Permanent Art


On the popular social media site, Instagram, where users post and share pictures, I follow a rapper/tattoo artist named Tuki Carter. He is always posting cool tattoo designs that he does on his clients and I am amazed at the level of detail and skill that goes into each tattoo design. I could not find a title for the specific tattoo pictured above but chose the picture anyways to highlight one of his most detailed designs. There is so much going on this client’s arm but to sum up the picture it appears to be a king (guessing Egyptian) with a sword whose throne is over what looks like a goat hiding behind leaves. You would need to know what the client asked for in order to truly understand the tattoo but it is undeniably a work of art. What amazes me about a tattoo such as this one is that it looks like a painting slapped on a man’s arm. However it’s much more complicated because an artist had to copy every detail of the painting by hand and outline it on the clients arm. Also keep in mind that the canvas is human skin which is not as stationary as paper and more difficult to draw on. Some artists do have rub off stickers that outline the tattoo the customer wants, which helps eliminate mistakes in design but it is still up to the artist to properly prepare the customer’s skin and sterilize their equipment to reduce the risks of infection or transmitted diseases such as HIV/AIDS. I think tattoos are more creative and meaningful (most of the time) than pictures drawn on paintings because tattoos are permanently embedded in a person’s skin. Tattoos are generally symbolic with a meaning behind them for instance to honor a loved one that passed, to symbolize an important event in someone’s life, or in bad cases symbolize gang activity. For this reason I myself do not have any tattoos because I haven’t experienced anything I think is worth permanently placing on my body but do plan on getting one eventually in the future if I ever come up with an idea that I don’t think I would get sick of within a year.

  • Do you think tattoos are a high form of art?
  • Would you have a tattoo artist hand draw a design or place a sticker outline on you? And if you have tattoos which option did you choose?
  • Do you have a favorite tattoo artist or artwork?

Here is a video to view how tattoos are done.

For more Tuki Carter tattoo designs here is his website.

Quentin Frazier



8 thoughts on “Permanent Art

  1. If i was ever to get a tattoo I would probably have the artist place a sticker outline on me, I would feel much safer using this procedure. I have seen my friends get tattoos done both ways, and I liked better the result of the sticker. At first, I didn’t really liked tattoos but as I grew older and saw friends getting them done I liked how they looked and I think it’s very interesting that every tattoos has a story behind it!

  2. I like how you covered the art of tattoos. It definitely is an art that needs more appreciation and respect nowadays. There is a lot of skill and dedication needed for this practice. I would probably prefer on outline but it also depends on what kind of design you want on yourself. I’d have to saw my favorite tattoo artist would be Kat Von D because of her amazing designs and she has a great Instagram account.

  3. That is a great piece of art work! It is cool how you chose a tattoo design as a your post because I feel like people never think about the work of meaning put behind them, when they are actually very significant. It can be harder than drawing sometimes because you would have to factor things like time and patience for the person who is getting the tattoo.
    I think tattoos are a high form of art because they are in their own category. Not everyone can be a tattoo artist because it takes skills to be one. Currently I do not have a favorite tattoo artwork, but if I were to get a tattoo, I would get the Albanian coat of arms because a few of my family members have it and it is very significant for Albanians.

  4. I like how he hand does all of his pieces because it makes them more intimate and original. Anyone can go into a tattoo parlor and pick out a tiger’s head and a ribbon with someone’s name, so the fact the he is skilled enough to master the shading and lines is a true and original form of art. I don’t have any tattoos but if I get one I would like an artist original, like he does, because it is much more meaningful. this is a great piece!

  5. Great idea for the blog. I doubt that tattoos would be classified as “high art,” but I don’t think the “canvas” should change the value of someone’s art work or creativity. The value of the tattoo should be set by the person committing to have it put on their body. I’ve seen some pretty amazing works of art on people’s bodies though. There are truly talented men and women that have become tattoo artists. For my 40th birthday I decided I was going to get a tattoo. Well, now I’m 48 , and like Quentin, I still haven’t found anything worth putting on my body permanently and looking at everyday. Whether I would use an outline or allow free-hand would have to do with how well I knew the artist and how much confidence I had in his or her ability. I’m not familiar with any tattoo artists but once I decide what I’d want and where, I’ll find a favorite. 😉

  6. iI have three tattoos and all were custom made for me. I went to different artists each time and they drew up beautiful sketches and one was even hand drawn on my skin, no sketch of anything before hand. I go through the pain of tattooing and gauging because like a lot of different aspects of life, you have to go through pain first to reach the end result of beauty. I feel like tattooing is a higher form of art. There are technical aspects that require even more skill than simply drawing or painting. It’s like sculpting or carving, once you make a mistake you can never go back except a tattoo artist has to live with the fact that they permanently damaged someones body for the rest of their life. To be a walking piece of art is pretty awesome in my eyes.

  7. I think it amazing how so many people can get tattoos. Person I would never but that’s because not only am I terrified of needle but also I am very indecisive so if I get a tattoo today I probably won’t like it in a year from now. However just because I am against getting a tattoo on my body, I do believe they are a high form of art the time it takes to do one is long. I do not have a favorite artiest but I do believe that no one should always go to a professional artiest to reduce the risk of infections like HIV and all that. My favorite tattoos to see are ones that have meaning, especially when it relates to someone they care about. One of my favorite not because I think they special but kind of funny are when people get Chinese words tattooed that don’t have any meaning to them.

  8. Tatoos are a beautiful piece of body art that I appreciate. I really like the above tattoo. It has a great deal of detail. The lines are really clean and precise. The patterns are consistent and flow really well. I am certain it had to take a great deal of time to complete. I really respect tattoos especially when it has a meaning behind it or a story. I would appreciate an artist doing an interpretation of a tattoo that I request instead of taking it from a stencil. I don’t have any tattoos so I do not have any particular artist I would like the most.

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