40 Men’s Tattoos That Are Anything But Basic


These various pieces.

by Victoria Do

(Photo: Victoria Do)

Instead of talking about each and every design here, can we take a minute to sit back and enjoy the harmony and artistry that simply oozes from this image?

This leg cover.

by Greg Nicholson

(Photo: Greg Nicholson)

What do you do when you’ve finally completed your second sleeve? Move on to your legs of course. Monochromatic continuity sleeves are visually stunning. This is, without a doubt, a serious work of art that I want to copy dot for dot, line for line.

This time traveler.

Time traveler by Kozo

(Photo: Kozo)

It’s always nice coming across concepts that you’ve never seen before. I have an idea. You get one of these men. Wait 5 years. Get another. Keep repeating the process and you’ll have a time traveler tattoo that only gets better with age. Genius ways to embrace the natural fading of designs—I’m full of them!

This landscape.

by Kozo

(Photo: Kozo)

Kozo will blast you good. So good in fact that you’ll find yourself in need of less and less clothes the more ink you get. This design reminds me a lot of Eva Krbdk’s style. Heck, all of his work does! Which is a compliment not an accusation of course.

This half sleeve.

by Diogo Nogueira

(Photo: Diogo Nogueira)

As far as geometric ornamental cuffs go, this beautiful half sleeve leaves little to be desired. These tiered layers serve as an original way to incorporate a smooth gradient transition to the mix which provides excellent contrast to the hard geometric lines.

This key.

by Wonseok

(Photo: Wonseok)

White ink tattoos don’t get nearly the attention they deserve. Besides looking super cool under UV lights, white ink tattoos have a tendency to blend in with most skin tones which provide a great opportunity for those looking for low key designs (no pun intended).

This little boy.

by Ina Mar

(Photo: Ina Mar)

When you’re working with real talent, hyperrealism designs are a possibility. It’s these picture-perfect designs that tend to have a lot of curb appeal to the general public and really impress those who aren’t used to seeing designs of such high quality (which are rare). These type of designs aren’t without their drawbacks though so make sure you do your homework ahead of time.

A floating woman.

by Victoria Do

(Photo: Victoria Do)

Every man has a woman that is near and dear to his heart. Whether it’s his wife, mother, daughter, or Jessica Alba, men often choose to immortalize them in ink. Basic portraits are the norm, but why not have some fun and get a little more creative. Designs like the one above will hopefully give you the inspiration to make your design unique, interesting, and sentimental.

This stag.

by Dino Nemec

(Photo: Dino Nemec)

Not to knock the tattooists of yesteryear, but these days ink has truly come to embody art as we all know it today. Ink has always been a way for patrons and artists to express themselves, but much of the work we are seeing these days from the best artists around the world would be right at home hanging from the walls of famous museums.

This snake.

by Pawel Indulski

(Photo: Pawel Indulski)

Did someone say fine art? It may sound unbelievable, but if you’re a talented artist looking to make a comfortable living these days, perhaps your best bet is to enter the tattoo industry. It’s incredibly difficult to sell original modern art no matter how good it may be. But if your medium is skin instead of, well, anything, then I can guarantee you’ll have more work than you can handle.