The Intelligent Tattoos of Tomorrow

By Annie Stopak

It was the 1950’s. You walked into a back-alley store that was a cross between an old-fashioned soda parlor and a barber shop. It was a space that holds more evidence of old than new with plenty to marvel at. Checkerboard vinyl floors, exposed brick walls, arched doorways, and secret crevices amused clients awaiting a tattoo. The walls, covered in prolific floor to ceiling tattoo art, led onlookers down a journey of creativity and wonder. Once seated in the charming reclining chair, you could hear the gentle hum of the rotary machine under brightly-lit fluorescents – a scene that tattoo aficionados continue to know and love, even today. 

But with Artificial Intelligence pushing the limits of new technology, will the traditional tattoo method be a thing of the past…only to exist in our distant memory? It’s a question asserted by the creative industry following the explosive launch of AI platforms like ChatGPT, Jasper, and ChatSonic. Many would argue that talent, creativity, and intuition can’t be manufactured; the human element will always play a part. But how does anyone really know?

Making the distinction between artificial versus original is one of the most controversial aspects of this new technology. Some would say that a tattoo has to be created by an artist to be considered original while others say, not only that, but the artist must possess advanced artistic talent as well. There’s no doubt, AI is blurring the ethical line. No one has established at what point AI is replicating someone else’s art or even diluting the artistic draw. But regardless of what is true or not, we can all acknowledge that the industry is changing and all tattoo endeavors support art, no matter how we get there. Technology shapes the culture in which we live, and it behooves us to lean into these new discoveries, while using it as a tool to strengthen our craft.

Some businesses have proven to be pioneers in the industry, leading with AI practices to embrace success from this new market of curious clientele. Monster Crawling, one of the leaders in AI and tattoos, did just that. With skills in software engineering, the team gained 400,000 dedicated followers in under a year. “AI has been pivotal to this explosive growth,” said Bozidar Djordjevic, CEO at Monster Crawling. “Our mission is to propel the industry into the future.”

Monster Crawling understands the importance of real talent in an effort to keep the heart and soul of the industry intact. “We’re at the forefront of AI innovation in the tattoo realm. Not only do we utilize existing AI tools, but we’re also developing proprietary technology,” Djordjevic said. The brand intends on launching a first-ever app for tattoo artists that encourages artists to elevate their technique. Think master class for tattoos with world-class mentors. The training will also teach a deeper understanding of marketing, business, and of course, AI integration.

If businesses continue to place skilled artists at the center of AI, professionals say it could strengthen the industry as well as the appeal. According to research, advanced tattoo designs can take years of practice, and many novice artists struggle with conceptualizing this creativity, so having artificial intelligence as a tool could perhaps make them more attractive as a job seeker.

But ironically, no one really saw this coming. Engineers were surprised to discover the intelligence behind a system that wasn’t only wired to do analytical functionality, but so much more. “I always believed creativity would be one of the last frontiers for artificial intelligence,” Djordjevic said. “Many predicted that AI would eventually solve every logical task, leaving humans with just art and poetry.” 

And the poetic draw behind some digital art is hard to ignore. Baris Gencel, an award-winning AI artist, has much to share when it comes to paving a powerful future for talented artists and this new technology. Pulling inspiration from futuristic fashion and virtual reality, Gencel boasts works of art that depict an ominous metaverse that artfully blends the beauty of profound oppression with creation. And when asked what drives his inspiration… His response centered around a passion for bringing awareness to ecological issues – specifically nature and climate change – a perfect example of how his interpretation of AI transcends skill level.

As appealing as this technology seems to some creatives, there are still artists who don’t favor the technology. “Personally when I look at these AI generated images, even though they are quite beautiful, I get this weird feeling in my belly,” said Raimo Marti, a Scandinavian Tattoo artist based in Denmark. “I think art is defined by much more than just a beautiful image. It is an expression of the soul.”

Gencel supports the notion that while AI can generate designs, the physical act of tattooing remains a soulful endeavor. More or less, he perceives it as a source of inspiration, not meant to replace actual talent. “AI is fundamentally a tool, akin to any other instrument,” Gencel said. “Its potential is harnessed through human creativity and ingenuity.”

Certain computer applications have made embracing this technology as easy as a touch of a button. BlackInk AI replaces the daunting task of browsing the web, Instagram, or Pinterest for hours on end. Once the client finds the platform they enjoy most, they describe the art they are after in a few short words, and the image is generated in less than a minute. This type of service is most appealing to newbies wanting to receive a tattoo; not to tattoo artists, as it’s less complex and far from original.

Photoleap, on the other hand, is an advanced iOS and Android app from the same developers as Facetune. The personalization aspect takes this platform a step further. The technology uses the ‘try before you buy’ method by letting a user upload a personal photo and overlay it with their chosen design. This app is made for sophisticated individuals who are privy to tattoo art and customizable features. Likely, they are well-versed in the culture and keep a close eye on tattoo trends. Adobe Firefly is similar in the personalization department but even more advanced, allowing you to recolor images or refine edges to add a touch of your own flair to rendered tattoo art.

Other services are creating shortcuts in a different way. You might have heard whispers of the French intelligence robot called Tatoué, the first ever 3D tattoo printer that uses pre-loaded designs to perform a service. Or take Tattoodo, a modern marketplace for tattoo inspiration that is influential for connecting you with the right tattoo artist. Operating like Google for tattoos, this niche website is yet another opportunity to simplify your search by using AI to locate talent in your area.

After uncovering only a handful of the dozens of AI options, it’s quite obvious that there’s an ‘app for that,’ and the technology will continue to improve every day. “History reminds us that technological progress inevitably elevates associated industries, but it also shifts the benchmark. What’s considered average today may be deemed subpar tomorrow,” Djordjevic said. These hard-working machines gather knowledge at a rapid rate. Taking subtle cues and storing data provides them with more intelligence than they could have ever imagined. 

So the question remains, will this technology eventually outsmart humans? Stay tuned to find out. And in the meantime, studying the intricacies of these programs puts businesses at an advantage while providing a leg-up on competitors. Accomplishing tasks in a smoother manner with less stress and effort is a win for creatives and beyond. And just maybe, we won’t lose sight of what once made tattoo art so iconic.

Daring ‘Hunger Games’ Tattoos – InkedMag

It is increasingly rare for a series of books to permeate the cultural stratosphere and solidify itself amongst the pop culture pantheon. Yet, that is exactly what Suzanne Collins’ “The Hunger Games” trilogy has accomplished. Introducing the world to Katniss Everdeen, the reluctant heroine who allowed herself to become the face and bleeding heart of a rebellion that would bring an end to a tyrannical caste system in the not so distant future. Collins’ novels defined a generation of readers and sparked a pop culture frenzy not unlike when the “Harry Potter” franchise exploded on to  the scene.

After four critically acclaimed films, resulting in wide-spread box office success, it’s no shock that Collins opted to return to the world of Panem and deliver up a self-contained prequel novel in, “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” which hit bookstands backs in May of 2020. The entertainment industry being what it is, the film rights were quickly sold off and here we are now on the eve of the much anticipated feature film adaptation of that very THG installment.

Cultural phenomenon is a brain worm of a thing. “Stan” culture, especially amongst avid readers and YA book fans alike has a tendency to root itself in fans and audiences hearts and remain there for years and years. Once and “stan”, always a “stan”. For many, this extends all the way to permanently covering your body in symbolism from the very books and films that you hold so near and dear to your heart. In honor of “The Ballad of Songsbirds and Snakes hitting theaters, take a look at some of the best “The Hunger Games” inspired tattoos out there.

You can catch “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” in theaters on November 17th.

Captivating Captain Marvel Tattoos – InkedMag

“Higher, further, faster, baby.” Iconic words, spoken by the hero that almost single-handedly beat Thanos in a fistfight. Carol Danvers, a.k.a. “Captain Marvel” is officially returning to the big screen after nearly four years away in an epic cross-over feature. Danvers, played by Academy Award winner Brie Larson, will be teaming up with Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris) and Kamala Khan (Iman Vellani) in the latest edition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, “The Marvels.”

Captain Marvel helms from an ungodly amount of Marvel Comics lore and following her controversial introduction to the MCU, against the greater majority of enraged fanboys alike, the average MCU fan quickly realized that Danvers is one of the most powerful Avengers to ever join the infamous supergroup, a force not to be trifled with.

This marks the first official crossover cinematic edition of the MCU, where audiences will require at least a passing knowledge of the events that took place in both “WandaVision” and “Ms. Marvel.” Two Disney+ originals, that introduced Parris’ character “Photon” and Vellani’s character “Ms. Marvel,” respectively. “The Marvels” centers on the consequences of Danvers shouldering the burden of a destabilized universe in the aftermath of “Captain Marvel”. When one of her missions sends her through a wormhole that entangles her powers with Rambeau’s and Khan’s, chaos ensues. The unlikely trio must team up to take on the otherworldly forces and determine whether or not they are truly stronger together than they are apart.

What this film means for the current state of things in the MCU is anyone’s guess. Following the self contained events of “The Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 3” and the potentially cataclysmic events of “Ant-Man & The Wasp: Quantamania” and whatever is actually happening in “Loki” season 2, audiences are curious to see how the latest installment of the widely successful and lucrative franchise with play out in the greater scheme of the MCU.

With ungodly power, comes a plethora of tattoo inspiration. We’ve gathered the best “Captain Marvel” tattoos in the universe in order to celebrate the latest edition to the MCU.


Catch “The Marvels” directed by Nia DaCosta in theaters November 10th!

Everything You Missed at the When We Were Young Music Festival 2023

Thousands of music fans stepped back in time to the exhilarating days of the ’90s at the When We Were Young music festival in Las Vegas. Over the weekend of October 21-22, the festival grounds were filled with roughly 70,000 enthusiastic fans, all ready to relive the golden era of punk-inspired tunes. Despite the unusually hot October weather, with temperatures reaching an unrelenting 90 degrees, the nights brought cool breezes that added to the magical atmosphere.

 The energy was electric as fans eagerly awaited performances from iconic 90s bands such as Green Day, Blink-182, and Sum 41, among many others. The festival grounds were a sight to behold, with a multitude of food stands, bars, and relaxing spots equipped with misting systems to help festival-goers beat the heat. It was a true haven where fans could unwind, connect with fellow music lovers, and revel in the incredible performances for a remarkable two-day extravaganza across four stages.

Photography by Leanne Leuterio

The success and smooth execution of the When We Were Young festival is nothing short of extraordinary. To entertain and cater to such a massive crowd without any major incidents is a testament to the organizers’ meticulous planning and dedication. In a city known for its big celebrations, this festival has undoubtedly left its mark as an unforgettable event.

 When We Were Young brought together a lineup of prominent and fresh-faced cross-genre bands, each offering an unforgettable performance that left the crowd in awe. From surprise collaborations to wild stage antics, the event was a true spectacle of music and entertainment.

 There were so many stand out performances that we can’t list them all here, but here are a few highlights.

Yellowcard took the stage by storm, celebrating the 20th anniversary of their iconic album “Ocean Avenue.” But that wasn’t the only surprise they had in store for their fans. Singer/songwriter Cassadee Pope made a special appearance, joining the band to sing their hit song “Only One.” The crowd erupted with excitement, savoring the unique rendition. Not to be outdone, Pierce the Veil delivered an emotionally charged performance, highlighted by a heartwarming gesture. During their performance of “Hold on Till May,” the lead vocalist brought a lucky fan onstage and gifted her his guitar. It was a touching moment that confirmed the band’s connection with their audience.

Photography by Leanne Leuterio

Good Charlotte returned to the stage after a five-year hiatus, and they made sure to make it a weekend to remember. In an unexpected twist, on Sunday night’s performance they brought out the legendary rapper Lil Wayne, who delivered an electrifying performance of “A Milli” and “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.” The collaboration was a fusion of genres that had the crowd in a frenzy.

Photography by Leanne Leuterio

 Simple Plan brought the element of surprise to a whole new level. Not only did they showcase their own high-energy performance, but they also invited special guests on stage. Members from Plain White T’s, Bowling for Soup, and MXPX bands joined forces with Simple Plan while their lead singer, Pierre, showed off his drumming skills. The stage was transformed into a collaborative hub, leaving fans with a medley of cover songs, including “All Star,” “Sk8r Boy,” and “Mr. Brightside.”

 When it comes to stage antics, Blink-182 never disappoints. Travis Barker took his performance to new heights, quite literally. His drum set floated on risers during “Miss You”, captivating the audience. And to top it all off, the band concluded their set with a grand display of fireworks, illuminating the night sky and leaving the crowd in awe.

Green Day brought their signature energy to the festival. Before even starting their set, a bunny-suited hype man wearing a black tee with a red tie worked fans into a playful spirit. Their opening song, “American Idiot,” set the tone for an electrifying set. Throughout their performance, they commanded the audience to put their hands in the air, clap, and jump, creating an infectious energy that reverberated throughout the fesrival grounds.

Photography by Leanne Leuterio

 WWWY 2023 was a testament to the power of live music and to the love of retro bands, offering an array of unforgettable moments. From surprise collaborations to awe-inspiring stage antics, each band brought their unique flair. It was a celebration of music that united fans and artists alike, leaving everyone with memories that will last a lifetime.