Traditional Tattoos

Famous Traditional tattoos

There are many names for traditional style tattooing. Some call it an old school tattoo style while others call it Western traditional tattoo style or classic tattoo style. This American style traditional tattoo is famous for its bright and catchy colors, bold patterns, and iconic designing that includes flowers, anchors, etc.

Famous Traditional tattoos

They originally have 2D images, shading work, and original motifs. Bold lines filled with black ink that etch out the picture of a wing spreading hawk, an anchor encrusted with a rose, or a vessel at sea; these are some illustrations that will come to your mind when you think about traditional tattoo style. These timeless tattoos are popular for their stereotypical design.

Old school Traditional Tattoo artists

Among the many examples of the traditional tattoo stylists, some strikingly significant ones are mentioned below: 

  • Bert Grimm
  • Don Ed Hardy
  • Sailor Jerry

Apart from these talented people, there is a vast list of those who aided in the popularization and preservation of traditional tattoo styling. People like Huck Spaulding, Maud Wagner, Amund Dietzel, Kate Hellenbrand, Jonathan Shaw, etc. have played a colossal role in shaping the philosophies and designs of Traditional American tattooing. Their inventiveness and boldness are all part of the Western culture that impacted this art development.

Traditional Western tattoos

Traditional tattoo designs include animals, shapes, stars, landscapes, military insignia, etc. and each has a meaning associated with it. For example, panthers, snakes, sharks represent strength and bravery. Sparrows tell us about the distance a sailor has covered and also signifies the concept of returning. As this bird always returns to its original home. The dragon tattoo, first observed because of Sailor Jerry being the main Western tattooist to be in contact with Japanese tattooists, isn’t just a profound appreciation for Irezumi, but at the same time is a nod to the power of the mythical beast.

Another significant symbol of Traditional tattooing is the Rock of Ages, a cross made of stone inside a woman sticking to its edifice, usually during crashing waves or deep sea. First seen in the 1860 canvases of Johannes Oertel, it is a religious picture that many people including Americans, customers, and tattooists resonated with. There are a huge number of pictures that correspond with the Traditional tattoo style, each represents something significant, that have been gathered by studios, art galleries, artists, and art books around the world

Neo Traditional Tattoo style

However, with time, the general public of America started designing this style with elements that had some meaning for their culture or surroundings. Some examples are mentioned below: 

  • Lucky Charms (clovers, horseshoes)
  • Patriotic symbols (flags, eagles)
  • People (sailors, pin-up girlies)

You can never go wrong with this genre of tattoo styling because of its aesthetics and deem outlines that are loved by the tattoo community. Some well-known traditional tattoo styling artists are  Derick Montez, Matte Bokis, Rose Hardy, Almagro Tattooer, Bobby Marck, and Debbie Jones. 

With the growing technology and rapid development, the whole concept of tattoos and public perception of these symbols started evolving, resulting in various styles like Realism tattoos, Neo-traditional tattoos, Neo School, etc.

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