Biomechanical tattoos emerged in the late 80's and early 90's and became a unique, new tattoo style. These pieces, partially inspired by artist H.R. Giger of "Alien" fame, give the illusion that your skin was ripped off and beneath there are both human and robotic parts. They're perfect for those with a science fiction or fantasy flare, but be sure you choose an experienced tattoo artist for these specialized pieces.
- Skill level:
Find an experienced biomechanical tattoo artist. Although styles can vary between artists, some artists don't have the desire or talent to design these unusual pieces. You may have to shop around and look at many portfolios before finding the right artist, which is crucial. You can also ask for recommendations as some artists have made a name for themselves by specializing in various styles including biomechanical.
Choose a body part for your biomechanical tattoo. Even though you can place these designs anywhere, they look best when they flow with the body including your natural muscle tone. Popular locations include the arms and legs, especially well muscled areas. Rib cage pieces are also common because you can incorporate the design with the ridges of the ribs for a more dramatic effect. Other common choices include back pieces especially down the spine, around the wrist or on the neck.
Work on a custom biomechanical design with your artist. Although some aspects of the design might be similar to other pieces you've seen, the final product should be fairly original. Be prepared to answer questions about how much human versus machine you want in the design or if you prefer to have strictly one or the other beneath the torn flesh.
Decide on color. Many people choose to stick with black and grey for biomechanical pieces, but it's also common to through some red in to indicate blood, muscle or tissue. Blues are utilized, sometimes for a more metallic look, and white for highlights. On the flip side, you have some artists who prefer these pieces in full color using bright, varied choices across the spectrum.
Be prepared for multiple sittings. If you're getting a small piece around your wrist, your artist should be able to complete these all at once. However, many biomechanical tattoos are large pieces that require more than one session to complete. Most half sleeve and larger back and leg pieces may require more than one and basically all full sleeve, full thigh or full back pieces will require multiple sittings.
Tips and warnings
- Biomechanical tattoos have become a popular choice for half and full sleeve tattoos because designs flow so well with the arm.
- Like all large pieces, a biomechanical tattoo that covers a full sleeve or back is going to be pricey. If you go to a popular artist that specializes in the field, you might be looking at an even higher price tag--quality doesn't come cheap.
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