67 Unique Illustrative Tattoos & Top Tattoo Artists Just for You

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Want to get an illustrative tattoo but aren't sure you know about all its types and styles? Read our article and find out all the information you need.

“What is an illustrative tattoo? What does it look like? What are its types?” Our team has heard these questions many times, so we decided to answer them as accurately and in detail as possible. In this article, we have paid special attention to different types of tattoos, including color as well as black and grey ones, so you can easily go to the section that interests you to quickly and efficiently navigate the article.

We also answered important questions as how an illustrative tattoo differs from a realistic one and what an illustrative portrait tattoo is. A nice bonus is that we have conducted a serious analysis of the best tattoo artists in this style so you can choose the most interesting one.

So do not waste time and explore the world of illustrative tattoos with us!

What is an illustrative tattoo?

When we talk about an illustrative tattoo, it is worth noting that there is no single definition that could tell us what it is and what are its typical features. Illustrative tattoos include many styles (dotwork, linework, blackwork, and many others) and can be both colorful or black and grey

Perhaps the only rule that tattoo artists should follow when performing such a tattoo style is that it should not be hyper-realistic. The main task of an illustrative tattoo is to depict objects and landscapes as creatively as possible, avoiding too clear and distinct plots. This tattoo should look like an illustration from a book or magazine, be a simple and yet creative drawing.

Illustrative tattoo artists

Before you dive into the world of illustrative tattoos, you should get acquainted with several artists who specialize in this type of tattoo. They have shown themselves to be true professionals, so we are sure that you will find for yourself the one whose style will be closest to you. 

In addition, we have chosen tattoo artists from different cities, so we hope that this will further increase the chance that you will find one of the best and the nearest to you! If you haven’t found the perfect candidate, you can learn about other top tattoo artists here.

Tattoo artistStyleWork examples

Jake Parrington
Location
Derry
Illustrative, Black and Grey
Contact Jake

Drae Malliaros
Location
Boston
Illustrative, Fineline Tattoo, Black and Grey
Contact Drae

Latricia Horstman
Location
Plymouth
Illustrative, Traditional, Neo-traditional, Floral print
Contact Latricia

Jordan Cole Wright
Location
San Francisco
Illustration, fine line work, black work
Contact Jordan

Jack Trip
Location
Philadelphia
Illustrative, Cover-ups, Realism
Contact Jack

Cynthia Darling
Location
Little Rock
Illustrative
Contact Cynthia

Color illustrative tattoos

Apparently, everyone first saw color illustrations in children’s books, which had cute and naive pictures depicting the object, landscape, or event. This style is completely unique and has become the perfect choice for many people’s tattoos. So let’s explore the most popular types of colored illustrative tattoos together!

Floral

Floral designs have always been popular with both women and men. These tattoos are made in many styles, with different compositions and sizes. In the case of illustrative flower tattoos, they are brightly colored and made in a very artistic style.

Watercolor

Watercolor tattoo was especially popular a few years ago, but even today there are more and more creative and special designs that impress with their uniqueness. In this style, the real master is Jerrra Blues, who not only implements interesting designs but also helps her clients to come up with and realize their own idea. 

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Above are just a few examples of illustrative watercolor tattoos, but if you want to get acquainted with much more unique designs, you can find them here.

Animals

If you are looking for something super cute, then this type of illustrative tattoo is for you. It is impossible not to pay attention to how the images of animals in this style are especially conveyed. You can easily portray your totem animal, a favorite pet, or just a cute hedgehog or cat. Any animal can be depicted in the best traditions of illustrative tattoos!

Japanese

Japanese culture has existed for many centuries and during this time has been enriched by dozens of traditional symbols and meanings. Many people find in it a reflection of the depth of their feelings, wisdom, and understanding of life. At the same time, Japanese culture continues to modernize, and in addition to the well-known traditional symbols such as stork, tiger, or sakura, you can see such novelties as anime, which is also actively depicted in illustrative tattoos.

Cartoon and anime

Images of animated or anime characters are very common in illustrative tattoos. Due to the fact that in many cases they are 2D, their embodiment in the illustrative style is pretty simple โ€“ just redraw. At the same time, it requires considerable effort and Roger Parrilla is the perfect tattoo artist in this case. Just contact him, choose a picture of your favorite character, go to the tattoo parlor, and without further words make your dream tattoo come true!

Classical art

Everybody knows that classical art is much more than just a painting on canvas but a true masterpiece of a personโ€™s imagination. Every year more and more people become interested in art and want to depict it on their own bodies in the form of tattoos. There are now hundreds of incredible and unique designs that adorn many people. This type of tattoo is an ideal part for those who want to implement a piece of high art on their body.

Black and grey illustrative tattoos

If you are not a fan of colored tattoos and are looking for something more elegant, your ideal choice would be a black and grey type of tattoo. It contains a lot of styles, so you will definitely find something that you like!

Minimalist

Minimalist tattoos are one of the most popular and diverse types of illustrative tattoos that you will ever find. The simplicity of lines, the interesting plot of the image, harmony, and balance โ€“ it’s all about this type of tattoo. 

Find out about 60+ exclusive minimalist tattoos

Geometric

If you want to embody an unusual tattoo with an interesting and difficult plot, then the geometric type of illustrative tattoo is just for you. Often such designs include images of natural objects in combination with triangles, squares or circles. Thanks to such an unusual mix it is possible to achieve an interesting effect of a completely unique and personalized illustration.

Botanical

This type of tattoo shows all the unity of man with nature. Botanical illustrative tattoo looks extremely harmonious on any part of the body. Due to the fact that such a tattoo usually contains many small elements, not all tattoo artists can handle it. However, Pooka is a true professional in this field and if you look at her work, you will be pleasantly surprised.

Dotwork

A dotwork illustrative tattoo is one of the most difficult to perform and requires a lot of attention from the tattoo artist to every detail. Even one wrong point can change the whole look of an image. Despite the complexity, this illustrative tattoo can incredibly convey all the shadows, shapes and decorate the plot with the absence of sharp lines.

Small designs

If you are unsure whether you will like to make large tattoos, a small design can be a great option. Due to its accuracy and compact size, getting this tattoo takes no more than an hour, so the procedure will be very fast and almost painless. In addition, if you still do not like tattoos, it is very easy to remove, but remember that you need to know the basic principles of how it is done.

Full sleeve

Unlike small tattoos, full sleeve one is done by people who are 100% confident in their choice. This type of illustrative tattoo can contain many different elements, from botanical to geometric. Whatever design you choose, it will look very harmonious and unusual.

Blackwork

This style is one of the most unique in its structure. Designs of this style include a lot of black color in the image. This can apply to everything: to the background, objects or even just shadows. Due to the large use of black, this tattoo is very visible on the skin and stands out.

What is an illustrative portrait tattoo?

Illustrative tattoo portrait is a very unusual style, thanks to which you can convey the image of any person. Often such images are very schematic and do not contain a lot of shadows. They are often combined with other elements such as botanical or geometric objects.

Most often, such tattoos are performed in black and grey tones, using different styles of tattoos: from blackwork to dotwork. In general, the image of this type of tattoo does not have any special rules, the main thing is that the design itself has artistic elements, harmoniously combined in the composition. Below we can see some examples of such work.

Illustrative tattoo VS realism

Some people wonder how the illustrative style of tattoo differs from the realistic one. Therefore, we suggest you unravel the main characteristics.

IllustrativeFeatureRealism
IllustrativeColors and shades are conveyed in great detail in a realistic tattoo. Instead, the illustrative one does not have such rules, the lines can be blurred and many artistic elements are added.Realism
IllustrativeWhile a realistic tattoo focuses on the most accurate depiction of a particular image, the illustrative one can depict everything less clearly, often replacing it with lines. This allows you to achieve the image of a real illustration and avoid the effect of hyperrealism.Realism
IllustrativeIn the case of landscapes, the main difference is that in illustrative tattoos everything is depicted more schematically, in bright colors, often even without shadows. At the same time, a realistic tattoo tries to convey all the colors as accurately as possible.Realism

Summary

We hope that this article was helpful to you and you loved this type of tattoo as much as we did. In this article, we have described in detail different types of tattoos, including color as well as black and grey ones. Due to this, you could easily go to the section that interests you to quickly and efficiently navigate in the article.

We also answered such important questions as how an illustrative tattoo differs from a realistic one and what an illustrative portrait tattoo is. A nice bonus is that we have conducted a deep and detailed analysis of the best tattoo artists in this style so you can choose the best one. What is more, they all are from different cities, so we are sure that youโ€™ll be able to find the one that lives in the same state or even a city as you!

FAQ

๐Ÿ” What is an illustrative blackwork tattoo?

This style is one of the most unique in its structure. Designs of this style include a lot of black color in the image. This can apply to everything: to the background, objects or even just shadows. Due to the large use of black, this tattoo is very visible on the skin and stands out.

๐Ÿ”บ What are geometric tattoos?

Often geometric tattoos include images of natural objects in combination with triangles, squares, or circles. Thanks to such an unusual mix it is possible to achieve an interesting effect of a completely unique and personalized illustration.

๐Ÿ’ญ What are the different styles of tattooing?

There are dozens of different styles but the main are new school tattoo, traditional American tattoo, Japanese, black&grey, neo-traditional, tribal, trash polka, realism, and watercolor.

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