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Books That Fuel My Creativity

During my apprenticeship, my mentor told me that in the pre-internet era, a tattoo artist's range was often defined by the image collection they curated in their shop. Today, with the internet's vast resources, tattooers have access to an endless array of online photo libraries, constantly enriching our artistic vision with a flood of new ideas and inspiration but I believe there's still value in physical books.

There's a certain magic to paper that cannot be replicated on a screen. The tactile experience of flipping through pages, the smell of ink, and the unique character of each volume create a connection with the content that goes beyond pixels on a display. Whether you find them new or gently used, physical books hold a special place in the heart of any artist's reference library.

Every tattoo artist's collection is a reflection of their unique tastes and creative approach. Personally, my shelves are adorned with beautifully illustrated books, featuring florilegias, gothic cathedrals, imaginative creatures and more - each page teeming with inspiration.

Over time, I've carefully curated my own collection from diverse sources, selecting books that I find both beautiful and educational. While I may earn a small commission from the books I recommend as an Amazon associate, I assure you that they are books I personally use and love. I encourage fellow artists to explore local bookstores, thrift shops, and online platforms to build a collection that informs their artistic vision and style.

I’d like to share a few of my favorites with you.


My Reference Library

Gothic: An Illustrated History by Professor Roger Luckhurst

A few more.

1000 Pin Up Girls by Peter Driben

The World Atlas of Tattoo by Anna Felicity Friedman

Japanese Tattoos: History, Culture and Design by Brian Ashcraft and Hori Benny


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