Geisha Tattoos:

The geisha, or, “person of accomplishment” date back to 1751 in the mid-Tokugawa period in Japan. Geisha’s were originally men, but eventually became women.

geisha Ami James
Deep in thought by Ami James.

Geisha’s were trained artists skilled in tea ceremony, flower arranging, and as singers, dancers, storytellers, servers, and conversationalists. These women were all literate and were familiar with poetry and tales of warriors in order to entertain their patrons. Geisha’s were not prostitutes, but worked in the pleasure districts, also called “the floating world” and while not they were not sex workers, some did become concubines or mistresses for men who would buy their contracts from their masters.

geisha Andrew Mcnally at Northside Private Rooms in Newcastle
Black and grey neo Japanese geisha with cherry blossoms by Andrew Mcnally at Northside Private Rooms in Newcastle, UK.
geisha Anna Yershova
Realistic side/stomach piece with cherry blossoms by Anna Yershova.
geisha Asakusa Horiyasu
Brilliant Japanese back piece by Horiyasu.

Geisha’s are known for their musical prowess, particularly with an instrument called samisen, which today is also used in kabuki plays and has an inherently “Japanese” sound. As for appearance, while working a geisha would wear a kimono tied from the back, which is another difference between a geisha and a prostitute as a prostitute would have her kimono tied in the front. A thick white foundation of makeup is applied to the face, neck, and upper chest, with a line around the hairline creating a mask like appearance. Other makeup includes black around the eyes and eyebrows with bright red lips.

geisha Daniel Gensch
Fantastic neo traditional neck piece also with cherry blossoms, by Daniel Gensch in Berlin, Germany.
geisha Emily Rose Murray
A more Westernized neo traditional geisha by Emily Rose Murray in Melbourne, Australia.
geisha Gakkin
Blackwork Japanese piece of a sly looking geisha by Gakkin in Amsterdam.
geisha Horihana in Brasil
Another traditional Japanese back piece with cherry blossoms, skeleton, and Buddhist imagery by Horihana in Brazil.
Geisha Jarrad Serafino at The Sweet Life Tattoo in Melbourne
Dark American traditional geisha and flower by Jarrad Serafino at The Sweet Life Tattoo in Melbourne, Australia.

Geisha’s still exist today, though due in part to the rigorous training in order to become one, are much less frequent. Today, geisha’s mainly entertain politicians at parties.

geisha Kevin Nocerino at Still Life Tattoo
Neo traditional namakubi or severed head geisha with peony by Kevin Nocerino at Still Life Tattoo.
geisha Mark Wosgerau
Realistic black and grey geisha by Mark Wosgerau at Sinners Inc in Denmark.
geisha Michael Litovkin
Bold mix of black and grey and colour in a realistic style by Michael Litovkin.
geisha Pavel Krim
Soft, colourful, realistic geisha by Pavel Krim in Stockholm.
Geisha Reuben Todd at Kapala tattoo in Winnipeg
American traditional black and red work by Reuben Todd at Kapala Tattoo in Winnipeg.

As a tattoo a geisha will generally be done in Japanese traditional style, neo Japanese, American traditional, neo traditional, black and grey, or realism.

geisha Shon Lindauer in Hollywood
American traditional work by Shon Lindauer in Hollywood.
geisha Thomas Pineiro at Black Garden Tattoo in the UK
Fantastic Japanese piece by Thomas Pineiro at Black Garden Tattoo in the UK.
geisha Tony Nilsson in Norway
Bold American traditional piece by Tony Nilsson in Norway.
geisha Victor Octaviano
Modern watercolor piece by Victor Octaviano in Brazil.
Geisha William Roos in Stockholm
tiny blackwork geisha and hannya by William Roos in Stockholm.
Geisha Zak Partak in Toronto
Geisha head and fan by Zak Partak in Toronto.

Geisha’s are an important part of Japanese history and make a fantastic design!

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.
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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: Clemens Hahn

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.

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Hardcore full frontal blackwork traditional panther head and webbing with matching black and grey sleeves.
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Matching chest heads, dagger through a heart, and angry bear head in rad neo trad.
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Elephant head inspired by deities.
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American traditional classic of an eagle fighting a snake, sun and moon not by Clemens.
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Japanese backpiece with oni and namakubi in a neo Japanese style.
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Full blackwork backpiece inspired by the beauty of death with crow and matching coffins.
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Half backpiece in Japanese black and grey featuring a tiger, peony, and cloud background. with a matching sleeve.
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Whole bunch of job stoppers! Beautiful hand and neck pieces including traditional and blackwork.
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Crazy throat peony.
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Neo Japanese tiger head neck tattoo.
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American traditional eagle on the back of the neck/head.
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Crazy elephant inspired piece.
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Brilliant neo traditional fox and bear in a tender spot.
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Tasteful face piece. Blackwork nails in a bleeding heart.
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Blackwork traditional Native American lady head.
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Matching back of the knees traditional mandalas.
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Neo traditional Little Red Riding Hood and the big bad wolf.

If you’re in Germany Clemens Hahn is a must see artist!

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.

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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.
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Vampiric looking ladyhead with her own great snake tattoo.
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Knee mandala
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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?

Minimalistic Rose Tattoo

Minimalistic tattoos have been a growing trend over the last few years. Roses are an especially popular mini design, and look great on anyone. They can be done in blackwork, black and grey, and colour. In order for such a small design to look great, it has to be well done, so be sure to see someone with impeccable attention to detail if you plan on getting a miniature tattoo.

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Black and grey rose done by Evan Kim at West 4 Tattoo in New York City.
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All black tattoo by Johnny Gloom in Paris.
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Black and grey bicep rose by Jonathan Valena at West 4 Tattoo NYC.
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All black hand blaster by Kane Trubenbacher at Exhibition Street, Melbourne.
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Blue ankle rose by Nando in Seoul, South Korea.
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Framed black rose by René in Melbourne.
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Side of the hand rose by Spider Sinclaire at Two Hands Tattoo in AKL NZ.
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Collar bone grey rose by Sven Rayen at Studio Palermo in Belgium.
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Delicate pink wrist rose by Zihwa at Reindeer Tattoo Studio in Seoul, South Korea.
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Upside-down black and grey face rose by Emily Horstman at Avenue Tattoo in Santa Rosa CA.

Which one 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.

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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

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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.