Animal Tattoo Artists
Animals are a constant source of inspiration for tattoo artists.
They can be cute and cuddly, fearsome and ferocious, or sometimes both.
It can be tricky in any tattoo style to capture an animal’s essence and really make the design come to life.
Once an artist does one stunning animal piece, they’ll likely be flooded with requests for more.
Some artists specialize in animal tattoos.
We’ve compiled our favorite animal tattoo artists on Instagram, with a few classic creatures below.
Read on to fulfill your wildest tattoo dreams.
Classic Animal Tattoos
A tattoo artist may be handed an obscure creature once in a while, but there are a few classic animals we just can’t get enough of.
Here are a few examples of the most popular animal requests in tattoo shops.
Most tattoo artists probably know their way around a lion’s mane.
Lions have been used as a symbol of bravery, courage, and strength since we first laid eyes on these gorgeous golden creatures.
Lions were incorporated into numerous heraldry designs hundreds of years ago, so a lion tattoo is a great way to feel protected without the bulky armor.
The other big cat we love to admire, animal tattoo artists may find themselves drawing a lot of tigers.
Tiger tattoos tend to represent power, strength, and independence.
They are similar to lions in terms of symbolism but generally regarded as fiercer, while lions can represent a more gentle strength.
Snakes can be regarded as phallic symbols and generally represent temptation, basic urges, and the instinctive parts of us that are stored in the reptilian brain.
A gifted tattoo artist can have all kinds of fun with a snake tattoo design, their slithering and coiling shapes make them easy to design around your body shape.
Birds have something most of us fantasize about: the ability to fly.
We likely get these animals tattooed on us as a way of channeling some of that free-flying energy.
Ravens symbolize mystery and sometimes messages from beyond the grave.
With their long jewel-toned necks and opulent tail feathers, peacocks are a natural choice in any animal tattoo artist’s sketchbook.
Peacocks represent confidence and beauty.
When you find the right artist, this bird will make for an absolutely brilliant piece of tattoo art.
Let’s not forget our scaly friends.
Animal tattoo artists get a lot of requests for fish of all kinds, because if we aren’t thinking about flying we’re generally thinking about exploring the ocean.
Depending on the fish, they can represent wisdom, prosperity, or magic.
Best Animal Tattoo Artists
- Luka Lajoie
Residing in Montreal, Canada, tattooist Luka Lajoie creates large scale, big statement designs with a realist sensibility.
His work on animal tattoos is full of texture, detail, and brilliant uses of light and shadow.
Lojoie captures the natural animal and its environment perfectly, often whilst they are mid-motion, making his tattoos reminiscent of wildlife photography.
- Sandra Daukshta
Sandra Daukshta brings an array of animals to the animal tattoo realm.
From robins perched on a tree branch to a wide-mouthed eagle focused and ready, her tattoo work brings color realism to her artistic interpretation of wild animals.
She currently lives in Riga, Latvia – a city known for producing talented tattoo artists.
- Ben Kaye
Combining a background in fine art with a love for all things nature, Ben Kaye is a New Zealand tattooist whose work is carefully intricate with detail.
Whilst his work is undeniably color realism, Kaye brings an artistic stroke with the gorgeous use of paintbrush-like strokes and intoxicating backgrounds.
Ben Kaye now works at Ship Shape Tattoo in Auckland.
- David Vega
World-renowned tattoo artist, David Vega, lives in Austin, Texas.
His work compromises classic black and grey designs with a steady hand and eye for texture.
His animal tattoos contain muted and smoothed shading, creating animal portraits that are soft to the eye yet remain true to their form.
- Natasha Lisova
Strictly specializing in animal tattoos, Natasha Lisova is a seasoned pro at bringing some of our favorite animals to life on the skin.
Lisova is currently based in Moscow, Russia, where she creates mesmerizing and ethereal interpretations of animals with attention to bright color and realism.
She has tattooed a large portion of the animal kingdom including dogs, monkeys, hamsters, cat tattoos, horses, and foxes.
- Alessandro Capozzi
Coming from Rome, Italy, Alessandro Capozzi is a big name in the world of tattoos – especially for his animal tattoos.
Having tattooed for the likes of Demi Lovato and Ben Hardy, Capozzi is popular with celebrities and tattoo fanatics alike.
His style is extremely unique, adopting fine line and single needle tattoo techniques to bring a minimalist, monochromatic finish to his animal tattoos.
Although they are usually smaller in scale due to the amount of minute detail, Capozzi’s animal tattoo designs feel strikingly real.
- Led Coult
Fresh, gritty, and photo-realistic, Brazilian tattoo artist Led Coult has toured the world with his mixture of monochromatic and colorful animal portraits.
From unassuming goats to lively parrots, Led Coult’s animal tattoos are some of the closest you can get to an actual photograph.
He often incorporates several animals into a single tattoo design, creating a large-scale collage of wildlife.
- Andrés Acosta
Andrés Acosta is a tattoo artist based in Austin, Texas.
His work integrates realism with the magical by working with colors such as pinks and purples to produce a sense of other-worldliness to the real.
Acosta’s vision is highly influenced by the likes of space and all things cosmic, depicting animals on a backdrop of starry nights and floating planets.
Acosta’s work captures not just the physical image of an animal but brings with it a surreal experience like nothing else.
- Boris Tattoo
Working in tattoo artistry since the early 1990s, Boris is a Hungarian tattooist residing in Vienna, Austria.
However, he spends much of his time touring around the world.
Much of his animal tattoo artistry works with color and brings hyper-realism to the forefront, often meaning that he captures close-ups of animal faces.
This makes Boris a brilliant interpreter of facial expressions.
- Douglas Prudente
Black and grey tattoo designs have never been so intoxicating as with Douglas Prudente’s hyper-realism.
Based in the creative hub of Porto Alegre, Brazil, Prudente transforms animal portraits into meticulously breathtaking animal tattoo pieces.
He brings out the essence in a range of living creatures, including the humble dog to the fierce reptile.
Exercising his effortless talent at his tattoo studio in Taboão da Serra, Brazil, Tuzinho is an iconic tattoo artist whose realistic animal tattoo designs bring magic to the usual black and grey palette.
Tuzinho has mastered working with both limited colour palette and bright colours.
By sporting a gritty depiction of animals, Tuzinho’s animal tattoos are full of natural life and movement.
Piercing eyes and smooth yet sharp teeth are some of Tuzinho’s focuses in his work, reminding us of the animal’s natural instincts out in the wild.
- Peter Lagergren
Full of epic back tattoos with sweeping lines and bold color, Peter Lagergren owns Malmö Classic Tattooing in Malmö, Sweden.
His work is a unique pastiche of culture and time, borrowing classic imagery from Western and Eastern traditions into his surreal animal tattoo designs.
From the back to the hands, Lagergren’s work is an exciting spin of the Neo-traditional and works on both small tattoos and large scale.
- Sergio Fernández
Fernández also injects his animal tattoo designs with a sense of intimacy, where he can create black and grey portraits of pets from photographs.
Whatever animal he is reimagining, the art is always full of life and personality.
- Dylan Weber
Residing just outside of Sydney, Australia, Dylan Weber is a tattoo artist with strong wanderlust and brilliant imagination – both of which uplift and ignite his animal tattoo designs.
Weber works predominantly with sea creatures such as sharks and fish whose bodies are surrounded by cascades of rippling and splashing water.
The depictions of animals are as much an experience as they are visual art, using black and grey to create realistic images of the sea and its inhabitants.
- Daria Pirojenko
Daria Pirojenko is a striking tattoo artist based in Moscow, Russia, who works on many animal tattoos.
Her background was in watercolor tattoos, but as she garnered more experience, Pirojenko found herself in the realm of colorful realism.
However, she takes on a playful and experimental approach to her animal tattoo designs by contrasting hyper-realistic animals with fluffed fur and pointed claws alongside block-colored cartoon animals.
The two interact with one another to create a fun yet introspective look at the natural lives of animals and the lives of the ones humans make themselves.
SNEAKYMITCH brings crisp, confident style to animal tattooing.
Based in Leeds, UK, he currently tattoos at Goldroom Tattoo.
His work involves careful attention to tonal aspects and perfectly captures gradients of color, both in colorful and black & grey palettes.
Whilst much of his style derives from a skilled understanding of color and shade, SNEAKYMITCH also adopts mesmerizing, sweeping outlines for his animals.
These outlines are thick and cause his animal tattoos to ‘pop’ off the skin.
- Joe Frost
Fast becoming an iconic name in the tattoo world, Joe Frost is an artist worth knowing.
He currently lives in Sheffield, UK.
Introducing animal tattoos with a Neo-traditional tattoo twist, expect bright colors, twisting lines and large scale artscapes.
Frost is a daring force in his animal tattoo approach and is brilliant for those who seek a surreal take on their own animal design.
- Victor Chil
Taking Spain by storm, Barcelona-based tattoo artist Victor Chil produces animal tattoos which are full of life and motion.
Often, Chil captures an animal mid-action, as if to depict them in a way that you would them in the wild.
However, the colors are extremely vivid and pop art-esque.
With a background in graffiti art, Victor Chil’s effortless style is both laid back and illustrative.
- Ahmet Cambaz
From Istanbul, Turkey, Ahmet Cambaz embraces the style of minimalism to his animal tattoo art.
His stripped-back approach has become increasingly popular for those seeking simpler and smaller designs.
Nonetheless, Cambaz demonstrates very careful detail to his animal work and brings in minuscule dot work to give his animals texture.
They are beautifully intimate and limitless.
- Phil Garcia
Celebrating an array of awards for his art, California-based tattoo artist Phil Garcia has a painterly edge over his animal tattoos.
Garcia opts more for splashes of color which ignite the body of the animal.
Where detail fails to produce unique traits and designs, Phil Garcia offers an abundance of uniqueness with his use of color.
- Alexandr Suvorov
Bringing gorgeous portraits of animals to the world, Alexandr Suvorov spends as much time touring around the world with his tattoo art as he does in his hometown of Kyiv, Ukraine.
There is a true sense of royalty that exudes from Suvorov’s depictions of animals.
There is true attention to detail in their facial features, which brings a sense of hyper-realism to his work.
- Marco Pepe
Marco Pepe sports a completely unique style in his animal tattoo designs.
Currently owning Encre Tattoo Studio in Napoli, Italy, he refers to his work as ‘hard-painting watercolor’.
Brushstrokes largely sweep and enhance sketch-like animals, giving them both a burst of color and effortless structure.
His animal tattoos are free from the confines of careful lines and geometric tattoo pattern, instead opting for free-flowing color movement.
- Robert Pavez
Residing in Stockholm, Sweden, tattoo artist Robert Pavez creates breathtaking animal designs with the incorporation of dot work and single needle tattooing.
There is something cosmic about his style.
It works with shapes and the abstract, giving the impression that the tattoo is the result of many little components tied together.
From afar, there is an undeniable smoothness to the animals.
However, when you approach the tattoos closer, you will discover a new, fragmented side to the tender animal.
If you were an animal, what animal would you be and why?
Did we manage to list your favorite here?
Whether you’re into classic tigers or Diane’s bare-hearted glass frog, an animal tattoo is a great way to show off your personality.
We hope you’ve found some inspiration with our list of favorite follows and furry friends.