Whether you’re waiting for the right idea before getting your first tattoo or you’re just plain ink-obsessed, there’s plenty of inspiration to be found online. Instagram is the perfect outlet for creative types to show off their work, and tattoo artists are no exception. Check out these artists from around the world and prepare to start planning your next (or first!) tat.
1. @jayaism: It’s all black and white on this artist’s feed until, wait for it… wait for it… BAM! Bright orange dots over here, turquoise polygons over there. See, a pop of color really does bring everything to life.
2. @alexstrangler: Step right up, ‘90s fans. Get ready for all the Daria, Sailor Moon, Polly Pocket and Nickelodeon nostalgia you can handle.
3. @highvoltagetat: Before she had her own makeup line at Sephora, Kat Von D opened up this parlor (you may recognize it from LA Ink). She’s still the most in-demand tattoo artist they have, so keep an eye out for her and her designs on the Insta feed.
4. @lisaorth: Even though we LOVE colorful tats, this artist’s stunning blackwork is great inspiration if you don’t think your pain threshold can withstand more than an outline.
5. @bangbangnyc: Remember Cara’s crazy-cool faux floral tattoo sleeves at this year’s Met Gala? Those were courtesy of one of NYC’s most popular tattoo artists. Don’t worry, though. He’ll permanently ink ya too, along with LeBron James, Rihanna and Katy Perry.
6. @sashaunisex: This Moscow artist creates breathtaking watercolor flora and fauna, proving that getting inked is so not just a biker thing anymore.
7. @roxx_____: The body is a wonderland. Especially after it’s inked by this San Francisco artist, who takes inspiration from architecture and geometric patterns to create beautiful blackwork and dotwork in the unlikeliest of places.
9. @beccagennebacon: Put a twist on the classic MOM tat template by immortalizing your favorite furry friend instead.
10. @dr_woo_ssc: From Drake’s emoji prayer hands to Ellie Goulding’s ribcage lotus flower, Dr. Woo is probably the best known celebrity tattoo artist. His designs tend to be small but intricate, making his Instagram feed a source of inspiration for that perfect personal tattoo.
11. @littlejennsmall: If retro fonts, vintage signs and storybook landscapes are your jam, you’re going to dig this Charlotte tattooist’s aesthetic.
14. @smithstreettattooparlour: Fair warning: There’s some trippy stuff in this Brooklyn parlor’s Instagram feed, but we are loving the big, bold colors of all the traditional American tattoos.
15. @dotstolines: We know it’s not polite to stare, but this Berlin artist’s work is too mesmerizing to look away. Follow this Instagram to check out his body of art (pun fully intended).
16. @nikkohurtado: We’ve all seen those tattoo portraits gone wrong. This is what happens when they go right. Drawing realistic faces is a challenge in and of itself, but permanently inking it onto a person’s skin? That takes insane talent, and Nikko has it.
17. @drewcanadatattoo: What’s more American-traditional than a state-inspired tattoo? Nothing, except maybe all of the awesome Simpsons designs this Texan has done over the years.
18. @peteraurisch: If someone had handed Pablo Picasso a tattoo machine instead of a paintbrush, we imagine the results would’ve looked something like this. Scrolling through this feed is like walking through a modern Cubist museum.
If you could have a tattoo done by any of these must-follow artists, who would it be and why? Share your designs in the comments!