.
Travis Stanley Ink City Tattoo Bonney Lake, WA Capitol City
American traditional Witch King and flail. Done by Travis Stanley at Ink City Tattoo in Bonney Lake, WA Capitol City.

Which do you prefer, the books, or the films?

Artist of the month: Gakkin

Gakkin is a (mainly) blackwork and freehand artist working out of Amsterdam after first working in Kyoto.

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Blackwork raven across the back of the neck.
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Large octopus sleeve and chest piece.
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Bodysuit featuring birds, flowers, wind, and clouds.
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Huge snake torso piece.

His pieces are all large scale. Full sleeves, large torso pieces, back pieces, and bodysuits.

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Gruesome namakubi (severed head), with hair that flows into an almost cloudlike state.
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Massive crane back piece with clouds, waves, and koi.
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Negative space stomach hannya as part of a full bodysuit of mainly solid black.
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Red flowers on heavy black leg sleeve, with white spider web.

He collaborates often now with another Japanese blackwork artist, Nissaco. The two work well together, and their pieces flow seamlessly into each other.

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Bright flowers within a dark backdrop.
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Chrysanthemum with Japanese noh mask.
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Back of a bodysuit featuring negative space geometric designs.
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Beautiful blackwork moon and cloud back piece.

His work is largely inspired by nature. Everything from wind, water, flowers, mountains, the sun, and the moon, and animals.

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Large brushstroke style.
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Geometric, blackwork sleeve.
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Large chrysanthemum as part of a sleeve.

Gakkin also takes direct inspiration from ancient Japanese painters, adding his own interpretations.

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Waves and wind in these nature sleeves.
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Part of a bodysuit featuring wind and waves.
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Bright red flowers on heavy black.

Though he mainly works with black, he does also add splashes of red to draw the eye. In an interview with Tattoo Life, he said about working with black “I believe that black is the most important color in tattooing. Every ancient tattooing culture – Maori, Japanese, and Polynesian – considers it as such. It just works better than any other color on the skin.” (www.tattoolife.com)

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kuchisake-onna ghost, from stories dating back to the Edo period.
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Tsuchigumo, the Japanese spider demon.
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Collaboration piece done with Nissaco at the London tattoo convention 2017.

Which piece is your favourite?

Snowflake Tattoos:

It’s the most, wonderful time…. Of the year!! Some people hate winter, some people love it. What we can all agree on though, is snow can be beautiful!

Niki Norberg Gothenburg, Sweden
Gorgeous hyper realistic black and grey/white hand snowflake and moose done by Niki Norberg in Gothenburg, Sweden.
B I C E M • S I N I K •• Tattoo Artist •• Istanbul.Turkey
Dotwork/geometric snowflake done by Bicem Sinik in Istanbul, Turkey.
Emil Supertramp
Dotwork head mandala/snowflake done by Emil Supertramp.
Karl Marks
Lots of pink in this one. Snowflake landing on a flower done by Karl Marks.
Maksims Zotovs
Realistic Jack Frost portrait tattoo and snowflake done by Maksims Zotovs.
Mattia Mambo
Newschool snowflake design by Mattia Mambo.
Sasha Unisex
Watercolour snowflake with mountains done by Sasha Unisex.

Snowflake tattoos are often done in a realistic, dotwork, black and grey, or bright/new school style.

Alexandra Baksza
A painful palm snowflake in dotwork style by Alexandra Baksza.
Banul seoul south korea
Elegant micro tattoos done by Banul in Seoul, South Korea.
Georgina Ostheimer Munich, Germany
Tiny finger snowflake done by Georgina Ostheimer in Munich, Germany.
Lucky Bella
Blue foot done at Lucky Bella tattoo shop.
Marilyn Studio Curitiba
Hand mandala and snowflake done by Marilyn at Studio Curitiba.
Olaf Botel
Dark blackwork snowflake done by Olaf Botel.
Shanna Keyes
Dotwork/linework wrist snowflake done by Shanna Keyes.

Each snowflake tattoo here is unique, just like the real deal!

August Thompson
Bright blue and white snowflake leg piece done by August Thompson.
Caro Walch
Dotwork penguin and snowflake background done by Caro Walch.
Kevin Koskela
Dotwork negative space snowflake done by Kevin Koskela.
Madrid Pablo Torre
Micro tattoo snowflake done by Pablo Torre in Madrid.
Martin Wilkström
Fantastic hyper realistic locket and snowflakes done by Martin Wilkström.
Sára Reichardt, Wonderland Tattoo, Budapest, Hungary
Snowflake and leaves on the sternum done by Sára Reichardt, at Wonderland Tattoo, in Budapest, Hungary.
Simona Blanar
Bright and colourful snowflakes done by Simona Blanar.

Which is your favourite?

Frida Kahlo Tattoos:

Frida Kahlo was a painter born in Mexico in 1907. She mainly painted self portraits, but many were heavily stylized, and some based on current pop culture.

Alix Ge
American traditional portrait done by Alix Ge in France.
Victor Montaghini
Sketchwork style done by Victor Montaghini.
Amanda Troy
Portrait in a heart done by Amanda Toy in Milan, Italy.

Her art explored questions of gender, identity, class, race, and postcolonialism in Mexican society.

Bob Mosquito
Geometric, dotwork deer piece by Bob Mosquito.
Sue Jeiven
Blackwork style done by Sue Jeiven.
Christophe Bonardi
Neo traditional portrait with roses done by Christophe Bonardi.

Frida’s art has been called surrealist, and magic realist. Her paintings are praised today by feminists for their depictions of the female experience and form.

Dennis Gutierrez
American traditional portrait done by Dennis Gutierrez in Barcelona.
Susanne König
Blackwork/dotwork portrait done by Susanne König.
Eric Moreno
New school skeletal portrait done by Eric Moreno at Birdhouse tattoo in Madrid.

Frida became an artist during recovery after she was injured in an accident when she was eighteen.

Esther de Miguel in Berlin
American traditional portrait by Esther de Miguel in Berlin.
Wina Brasil
Black and grey portrait done by Wina Brasil.
Fredão Oliveira
Blackwork geometric, dotwork portrait done by Fredão Oliveira in Brazil.

She became interested in politics in 1927, and joined the Mexican Communist Party where she met her husband. The two divorced in 1939 but did re marry.

J Swan
Mostly black and grey portrait done by J Swan.
Jessica Damasceno
Trash polka portrait done by Jessica Damasceno.

Frida traveled Mexico and the United States, and was given a solo exhibition at the Julien Levy Gallery in New York in 1938, which was a massive success. This was quickly followed by another exhibition in Paris the following year.

kirsten wonderland tattoo Portland Oregon
Frida as a deer done by Kirsten in Wonderland Tattoo in Portland Oregon.
Logan Aguilar
Realistic day of the dead sugar skull version of Frida done by Logan Aguilar.

Frida had her first solo exhibition in Mexico in 1953.

Mariusz Trubisz
Beautiful surrealist portrait done by Mariusz Trubisz.
Megan Massacre
Unfinished realistic portrait done by Megan Massacre.

She died the following year at the age of 47 due to bronchopneumonia.

Mike Grant
Skeletal portrait done by Mike Grant.
Paul Aherne
Blackwork portrait done by Paul Aherne.

Though she was relatively well known in certain circles during her lifetime, her work wasn’t appreciated the way it is now until the 1990’s, when her paintings became icons for feminists, Chicanos, and the LGBTQ community.

Sebastian Brade
Bright and colorful portrait done by Sebastian Brade.
Steph Hanlon
Colorful geometric piece done by Steph Hanlon.

Which is your favourite?

Spirited Away Tattoos:

Spirited Away is Hayao Miyazaki’s most popular film to date. It is an Academy Award winner, and Japan’s highest grossing film of all time. It came out in 2001 and is still one of the most popular Japanese films out there.

brando Chiesa
Bright neon, neo traditional take on Haku and Chihiro with a smiling No Face underneath. Done by Brando Chiesa in Florence, Italy.
Hugo in south korea
Dotwork No face with soot sprites and bath house done by Hugo on Seoul South Korea.
Russel Van Schaick in Orlando FL
Yubaba and heads done by Russell Van Schaick in Orlando Florida.

The film was created without a script. The artwork came first, and it was drawn, directed, and written by Miyazaki himself.

carly kroll
Cute little soot sprites and cherry blossom branch done by Carly Kroll at Seven Tails Tattoo in Melbourne Australia.
jessica channer
Three tiny soot sprites done by Jessica Channer at Tattoo People in Toronto Canada.
littlemissjesstattoos
Watercolor Haku by Jess Hannigan at Paper Moon Tattoo Collective.
scott_m_harrison
No face with leaves done by Scott M Harrison in Melbourne Australia.

The lead character, Chihiro, was actually based on one of Miyazaki’s friends’ daughters. She was supposed to be a relatable character and as average as possible. This was to show that ordinary people, particularly young women, could be heroes too.

Kozik_tattooer
Black and grey portrait of Chihiro with some kanji, done by Kozik in Melbourne.
joice wang
Haku and Chihiro in a geometric background done by Joice Wang at Grit N Glory in New York City.
Lunie Chan
Cute No face with cherry blossoms by Lunie Chan at Coup de Foudre.
violette bluenoir
Dotwork geometric No face done by Violette Chabanon at Bleu Noir in paris France.

A common occurrence in Miyazaki films are the quiet scenes of inaction. These are often some of the most beautiful scenes in his films. In Spirited Away, these scenes include driving, various nature scenes, and characters staring off into the distance.

Chris Stockings at Legacy Tattoo
Another vibrant Haku with cherry blossoms done by Chris Stockings at Legacy Tattoo.
josh legend
No face offering his gold done by Josh Legend who is a traveling tattooer.
marc Durrant
Sketchwork watercolor Haku done by Marc Durrant at Hidden Los Angeles Tattoo.

Spirited Away has many memorable characters that make for fantastic tattoos. Some of the most popular characters for tattoos are no face, Chihiro, Haku, Yubaba, and the cute little soot sprites!

david legoon
Another soot sprite hard at work, done by David Le Goon in Melbourne Australia.
Josh Crotty in Duluth MN
Start to a sleeve featuring Chihiro, Haku, and the bath house. Done by Josh Crotty in Duluth MN.
Josie sexton
Whimsical Watercolor Haku done by Josie Sexton.
Matteo Nangeroni
No face with the bath house and sky inside of him, done by Matteo Nangeroni.

These tattoos are often done in blackwork, neo traditional, dotwork, and watercolor.

hori Benny
No face in full rage done by Hori Benny in Osaka Japan.
Jules Gordon
Dotwork No face and soot sprites done by Jules Gordon at Frontier Tattoo Parlour in Cardiff Wales.
simon zook
New school Haku head done by Simon Zook in Santiago Chile.
Simon K Bell
Bright geometric No face done by Simon K Bell at Design 4 life in liverpool England.

Who is your favourite Spirited Away character?

Winnipeg Artist 6: Stephen McConnell

Stephen McConnell is an artist at Main Street Tattoo Collective in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

1
Neo trad bear with beautiful fall leaves and bright red sun.
2
Dark Kylo Ren portrait.
3
Matching hammerhead shark and great white in American traditional style.

Stephen’s work ranges from black and grey, to realism, watercolor, American traditional, blackwork, geometric, and neo traditional.

4
Beautiful American traditional shoulder rose.
5
Black and grey skull and mask.
6
Huge black and grey owl with geometric patterns and some dotwork on the sternum.
7
Blackwork creepy shrunken head.
8
Travel themed piece with hot air balloon and luggage!
9
Fantastic portrait!
10
Geometric half sleeve with both black and red, creating a brilliant duality.
11
Painful full torso crane with dotwork halo.
12
American traditional lady head.
13
Creepy Norman Bates with his house.
14
American traditional French Bulldog portrait!
15
Three forearm mandalas.
16
Amazing almost finished realistic lion half sleeve.

Stephen McConnell is a must visit artist in Winnipeg!

Artist of the Month: Nissaco

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 1
Smaller scale pieces. Healed waves and fresh geometrical shell design.

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.

Nissaco 2
Big and painful back of the leg going right over the knee ditch with some popping red in the mandala and linework designs.
Nissaco 3
Full back piece right over the butt and legs leading into a great sleeve on the left arm. Some great use of negative space in the back.
Nissaco 4
Fantastic sleeve with bird skull and eye mixed with geometrical designs.

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.

Nissaco 5
Filler neck/throat piece that fits great with the adjacent neck pieces.
Nissaco 7
Matching geometric sleeves.
Nissaco 8
Full back and legs with a lot of heavy blackwork for filler.
Nissaco 9
Full front is a tender area going right onto the nipples, with brilliant line work and heavy blacks.
Nissaco 12
Brilliant full torso, sleeve, and two leg sleeves with geometric designs and a hidden face.
Nissaco 13
Half body suit full of heavy blacks in large scale geometrics.
Nissaco 15
Fantastic intricate healed geometric design.

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 6
Full front, sleeve, and half leg sleeve. Featuring a brilliant Japanese dragon, and flowers such as chrysanthemums and cherry blossoms.
Nissaco 10
Great geometric koi fish with some colour thrown in.
Nissaco 11
Heavy blacks and lots of negative space with this angry hannya.
Nissaco 14
Another hannya coming off of a sleeve and onto the back.

Nissaco is a must see artist in Osaka, Japan, but book well in advance as his books fill up fast!