Realism Tattoos

Realism Tattoos

15 Beautiful Ideas for Realism Tattoos

15 Beautiful Ideas for Realism Tattoos.  If you enjoy the look of realism tattoos, you’ve come to the right place. Here are 10 beautiful ideas that really bring the style to life!

Realism TattoosWhether or not you have gotten a tattoo before, chances are that you have at least thought about it. Though the practice has been around for millenniums, the art form has really taken off in the modern day.

Recently, tattoos have even begun to be more accepted in the workplace.

Perhaps you have considered getting one, but you want the tattoo to look pretty much exactly like the image after which it is fashioned. This is called the style of realism tattoos, and there are many truly elegant options for you to consider.

Listed below are fifteen beautiful ideas for you.

Family Members or Loved Ones

One of the many reasons someone like yourself might consider getting a realistic-looking tattoo is because of its meaning. You are not alone – 43% of tattooed people think that having a personal significance is important.

So, what (or who) means a lot to you? A photo-realistic tattoo is great for people that you care about in your life. Have them permanently remembered in this style of tattoo to truly capture their essence forever.

Favorite Pets or Animals

Another common meaningful idea for realism tattoos involves your cherished pets. Realism is a great way to capture any kind of animal, so why wouldn’t you consider getting a tattoo of your fur-baby?

Significant Historical Figures

A realistic image of a human’s face or physique is particularly difficult to draw, and it’s even more difficult to tattoo. Nevertheless, it’s common to prefer tattoos of people in the style of realism to other popular tattoo styles.

If you find a tattoo artist that you can trust with such details, a realistic portrait of your favorite historical figure could end up being a very beautiful piece.

Navigational Instruments

Though realism isn’t the oldest style of tattoo, there are still certain images and items that are considered to be traditional. If you want to blend the modern style with a classic object, think about navigational tools.

It’s easy to think of old-fashioned sailors with tattoos, so imagine how vintage you would feel with a tattoo of their traditional tools. These items would include compasses, maps, or even telescopes. Many people associate these navigational tools with the “journey of life,” so the meaning for one can be as layered as you want it to be.


Another traditional tattoo to consider is a watch or a clock. Timepieces are also part of navigation, but there is more of an element of family ties with this one.

Think about how watches are passed down through the generations. Maybe you have one within your family – this would be perfect as a meaningful, realistic tattoo.

Favorite Celebrities

Many people capture their favorite modern celebrities in the style of realism tattoos. These could be artists, actors, or even sports athletes.

Flowers or Plants

A more natural approach to realism tattoos is to consider your favorite plant or flower. This is more of a feminine approach to a tattoo, but it would truly make a beautiful image.

A Close-Up Photo of an Eye

There is a trend that is becoming more popular within every style of tattoo. People seem to like the idea of having an enlarged eye tattooed on them.

You can get as creative as you want with this idea. There could be color, tears, or even light glinting off of the eye, and a proper realism tattoo artist would do a great job of perfectly capturing the details.

Jewels and Jewelry

Realism tattoos do well for images that play with and capture light. Think about the glint of light off of a shining jewel, and you have yet another great idea for your realism tattoo.

Pieces of Art

Tattooing is an art form which has the power to capture other art forms. If you have a favorite sculpture or painting, odds are that it would be both a meaningful, relevant, and detailed tattoo.

Talk to your tattoo artist to see if he or she is familiar with the piece before getting started on it.

Scenic Landscapes

For a larger piece, consider one of your favorite natural landscapes. Snowy mountains, calm beaches, or flowered meadows are all great ideas for realism tattoos.

Though they would be ornate and detailed, the simplicity of the concept would be very pleasing to the eye.

Movie or Television Scenes

Another larger idea for realism tattoos has to do with the modern art form of film. It’s okay if you’re really into a certain television series or movie because there is a way to make that a permanent part of your physique!

Musical Instruments

If you are a musician of some sort, you probably have a very strong connection to your preferred instrument. To eternalize the importance it has had within your personal (and maybe professional) life, think about getting a photo-realistic tattoo of it.

Realism Tattoos of Your Internal Organs

This might sound a little too much gore for you, but realism tattoos of internal organs are actually starting to be fairly popular. These images sometimes appear as though the skin has been peeled back to reveal an internal organ such as the heart or a section of lung.

Sometimes, it’s the bones, tendons, and tissues underneath that appear to be “revealed.”

Historical Buildings

The last idea for realism tattoos is also another art form. Architecture has a historical and cultural importance throughout time.

If there is a certain building that you think is worth to tattoo on your body, by all means, go for it! You deserve to have whatever image you want tattooed, so don’t hold back with your creativity in this department.

We know how important it is to get your tattoo just how you want it. If you want a realism tattoo or any other style of tattoo, we can assure you that the professional artists we employ will be able to exactly meet your expectations.

We encourage you to reach out to us today if you are interested in getting a tattoo. You can contact us here.

Japanese tattoo designs

Japanese tattoo designs

The History of Japanese Tattoo Designs

Japanese tattoo designs

The history of Japanese tattoo designs is long and rich. Learn more about this stunning style, some classic designs, and the origins of both!

Three in ten American adults have tattoos, and out of that number, seven out of those ten have more than one. Tattoos are no longer considered taboo, a fad, or even a trend.

To the person who wears them with pride, they’re a symbol of their personal story. A testament to all of the love and hardship life has thrown at them.

In a way, they’re battle wounds. They are an autobiography. A way to show art appreciation without uttering a word on the topic.

If you want to tell your own story with ink, why not look into Japanese tattoo designs?

Japan has a rich history filled with symbolism, honor, and mythology. Keep reading to learn more about Japanese tattoo designs, what they mean, and how they can help tell your story.

Japanese tattoo designs

1. Dragons

Japanese style dragons are a popular choice. While European dragons were always cruel and angry and more concerned with accumulating wealth and destroying villages, Asian dragons were much different.

It doesn’t matter what part of the world the story originates from, dragons represent power, authority, and respect.

For Japanese tattoo designs, dragons symbolize wisdom and strength. In Japanese history, dragons were benevolent guardians who used their strength to help make humans better people.

If this sounds familiar with your story, talk to your local artist to see if they can help you map out the right dragon tattoo idea for you.

Japanese style dragon tattoos are often the main part of arm and leg sleeves as well as large chest and back pieces. If you’re looking to take up a lot of canvas with your ink, a dragon tattoo could be right for you.

2. Koi

Are you determined to be successful in life? Do you have the strength to make things happen?

Something with koi fish might be one of the best Japanese tattoo designs for you.

Some legends claim that Koi swim up rivers and climb waterfalls. They are heralded as the brave fish, the aquatic versions of samurai. They built strength by going against the current and as legend has it, the fish would become dragons if they were strong enough to make it to the top of a waterfall.

We all have our own battles that life throws at us. Some of us refuse to go with the flow. We believe we can create our own destiny by forging our own path in the world.

If your life sounds something like this, incorporate these Japanese tattoo designs.

Koi are often depicted as brightly colored with tattoos. So if you want something with lots of color, this is a great option.

3. Cherry Blossoms

The cherry blossom tree, when in full bloom, is one of the most beautiful natural things on earth. It’s so beautiful that Sakura, which means “cherry blossom” in Japanese, is one of the most popular names for girls in the country.

But why do they show up so often in Japanese tattoo designs?

The blossoms, in Japanese culture, represent the beauty of life and just how fragile it can be. Why? Because the trees are only in full bloom for a few weeks.

If you have a birthday, anniversary, or some other life-changing event that’s in April, cherry blossoms are a relevant tattoo idea.

Maybe you need a daily reminder that life is short and you should live in the present and be mindful of the world around you as it is. For you, this idea is perfect.

We, as Americans, typically don’t spend enough time thinking about and appreciating what we have for however long we have it. Life is filled with plenty of good and bad.

This tattoo idea may be able to help you with self-reflection and appreciating the good in your life.

Cherry blossom tattoos are frequently seen with Japanese style wind swirls to further push the idea of brevity in life and beauty. You will also see them against dreary and black backgrounds, symbolizing the small bright spots of good in an otherwise depressing world.

4. Demon Masks

This is often referred to as an oni mask. Oni are demons, though the literal translation is “troll” or “ogre”. All supernatural creatures in Japanese folklore are referred to as demons, even the ones associated with good.

Some oni carry out punishment of the wicked. Some believe they are the guardians of the underworld, which is why they are typically found around the dead and the dying or in places where catastrophe is about to happen.

If you’re a spiritual person without a religion to call your own, the oni mask is a great idea for your ink.

These classically have a lot of color like the koi tattoos and are also incorporated into large pieces like the dragon tattoos.

5. Wind and Waves

Wind and waves are often used in Japanese tattoo designs as filler. Filler is anything that is basically considered a backdrop to your main piece, such as the koi or dragon.

Wind and wave tattoos are known for their beauty and the swirling art styles used to create them. They are usually black or blue (to represent the sky or water), and the color isn’t what really matters.

The key to quality wind and waves are the shading. If you’re a shading fanatic, no matter what Japanese tattoo designs you’re after, ask about including these as part of your filler work.

They also have some symbolism all their own. Nature is certainly a force to be reckoned with and these tattoos help to symbolize and accentuate strength, fluidity, and movement.

Japanese Tattoo Designs – The Takeaway

What matters way more than symbolism is choosing a design you love. It’s going to be on your body for a long time.

You also want to vet your artist. Check out their portfolio and chat with them for a bit. You want someone who is skilled and makes you feel comfortable in their chair.

If you’re in Las Vegas or Henderson, Nevada, or on Maui, come in and chat with us. We’d love to hear from you. You can also contact us today on this site to book an appointment or schedule a meeting.

Trash Polka

Trash Polka

Trash Polka: Pushing the Boundaries in Tattoo Design

Trash Polka: Pushing the Boundaries in Tattoo Design

Beauty in chaos is the underlying motif of the German-born trash polka tattoo style. Click here to learn more about this dark, edgy, collage-like body art.

Trash Polka

Tattoos have become increasingly popular. For many, the stigma associated with this art form has long gone.

People now look to tattoos as an outward expression of their individuality.

Surveys show that an estimated 45 million people in the U.S have at least one tattoo.

In light of this, it’s unsurprising that tattoo fans are hunting for pieces that are bigger, better and bolder than ever before.

This is where Trash Polka comes into its own.

Let’s explore this tattoo style in more detail.

What Is Trash Polka?

Tattoo genres are continually developing to meet the needs of various tattoo trends and demands.

One such style is Trash Polka. This a relatively new yet, revolutionary style of tattooing.

Trash polka prides itself on its uniqueness. It aims to push the boundaries of traditional tattoo art.

This genre was created and developed by tattoo artists Volko Merschky and Simone Plaff, in Wurzburg, Germany in their tattoo parlor, Buena Vista Tattoo Club.

These artists are renown for their alternative choice of themes and colors used throughout their work.

Volko describes their art as a combination of: “realism and trash; nature and the abstract; technology and humanity; past, present, and future; opposites that they are trying to urge into a creative dance to harmony and rhythm in tune with the body”.

The beauty of Trash Polka is its ability to evolve. However, there are certain traits the tattoo must have. Without them, the piece can’t be considered a genuine imitation of the style.

These include:

  • The combination of realistic images with smudges, and dynamic design. This brings a chaotic look to the piece.
  • Occasionally, words, phrases, or quotes will be incorporated. However, the calligraphy must compliment the rest of the design.
  • Black and red ink always feature in these tattoos. However, variations can include black-gray coloring.
  • The tattoo must resemble a collage that combines both natural-looking images and photo-realistic images.

The Best Way to Describe the Trash Polka Genre?

The best way to describe Trash Polka is a combination of realism, surrealism, script and abstract lines.

When all of the elements of the tattoo are combined they usually don’t link. This is purposely done to make the tattoo look wild and ambiguous.

Death and everything connected to this notion is usually the foundation for these totems.


This genre is famous for utilizing both bold and fine lines. These were selected to complement the use of black and red ink. This makes the finished piece look dramatic.


This genre is limited in the sense of how many artists can replicate this style well.

It’s very new and most commonly found in Germany. This is a perfect choice if you’re looking for unique body art.


Trash Polka epitomizes the use of novel designs. The imagery of different items unrelated to each other is one of the foundations of this style.

Universal Symbolism in Trash Polka Design

There are several symbols typically associated with this tattoo style. Commonly, people associate this genre with rebellion.

Rebelliousness strikes the core of these designs and is achieved by using bold, bright and in some cases, vulgar imagery.

This art aims to protest societal norms, to rebuke commonness and monotony and to spur a sense of irony.

Put simply, all these pieces are thought-provoking and will often have a hidden meaning to them.

This is why the below images are often used in Trash Polker designs.

However, the meanings of these symbols are always up for interpretation. Only the tattoo artist and the recipient of the piece will ever truly know the imagery’s true meaning.;


These symbolize our inevitable death and all things evil in the world. Skulls are usually used to represent a multitude of issues in society. They could also represent the individuals intrinsic evil.


The inclusion of dice can represent; opportunity, chance, luck, and evil.


Clocks always represent the passage of time.

This genre often includes broken dials within the timepieces. This sometimes represents the fact that nothing is permanent.

Imagery like this almost alludes to the idea that time always gets the better of us in the end.


These are very prominent of thsi style. Usually, these faces are drawn without eyes, rotted faces or, a bloodied face.

Volko and Simone would often include celebrity faces and design them in an abstract way.

What Do I Need to Consider Before Having This Tattoo Style?

As with all tattoos you need to consider its placement, colors, and design carefully.

You also need to source an artist who’s willing to work with the images you want to use (as not all of them will be).

Remember, all tattoos fade over time. Bear in mind that fine lines are more likely to blur eventually.

As this style is designed to look fresh, you have to make sure you won’t fall out of love with your piece.

By looking fresh, we mean a tattoo that appears ‘just finished’. The gloss of the newly printed tattoo adds to its ‘pop’.

You have to consider what your design will look like when it begins to fade. This is especially true for those who frequently expose their skin to the sun.

This genre is fabulous if you want a larger tattoo because ideally, you need a more significant section of the body to work on for these designs to look their best.

As previously alluded to, you can add plenty of details and hidden meanings to your piece. This style is perfect if that sort of thing’s important to you.

Do You Want a Trash Polka Style Tattoo?

If you’re looking to get this of style tattoo please feel free to contact us today, and we’ll be more than happy to book you in for a consultation.

Alternatively, if you have any questions about this genre or about the tattooing process please feel free to send us in your questions and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

Or, if you’re looking for further information and tattoo inspiration please feel free to browse our blog.

Stop by our Maui Tattoo Shop or Henderson Tattoo Shop

Dotwork Tattoos

Dotwork Tattoos

Everything You Need to Know About Dotwork Tattoos

Dotwork Tattoos

Everything You Need to Know About Dotwork Tattoos

Dotwork is an intricate style of tattoo that is becoming more and more popular. Here you’ll discover everything you need to know about dotwork tattoos.

Tattoos are becoming more popular than ever. They serve as a form of self-expression, a memorial, or even just a collector’s hobby.

In the past, society viewed them as something only military service members, criminals, or gang members would have put on their body.

Today, you most likely know someone who has at least one tattoo. Celebrities also play a role in this cultural shift.

Stars such as Adam Levine, Dwayne Jonson, and David Beckham have made getting inked more acceptable for the general public.

To put it into perspective, the industry was worth $2.3 billion in 2012.

But, people are beginning to explore dotwork tattoos along with traditional ones.

They’ve become an increasingly popular trend that people are flocking to, and customers seem to love their results.

Read on to learn everything you should know before you look into getting a dotwork tattoo.

So, What Are Dotwork Tattoos?

Dotwork TattoosLike the name implies, dotwork tattoos are images composed entirely of single dots. As you may expect, this process can take a long time to complete.

Artists typically use black and gray, as well. But, this doesn’t mean that color isn’t an option. Dark blue is used fairly often, but brighter colors are less common.

Throughout history, dotwork tattoos have traditionally been used for religious or cultural artwork. This is especially true in Asian and European countries.

In fact, they have been around for thousands of years.

Today, dotwork has reemerged as a trend due to the way the artwork looks when completed. Compared to conventional tattooing methods, dotwork ink tends to come out smoother.

When closely examined, this type of tattooing (as you can tell from the name) also allows you to see each individual dot. This gives the artwork more character.

Do They Hurt?

People tend to have different levels of pain tolerance when it comes to getting inked. More often than not, however, getting a tattoo is going to hurt.

The location of the ink heavily determines how bad the pain will be. The ribs, inner arms, and shoulder tend to be the most painful.

Those who have dotwork ink done often say that the pain is more localized to where the dot itself is. With regular tattoos, the pain may sometimes radiate throughout the entire area.

Does dotwork hurt less? It’s hard to say because neither type of procedure is particularly comfortable.

The major difference is the length of time it takes the artist to complete the work. Dotwork takes more time, which means that you will experience discomfort for a longer period.

How Are They Done?

The most interesting thing about this type of tattoo work is how it is done. While an artist can do dotwork pieces with a regular tattoo machine, many artists tend to use hand poking techniques.

Hand poking the ink into the skin allows the artist to be far more precise with their work.

It is also easy to tell this type of tattoo from a traditional one because of the process. Those who have hand poked tattoos frequently describe a high level of satisfaction with the work because it feels more organic to them.

Do They Cost More?

It’s no secret that tattoos can be expensive. Some artists charge based upon the entire piece, while others will want to be compensated by the hour.

Dotwork ink takes longer to complete than regular ink. Therefore, the price will most likely be higher than a similar piece that an artist does conventionally.

But, the price hasn’t done much to stop people who are set on getting the ink they want. While dotwork may demand more money and time, the results (from a talented artist) are worth it.

What Type of Art is Best?

There aren’t many hard limits on the type of art your artist can do with dotwork.

However, the most common subject matter for a tattoo artist to work with seems to be symbols.

These could be mandalas, geometric style tattoos, or even something minimalist.

Generally, though, the less complicated artwork is the best option. You’re going to have a very hard time finding an artist skilled enough for (or who would even want to do) a photorealistic dotwork piece.

As long as you’re willing to go through the extra pain, almost any type of artwork is possible. Dotwork tattoos have a unique appearance, but the concept for them does not have to be unusual.

How’s The Aftercare?

While the procedure for a dotwork tattoo may be a bit different than normal, the aftercare is the same.

After all, the ink ends up in the same place: underneath your skin. It’s just deposited in another way.

As long as you keep your ink moisturized and covered for the appropriate amount of time, it should heal just as normally as a regular tattoo.

What Else Is It Used For?

You don’t have to have an entire piece made completely out of dotwork. In regular tattoo art, dotwork is often used for shading.

In pieces that are primarily black and gray, it’s not uncommon at all for an artist to finish up with this method.

Not all dotwork shading is conventional. To save time, artists may use certain types of tattoo machines that emulate the effects of hand-poked dotwork tattoos.

When an artist uses this type of shading, it creates a smooth, almost foggy appearance to the areas where the artist utilizes it.

How Do I Know if I Should Get a Dotwork Tattoo?

There aren’t tattoos that you can do with only dotwork. But, dotwork can make certain pieces appear softer and more natural.

If you are willing to go through what hand poked dotwork pieces take, then you should do so. Of course, make sure you find a reliable, professional tattoo artist to take care of you.

Where Do I Go from Here?

Once you’ve decided what tattoo you want and where you want it, research different shops and find a skilled artist that you resonate with.

To learn more about our talented artists, visit our artists’ page

Stop by our Maui Tattoo Shop or Henderson Tattoo Shop

American Traditional Tattoo

American Traditional Tattoo

5 Characteristics of an American Traditional Tattoo

5 Characteristics of an American Traditional Tattoo

A unique art style in itself, the American traditional tattoo has long held its own in parlors across the country. Here are the 5 most common characteristics.

Are you stuck choosing a tattoo?

Then consider the American traditional category. These tattoos have a visible presence in the world of ink, marked by specific themes and styles. Striking and meaningful, this type of tattoo might be the best for you.

You might not be fully aware of everything this genre of tats has to offer. Even if you know about the traditional USA style, it’s worth reading a brief refresher.

American Traditional TattooIn a world with hundreds of potential tattoo designs, it’s important to know how to distinguish between the different choices. Here’s what you should know about American traditional.

1. Intense Themes

These tattoos are not for the faint-hearted. The images take an emotion or thought and push it to the maximum.

Check out this example of a tattoo. When you see it, you can’t help but immediately recognize it: it’s a skull. What that skull means to you could change depending on your interpretation.

But the point is that anything is on the table when you get a tattoo in this style: death, love, anger. They don’t always pay attention to the politeness of a situation.

That doesn’t mean you can’t show happiness with these tattoos, or that you have to be dark. In fact, more explicitly happiness is often encouraged. The difference between these and skin ink images of a more abstract, flowery persuasion is their recognizability.

They’re meant to look like something that the viewer will immediately recognize. The point is to reflect a reality in your life or in the world around you.

2. Realism

Given how crystal clear the messages behind these tattoos can be, it makes sense that the genre tends to stick to a realist theme.

One way to think about this point is to contrast other styles of tattoos. Think about this tattoo–what does it show? It’s not unrecognizable, but pizza with alien heads in it is a pretty unique idea, at least on this planet.

An American traditional tattoo usually sticks to images that are more reflective of real things. That’s why flowers, snakes, and faces usually appear in a non-abstract way. Getting this kind of tattoo means you probably will choose an image that is in some way iconic or easily recognized by a viewer.

That doesn’t mean the images always reflects something that looks exactly like a photograph. Often, this style is marked by a certain style of ink and design.

3. Clear Definition and Sharp Lines

Given the realist tendencies of these tattoos, it makes sense that they would be drawn with the sharp lines and contrasts that often define our world.

These tattoos have clear cuts and curves. The detail of every image is striking–how else could you show resemblance to something in the real world?

Check out how different these abstract tattoos seem from the average American traditional image. They’re not exactly confusing, but they seem to come from someone’s imagination, as opposed to their memories or sight.

That doesn’t mean these tattoos are limited by a reality restriction. In fact, it’s allowed the genre to make its own styles.

4. A Choosy Color Palette

If you know a thing or two about tattoos, then you know there are a lot of color options on the table. When getting a new tattoo, you can choose everything from rainbow schemes to white ink.

It makes sense that American traditional tattoos have carved out a unique spot along the color spectrum. Usually, these tattoos stick to a set group of colors: green, red, yellow, and a whole lot of black.

Generally, you’re not going to see a wild move away from these colors. That selection doesn’t mean that these tattoos are boring. Oppositely, the similar color schemes of these images have forced people to come up with increasingly unique images over the years.

That’s why, throughout history, these tattoos have been groundbreaking, both in the realm of tattoos and in culture in general.

5. Living History in American Traditional Tattoos

No matter what image you end up choosing, any image within this genre will stand out. There’s a rich history of tattoo pioneers within this genre changing the game for everyone else.

Take Sailor Jerry, also known as Norman Keith Collins. Originally from Nevada, fifty years into his life he was settled in Hawaii and dolling out original tattoos to his customers.

His legacy is printed all over this tattoo category. As time went on, he began to explore new frontiers of tattoos, earning a reputation for printing out unique images of importance on his customers. Some of those images nowadays that are associated with him include snakes, monkeys, and eagles.

Sailor Jerry is just one of many tattoo pioneers who have learned this tattoo style and helped to spread it throughout the country and world. This style began with the popularization of tattoos in the U.S. in general, meaning its journey through time reflects American culture.

It’s at once a representation of the fight to allow tattoos in American culture and a symbol of American culture itself. Its resistance or patriotism, depending on how you look at it–if not both at the same time.

When you zoom out in that historical context, you understand the meaning of the American traditional tattoo that could potentially be on your body.

The Right Kind for You

Having an American traditional tattoo puts you in unique company in the world of tattoos. You could look at the situation from different perspectives.

On the one hand, there is a wide range of celebrities who are tatted in the traditional American style. Have you seen Adam Levine’s tats? They’re a quite dense array of American ink.

Knowing that Maroon Five’s singer has this brand of tat might float your boat. Or, it might make the whole thing less appealing. If you’re not into celebrity status, don’t worry–plenty of normal people have these tattoos, too.

Looking for more information on your favorite tattoos? If you want more info or are looking to schedule an appointment, reach out to our team. We can help you out.

What are you waiting for?

You can pop by our Las Vegas Tattoo Shop, Henderson Tattoo Shop or Maui Tattoo Shop for more information and meet our artists.