Is Tattooing an Art

Is Tattooing an Art? The Creative Expression Of Tattoos

So where does the line ends between when does tattooing an art or already destruction of your body's entirety? Tattooing may seem to be a mark of permanent changes in one's dermal surface and it can add beautification, embellishment, or somehow, untidy visions depending on the viewer's perspectives to it.

As a tattoo is something that is applied and is visible on one's skin, it should have a very specific purpose and meaning.

Purposes of Tattoos

Most people who have tattoos on their bodies may consider it as something that symbolizes their identity - just like how art is. And mainly, since ancient times (Egyptians, Vikings, South American tribes, etc.), the concept of this permanent body painting is already regarded as a type of art.

Hence, in some opinions and cases, tattoos have been not always regarded as works of art. This is due to some situations where people who have tattoos on their bodies have images that pertain to disgusting and irritating figures.

Instead of adding adorning effects to the body or an iconic symbolism that indicates one's participation or membership in a community, tattooing has been abused.

The world of this type of art or body painting has also been showcased in some exhibits, competitions, and trade shows. It presents tattooing as more of a trade or expertise than an art form. For many people, tattoos and art have existed in different spheres but of the same concepts and spheres. Others even claim that tattoos are not works of art.

When is a tattoo already considered not a work of art?

Tattoos can be both subjective and objective. But some subjective purposes associated with getting one include looking cool, and meanwhile having the face of a comic or monstrous figure printed onto one's skin surface.

But this does not already imply that the inked figure is an art or an act of vandalism as the print can rather contain a message, whether it is violent or explicit that provokes insights and emotions.

On the other hand, as art is defined as something that implies an important detail about the designer's or artist's life, it can also be a good basis for whether a particular tattoo can be considered artwork or not. Hence, one cannot determine if a particular tattoo is an art or not just by looking at it.

Just like art, ancient or contemporary, there should always be an explanation behind it. Even if it is just a simple triangular or circular shape, it is called art if it is significant to the tattoo wearer. Furthermore, it can be debated that a tattoo is beyond or less than a work of art if the body is only used as a medium to exhibit an artistic print.

Human Skin as Art Medium

Using human skin as the medium of the work of art is a strong basis that tattooing is an artistic activity. Printing out a particular image or depiction on human skin involving art elements like shadows, ratio, proportion, color psychology, mixing, etc. takes and requires knowledge of the techniques for tattooing an artistic outcome.

Not all tattoos are made the same as you will intentionally notice. Some tattoos have very professional results too. Tattooing also needs expertise in executing the fundamentals and methods to come up with the most artistic and tidy piece of inked printing on human skin.

What is special about tattooing and how it is distinct compared to all other art forms?

The difference between tattoos and other forms of art is that the concept of the tattoo itself comes from the mediums or the wearers, and not directly from the tattooists.

Tattooists and Tattoo Artists

The similarities between tattooists and tattoo artists to classical artists are they can create an image on and through a particular art medium and apply artistic principles such as the elements and quality of streaks.

But the more intriguing aspect of tattooing an artwork is that it involves physiological and dermal health. Thus, artists should also be able to draw aside from enhancing a particular artistic thought or concept.

Moreover, the difference between tattooists and tattoo artists is their ability to initiate an original design, tattoo style technique, or crafting new tattooing procedures for tattooists and tattoo wearers to copy and enhance.

Tattooists can also be artists but may be limited in their abilities to apply technical depths if a tattoo wearer or client requires an original design based on his or her concept.

There is money in Tattooing

Tattooing is art or tattooing for looking cool, however, tattooing is perceived to involve money and value in it. Tattooed clients include the biggest stars especially wrestlers, musicians, and athletes because these people can influence spectators and audiences to entice them to appreciate the unconventional form of art.

More than a pattern inked on one's skin surface, more modern youths have also seen it as an identity and aesthetics as there is over 20% of the population is tattooed. Tattooing is also portrayed as self-expression, freedom, and a trend rather than perceiving it as something rebellious and an act of vandalism or self-destruction.

Similar to classical and medieval forms of art, tattoos are also valuable as collectible items like paintings, sculptures, or mosaics. Tattoos are quite expensive, often costing as much as a work of fine art, whether the individual is collecting them on their skin or in another way.

Also in ancient tribal times, a tattoo is a symbol of superiority and power. In the modern world, tattoo conventions are held which enables tattoo artists and tattooists to get more clients and earn big.

And in some cases, tattoos are also displayed in exhibits through 3D photographs and videos and duplicated on a printed medium for preserving and mounting for public displays.


Therefore, these explanations and implications evaluating the concepts of tattooing, activities of tattooists or tattoo artists, and the meaning behind every tattoo equate and reflect the intentions of art.

The existence of tattoos exactly has the same directions and outcomes as all the preceding forms of art that ever existed which conclude that Tattooing is an art.


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