A budding hub of creativity and technology, Toronto is in the tattoo sweet spot.
Toronto has one of the fastest growing cultural sectors in the world. 6% of the city’s workforce is employed in cultural jobs. Since we first opened Chronic Ink’s doors over a decade ago, we have witnessed major cultural growth in Toronto.
Nowhere is this more evident than in the art scene. Toronto’s art culture attracts top artists from all over the world. They come with a huge range of styles, cultural influences, experiences, and talents. All of these factors help to create the best tattoo artists in Toronto.
In addition to a massive talent pool, Toronto also has access to all the latest technologies, equipment and techniques. In a tattoo shop, that means safer, better quality tattoos, as well as the ability to adopt new tattoo styles.
The combination of artistic and technological capabilities puts Toronto at the forefront of the latest and best tattoo art styles.
Today, we take a look at some of the most popular tattoo styles in Toronto.
Watercolour Tattoo Style
Watercolour tattoos are relatively new in the tattoo community. Bright, abstract, and highly-aesthetic the appeal of watercolour tattoos is undeniable.
Also known as painterly or brushwork tattoos, their art style resembles watercolour paintings and would look equally at home on the skin or in a gallery. One of the most identifiable techniques in this style is artistic watercolour brush strokes that colour outside the lines of the normal ink of the tattoo. This gives the tattoo a sense of being alive in a way other styles can’t match.
Although watercolour tattoos started taking off in the early 2010s they are now hitting a new rise in popularity. As the style is adopted, Toronto watercolour tattoo artists are already reimagining what brushwork can do.
Abstract is still at the core of most watercolour tattoos. But many artists are combining it with other art forms like illustrative and realism tattoos for incredible visuals.
Fine Line Tattoo Style
Fine line tattoos are a good example of technology’s contributions to tattooing. Toronto fine line tattoo artists take advantage of advances in tattoo guns and needles. These allow for crisp, fine lines.
These lines allow for immense detail or a clean, deliberate look. As more tattoo artists put their own spin on fine line work or use it in their own art style, we are constantly seeing new & innovative pieces.
Artists are incorporating fine line to revolutionize existing tattoo styles like mandalas and tiny tattoos.
Minimalist Tattoo Style
Minimalism is a style that has benefited a lot from fine line tattoos. In recent years, minimalism has seen a new boom. Millennials in Toronto are moving towards decluttering and minimalist lifestyles and trends. This is reflected in art, with a resurgence in minimalist tattoos.
Minimalist tattoos break designs down to their simplest communicable forms. While they can look simple, they take a good deal of foresight and understanding of the image being represented.
With large, complex designs it is easier to represent an image. So the focus is just on having it look right. With a minimalist tattoo, the image is stripped down to the bare necessities and then must be presented aesthetically. As a result, minimalist tattoos can take longer than complex tattoos, in some instances.
Realism Tattoo Style
On the other end of the spectrum, we find realism tattoos. These tattoos are immensely detailed for a realistic and lifelike appearance. In black & grey or in colour, realism is a style that never fails to impress.
One of the most impressive uses of realism tattoos is in portrait work. People will often seek realistic tattoos of loved ones or characters to honour, memorialize, or pay homage to them.
Asian Tattoo Style
This is a style especially dear to us. Chronic Ink made its name as the most authentic Asian tattoo shop in Toronto. Today we are one of the few shops in the city still offering traditional Asian tattoos.
Most Asian tattoos are broken down into one of three elements: wind, waves, or fire. They also often contain traditional imagery like peonies, samurai, gods, dragons, and koi fish.
Traditional Asian style tattoos have clearly defined edges and structure as in the above image. A more common trend in Toronto is neo-traditional Asian style tattoos. These contain similar motifs and imagery, but the structure and edges are defined by the body’s natural curves.
Cosmetic Tattoo Style
Permanent makeup is a big trend in Toronto. Whether covering up scars or enhancing your natural features, cosmetic tattoos are a much sought-after solution.
Microblading is one of the most common cosmetic tattoos, allowing people to customize their eyebrows. It is a semi-permanent makeup, lasting about one year before retouching.
Some of the other roles of cosmetic tattoos include eyeliner and lipstick. Torontonians love the advantage of having artist-applied makeup that they don’t need to reapply every day.