Tattoos mean different things to different people. For some, the point is to have a tattoo rather than the point a tattoo can make. Speaking of pointing, you can just point to a piece of pre-printed flash on a tattoo parlor wall and get that inked. And that’s what a lot of people do.
All of the flash-inspired designs are pretty standard; Hello Kitty tattoos on lower backs and Celtic knots and tribal arm bands wallpaper many a tattoo studio wall. That stuff’s there for easy decision-making.
But there are tattoo artists out there with Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees who are creating detailed, saturated and compelling illustrations on skin canvases. The images here, for example, are from Diving Swallow Tattoos in Oakland, California, and boast a painterly quality to them.