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Art \ FEB 8th 2011

Written on the Body: Inspirational Tattoo Art

“Love lasts forever, but a tattoo lasts six months longer“


Unlike other forms of art, a tattoo artist has very little room to make mistakes. The canvas is human flesh, the paint brush is a pointy needle, and there is no “undo” button.
As primal and ancient as tattoos are, they are constantly changing with the times. Tattoos draw influence and inspiration from modern design and art, in its many forms. Art imitates art imitates art.


A picture may be worth a thousand words, but tattooed words give you a lot more to talk about. Got something to say? Just choose what font you want to say it with.

Picture by John Davey Picture by John Davey , organizer of Flash on the Beach conference. Font by Helvetica

Picture by Sam FigueroaPicture by Sam Figueroa

Tattoo Art - typography Picture by fragglerawker_03 Poem by E E Cummings

Tattoo Art - Deanna WardinTattoo and picture by Deanna Wardin

Geek Chich

“Geek” is a state of mind and, as such, it’s entitled to its own ink genre:

Tattoos for geeks

Photo by game designer Chris Ainsworth

Pacman Tattoo

Photo by Gil Megidish

HTML geek tattooPhoto by Webmove

Start Button Geek TattooPhoto by Majd Al-Shihabi

Computer Geek Tattoo

Photo by Juhan Sonin

Get Inspired by Great Art

You can always find inspiration in great art. If you still have trouble deciding what you want to engrave on your skin, don’t hesitate to pay homage to your favorite artist.

Keith Haring inspired tattooPhoto by Micael Tattoo Faccio, illustration by Keith Haring

Artistic Tattoos

Photo by Elisabeth, illustration by Arthur Rackham

Artistic tattoo, inspired by Adrian Tomine

Photo by emptysound, illustration by Adrian Tomine

Art tattoosPhoto by Micael Tattoo Faccio, illustration by Roy Lichtenstein

Naval inspired tattooPhoto by Patrick Carey, inspired by Moby Dick?

Want Your Tattoo to Count?

1. Don’t say “I’m going to have this for the rest of my life, so it’s got to be earth-shatteringly special.” Pick something you like now. The years will pass, but the tattoo will be a reminder of your state of mind at the time.

2. Don’t look for something that’s already been done. Those image books in the tattoo store are only meant for inspiration, be original – don’t copy.

3. Look deeply into your soul. What do you see in there? This black hole of desperation won’t make a good tattoo, but you can never lose with a ‘Hello Kitty’ icon ; )

4. As the epic movie “The Karate Kid” taught us, Pain does not exist in this dojo. [or, Pain is only a state of mind]. Don’t hold back from making a huge yakuza-style tattoo because of pain. Pain is temporary, and tattoo-love is forever. The bigger the better.

We’re never tired of cool tattoos! If you feel your tattoo can serve as a source of inspiration – share it with us. Happy ink!

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