Hottest Tattoos

Spring Essentials For Every Tattoo Artist


Our curated selection of Spring Essentials showcases the top picks and choices from the industry, aimed at enhancing the precision, comfort, and overall experience for both artists and clients.

True Tubes

True Membrane Cartridge Needles are the epitome of precision and reliability in tattooing. Crafted with the highest quality materials and equipped with a true membrane system, these needles ensure consistent ink flow and prevent backflow for a seamless tattooing experience. Their superior design and construction make them a favorite among professional tattoo artists seeking unparalleled performance. Despite their premium quality, True Membrane Cartridge Needles are competitively priced, offering exceptional value for artists who demand the best without breaking the bank. Elevate your artistry with True Membrane Cartridge Needles today at www.truetattoosupply.com!

Starbrite

StarBrite Colors is and has been, one of the most popular inks in the world for our consistency and colorful selection! They have stood the test of time by staying bright in the skin many years later after receiving their tattoo.

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NuChair

Back pain. Neck pain. Shoulder pain. Face it, all tatooers suffer due to the posture tatooing put their bodies in. No more. NuChair relieves lower back stress, and the strains from leaning into your client. NuChair’s fully adjustable geometry opens the hips, and the front support holds your weight, relieving the pain you’re used to feeling. You’ll experience comfort you’ve never felt before, even after long all-day sessions. Read our website reviews, and IG comments @getnuchair. Use code INKEDMAG at checkout for $50 off your order. Extend your career and improve your quality of life. Get rid of the back pain today. Order your NuChair at www.nuchair.com

Kajaste Machines

Introducing the Kajaste x Malm Aurora Tattoo Machine, a fusion of durability and design elegance. Designed in collaboration with Jari Kajaste and tattoo artists Torsten and Kätlin Malm, this machine embodies tattooing excellence. With precise control and the innovative Stable Impact system ensuring consistent power and stroke regardless of technique or skin area. With features like the Kajaste Smart Touch, this Finnish-made masterpiece offers not just performance, but an experience tailored for the discerning artist. It’s not merely a machine; it’s The Machine, ushering tattoo art into a new era of excellence.

Beauty Inkstitute

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The Beauty INKstitute is an online PMU & Tattoo education company made for Artists who want to practice elevating their skills. Our INKlusive pre-printed silicone skins have become a tool for every apprentice. Shop our premium tattoo starter kits and skins only at www.beautyinkstitute.com. Use special Inked Magazine code “inkedpromo” for 10% off your order.

Dash Medical

Attention tattoo artists and enthusiasts alike! 30% OFF all Black Maxx Gloves – Use Promo Code: INKED324 | 2 case minimum. Black Maxx Family of Gloves by DASH – your go-to choice for comfort, quality, and affordability in the tattooing world! As a leader in the market, DASH understands the importance of precision and protection. With Black Maxx gloves, you can focus on your artistry without compromising on comfort or safety. Elevate your tattooing experience with gloves that offer unparalleled durability and flexibility, all at competitive prices. Don’t settle for anything less than excellence. Choose Black Maxx today and let your creativity soar!

CosmoGlo

Say farewell to shadows and hello to CosmoGlo! Our innovative curved design provides wrap-around illumination, enhancing accuracy and precision to elevate your craft and set you apart from your competition. In today’s digital age, quality content is essential for showcasing your work and attracting new clients. Every light comes with a custom content clip to capture your stunning art with perfect lighting. Effortlessly position your light with our rotatable halo,  lighting up every detail. Our diffuser shield reduces glare and enhances the visibility of your tattoo ink without emitting heat, ensuring comfort during extended tattoo sessions. Join the tattoo industry leaders who’ve already made the switch to CosmoGlo – your artwork deserves it!

Ink Permanent

Cleanskin Tattoo Wipes: Elevate your tattooing sessions with our innovative, all-in-one, pre-soaked antibacterial wipes. Designed for artists seeking efficiency and precision, these wipes remove the hassle of mixing soap solutions, providing a sterile, clutter-free workspace with each use. Say goodbye to the traditional green soap, bottles, and paper towels—especially the latter, which can scratch clients’ skin during procedures. Our wipes are formulated with natural ingredients and are free from alcohol, fragrances, and lint, ensuring they’re gentle on skin while safeguarding your artwork’s vibrancy and promoting swift healing. Ideal for tattoos, piercings, and microblading, Cleanskin wipes not only save time but also enhance your artistic process by being exceptionally skin-friendly. Embrace the convenience tailored for professionals and notice the remarkable difference in your work with Cleanskin Wipes for tattooing—where your art and client comfort receive the utmost care.

We Make Artists

WEMAKEARTISTS, the world’s largest online tattoo training platform, offering unparalleled learning opportunities to both budding and experienced tattoo artists. With over 15 topnotch workshops led by the globe’s leading tattoo mentors, WEMAKEARTISTS has amassed over 60 hours of exclusive HD video content. This platform isn’t just a treasure trove for over 4,000 satisfied learners worldwide; it offers a wide array of courses covering everything from basic techniques to advanced specialized skills. By fostering a vibrant community with live Q&A sessions and enabling learning anytime, anywhere, WEMAKEARTISTS elevates the art and craft of tattooing to a new level. Inked Magazine highly recommends WEMAKEARTISTS as the go-to choice for anyone looking to expand their tattoo skills and join a global movement of tattoo artists.



Dynamic Duos – InkedMag


When it comes to footwear, everyone has their favorite designers. But what happens when two of your favorite designers collaborate to create something entirely new?  Well, you don’t have to wonder. We’ve curated a collection of shoe designs from top names you’ll recognize, like Nike, Louis Vuitton, Tifffany & Co, Porsche, Prada, Gucci and more. While having one designer is great, having two of them pair up is even better.

 

Dior x Air Jordan 1 High

Introduced in 2020, this high-demand design was produced in limited quantities. Bridging the gap between street-ready sportswear and luxury fashion, the Dior x Air Jordan 1 High is drawn from a larger collaboration that spans footwear, apparel and accessories. Designer Kim Jones’ take on the iconic sneaker makes use of a white and grey upper constructed from Italian leather with hand-painted edges. Dual branding elements take the form of a Dior woven tongue tag, a Nike Swoosh in Dior Oblique jacquard, and icy outsoles revealing a Dior and Dior Wings logo on each shoe.

 

Louis Vuitton x Nike Air Force 1 by Virgil Abloh

Designed by Virgil Abloh, former artistic director of Louis Vuitton’s ready-to-wear men’s line, this shoe was introduced at the French luxury fashion house’s Spring 2022 men’s runway show. This collaborative design is constructed with premium calf leather and features the luxury brand’s signature logos and prints. Abloh’s signature touches are also present on the sneakers, including the side tongue tag, text on the shoelaces and dual “Air” branding on the midsole.

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Nike x Tiffany & Co.

The Nike/Tiffany Air Force 1 1837 is crafted in premium black suede with a Tiffany Blue® Swoosh and archival Tiffany logo on the tongue. A foam midsole, rubber outsole and Tiffany Blue®-accented pivot points define the shoe, which comes with black rope laces as well as three pairs of flat laces in Tiffany Blue®, yellow and white. All Nike/Tiffany Air Force 1 1837 shoes arrive in a co-branded Tiffany Blue® box.

Comme des Garçons x Converse

Cool vintage style elevates a street-ready sneaker stamped with a peekaboo heart and set on a red sole. This collaboration between Comme des Garçons PLAY and Converse features classic Chucks styling with a playful, quirky twist—thanks to the imaginations of New York graphic artist Filip Pagowski and Comme des Garçon’s own designer Rei Kawakubo. The shoe has a removable insole, textile upper and lining and a synthetic sole.

 

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Porsche x PUMA “Icons of Fast”

Porsche and PUMA collaborated on this limited-edition shoe series inspired by the 911 Turbo to honor the sports car in a whole new way. To introduce the design, they launched “The World’s Fastest Sneaker Pre-Release” that lasted just 2.7 seconds, the 0-60 time of the 2021 Porsche 911 Turbo. The shoe is inspired by iconic design elements from the 911 Turbo, such as period-specific paint colors, rear wings and body lines.

 

Prada x adidas Superstar

The PRADA adidas Superstar first launched in 2019 alongside the Italian fashion house’s bowling bag, marking an historic moment for shoe collaborations. In 2020, the Superstar was launched in two colorways: the Core White/Core Black/Core White and the Core Black/Core Black/Core Black. The shoes are handmade in Italy in fine full grain leather and they feature the iconic rubber “shelltoe” with the iconic typography featured on the upper, tongue and insoles. 

 

Tom Sachs x Nike “Archive”

New York-based contemporary artist Tom Sachs designed this shoe based on his ongoing research into how “our bodies meet the ground.” The low-top design sports a yellow mesh upper with tonal suede overlays and a contrasting white Swoosh. Orange webbing tabs at the tongue and heel make it easy to put the shoes on and take them off. The cream-colored rubber midsole contains an EVA wedge for lightweight cushioning, while a black waffle-traction rubber outsole yields optimal grip. Marketed as a “General Purpose Shoe,” each pair comes in a box covered in Sachs’ signature hand-drawn doodles.

Adidas x Gucci “Gazelle”

The adidas Gazelle was introduced in several colorways, including pairs that feature snakeskin, suede, leather, Gucci-inspired prints and velvet G-monograms. Each pair sports semi-translucent gum rubber soles, Gucci branding on the lateral side, and co-branding on the tongue, heel and insoles. Other details include gold foil Gazelle text on the lateral panel and Gucci lace tips. Each pair comes with special packaging.

Lusso Cloud x Tattooing Legend Bert Krak

Bert Krak lends his signature style to the Pelli, Lusso’s signature shoe. The most versatile option in the lineup, the Pelli offers unmatched comfort, including its innovative Triple Stack Technology, which features three cushioning layers for excellent bounce back. It also contains a breathable performance mesh lining that is incredibly soft to the touch. Designed by tattooing legend Bert Krak, these shoes feature unique yet complementary asymmetrical designs on Pelli’s signature waffle knitting in a neutral beige hue. Each shoe is adorned with one of two of Krak’s captivating designs—either a snake with a bird or a vibrant flock of birds.

Visibly Inked in Denmark – InkedMag


By Katie Sawyer

“In the beginning, it was like a whole new world,” Mads Kjær said, leaning back on a park bench in Aarhus, Denmark, a cool autumn breeze rumpling his jacket. Peeking out from underneath his collar, an inky, dark forest of tattoos on his skin is just visible. His hands, folded casually in front of him, bear a mixture of lines and skulls, with a letter on each finger of his left hand—spelling out the name of his son Aros. 

Perhaps most stunning tattoos of all, however, are the two straight black lines that run down his face from just under his eyes, parallel to one another. “Now it’s like part of the day,” he finishes. Kjær is stopped regularly by people in the streets of Aarhus. Some insult him openly, asking him, “Why would you mess up your face with something ugly like that?”

Kjær is an Afghanistan war veteran and a father. He is covered in tattoos, but it’s the addition of his face tattoos four years ago that turns heads the most. “This one is a little depressing, actually. I was in a sad moment of life,” Kjær said.

Face tattoos, along with neck and hand tattoos, are illegal to perform in Denmark. It’s a law that goes back decades to 1966 when the Danish Parliament officially outlawed them. Ironically, former Danish King Frederik IX had several tattoos at the time, some given to him by the second-oldest tattoo parlor in the world, Tattoo Ole, located in Copenhagen. The law was renewed in 2018, with some pushback from local tattoo parlors and citizens with tattoos who feel the law represents an old ideal.

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Today’s Tattoos

Magnus Aargaard-Nielsen, co-owner of Aarhus tattoo parlor Venlig Hilsen, said local tattoo culture in Denmark has changed dramatically and this law no longer represents Danish society. “The law tries to dictate conscience or morality. . .I think the reason it’s really in there is to sate some people on the more conservative side of the Danish Parliament,” said Aargaard-Nielsen. “I find it to be not the government’s place to dictate.”

Aargaard-Nielsen has performed face, neck and hand tattoos in his career as an artist, and he accepts them on a case-by-case basis. “I’ll tattoo you on the hand,” Aargaard-Nielsen said. “Not if you’re young, and you don’t know what you’re doing with your life and it’s one of your first tattoos.”

Judgment of the Jugular

Venlig Hilsen translates to “kind regards,” and it’s reflected in Aargaard-Nielsen’s welcoming attitude toward those who enter his shop. He doesn’t have any visible tattoos, but shop manager Anders Husum is nearly covered from head to toe. Husum started his tattoo journey when he was still underage, ordering a tattoo gun and tattooing the number 13 on himself at home. “I like that I stick out from the average Joe, and being the kind of person that breaks down the prejudice,” Husum said.

On his right hand, the father-of-five sports a multicolored tiger tattoo, and on the left, a snarling dog in a beanie. Scribed across his knuckles are the words “TRUE GENT.” His neck tattoos extend up into his hairline, and down onto his cheekbones—a mix of nautical and floral artwork. Husum was surprised when the law against face, hand and neck tattoos was renewed in 2018, and said he would like to see it repealed.

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Husum has been called a criminal and a gang member before while out in public, and says he is regularly turned away from bars and clubs in the Aarhus area. Still, Husum has no regrets about his decision to get tattooed and is currently working on his newest tattoo—a large chest piece of a ship.

Regrets and Removals

Many of Kjær’s tattoos have great meaning to him, like his son’s name written across his knuckles. He said his kids love his tattoos, especially the ones of animals—pointing out a blue and black shark grinning from the back of his left hand. But having experienced judgment for his face tattoos, Kjær said he can understand the importance of preventing young people from getting a visible tattoo that could alter their life permanently. “Now, because I have seen on myself that people are very judgmental, I think it’s good that young people don’t just go get a neck tattoo,” Kjær said.

Jesper Schumann, owner of Remove-It tattoo removal clinic, makes his living off of customers who are unhappy with their tattoos. He estimates around five to ten percent of his clientele is made up of people who have face, hand and neck tattoos. From drunken mistakes to changing perspectives, his clients come in to get a tattoo removed for a variety of reasons.

“When you get a tattoo you’re at a certain place in your life, and 10 years after you’re not in that same place,” Schumann said before adding jokingly, “Maybe people regret their wild youth.” 

Remove-it actually shares a space with several local tattoo artists, something Schumann recognizes the irony of. However, the two work well together as Schumann’s laser services can help lighten a tattoo a customer would like covered up with new artwork, and the resident artists can then tattoo the client’s desired art on top.

There are often social and professional impacts that lead to someone getting a tattoo removed, according to Schumann. “Especially the visible ones on the throat, face and hands, because they look like some badass person maybe. Or maybe it’s because of a job.”

The law against face, hand and neck tattoos is good for business, says Schumann, as many customers come in looking to remove them later in life. Despite the benefits to his business, Schumann would like to see the law against hand, face and neck tattoos abolished. “For me, I think it’s totally fine. People can have it, I’m not a judgmental person,” Schumann said. “No matter your job—you could be a policeman with hand tattoos and I wouldn’t think that was a crime. I think it should be legal.”

While the social reality for some with visible tattoos in Denmark is still frustratingly judgmental, people like Kjær remain hopeful for a better future.

“I think it’s going to change,” Kjær said. “I think in 10 years from now, it will be normal, because more people are getting tattoos.”

Tyga – InkedMag


Raised within the house-party circuit between “Berryland” Gardena and the bustling streets of Compton, Los Angeles native, Tyga, felt the tug of the music industry within the early days of his high school career. After his initial come-up, the acclaimed artist finds himself a decade and a half later not only a proud father, but someone who is constantly evolving, innovating, and working with different mediums in the entertainment industry. Although the rapper’s legendary status is one for the books, the artist stays ever-humble in that regard. Always searching for what’s next and pulling inspiration from his personal experiences to pour into his latest artistic pursuits. Tyga opts to keep looking forward at what’s coming next, rather than look back upon what’s already been.

While on the precipice of his latest musical project, a collaborative effort with YG, the musician is also one of the few lucky clients to go under anesthesia for a long-haul tattoo session with world renowned tattoo artist, Ganga. The rapper is no stranger to collaborating with legends in the music industry, so why would it be any different for the tattoo industry? The heavily-inked pop culture icon opened up to Inked about his recent creative foray, not only in the music world, but also the tattoo world.

So, you’re no stranger to working with other heavy hitter artists in the industry, but your most recent creative pursuit has been Hit Me When U Leave the Klub: The Playlist, which you developed alongside YG. What inspired the project?

Yeah, it’s kind of more like a playlist. We always wanted to do something together,  and I feel like we just never sat down and took the time to get into the studio. I think with this one we really wanted to have fun with it. We kind of approached it like a mixtape, and everybody loves the brand new record with Wayne. A music video just came out for it. It’s a project I’ve really always wanted to do for LA and the West Coast.

How would you describe your creative process when you’re in the studio?

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I work the best when I put a producer in there with me, because I can actually create from scratch. I wish I could actually press the buttons myself, but the way I hear sounds, I just know what goes together right with my voice or what I want to talk about when I hear a certain sound. My process is really about catching the vibe, hearing the right beat, and then just restyling from there. You put the melodies together, freestyling lyrics pockets, and then you just make the song.

Do you have any tattoos dedicated to the playlist?

I wouldn’t say in specific dedication to the playlist. I did get some tattoos while I was recording the project for sure, but I don’t know if it’s related to the project or maybe just the timing of when I was doing it made me want to get certain tattoos.

Speaking of the tattoos that you got while you were working on the project, you recently went under anesthesia for a long-haul tattoo collaboration with Ganga. Can you discuss what that process was like and how you came up with the ideas for your tattoos?

I’ve known Ganga for a while, and I was skeptical about the process for a long time. He was like, “I’m moving to LA and I’m doing this anesthesia thing with tattoos, with like six artists you can cover more work. It’s like a nine hour session.” I was skeptical for years, but I’d seen a lot of friends, artists, and athletes that went through the process with Ganga and it was definitely an experience. I was like, “I really want to re-do my back tattoo because I got my back done when I was so young, like 16-17.” It wasn’t the best work, so I decided to try it out and I definitely think it came out way better than I expected. I was so proud of that. It is definitely an experience, and I’m grateful to have gone through that. It could be risky but it turned out great.

Why were you initially skeptical about the process?

Well, I already have tattoos. The longest session I’ve ever done was probably five hours. I don’t like doing sessions longer than that really. I just didn’t have too much information on the anesthesia process. I just didn’t understand how you can get tattooed while under, like “is that safe?” It really did come out great though, I was in a lot of pain when I woke up but they did such a great job. It was an eight hour session and they redid my whole back, so I definitely don’t regret it. 

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How would you describe your overall relationship to tattoos? What does  being a heavily tattooed person mean to you?

Tattoos were just something that I was always intrigued by when I was younger. I grew up on the West Coast seeing the greats like Tupac and Lil Wayne who were pretty covered. Also growing up around a lot of hispanic folks, seeing artists like Mister Cartoon and his whole style. It was something that I always wanted to do. I was young when I got my first tattoo, I was like 14. After I got that first one, I was addicted. It describes a person’s taste level and the things they’re into or the things that are significant to them. It’s an art form and that’s how I look at it. Now, I feel like my whole body is a piece of art.

What was your first tattoo at 14?

The Lord’s Prayer on my shoulder and upper arm. I remember I got it at a barbershop, it was this guy who was doing tattoos in the back and he was using a guitar string. It was crazy. It’s like a $20 dollar tattoo, but I was like, man, I want to get tattooed so bad. I got a haircut and then got the tattoo right in the barbershop. From there, I was just like “this is so cool.” Once I did that, I was hooked.

You are a very proud father! How does your son feel about your tattoos?

It’s funny, I never really asked him. I think one time he was like “Dad didn’t get a new tattoo today.” He’s very nonchalant sometimes. So yeah, he’s funny.

That’s adorable! How has fatherhood influenced your career over the years?

It’s definitely put more perspective on me being more intentional and impactful. Fatherhood is an inspiration and reason to keep doing what I’m doing. Taking care of someone other than yourself really inspires you. There’s somebody who is always looking forward to seeing you everyday when you get home from work and no matter what they’re just so excited to see you. So you don’t ever want to let that person down. It keeps you on your toes, but in the best way. 

So what’s next for you? Do you have any upcoming projects or collaborations audiences should look out for? 

I’m currently working on the first movie that I wrote. We’re working on getting that shot and I’m also working on my new album. So I have two things cooking, but I wanted this movie to be the first thing that I do. It’s super close to home and it’s definitely a real underdog story that’s based in LA. 

Amidst fame and creative exploration, Tyga remains a symbol of constant evolution and authenticity. With a new album, groundbreaking ventures in the world of tattoos, and a new cinematic project on the horizon, the rapper continues to defy expectations and push boundaries. Navigating the intersections of music, fatherhood, and artistic exploration is no easy feat, but the musician has found a way to do it seamlessly. As lyrics and ink continue to flow for Tyga, each verse and tattoo is a testament to his enduring legacy within the ever-changing entertainment industry.

Searching for Order in a World of Chaos 


By Jason Murray

 Born, raised and apprenticed in California somewhere between Santa Monica and Oakland, Dillon Forte has carved out a niche among the most sought-after tattoo artists in the world. As a skateboarder and hip-hop fan, his early work was heavily influenced by what he saw around him and what was happening on the streets of Venice and San Francisco. His talent spread by word of mouth, leading to more opportunities, famous clients and a spot on The Paramount Network show The Art of Ink. 

“California is a huge fusion of artists and ideas,” Forte said. 

After spending some time in LA and New York, he began combining his love of geometry with his interest in nature. Developing his sacred geometry aesthetic, he’s now moved his West Coast inspiration to Wimberley, Texas, somewhere between Austin and San Antonio. 

The area is known for parks, art studios and local swimming holes and Forte enjoys the easy access to nature as well as the two major cities and their airports. Only 45 minutes from downtown Austin, Wimberley has a classic vibe, similar to Northern California. 

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“It’s like going back in time, in a cool way.” Forte said. “How ‘The Bay Area’ felt ten years ago.”

His new studio sits on 10 acres with walking trails, cabins and an art garden. The whole thing is part of a new tattoo opportunity where you arrive, spend the weekend, eat, walk, and enjoy the grounds. The appointment becomes a part of the overall curated experience. He eventually wants to host yoga, outdoor art and music retreats to create a place for art and nature to aspire and inspire. 

Forte is also building pyramids around the property to show the connection between geometry and nature. He’s also trying to understand the order behind the chaos of the universe while trying to create a sense of awe and wonder, the way many temples, churches and sculptures around the world have done. 

“I have a masochistic sense of doing things that are different,” Forte said. “I like pushing the limits of what’s possible.”

From working in a traditional-style shop to creating a landscape full of endless opportunities for inspiration and art, his ethos is rooted in the idea of dreaming big. Forte wants his work to feel like it’s almost unattainable. He wants the excitement to come from the fear of failure.

“If it doesn’t inspire fear, then it doesn’t really excite me.”

He also appreciates the good life balance that comes from having chickens and trees as part of his daily commute to work. He sees it as his own bit of harmony before taking on the world of endless possibilities. 

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His passion for art started very young with encouragement from his parents. His mother wrote romance novels and his dad was a photographer, into math and astrology. This was a good place to start and expand his knowledge of symbols and the philosophy of everything having a place. He spent his youth developing and nurturing this unique view. 

He’s traveled the world looking to expand his knowledge of universal design. Sacred geometry looks at the idea of how the energy around us creates and unifies all things. We see it in everything from engineering to nature. Honeycombs, snail shells, plants and even water share unique, functional designs in their DNA. Forte sees the body as a seamless canvas where everything fits together, naturally.

His travels have led him to some of the world’s most interesting places. Tattooing at the base camp of Mount Everest, inside a pyramid in Egypt and appearances at conventions from Singapore and Nepal to Bali and London. With a constant wanderlust to seek, learn and test himself, he continues the journey to facilitate his own growth. 

Now, he and his fellow visionary artists have started their own platform to showcase their work. Co:Create Ink (Cocreate.ink) is a website where Dillon and his crew of highly sought after and recognizable tattoo artists can share, sell and promote their work to enthusiasts all over the world. Founding members Dillon Forte, Horimitsu, Curt Montgomery, David Allen, Snuffy, Victor Montaghini, Moni Marino, Cleo Kinnaman, Black Symmetry and Katrina “Kat Tat” Collins created the colab to bring their community together. They want everyone to have a chance to get a unique, one-of-a-kind digital copy of their favorite work. Or buy a flash tattoo and receive a virtual certificate of authenticity before booking a priority spot with your favorite member. 

“Co:Create Ink is a direct-to-consumer marketplace,” Forte said. “People can pick their design, own it, then book an appointment.” 

The platform also acts as a space for these artists to get paid for streaming or selling their work and time, outside of the chair. This could be paintings, photos, signed prints or special edition items. This also offers an easy way to set up appearances and retreats like the one in Wimberley. It also helps bring the tattoo community together to one place to start to recognize the culture and their work as modern fine art. 

Not that Dillon doesn’t have enough going on answering DMs from Usher, Kat Von D and Chris Hemsworth. He’s been featured all over the media for his commitment to trying to make products in the industry more sustainable. (Fortetattootechnology.com) 

From clip cord sleeves to ink caps to eco razors, Forte is doing his best to take plastic out of the experience with more natural and biodegradable products. He’s even designed a direct drive tattoo machine with Austin-based multidisciplinary artist Andrea De Leon. 

“My goal is to turn competition into collaboration then connection.”

With all of this going on, Forte seems to have an eye on the future of the art form. His ambition seems to only be in competition with his vision of where the industry, the art form and collaborations go next. The beginning of connecting the tradition of tattooing from the beginning of time to the post-Covid era seems like the right idea. We probably all need a reason to fly to Wimberley, Texas for a retreat. Go for a walk and take a swim, take it all in and get a tattoo from Dillon Forte while you’re there.

Al Capone Cigarillos: Embodying Authenticity and Craftsmanship


From its inception in Miramar, Florida, Al Capone, a subsidiary of Dannemann a 155-year-old tobacco company, has carved a niche in the global tobacco industry.

“Al Capone brand is part of our rich heritage in tobacco. As the second-largest manufacturer of cigarillos globally, we operate in over 40 countries. What sets us apart is our fully vertically integrated process, from growing our own wrapper tobaccos to making and distributing our cigarillos.” This complete control over the production process allows for consistency and quality that’s unparalleled in the industry.

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Emphasizing sustainability, Al Capone Cigarillos adopts practices that are gentle on the environment. “In Brazil, where we grow our tobacco, about 20 to 30% of our land is harvested at a time.” In addition to the greatness behind Al Capone’s sustainability, they have an adopt a tree program, which allows their customers to plant a tree. This keeps the land around them right in nutrients and keeps the balance for perfect growth. All this aligns with the mixture of love, care, and everything that the world needs.

With a philosophy of “Real, not perfect,” Al Capone brand essence resonates with the individualistic spirit of Inked Magazine’s audience. “Just like every natural leaf is different from the next, we encourage our adult consumers to be themselves, outgoing, and distinct from the norm. Our brand stands for adults who are their own selves, who are not trying to fit in.”

The journey from seed to smoke is a labor of love, involving over 235 quality checks. “Every cigarillo is hand-rolled with a natural leaf wrapper, ensuring the most premium quality in the cigarillo category. We produce our cigarillos with care, from selecting the best seedlings to the meticulous hand-rolling process by our 220 rolleros.”

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Al Capone Cigarillos offers a range of flavors, including cognac and rum, catering to a mature palate. “Our cigarillos are the most premium quality cigarillos in the category. We have an premium blend on the inside, a binder to keep the blend together, and an all-natural leaf wrapper that is hand-rolled.”

The brand’s commitment to authenticity extends to its environmental stewardship and its relationship with consumers. “We see our brand as part of an everyday lifestyle for our adult smokers, elevating their real timeless moments and experiences.”

Al Capone Cigarillos and Inked Magazine together weave a narrative that celebrates realness, individuality, and the beauty of embracing one’s true self. “We want people to be genuine to who they are and what they stand for. That’s the essence of our brand, and it aligns perfectly with Inked Magazine’s celebration of individualism.”

OGI TATTOO – InkedMag


From early artistic endeavors to a transformative military service that introduced him to the diversity of tattoos, Ogi’s journey is a testament to passion and perseverance. Now, at BK Studio, he blends traditional and innovative techniques to create unique body art. This interview unveils Ogi’s path from inspiration to mastery in an art form still navigating legal recognition in Korea.

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  1. Can you introduce yourself and briefly explain the story of your artistic journey?
    Hi, I’m Ogi. I work at a BK Studio in South Korea, and I specialize in a combination of fine lines/black and grey with detailed descriptions. From a very young age, I loved drawing. I naturally grew up with a much better understanding and skill in drawing than others. And thanks to my parents who supported this, I was able to do a variety of art-related studies. I graduated from art high school and majored in video design at a prestigious university. While I was in university, I joined the military under the duty of the Republic of Korea. The military was a place where one could meet a wide variety of people. I saw a lot of people with tattoos there. It was interesting to me that the canvas was not paper, but the human body, and I was instantly fascinated by the uniqueness of the art, which was different from the art I had seen before. At the same time, I thought, “Oh, I think I can do better if I do it.” From then on, I dreamed of becoming a tattoo artist. After I was discharged from the military, I started learning skills to become a tattoo artist, and I have been since 2017.
  2. When did your interest in art first spark?
    When I was young, my uncle drew a Son Goku character on paper. When I saw the cartoon character on TV drawn with my uncle’s hand, I thought it was cool. I wanted to be good at drawing like my uncle. After following along a few times, I found out that I could draw pretty well. I loved drawing and was happy when I drew.
  3. What motivated you to specialize in dot work, sketch, fine-line, and black & gray tattoo styles?
    I respect a tattoo artist named Oscar Akermo. The traditional black & gray genre may feel a little heavy because it fills all spaces without any space. I think he is the first tattooist to express an understated margin and rich tattoo according to the line flow of the human body among tattooists focusing on the black & gray genre. To build my own style, based on the inspiration I got from him, I am also researching and trying to harmoniously express the beauty of the interaction between black & gray and geometry to create a design that is both understated and rich, and able to flow the lines of the human body.
  4. How did your tattooing career begin, and did you undergo any apprenticeships?
    Since tattoos are illegal in Korea, there is no educational institution to train tattoo artists. I thought that if I had to learn person-to-person, I would like to learn from the best tattooist in Korea. At that time, I thought @bk_tattooer is the best. I was able to reach out to bk through social media, and I was able to learn a lot of knowledge about tattoos from him. And the apprenticeship wasn’t that long. I majored in art and was confident in drawing, so I started my career as a tattooist when I was able to handle machines as well as my own hands.
  5. Can you briefly describe your distinctive signature style and its development?
    For my tattoos, the most important thing is basically a design that flows along the muscle line of the area desired by the customer. At the same time, geometric elements were used to create the beauty of blank space. I wanted to differentiate it from the existing traditional black and grey tattoos, dense coloring on the skin, and a style that I sometimes feel is too much for me. This way, each customer’s unique skin color can be brought out and harmonizes well with the tattoo. In a word, is a style with understated richness and sexiness black and grey tattoo style. In terms of design, I think there is no end point, so I am constantly trying to raise the visual level through various art media, exhibitions, and viewing antique buildings. Until the day when the black and gray genre can be loved by both men and women of all ages, I will keep trying to complete a style that can show restrained weight and sophisticated beauty.
  6. Could you share insights into the tattoo scene in South Korea?
    In Korea, the perception of tattoos was not good until 20 years ago. Because the rogues had tattoos like Irezumi, and the tattoos were thought to belong only to them. When I think about when I was young, I thought the tattoo only had Irezmi style. I think the perception of tattoos has been alleviated a lot, as various tattoo genres are introduced into Korea and meet these generations who proudly express their individuality. These days, if you walk down the street in Korea, you can see that one in ten people has a tattoo. From these things, we can see that Koreans’ views on tattoos have changed. But contrary to the changed view, tattoos are still being designated illegal in Korea. Although there are many tattoo artists with great skills in Korea, they are more active abroad than in Korea because tattoos are illegal in Korea. I think this is a national loss. If the country accepts and recognizes tattoos as a field of art and seeks a way to live together, I think it will be a win-win for each other. Sometimes I imagine Korea where tattoos have become legal. I want to see it happen in my time.
  7. How do you uphold high standards of cleanliness and professionalism in your work?
    What I feel sorry for as a Korean is that there is no educational institution that trains tattoo artists in Korea, so I cannot receive perfect education on hygiene. I thought I was doing well in hygiene, but I think I learned a lot from the tattoo artists I met on the overseas guest work. Currently, all fixtures used for tattoos are disinfected and wrapped to keep them sterile. And I’m always trying to keep it clean while working. After the tattoo, I finish by attaching a second skin film to prevent any infection.Maintaining professionalism requires a lot of effort. I think the fame I’ve gained now has been quite lucky. Rather than being satisfied with what I have achieved now, it is important to try to develop more and have better skills. In order to create a different and unique design, I see a lot of artwork every day and go through the process of making it my own. I always try hard with a humble attitude, and that’s why I can see myself developing day by day as a tattoo artist.
  8. What challenges do you encounter in mastering the art of black & gray tattooing?
    If I were a painter, I would have enough time to choose a good canvas before painting. However, since tattooists use human skin as a canvas to paint a work, it is impossible to know what canvas you will face until you meet a customer on the day of work. From my experience, it seems that the customer’s condition has a significant impact on their skin. If the customer is not in good condition, the needle does not stick well, so the ink does not absorb well. It is very important to express light and shade well in the black and gray genre, but if the ink is not well absorbed, it is difficult to describe bright areas. I do my best in every process to tattoo, but when I meet a customer who is not in good condition, I’m really upset that I can’t get as good a result as I thought while preparing the design. I inform my customer to get enough sleep and do not drink on the day before work. so I hope they understand and follow these requests well.
  9. Do you have any plans to explore other tattoo styles in the future?
    In Korea, ogi means stubbornness. Like the meaning of Ogi, I will stick to this style until I become the best in the black and gray genre.
  10. Can you walk us through your typical tattoo design process briefly?
    Before tattooing, i’m given below things by customers.
    1. 2-3 topics they want to get tattooed on.
    2. A photographs of actual body parts that they want to get tattooed on.
    3. The size they want to get tattooed on.
    4. How much time they can spend on tattoo.
    There is a lot of data depending on the topic, but since each individual’s muscle is different, it is most important to get a picture of the actual body part they want to get a tattoo in advance so that I can collect data that can best flow to their muscle line. Based on the information I received from the customer, I design the collected materials and geometry in my own style.
  11. Are there specific tattoo motifs or themes that consistently inspire your work?
    I have a lot of customers who are throwing the theme of Greek mythology. That’s why it seems that I am naturally inspired by architecture and statues while designing. Especially when I go on a guest work to Europe, I tend to visit sculpture museums and art galleries to get a lot of sauce.
  12. Is there any particular change you would like to see within the tattoo industry?
    As mentioned in a few questions above, I want to see Korea where tattoos are legalized. It will be difficult for tattoos to be recognized as art in Korean land right now, but at least I hope there will be no damage to the country and individual because it is illegal. If there is a feud between a tattoo artist and a customer in Korea, It becomes meaningless to argue who is right or wrong. it’s considered to be the fault of the tattooist because tattoos are illegal. In Korea, tattoo artists are not recognized and protected by their very existence, so I think Korea’s outstanding talented tattoo artists are more active overseas. I think the movement of them abroad is a loss from a national perspective. Now that tattoos are recognized as art all over the world, I think we can develop into a bigger industry if we make good use of our strengths in tattoos. If my country recognizes tattoos as legal, imposes taxes accordingly, and creates and operates an institution that trains tattoo artists with those taxes, I think there will be good social results such as job creation and the influx of foreign tourists.

Ornamental Ink: Crafting Artistic Mastery in Las Vegas


This commitment to uniqueness is a core philosophy at ORNAMENTAL.INK, where artists like Naira Dots, specializing in mini dotwork, and David Vancasso, with his minimalist, surrealistic line work, join Cascad in creating one-of-a-kind pieces. Ornamental tattoos, a modern tapestry of art with deep historical roots, offer a transformative way to enhance the human canvas. This intricate style, embracing everything from mesmerizing geometric patterns and mandalas to captivating optical illusions, transcends mere aesthetics. It embodies a philosophy, a celebration of the human form’s natural beauty. The ornamental style’s diversity, with substyles like Traditional, Sacred Geometry, and Optical Illusions, is a nod to its rich lineage in tribal tattooing and its contemporary evolution.

In the heart of Las Vegas, ORNAMENTAL.INK emerges as a haven for this distinctive art form. Founded by Ilya Cascad, this studio is more than a tattoo parlor; it’s a movement dedicated to celebrating and expanding the ornamental tattoo style. Cascad, an award-winning artist known for his breathtaking 3D optical illusions, started his journey at 28 and rapidly ascended to prominence, winning over 30 competitions.

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With a blend of artistic finesse and deep respect for the ornamental style’s history and potential. Every artist at the studio brings their unique interpretation to the table, from MaximXIII’s bold contours and ornamental animal works to back to Cascad’s mesmerizing dotwork and geometry.

The studio operates on an appointment-only basis, allowing artists to devote time to crafting bespoke designs. This approach ensures that every client receives a personalized experience and a piece of art that resonates with their individuality.

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The studio’s influence extends beyond its walls. It actively participates in major tattoo conventions, such as the Golden State Tattoo Expo in Pasadena, California. Under the banner of ORNAMENTALIKA, the studio unites ornamental artists worldwide, fostering a community of creativity and exchange.

Ornamental tattoos are more than just skin deep; they’re a celebration of history, culture, and personal expression. At ORNAMENTAL.INK, every tattoo is a testament to this philosophy, crafted with skill, passion, and an unwavering commitment to the art form. As a pioneer in the ornamental tattoo scene, ORNAMENTAL.INK in Las Vegas is not just a studio; it’s a destination for those seeking to etch their stories in ink, crafted by the masters of this unique art form.

Open and Connected – InkedMag


Have you ever stepped into a room and felt a shift in the air? Did all of your hairs stand in attention? Thinking to yourself, something doesn’t feel quite right here? As those goosebumps coiled themselves around your fear-addled body and your heart went blaring in your chest, just know that renowned TikTok medium, Kelsi Davies, is all too familiar with that feeling of other-worldliness.  

Conscious of her spiritual abilities for nearly her entire life, it wasn’t until fairly recently that the social media icon felt comfortable and confident enough to share her gifts with the world. The rising star recognizes the struggles that come with her unique abilities, having accepted herself on her own terms and on her own timeline. Quickly amassing nearly seven million followers across YouTube, Instagram and TikTok, Davies has built her career around mental health advocacy, not only for others like her, but for everyone. The social media guru aims to educate and encourage others to trust their gut and interpret the signs around them. 

You’re a modern-day triple threat. You’re a content creator, actress and psychic medium. How does your psychic ability play into your career in front of the screen? 

I feel like a lot of my intuition has led me on different paths during this journey. I do different things and it’s always intuitively or divinely led. That’s why I always describe my path like a snake. It isn’t just a straight line. I trust the universe so much that I just let it take over and I just do what I feel I need to do.

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Can you tell us a little bit about your personal experiences as a medium and how it altered the course of your life?

Ever since I was little, I would have dreams of entities visiting me—spirits, people who have passed on. I always thought it was normal. I thought everyone had these experiences. I would also dream of things before they would happen. One time, there was a fire that was by our house, and I predicted the fire. I told my mom about the dream I had the night before, and then the fire was on the hill that I had described the next day. I would see things, but they would scare me, so I blocked out my mediumship for a long time. 

What was it that made you feel like, “I need to keep this down?”

It was something that I didn’t understand myself. Sharing it with other people while not understanding it myself, that’s a really hard thing to do. People start questioning you or they’ll be like, “prove it.” Or they’ll say, “you’re crazy, you’re seeing things.” Once I was able to really start understanding mediumship and start building up my confidence to be able to share it online to a big audience, it changed my life.

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Did you ever see yourself becoming a prominent figure within the modern day paranormal community?

When I started, I would doubt myself. Your ego steps in, but I always knew on a soul level that this was my path. This is what I was meant to do, and I knew that I was going to be successful doing it. I just didn’t know how or why. You know, all the little details behind it. 

Do you have any tattoos that are dedicated to your practice and your spiritual journey so far?  

My first tattoo was a geometrical shape because I would always have this recurring dream where there would be all these geometrical shapes and when they got disoriented, if I didn’t wake myself up before all these shapes got disoriented, I would wake up sick or something bad would happen. I think it was a vibrational thing on a spiritual level. I wanted to get a tattoo to just represent that dream and that spiritual aspect. 

How would you describe your tattoo journey? 

It’s kind of like timestamps. I haven’t gotten a sleeve or anything because a lot of them are just for me. It’s interesting, because I have a lot of geometrical shapes and eyes and I got these before I had a lot of these profound spiritual experiences. I already subconsciously knew about it, but I had it tattooed on me and it all just started making sense as I went on my spiritual journey. It’s almost like my tattoos predicted my spiritual journey, which is interesting and kinda crazy.

When you say that your tattoos predicted your spiritual journey without you even knowing it, do you think that is kind of like how your dreams can predict situations that are going to happen before they do? 

Yeah, I think so. At the end of the day, every single person is capable of tapping into that part of themselves. There’s people who refer to themselves as psychics or mediums because we’re just more open and connected. It’s all about opening yourself up to that aspect of yourself. Pay attention to your dreams or those gut instincts because that’s something that is indicative of your divine intuition.

Maiza, tattooing along the wings of the dream


Discovering a nomadic tattoo artist (now working between Holland and Scotland) who would like to create in the most incredible places on Earth simply because she believes in freedom.

Hello Maiza, can you tell me how you found out you wanted to be a tattoo artist in your life?
I found out I wanted to be a tattoo artist when I was 19 years old (now I’m 29). I started drawing very late – around 17 years old – just after a tense period of my life where I had to do a surgery to figure out if I had cancer or not. Because I didn’t know if I would live long with the freedom of not going to a hospital, well, I started to try new things – skateboarding , graffiti etc. This is when I started to draw and like tattoos.

I didn’t know how to draw until I first tried and got some sort of special comfort in that.

Maiza, tattoo model, @withmaiza
Maiza, tattoo model, @withmaiza

When did you get your first tattoo ever?
At the age of 18. I had saved the money my mom was giving me for my lunch at the school. For 5 months at least, just to pay for my chest tattoo, which was my first one! (laughs)

Do you have a definition for your tattooing style (if there is one)? For me, you know to mix a lot of influences: NewTrad, oriental vibes, floral subjects, surrealist digressions etc.
Well, I think my style today is still in development. I mean – I started to mix NewTrad with botanical vibes and using more thin lines. Before I was following instead the rules of NewTrad and Neo Japanese style and it was as if it did not fully represent me.

Maiza, tattoo model, @withmaiza
Maiza, tattoo model, @withmaiza

Then there was a defining event in your life, right?
Yeah, I came to Ireland for a short trip and started to buy so many Celtic books. I fell in love with poems, fantasy, fairy tales and feelings. In the past there was this lack of feelings into my art and now I put my heart in all my works and I don’t follow any rules, believes or limitations. Everything I want is to translate feelings, but those old good feelings that makes us feel alive.

I like a lot of poems and I try to create tattoo designs based on that “short words that touched my heart”.

I’m a dreamer and I want to touch people’s heart with my work. I want they to look at it, stop for a second and try to understand.

With your sandals, sneakers or flats, often scooting through city streets, you give me the impression that you are a tattoo artist always on the run? Am I wrong?
Yes, I’ve been a traveller since always! I like to explore landscapes, foreign places etc. Many times while you are tattooing the whole day exploring is not possible. So I have to get up early to catch the sunrise and do something fun with my mornings. I try to show a bit of it when I’m making my videos on Instagram. (smiles) The process behind for me is so important. From waking up in the morning until I start to work, this is a long process, that I’ve been in love with for so long; and I like to show it. I run for enjoying life and make what I love the most.

Maiza, tattoo model, @withmaiza
Maiza, tattoo model, @withmaiza

I have seen thousands of tattoo artists working in their studios or at conventions but I swear I have never in my life seen anyone tattooing in an idyllic mountain landscape…
Well, I have a strange connection with mountains and I follow many professional video-makers, I mean people who make videos for storytelling. Those videos that transport you to another place, in magical beautiful places. Those videos always inspired me the most for the “fantasy” they show. Inspired by storytelling and adding my love to the mountains which always have been inspiring me so much, I decided to make a video directly there. In a place that brings me so much joy, inspiration and keeps this feeling of dreaming inside of me alive. I was so happy!

What do you achieve most in life? Feeling free to roam the world or winning awards and receiving hundreds of appreciations related to your craft of tattooing?
I think I achived more than I could ever thought. I’m very thankful for everything, I love to be part of people’s life and I know – even though we are all different – there is something that connects us. And, yeah, I have a few fantasies to achive and it’s not very commom as I don’t know how to make it! (laughs)

I speak about tattooing between icebergs in Antartica or Greenland or even in the desert. Maybe one day in front of the pyramids in Egypt…

Maiza, tattoo model, @withmaiza
Maiza, tattoo model, @withmaiza

Staying in more conventional territory will you be attending tattoo conventions soon?
Actually this March I will be at ‘Scottish Tattoo Convention’ (IG: @scottishtattooconvention) for fun and in May I will be at ‘Wild Tattoo Show’ (IG: @wildtattooshow) in Belgium as a member of the jury.

Would you like to name your trusted tattoo artists who have “decorated” your body?
I love the majority of my tattoos but my favorite one is my arm with peonies made by Rodrigo Souto (IG: @rodrigosoutobueno) who lives in London and has been doing his amazing work for a very long time. I also have something related to painting done by Hannah Flowers (IG: @hannahflowers_tattoos) which I love. Other tattoos that I love so much are my Vincent Van Gogh and Anne Frank portraits right at the back of my knee, made by Francisco Lourenço (IG: @francisco_lim) in Brazil. Those were painful! (laughs)

Maiza, tattoo model, @withmaiza
Maiza, tattoo model, @withmaiza

When you write on your Instagram page that you live between Holland (Amsterdam) and Scotland (Glasgow), does that mean you tattoo in both these cities? Do you have well known tattoo studios in the city or private locations where you meet clients?
I am a nomad at the moment. I just added Amsterdam and Glasgow as my next stops for work. I do love to work in private studios because I can be freer with time. You know, my work takes me very long time, many tattoo shops are not so flexible with time and they want you to finish within a certain time; and I definitely don’t like to work with pressure!

Can you describe your ideal day?
My ideal day is always going to start with some nice indie-folk songs. My favorites have always been Florence & The Machine, Of Monsters and Men or some dream pop acts such as Cigarettes After Sex. I love to go out to take street photographs. I like to see people as raw in photography and, of course, go for nice places with a beautiful landscape just to draw. I have a nice dinner alone (or with a friend) and of course I drink a lot of Matcha tea throughout my day.

You are a redhaired girl and red hair for me have a strong attitude. So your last famous words are… ?
Yes, I am and I would say my last famous words are “your work is too different to sell’’.

Maiza, tattoo model, @withmaiza

Follow Maiza on Instagram: @withmaiza

The post Maiza, tattooing along the wings of the dream appeared first on Tattoo Life.