Tattoo Artist Specializations

Tattooing has been practiced all over the world for centuries. Early evidence of tattooing has been found in Japan, Polynesia, China and Africa. While traditional tattooing methods can still be found today, many modern tattoo artists use sophisticated machines to create their lasting works of art. With so many amazing tattoo artists on the scene today, clients can pick and choose who they’d like to work with based on an artist’s specialty or style. But with so many different specialty tattoo styles available, it can be hard to know where to start! Luckily, with a great artist, anything is possible when it comes to creating tattoo that is memorable for all the right reasons.

Explore the Many Different Tattoo Artist Specializations



This is the oldest form of tattooing aside from ancient tribal techniques. Traditional tattoo are defined by solid black outlines, a limited color palette and less detail. Popular designs feature roses, hearts, skulls, eagles, women’s heads, nautical themes and eagles.



Source: Instagram (riccardo_mancanelli)

Nearly the polar opposite of traditional tattoos, watercolor designs are less structured and use splashes of color to recreate the impression of watercolor paint spreading across a canvas. Nature themes are popular with this style as well as a brighter color palette to show off the detailing.

Fine Line


Source: Instagram (jakubnowicztattoo)

This specialization style has been gaining popularity lately and creates a more delicate, even feminine tattoo that leaves little room for error. It is a very simplistic style that is great for those who want a smaller tattoo.



Source: Instagram (n8tattoos)

In order to produce realistic and beautiful portrait work, a tattoo artist has to be highly skilled. While many tattoo artists would like to try their hand at portrait work, a good artist knows that this specialization is one that shouldn’t be attempted by a novice. Portraits are created using the fine line style and can’t be completed properly by just any tattoo artist you find online or in the yellow pages as seen in the fix up above.



Source: Instagram (gabetinotattoo)

Creating a piece that centers around lettering and fonts has always been a popular choice for modern clients. But with so many options out there, it can be tough to settle on a font that works well on certain areas of the body. Often, compromise between the client, the artist and the site of choice are needed for a tattoo featuring lettering to work out well.



Source: Instagram (phetattooist)

This style gives off a “fresh from the drawing board” vibe and is ideal for artists and clients who want a more organic experience. By following a loose sketch and agreeing to a little bit of freedom on the final design, these tattoos can be a fun experience for everyone involved.



Source: Instagram (manu_dermagrafics)

Modern tribal tattoos pay homage to the oldest tattoo style from ancient times. Typically, black and gray in color, tribal tattoos often feature symmetry and geometric designs. A good artist will take extra care with placement of tribal designs and has a delicate hand when it comes to highlighting the details of the often larger pieces.

A Distinct Tattoo Style for Everyone

Just like the artists that create them, each new tattoo is unique. While many artists dabble in different styles and specializations, most will agree that they have a preference for a specific type of tattoo. Ranging from the highly detailed to the more abstract, some of the most common tattoo specializations include:

  • Traditional
  • Watercolor
  • Fine Line
  • Portrait
  • Lettering
  • Sketch
  • Tribal
  • and More!

Interested in investing in a tattoo & body piercing insurance policy that is as versatile as your portfolio? At Marine Agency Insurance, we’ve been providing insurance coverage to tattoo artists and shop owners since 1990. Call 800-763-4775 or visit our team online today to explore our coverage options and make the switch to a more comprehensive insurance policy today!

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