Belgian artist Sven Rayen has an incredible knack for creating unique geometric animal tattoos. Working out of his Antwerp-based shop Studio Palmero, Rayen has been constantly setting the bar with his stylistic monochromatic designs and envelope pushing creativity. Rayen’s eclectic portfolio ranges from hyper-realistic portraits to innovative geometric mashups. But one detail they all seem to have in common is their apparent absence of color. Although Rayen is known to dabble in color work here and there, he clearly favors his black and grey inks.
Rayen knew early on that he had a penchant for design and illustration. In high school he started immersing himself in the tattoo world and soon found himself seriously considering a career as a tattoo artist. But it wasn’t until later in life that he had that “lightbulb” moment, quit his job and dove head first into the industry. The rest is history.
“I’ve been drawing ever since I can remember, but I never knew that 15 years later I would be a tattoo artist myself, that’s pretty cool,” Rayen told Save My Ink.
If you had hopes of slipping into Sven’s chair anytime soon, think again. According to Sven’s Instagram profile, he’s “fully booked”, which is to be expected of someone with almost 80,000 loyal followers.
Rayen’s work has garnered countless accolades across the globe. Tattoo artist to the stars Dr. Woo cited Rayen as one of his favorite artists, which is about the biggest ego boost any tattoo artist can receive.
In the graphics world, this particular style of design is referred to as “low poly,” or “low polygon,” which is indicative of the many small polygons that fit together to form a poly mesh. You’re probably thinking to yourself “These designs look oddly familiar.” That’s likely because poly mesh rendering is one of the most commonly used methods for modeling three dimensional images on a computer. These unfinished renderings often appear in TV and video segments documenting the creation process of animated characters.
“I don’t think of myself as an innovator, I just have a clear vision on what I want a tattoo to look like… I just try to keep my work personal and improve every time,”
“Distinctive in my work, I think, is the light/dark contrast and the contrast in thick and thin lines, whether it’s a minimalistic piece, an illustration, or a portrait. I always try to improve and to grow in what I do, I think technique and composition on the body are really important. In essence I’m still an illustrator…”
“With the studio I want to focus on the synergy between tattoo design, graphic design, fashion, and music,”