Traditional

The traditional style is known for its bold lines, bright colors, and iconic designs like roses, anchors, and gorgeous lady heads. With heavy hitters in the history of Traditional like Sailor Jerry, Don Ed Hardy, Bert Grimm, and Lyle Tuttle, this style of tattooing is one of the most well-known and beloved aesthetics within the tattoo community. They're gorgeous from the get go, age beautifully, and are filled with the history of tattooing. 

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Phil Hatchet Yau

San Diego, CA | @philhatchetyau

Matthew Houston

Vancouver | @matthew_hotson

Myke Chambers

Philadelphia, PA | @mykechambers


Blackwork

Stylistically speaking, blackwork is a very broad categorical term. It applies almost any body art that's created using solely black ink, but as you can imagine, a lot can be done with this versatile and striking color. Looking through blackwork artists portfolios, you'll see everything from ancient sacred geometry to modern abstract ornamental designs to extremely detailed illustrative pieces. It is hands down the style where the most experimentation is currently occurring in the industry, and some of the work being produced today is absolutely mind-blowing. 

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Tine DeFiore

Chicago, IL | @tinedefiore

Su Flanda

Amsterdam | @suflanda

Ryan Ashley Malarkey

Kingston, PA | @ryanashleymalarkey


Minimalist

Minimalist tattoos are a growing trend, using crisp black lines, negative space, and sparse color palettes to convey a design that's clean and simple. These designs can be expansive or small, but the tattoo itself usually has precise, single lines that create a concise overall look.

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Mira Mariah

New York, NY | @girlknewyork

Jonathan Valena (JonBoy)

New York, NY | @jonboytattoo

Madame Buraka

Paris | @burakatattooflash


Japanese

The traditional Japanese style, aka Irezumi, originated during the Edo period (1603-1868) alongside ukiyo-e — woodblock prints that were hugely popular among the merchant class at the time. Because of this, the icons found in this time-tested genre of body art come from the country's age-old folklore, featuring tattooed heroes from the Suikoden and mythological creatures like dragons, kirins, and phoenixes. In short, every tattoo done in this style tells a story about Japans rich past, and beyond their dramatic smoke and wave filled appearance, this is what makes Irezumi masterpieces so powerful. 

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Horiyoshi III

Japan | @horiyoshi_3

Paul Dhuey

Green Bay, WI | @katanatattoo

Chris O’Donnell

New York, NY | @codonnell_nyc


Realism

Though classic realism has been a part of the fine art since as far back as the Renaissance, it only found its way to the world of tattoos recently, cropping up around the latter half of the 20th century. Since then, the style has become increasingly refined and extremely popular. As it now stands, you can find jaw-dropping color and black and grey portraits of pretty much any celebrity you can think of as well as realistic depictions of nature and just about anything else imaginable, even the surreal.

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Jun Cha

Los Angeles, CA | @juncha

Edgar Zavala

Chicago, IL | @zavalagalleria

Josh Grable

Chicago, IL | @josh_grable


New School

Don't let the name fool you, new school isn't really all that new anymore. It rose to prominence in the weirdness that was the late '80s and early '90s, but lately it has waned in popularity. This is probably because it was very much a product of its time, featuring a highly animated aesthetic that takes after popular entertainment from that period in American history. The style is cartoonish and wacky, featuring caricatures and other exaggerated figures. If you're the sort of person who likes their body art injected with the spirit of Ren and Stimpy, then this comic style is for you.

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Megan Massacre

New York, NY | @megan_massacre

Scotty Munster

St. Cloud, MN | @scottymunster

Ed Perdomo

Canada | @ed_perdomo


Neo-Traditional

The neo traditional tattoo is a modern variation of the old school or the American traditional tattoo. The neo-traditional tries to make things more modern by adding bold lines in the symbol and also through the use of realistic images and cartoons.

Emily Rose Murray

Melbourne | @emilyrose_murray

Vale Lovette

Italy | @valelovette

Aniela Señora Paloma

Stockholm | @fruduva