A small disclaimer before we get into the tattoos. Whenever I decide its time to get a new tattoo, I spend hours on Pinterest and Google looking at hundreds of tattoos. This is a great way to get inspired. While all of the tattoos below are pieces I think I would love on my own body, I have a fear and discomfort with the possibility that I have the same tattoo as a stranger. Tattoo copying is something I get upset about now that I have tattoos. Both of my tattoos involved a personal creative process between me and my tattoo artist. The idea that someone liked my tattoo enough to copy it on to their own body not flattering but frustrating. When I get tattoos I like to break down what I am paying for to justify the hefty price tag.

Essentially you are paying for their time and skill along with their design or art if you like. The sketches, ideas, designs, and tattoos created by a tattoo artist should be given the same respect as fine art. When someone has a copied tattoo without permission, that means that the person and their tattoo artist have no respect for the original artist. So while I share these tattoos and their artist be inspired, but, out of respect for the person with the tattoo and the talented artist that created them never replicate them on your skin.

Mirko Sata (@mirkosata​​)

@mirkosata

Mirko Sata is known for his snake tattoos. He has hundreds of snake designs each one is unique and beautifully proportioned and detailed. Look up snake tattoo and most of the good ones are his. He has the skill and talent to create intricate, intertwined snakes look beautiful and not like a jumbled mess of lines. The tattoo on my back is inspired by some of his pieces, however, I worked with my artist to create a new original design. I really love my snake tattoo and would consider another one thanks to this artist.

Kelsey Brown (@kelseyknown)

@kelseyknows

Kelsey Brown is a tattoo artist in Colorado. She only has a few thousand followers on Instagram, but all of her tattoos are really pretty. She had this really light feminine style that is designed to fit and flow with the body. Take a look at her Instagram if you are interested in watercolor tattoos. I almost got a crane like this on my back but then I decided I didn't even want a crane.

Janice BaoBao (@soso_ink)

iNKPPL

Janice BaoBao is based in Canada and has a really bright, colorful and often times whimsical style. She has really adorable portraits of animals and some very beautiful flower tattoos. All of her tattoos have almost no outline and a really graphic way of shading that define her style. Her flower tattoos are her most acclaimed work. She doesn't have a collection of her tattoos work on her Instagram so I linked an article profiling her.

Ryan Flaherty (@ryanflaherty)

@ryanflaherty

Ryan Flaherty is based in Chicago and does absolutely insane paintings on people. All of his tattoos are masterpieces with thousands of little details. His talents also seem to range. While his style is recognizable the types of things he chooses to tattoo have no common theme. His more popular tattoos are large sleeves depicting outer space scenes. My favorite, however, is this impeccable tattoo of a head of lettuce. There are actually several different vegetable tattoos on his Instagram and they are all impressive even next to a tattoo that looks like a picture of space.

Corey Correia (@coreycorreia) (@isthmustattoo)

@isthmustattoo

@corycorreia

Corey did my snake tattoo and he is the owner of Isthmus Tattoo & Social Club, a tattoo shop in my hometown. He's a really cool guy who to me embodies the kind of person I trust to tattoo me. His shop is practically brand new but me and my friends who have gotten tattoos there have been happy with our tattoos and the experience as a whole. Corey immediately was very welcoming and excited about my tattoo. As the artist, he was as invested as I was in making this tattoo really great. I want to feature him here as an extra thank you because I really love my tattoo but also to show that getting a tattoo that makes you happy doesn't mean you have to go to a fancy tattoo shop with a world-famous artist.