The Cultural Gap of Tattoo Aesthetics

Recently I’ve been experiencing what I call “tattoo fever” (otherwise known as my mother’s least favourite cousin of “baby fever”)—which is to say I’ve been making Pinterest boards and following hashtags on Instagram. In my many efforts to collect hypothetical designs that I considered representative of my own sense of aesthetics, I’ve realized that my “taste” in tattoos is markedly East Asian; delicate and precise, often in soft colours and a popular “watercolour” style.

This realization was aided by a friend of mine, who intends to start her tattoo apprenticeship soon. Like me, she follows a long list of Instagram tattoo accounts and diligently manages her tattoo Pinterest board, but a quick comparison of our tastes revealed a distinct cultural gap within the tattoo industry.

While this large-scale difference in tastes can be witnessed more prominently in other artistic standards such as the beauty industry, I found it fascinating that cultural aesthetic distinctions permeated so strikingly in the tattoo industry.

The photo on the left is from Instagram account @fat_chanse_tattoo, located in my hometown of Calgary, Alberta, and on the right is @tattooist_doy, a South Korean based artist.

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