are an art form. And to me, art is creativity. So no list will ever
be complete, until there will be someone out there working on
something new. But this (a rewriting of an old piece I wrote for ET
on tumblr) can help to know a little bit more about modern tattoo
styles. Take your time to understand the differencies, go through the names in the list, find your style. A good tattoo lasts forever, and knowledge is the roots of a good choice.
Is usually referred to American classic tattooing. Artists like Amund
from the firtst decades of 1900, are the names to start from if you
want to know its roots, Classical
subjects (anchors, ships, roses, daggers, eagles, horses etc.),
simple designs, bold lines and basic color palettes. Traditional
tattooing is definitely more than a trend, with its own philosophy
and unwritten rules.
Tony Nilsson, Cassandra Frances, Samuele Briganti, Paul
Dobleman, Paul Fulton, Florian Santus, Moira Ramone (pics: Moira Ramone, Paul Fulton, Mauro Quaresima)
is also a different kind of traditional, widly diffused, enough to be
considered a style, that people keep considering part of traditional
or neo traditional. It keeps bold lines, and part of the classic
imaginery, mixed with weird, modern, surreal, pop stuff. No limits
for color palettes, no rules. Tradition meets creativity, one of the
Carlo, Ron Wells, Luca Font, Pietro Sedda, Ray Wallace, Dane Mancini,
Laura Yahna, Ibi Rothe, Deno Jr (pics: Ray Wallace, El Carlo, Laura Yahna, Dane Mancini)
Originally called Irezumi, its roots runs deep in the history of its
country. Its meaning in Japanese culture changed through the
centuries, from tebori (tattooing by hand) to Yobori (tattooing by
machine), to became part of the classic Japanese imaginaery, as we
know it. Not every asian themed tattoo (common subjects like dragons,
yokai demons, tigers, hannya masks and so on) is japanese style.
Everything from colors to placement, to the shapes of the untattooed
areas has its rules. As any other ancient styles, of course, you can
find its modern, contaminated, version too (Gakkin or Wendy Pham’s
works are a good example).
Pino Cafaro, Caio Pinero, Bill Canales, Gotch, Rodrigo Souto, Yutaro (Bill Canales, Pino Cafaro, R. Souto, Shigenori Ywasaki)
tribal and ornamental: usually referred to a mix of geometrical
shapes, patterns, mandalas, asian motives, and Maori influences.
Guy le tatooer,
Thomas Hooper, Marco Galdo, Chaim Machlev, Little Swastika (Guy, C. Machlev, T. Hooper)
From portraits, to a custom piece, to the perfect reproduction of a
picture/painting. Realistic tattoos is one of the most spectacular
styles in tattooing. No black outline, and lifelike shades, black and
grey or colors. It easily mixes with different styles, like with
where realism is just a technical part of their own style.
Hernandez, Chris Gherman, Alex De Pase, Scrappy Uno, Sandra Daukshta,
Lippo, Sam Stokes (Lippo, A. Acosta, S. Daukshta)
A trend in the late 90’, basically made of mechanical parts that
looks like fused with the flesh. Organic and unorganic elements are
realistically drawn, to create the illusion to be carved in the
McDonald, Carson Hill, Guy Hatchinson (who creates bio organic style) (itp: Carson Hill, Don McDonald, Guy Atchinson)
Fantasy, big eyes subjects, rounded shapes, bright colors, crazy
proportions and prospectives. Another style that was more popular in
the 90’, now is often fused with different styles, specially with neo
Berinkey (she fuses new school and sketchy/illustrative styles for
her designs), Adam Hawtorne (another one with his own distintcive
illustrative style), David Tevenal, Nathan Evans (mixing neo trad e
new school) (A. Hawtorne, A. H., David Tevenal)
Illustrative like tattoos, where classical subjects like women,
crows, snakes, triangles, wolves etc. (from the classic old school
imaginery), are drawn with bright colors, and realistical shading, in
a aperfect mix between traditional and realism.
Rose, Dusty Neal, Lu’s Lips, Christophe Bonardi, Debora Cherrys,
Rodrigo Kalaka El Uf, Jack Goks Pearce. (E. R. Murray, R. Kalaka, Teresa Sharpe, Lu’s Lips)
Text tattoos are usually a bad idea, unless they are done in the
proper style, and from a specialized artist.
Will Rise, Justin Wilson, Big Meas (N. W. R., J. Wilson, Big Meas)
the word “Chicano”, referred to American citizen of Mexican
origin, ceased to be a slur in the 60’, while the style itself was
born a couple decades before. Common subjects are wemen, skulls,
roses, and religious icons, usually in black and gray.
Macko (Macko, Boog)
are the most common, radicated, worldly reconized style. But is just
a partial view of what the contemporary tattoo scene can offer. In
the last 15 years, more and more styles are born. Some of them still
don’t even have a name, some have more than one. Some of them will
became classic and some are just a trend.
fact: wikipidia’s italian “tattoo” page have “genital” listed
as one of the most common styles.
The colors are spread to simulate watercolors. Often mixed with other
styles. People keeps debating about how watercolor tattoos will age.
Only time will tell.
Amanda Wachob, Niko Inko (A. Wachob, G. Smash, Klaim)
the names probably comes from a folder where the artist Xoil (still
one of the best in this style) used to store his works’ pics.
you have ever used PS, you know what I’m talking about. PS style is
basically a collage of different images and techniques, from
watercolor to dotwork to lettering.
Niko Inko, Voller Kontrast, Little Swastika, Jef Palumbo, Arlin
ffrench (J. Palumbo, Xoil)
geometrical elements are common in modern tattoo designs, but some
artists generated a new trend, mixing illustrative elements, modern
tribal patterns, and geometrical lines.
Buchi, Daniel Meyer, Valentin Hirsch, Kamil Czapiga
(C. Machlev, D. Meyer, Maxime Buchi)
The artist draw on skin all the lines that usually are ereased in a
finished design, to create the illusion of a pencil sketch.
Nahon, Sam Rulz, Nomi Chi, Sven Groenvald (Lea Nahon, S. Groenvald, Nomi Chi)
Again, not exactly a style. The artist uses realistic shading,
shadows and prospectives to give the illusion of depth.
on a thin line between illustrative, sketchy, and traditional
tattoos, engraving uses black lines to simulate ancient wood
engraving techniques, taking inspiration from medieval like
Rulz, Maxime Buchi, Andrei Svetov (A. SV, Sam Rulz)
Next style has no name yet, and it’s slightly less diffused.. But I like it, so it’s in the list. ;) Tipical traditional pieces but coloured with flat colors, almost no shades, and twisted, experimental, original designs.
Adrian Edek, Sany Kim, Aivaras Lee, Patryk Hilton
a definition I hate, cause I’m convinced there is no room for sex
differencies in art. I’m a big bearded boy and still I would
proudly wear a Jody Dawber or Cassandra Frances’ piece. Still,
this is how people call it. Bold lines and flat shading are mixed
with bright colors like pink, yellow, light blue, that perfectly fits
the “cuteness” of the subjects, often inspired from pop culture
and cartoon characters.
Dawber (basically a traditional artist), Alex Strangler, Sasha Mezoghlian (A. Strangler, J. Dawber, S. Mezoghlian)
last style of this list have no name yet, but it’s still worth to be
considered cause of it’s diffusion and people response to it.
Basically the artists recreates a simpler, geometrical, version of
the subjects, with no black outline, and a watercolor effect.
Unisex, Marius Trubisz, Marcin Surowiec, David Cote (M. Surowiec, Sasha Unisex)
On this day in music history: May 14, 1976 - “Fly Like An Eagle”, the ninth album by The Steve Miller Band is released. Produced by Steve Miller, it is recorded at CBS Studios in San Francisco, CA from Late 1975 - Early 1976. Recording with varying degrees of success since their debut album “Children Of The Future”, The Steve Miller Band finally have their major breakthrough in late 1973 with “The Joker”. Miller takes a nearly two year hiatus from recording after the departures of drummer John King and keyboardist Dick Thompson. They are replaced by Gary Mallaber who as both a drummer and keyboard player becomes a key member of the new line up. Before the sessions begin in late 1975, Steve Miller writes enough material for not one but two albums. Once in the studio, Miller, Mallaber and bassist Lonnie Turner are supported by John McFee (dobro), Les Dudek, Curley Cooke (guitar), Joachim Young (organ), Kenny Johnson (drums), Charles Calamise (bass), and Chicago blues legend James Cotton (harmonica). The sessions yield more than two dozen songs. Initially, Miller intends for them to be released as a double album, but is convinced by Capitol to choose the best twelve songs for a single LP, and save the rest. The title track “Fly Like A Eagle” (#2 Pop) is actually written years prior to the release of “The Joker” album. The song’s opening guitar riff has its origins in the song “My Dark Hour” from the “Brave New World” album, that also features Paul McCartney (credited as “Paul Ramon”) on bass, guitar and drums. Miller re-tools the song from how it was originally performed, giving it a more funky, syncopated feel, drawing inspiration from War’s “Slippin’ Into Darkness”. Once released, it quickly becomes the best selling studio album of Miller’s career. It spins off three singles including “Take The Money And Run” (#11 Pop) and “Rock'N Me” (#1 Pop). Though not issued as singles, the tracks “Serenade”, “Dance, Dance, Dance” and “Wild Mountain Honey” become rock radio staples and firm fan favorites. “Fly Like An Eagle” is remixed into quadraphonic stereo and is released on 8-Track tape. Also a favorite album of audiophiles, the original stereo mix is released as a half-speed mastered LP by Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab in 1979. Originally released on CD in 1987, it is remastered and reissued in 1999 on CD and limited edition vinyl. In 2001, DTS Entertainment issues a DVD-A disc featuring the original quadraphonic stereo mix. For its 30th anniversary in 2006, Capitol issues a newly remastered edition of “Eagle” with three additional live bonus tracks, and a bonus DVD with the contents of disc one in 5.1 surround sound. And in October of 2016, the album is released on vinyl again as part of an extensive reissue program, to celebrate the 75th anniversary of Capitol Records. “Fly Like An Eagle” peaks at number three on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified 4x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.
What Punk Rockers Might Have Been Like On Facebook (this is kind of a joke sorry):
Joe Strummer would have probably posted political photos, news pages, and videos- and maybe even a few rants on politics- that could’ve gotten likes from his band members who were actually interested as opposed to his friends who weren’t. Every once in a while, there might be some lyrics he’s been working on.
Mick Jones would’ve been the drama queen and the selfie queen. He would have a whole album for pictures entitled “Me” full of 74 selfies. There would also be rants about his band members picking on him for being late to practice with his frappacinos talking about how they didn’t care that he was “sensitive” and also a few “why isn’t anyone liking my selfies” statuses. His facebook page would practically be his diary and his bandmates would hate it.
Paul Simonon would have 1 profile picture that was a little blurry and didn’t even look like him. He wouldn’t have any pictures of himself other than that one and almost no information about himself except for maybe that he is male and single. There would be hardly any status updates and the ones he posted would be very mundane and a little confusing. He would probably stalk his bandmates’ facebooks though.
Topper Headon would probably share Joe’s political photos, like all of Mick’s statuses just to tease him- never the selfies though- and all of Paul’s statuses just because he could. He would probably make a post right before he went to work out and afterwards talk about how much he worked out and all the karate he does.
I put Sid Vicious and Nancy Spungen together because they would be the facebook couple- and you know which one I’m talking about. There would be endless amounts of selfies and kissing pictures and statuses about how much they love each other. They would probably tag each other in every status they post and annoy almost every one of their facebook friends. Aside from posting about each other, Sid would probably post a few- decent and not douchebag title worthy- selfies for a profile picture and pictures of every meal he partakes. Nancy would post many half-naked selfies to assure everyone that she is attractive.
Steve Jones would post a lot of shirtless mirror selfies to in fact show that he is a ladies man. His profile pictures would include those selfies along with pictures of him with as many girls as he could get a picture with because that is how Steve rolls.
John Lydon would stalk everyone- especially Ari Up to make sure she wasn’t getting herself into trouble- and would absolutely not be ashamed of it. Any pictures of himself would probably not be selfies and he might occasionally share some of the political things posted by Joe Strummer. John’s statuses would be full of witty comments about his friends and family that could at times be insulting, but always funny.
The king of friend selfies would be Paul Cook. Almost every single picture of him would probably be with Steve Jones who might untag himself in said pictures because they weren’t hot enough for him. Paul’s statuses would usually be checking in somewhere and he’d probably tag all his bandmates in it.
Glen Matlock would have a fair share of selfies- not on a douchebag level, though- that his mother would comment and tell him that they didn’t look like him, which would result in numerous comments from his bandmates teasing him. He would also probably post lots of artsy looking pictures of his bass that were too impressive not to like. On average, his statuses would get likes from two people: Malcolm McLaren and his mother.
Ari Up’s statuses would all be in German and all be rants on the fact that she is single or currently going through a breakup. There wouldn’t be any likes or comments because nobody on there who spoke German would want to say anything. There would be some selfies with Nina Hagen which would probably end up as her profile pictures.
There would be endless breakup statuses about Mick Jones from Viv Albertine about how trapped he made her feel and how she’s glad she’s out of that relationship but she still misses him. There wouldn’t be any comments or likes because everyone would probably scroll past. She wouldn’t be ignored on facebook though: her tasteful and occasional selfies would get many likes from many people.
Patti Smith’s facebook would scream arty. Every single status would be a poem brilliantly written and beautiful that would get quite a few likes from her friends who enjoy her music. There would also be quite a few artistic selfies- maybe posted from instagram. She would be facebook popular for her mysterious artistic taste.
Joey Ramone would post a lot of pictures of his cats and all his selfies would be Joey ft. his cats. There would also be statuses of his cats that no one would understand.
Malcolm McLaren would be the ultimate facebook stalker just so he could know all the hot gossip about the bands he manages. He would have a small collection of selfies and would also be the one you’d get numerous FarmVille notifications from.
Terrific power pop track from LA group The Nerves, an early project by Jack Lee, Peter Case and Paul Collins. The group was around for a few years, and even managed to tour with The Ramones. After disbanding in 1978, both Case and Collins went on to front more famous power pop / punk bands: The Plimsouls and The Beat. (here’s a track)
Am I the only one hearing a heavy Zombies influence on this Case-penned number?