Artist of the Month: Übler Friedrich

übler Friedrich is a Neo-traditional tattoo artist who works in Berlin, Giessen, and Vienna.

stag beetle on the hand

Knights helmet and flowers.

Incredibly detailed black and grey cat portrait with flowers.

Gorgeous candlestick piece.

He works mainly in colour, but also does brilliant blackwork and fantastic black and grey pieces.

Healed forearm pieces. Brilliant rose and a dagger through a heart.

Ruler of the sea, Poseidon!

Portrait/scenery piece featuring a waterscape scene.

Huge skull and octopus thigh piece.

His pieces are both realistic and traditional, making a perfect blend of the two.

Vicious looking spiked mace.

Mean looking hawk with skulls on the neck.

Badass Roman skull torso piece.

Arrows and knots on a thigh.

Übler is not shy about tattooing faces or heads, and gives people brilliant and visible pieces for the world to admire. He also does both small and large pieces, so don’t be shy about getting something big!

Healed knees! Painful looking chimp and a bat.

Bright blue octopus head piece.

Delicate bluebell face tattoo.

Absolutely terrifying demon on a forearm.

Currently (January 2019) his books are closed, but you can check out his Instagram @friedrichubler and send him an email when his books are open again!

Gorgeous flowers on Oli Sykes from Bring Me The Horizon.

Raven and castle thigh piece on the back of the leg.

Butterfly head piece.

Wicked bear head chest piece done in only two sessions.

Artist of the Month: James Mckenna

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.

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Multiple skulls as a gap filler.
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Elbow ditch surrealist skull hidden within spider webs.
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Vicious demon above a skull and snake piece.
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Leopard within a leopard within a leopard.
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Traditional elbow mandala.

The majority of James’ work features skulls, often hidden within designs. Other work includes lady heads, animals, and demons.

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Neo traditional lady head.
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Leg sleeve castle with secret passages and a snake mixed in.
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Big ole’ jaguar, scorpion, and flower. Heavy on the black!
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Skull added to the stomach piece!
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Neo traditional bear and skull in a tender spot!
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Healed blackwork snake within a snake!
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Leg snake!
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Evil looking demon under the armpit.
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Butterfly lady head!
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New twist on a classic skull and snake.
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Jaguar and lady head.
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Knee big cat and butterfly.

James is a must see artist if you’re travelling through Western Australia.

Mom Tattoos:

Some great tattoos for all the great mothers out there! Happy Mothers Day!

The classic “mom” tattoo is an American traditional heart with the word “mom”. Nowadays there are many more versions of this, done in colour, black and grey, and many different styles including American traditional, neo traditional, dotwork, blackwork, cross stitch, and realism. Now there is also more than just the heart as a design. There can be flowers, birds, landscapes, and more meaningful pieces that really relate to a specific mom.

Mom Big Meas at Sacred Hand Tattoo Society in Ohio
Sacred heart black and grey mom piece by Big Meas at Sacred Heart Tattoo Society in Ohio.
Mom Brooke Englehart in Chicago
Knee rose for mom by Brooke Englehart in Chicago.
mom by Carlos Fuentes at Mystic Owl Tattoo in GA
Anatomical heart with some colour by Carlos Fuentes at Mystic Owl Tattoo in GA.
mom by Jake Pierson at Old Soul Tattoo Club
Blackwork anatomical heart by Jake Pierson at Old Soul Tattoo Club.
mom by Dana at Lucky 13 Tattoo and Piercing
Classic American traditional mom heart and flowers by Dana at Lucky 13 Tattoo and Piercing.
mom by Koty Nyman at Heart and Soul tattoo
Neo traditional heart and flowers with some great script by Koty Nyman at Heart and Soul Tattoo.
Mom by Mike Santa Fe
Tropical landscape mom tattoo by Mike Santa Fe.
Mom David Klingenfuss at PMA Tattoo studio in CA.
Needle and thread mom tattoo by David Klingenfuss at PMA Tattoo Studio in CA.
Mom Ivan Castro at True Heart Tattoo in California
American traditional butterfly mamma piece by Ivan Castro at True Heart Tattoo in California.
Mom Jennifer Lynn at Trilogy Tattoo Gallery in Florida
American traditional heart, flowers and swallow for mom by Jennifer Lynn at Trilogy Tattoo Gallery in Florida.
mom Lexy Parsons at Tempest Tattoo Studio in TN
Neat mom tattoo with crossed wrenches by Lexy Parsons at Tempest Tattoo Studio in TN.
mom Rick Ilcken at Heart Land Tattoo
Beautiful American traditional heart and dagger for mom by Rick Ilcken at Heart Land Tattoo.
mom Ryan Cambell at Memento Tattoo & Gallery in Ohio
Neo traditional squirrel for momma by Ryan Campbell at Memento Tattoo & Gallery in Ohio.
mom tattoo Nat G at Good luck Tattoo in Melbourne
Matching colourful mother daughter tattoos by Nat G at Good Luck Tattoo in Melbourne.
mom Taylor Estrella at Empyre Tattoo in NY.
Classic mom heart tattoo by Taylor Estrella at Empyre Tattoo in NY.

Show your love for your mom with a new tattoo!

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.

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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.

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Big and painful back of the leg going right over the knee ditch with some popping red in the mandala and linework designs.
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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.
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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.

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

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Full front, sleeve, and half leg sleeve. Featuring a brilliant Japanese dragon, and flowers such as chrysanthemums and cherry blossoms.
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Great geometric koi fish with some colour thrown in.
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Heavy blacks and lots of negative space with this angry hannya.
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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!

Sailor Moon Tattoos:

Sailor Moon is a popular Japanese Anime show based off the 52 manga chapters entitled Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon. The show premiered in Japan in 1992 and was popular there as well as overseas.

sailor Alicia Foley
Brooch and crystals with colourful dotwork on the knee done by Alivia Foley at Artful Dodger Tattoo in Seattle.
Sailor Uls Metzger at Puro Tattoo in Italy
Dotwork mandala and brooch by Uls Metzger at Puro Tattoo in Italy.
sailor Nikko Hurtado at Black Anchor Collective in L.A
Photo realistic Sailor Moon portrait by Nikko Hurtado at Black Anchor Collective In L.A.

Sailor Moon is the heroine name of the main character, a young woman who fights evil. A cat named Luna gives Sailor Moon, or Usagi (Serena in English), a magical brooch that transforms her into Sailor Moon. Throughout the show Usagi/Serena meets other young women who are also given magical objects able to transform them. Together they form the Sailor Soldiers. Along with being able to transform, they have other items that help them to fight evil.

sailor Anunnakitattoo
Bright purple one by Laura Anunnaki.
Sailor Charlotte Ann Harris at Castle Ink Studio in Birmingham, UK
Black dotwork piece by Charlotte Ann Harris at Castle Ink Studio in Birmingham, UK.
sailor Eric Flannes
Fight like a girl! By Eric Flannes.

The show is particularly popular with young woman as it is about strong, powerful women who fight evil and are portrayed as strong and capable, but also human, capable of having human breakdowns as well as strength.The show also has themes of love triumphing over hate.

Sailor Erick Holguin at Ink and Dagger in Roswell, GA
In Japanese Sailor Moon is called Usagi which translated means bunny! Realistic piece done by Erick Holguin at Ink and Dagger in Roswell, GA.
sailor Helena Darling in Halifax, Nova Scotia
Brooch, dotwork mandala by Helena Darling in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
sailor Kimberly Wall at Black Rabbit Tattoo in Richmond, VA
Lotus and crystal thigh piece done by Kimberly Wall at Black Rabbit Tattoo in Richmond, VA.
sailor Teresa Sharpe at Unkindness Art in Richmond, VA
Neo traditional flowers, script, and brooch by Teresa Sharpe at Unkindness Art in Richmond, VA.

As a tattoo, many people get Sailor Moon or the other Sailor Soldiers, the cats Luna, Artemis, and Diana, the different magical items, and the crescent moon. These tattoos are often bright and colourful but can also be done in blackwork. Styles range from American traditional, neo traditional, realistic, new school, dotwork, blackwork, black and grey, and watercolour.

sailor Kadee Spangler at Chroma Tattoo
Luna by Kadee Spangler at Chroma Tattoo.
sailor Brando Chiesa
Bright realistic/ neo traditional Artemis by Brando Chiesa on Florence, Italy.
Sailor Brando 1
Neck Artemis with sceptre by Brando again.
sailor Brando
One more Artemis and creepy Sailor Moon by Brando once more.

Who is your favorite Sailor Moon character?

Artist of the Month: Sergey Vaskevich

Sergey Vaskevich is a tattoo artist from Minsk, working out of Good Sign Tattoo. His work is dark traditional and neo-traditional. His work is dark both in colour, and in imagery. Often featuring devils, demons, ghosts,and occult designs, along with the occasional fetish piece.

sergey 1
Horrifying bat head.

He has a fantastic imagination, combining often mundane designs with a fantastic mix of death and horror.

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Devil head and mountain range.
sergey 3
Vampiric looking ladyhead with her own great snake tattoo.
sergey 4
Knee mandala
sergey 5
Wicked throat piece of a fiery candle.
sergey 6
Beautiful harp.
sergey 7
NSFW fetish/torture piece.
sergey 8
Spooky occult piece featuring a demon hand making shadows.
sergey 9
Classic wolf head.
sergey 10
Fiery bold torch.
sergey 11
Well and ghost.
sergey 12
Classic bear head.
sergey 13
Banging elbow spider.
sergey 14
Fantastic demon head eating a naked woman.
sergey 15
Severed ladyhead with moon and crow.

Which piece is your favorite?

Artist of the Month: Apro Lee

Apro Lee is a tattoo artist from South Korea. He tattoos in Seoul in a private studio called Black Mark It. He has been tattooing since 2005, and doing only blackwork since 2007.

Tattooing in South Korea is still illegal, making it difficult as you can imagine for someone to make a living as a tattoo artist. Only a person with a doctor’s license can be a tattoo artist. Police don’t bother artists unless someone actually reports them. People who usually do the reporting are often other tattoo artists looking to get rid of competition, or neighborhood gangs. If an artist is reported and apprehended, they usually have to pay a fine as well as have all their equipment taken from them, but they can also face months of prison time. Despite tattooing being a crime, it is estimated that there are at least 20,000 tattoo artists working in illegal studios throughout South Korea.

Apro Lee decided to become a tattoo artist while serving his mandatory military time. He saw a portrait of Kurt Cobain on the internet, and it amazed him that tattoos could be something other than tribal or dragons and other iconic Japanese pieces, for gangsters. Apro has loved drawing and art since he was a child, and found that tattoos were the right fit for him.

tumblr Apro lee

Since tattooing for all intents and purposes is still illegal in Korea, Apro learned how to tattoo online in 2005 from someone who was willing to teach Apro and a few others through the internet. After that Apro went to work in Westside Tattoo in Brisbane, Australia, learning from owner Matt Cunnington.

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Korean tiger and arrows

Apro started by doing realistic black and grey pieces, but now almost solely does bold blackwork. One of Apro’s signature designs is the Korean tiger, which features hard bold black lines, and intricate dotwork to create a stunning tiger in the Korean style. The contorted tiger represents government, and is usually featured with a magpie which represents a person laughing in its face.

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Black and grey realistic skull
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Huge tiger and magpie
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Neck tiger and magpie

Apro wanted to show people that Korea has their own art style, as Chinese and Japanese art largely dominates Western ideas of what Asian art is. Apro has been a guest tattooer in Europe, Australia, America, and all over Asia, spreading the Korean style of tattooing. Apro always tells people the meaning of the tattoos he is giving people, and wants to spread Korean culture as much as possible.

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Korean style sleeve
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Korean style blackwork clouds

Apro also tattoos many nooses on his clients, and has one on himself as well. The noose on himself signifies the fact that in his country he is technically a criminal, but the part where the noose is cut means that he has survived, or that he will survive it. On clients this can stand for many things throughout a life that has been tough.

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Bold black noose

Artist of the Month: Tomas Tomas

Tomas-Tomas-P-Mod
Shot by P-MOD Photographies

Tomas Tomas is a blackwork,  neo tribal, dotwork, and geometric tattoo artist, tattooing out of the shop, Into You, which is in London England.

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Great optical illusion.

Tomas Tomas tattoos large, sometimes spiritual pieces, which often also act as optical illusions. He focuses on the spiritual aspect as well as ornamental with regards to tattooing. His pieces can take a long time to complete, sometimes even adding up to full bodysuits.

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Full bodysuit, the dedication of both artist, and client is astounding. 

When asked by the website, needlesandsins, Tomas Tomas had this to say about tribal tattoos.”Further exploration of this practice revealed that, often, tattoos in tribal societies were poetic visual representations of the environments and cultures in which people lived at the time. It was also a celebration of the mysteries of life. I then realized, rather unconsciously, these same desires and values still fuel many to get tattooed today worldwide.” As we can see, he is passionate about this style, and his dedication comes through in the beautifully delicate, and intricate art.

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Bold neckpiece.
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Another body piece, this one using more or less the same style and designs.
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Spiral, detailed piece. Neat to see the connection between back and sleeve.
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Delicate lower stomach piece.
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Huge detailed skull and intricate geometric sleeves.
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Note the matching elbow and neck.
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This piece looks almost like armour, and is very pleasing to the eye, especially from a bit of a distance.
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Tomas Tomas also works well with other people’s work. It’s not intrusive and pairs well with other styles.
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Two full leg sleeves are a rare sight, and these are amazing.
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Chest, stomach, and two half sleeves.
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Huge bold lines on the neck make it really stand out. The chest and stomach features an extremely interesting optical illusion.

Whatever the design, Tomas Tomas has a great eye for tattooing. He is a must visit artist in London, and anyone for a passion for tribal should put him on their list of artists to be tattooed by.

Devil Tattoos

Devil tattoos are one of the classics in tattoo history. Devil doesn’t always refer to a red man with horns, it can also be just a symbol of evil. Having a symbol like this on your body can mean protection from demons/the devil by scaring them away. It can show a mischievous side of you, or a rebellious attitude. Sometimes they can be portrayed with an angel counterpart, or a woman, generally symbolizing the balance between good and evil.

Here are some of the best devil tattoo designs. They come in all kinds of styles, from American traditional, to neo-traditional, new school, black and grey, watercolour, realism, and experimental. Whatever the style, a devil tattoo is bold “as hell”.

Alena Chun knee cap
American traditional knee blaster by Alena Chun at Icon Tattoo Studio.
Adrian Edek
Intense full head piece by Adrien Edek at Lowbrow Tattoo Parlour. Those yellow eyes stand out wonderfully from the red, black and white space.
Dustin Barnhart Kitchener, Ontario
Another head piece, only for the toughest clients, these have got to hurt! Done by Dustin Barnhart from Kitchener Ontario at Berlin Tattoo. Another great example of a mischievous looking American Traditional devil.
Franz Stefanik Toronto
Franz Stefanik, helping represent Canadian artists, from Toronto at The Okey Doke Tattoo Shop. Juxtaposing life and death in this stomach piece. Ink right in the belly button must have been fun.
Gordon Combs
This piece has a definite Greek mythological feel to it. Done by Gordon Combs at Art Work Rebels.
Heath Clifford
Fantastic Neo Traditional, black and grey piece done by Heath Clifford at Throne Room Tattoo.
James Armstrong
More black and grey in this wonderfully inventive leg piece, done by the talented James Armstrong at Holy Mountain Tattoo.
Jon Larson - Ypsilanti Michigan
Huge devil and burning church done by Jon Larson from Ypsilanti Michigan at Depot Town Tattoo. Great use of the devil’s fur turning into the flames!
Paulina Szoloch
Interesting water colour, experimental piece by Paulina Szoloch.
Phil Hatchet-Yau - San Diego California
Palm pieces are tricky as they tend to fade quickly. This one looks like it isn’t going anywhere though. Done by Phil Hatchet-Yau from San Diego, California at Felix’s Master Tattoo and Museum.
Robert Borbas
Brilliant realistic black and grey leg sleeve done by Robert Borbas at Rooklet Ink in Hungary. Some seriously intense detail in this piece.
Sergey Vaskevich
Another stomach piece, done by Sergey Vaskevich. The muted tones in this fit the theme perfectly. Nothing too overpowering in this.
Thomas Flanagan - Leeds
Neat matching hand pieces done by Thomas Flanagan out of Leeds, at Oddfellows Tattoo Collective. Quite a bit of detail for such a small space.

Share your own devil tattoo’s in the comments!