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Though some might be dead set on a tattoo idea they have in mind and need a custom tattoo piece to fulfill that vision, flash tattoo art can offer some great ideas you may have never imagined on your own. Flash art gives the artist the opportunity to really fine-tune a design or idea. While creating their own flash, artists get to work on ideas and designs that really let their own creativity shine. You can often see the passion and dedication that has gone into well-done flash art. This is probably why flash art has maintained its spot in the world of tattoos for so long, steadily growing in popularity even as custom ink becomes more commonplace.
Flash Tattoo - Fish

What is Tattoo Flash?

Chances are if you’ve been in a tattoo shop, you’ve seen some tattoo flash art. Tattoo flash are ready-made hand drawn art and designs which are ready to ink immediately or can be slightly modified to your specifications by your tattoo artist. Flash can either be a creation of the artists in a particular shop or purchased from outside flash artists. There are several artists who make their living entirely on selling flash art who have never picked up a tattoo machine. In recent years, it has even become possible to buy flash designs online, opening up a whole new world of options when it comes to choosing a tattoo design.

Most tattoo shops will have a wide range of traditional tattoo flash art available by several artists in a variety of styles. Many think of traditional style tattoo art when they think of flash, bold black outlines and a limited color palette popularized by artists such as Sailor Jerry. However, flash art is starting to pop up in a wider range of styles, showcasing the artists’ individual aesthetics and offering unique options for anyone who may not have a concrete plan in mind when looking for a new tattoo. At Chronic Ink our artist enjoy creating flash based on their personal styles. It allows them the creativity in creating a piece of art that they will really enjoy tattooing while at the same time the freedom to experiment with different tattoo ideas and style choices they have been thinking about. The flash work created by our tattoo artists are still considered to be custom pieces as they will only ever be tattooed once – making them one of a kind.

Though the popularity of flash art appeared to be on the decline for a while there as the popularity of custom tattoo work grew, the truth is, flash will never go completely out of style and is already beginning to rise in the ranks of the tattoo world again. There is just a timeless feel to well-drawn flash art that has captured the hearts (and skin) of tattoo enthusiasts for generations.

Flash Tattoo or custom, what should you choose?

So when it comes time to choose your new ink, should you browse through your shops flash offerings or have your artist design a custom piece to your specifications? This is an extremely personal decision, so we can’t give you a concrete answer either way, what we can do is go over the pros and cons of both to help guide you towards the choice that’s best for you.

The first thing to consider is size. Most flash art tends to be small tattoo pieces that can be completed in a single session. So if you’re looking for a whole sleeve or a large back piece, it’s probably time to start working with an artist on a custom piece. When it comes to smaller pieces, however, flash art can be a great option. Flash offers a range of tried and true designs, making it possible to find something eye-catching that may spark your interest if you didn’t have your heart set on a particular image or idea.

The next thing to consider is the price. They say you get what you pay for, and nowhere is this statement truer than in the tattoo world. However, flash can be a great way to save a little without compromising quality. Because the design is already ready to go, you save on the time an artist would spend designing a custom piece, which can, in turn, result in a lower price for your new ink. Some shops occasionally also offer “flash sales”, where particular art can be bought at a lower price for a limited period of time.

If you’re worried about others walking around with the same ink, many shops offer 1/1 flash options, meaning those pieces are one and done, never to be inked again! At Chronic Ink, home to some of the top artists in Canada, all flash offerings are 1/1 so even though it may not have been designed specifically for you, it’s yours alone once the needle touches your skin.

So next time you find yourself on the hunt for new body art, browse through the selection of flash art available to you. You just might find the piece you never knew was waiting just for you.
Watercolour Tattoo Flash Bird

Ready to get your new tattoo?

At Chronic Ink we enjoy the creativity our artists show when drawing their tattoo flash art. We welcome walk-ins for flash tattoos and offer free consultations at all of our tattoo studios in Toronto & Vancouver, Markham, and Newmarket.

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Tattoo Locations

Downtown Toronto

378 Yonge Street,
2nd Floor,
Toronto & Vancouver, Ontario
M5B 1S6

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Midtown Toronto

252 Eglinton Ave East,
2nd Floor,
Toronto & Vancouver, Ontario
M4P 1K2

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Markham

7381 Kennedy Road,
Unit #105,
Markham, Ontario
L3R 5B5

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Newmarket

Upper Canada Mall
17600 Yonge Street,
Newmarket, ON
L3Y 4Z1

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