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Tattoos: they’re not just for rebels and rockstars anymore. These days, they’re as common as coffee runs and just as addictive. Whether you’re a walking canvas or just curious, the world of tattoos is bursting with colour, creativity, and some seriously cool competitions. So, grab your metaphorical needle and let’s dive into the inked-up world!

person showing arm and wrist tattoo

The Art of Tattooing: A Splash of History and Styles

Tattooing isn’t just a modern fad; it’s been around for thousands of years. Fast forward to today, and you’ve got a global phenomenon with a smorgasbord of styles. Let’s check out a few of the most popular:

Traditional (Old School)

Think bold lines, vibrant colors, and iconic imagery like anchors and swallows. It’s like a vintage postcard on your skin. Classic and timeless!


These tattoos are so detailed they look like photographs. Perfect for portraits or jaw-dropping nature scenes. Get ready to have people squinting at your arm in disbelief.


Blended colors that mimic the fluidity of watercolor paintings, creating dreamlike, whimsical designs. Imagine a Monet painting but on your bicep.


Bold black ink with geometric patterns, abstract art, or tribal influences. Striking and dramatic! It’s like wearing a permanent, super-cool shadow.

Japanese (Irezumi)

Traditional motifs like koi fish, dragons, and samurais, often covering large portions of the body. Simply stunning and rich with cultural history.

Tattoo Competitions: Where Ink Meets Bragging Rights

a woman in a white dress and a woman in a white dress

Tattoo competitions are the ultimate playground for tattoo artists and enthusiasts. From local events to international conventions, these competitions are all about celebrating the artistry and skill involved in tattooing. Here’s what you can expect at these vibrant gatherings:

Categories and Awards: Showcasing the Best

Competitions feature various categories to let artists shine in their areas of expertise. Some popular categories include:

  • Best Black and Grey: For those jaw-dropping tattoos created with just black and grey ink.
  • Best Color: Highlighting tattoos bursting with vibrant, eye-catching colors.
  • Best Sleeve: Showcasing full-arm or full-leg masterpieces.
  • Best of Day: Awarded to the best tattoo created during the competition. Instant bragging rights!
  • Best Portrait: Recognizing lifelike and detailed portraits that capture the essence of their subjects.

Live Tattooing: The Art in Action

One of the coolest parts of tattoo competitions is live tattooing. Spectators can watch artists work their magic in real-time, observing their techniques and creative processes. It’s like watching a painter at work, but way more intense!

Tattooed People: The Living Canvases

Tattoo enthusiasts, often called “collectors,” are the lifeblood of these competitions. They proudly show off their inked skin, becoming living canvases for the artists. Some competitions even have categories for the best overall tattooed person, celebrating those who’ve turned their bodies into walking masterpieces.

Did You Know?

  1. Oldest Tattoo: The oldest known tattoos were found on Ötzi the Iceman, a mummy dating back to 5,300 years. Now that’s vintage ink!
  2. Tattoo Machines: Modern tattoo machines are based on Thomas Edison’s electric pen, patented in 1876. Thanks, Tom!
  3. UV Tattoos: UV-reactive tattoos glow under black light, creating an out-of-this-world effect. Party-ready ink!
  4. Tattoo Statistics: About 30% of Americans sport at least one tattoo, with millennials leading the charge.
  5. Tattoo Removal: The most common reason for tattoo removal? A change in lifestyle or personal taste. (Pro tip: Think before you ink!)

Inkspiration: More Than Just Art

Tattoos are more than just skin-deep; they’re powerful expressions of who we are. Whether you’re a seasoned collector or considering your first piece, the world of tattoos is bursting with creativity and excitement. And hey, if you’re looking for some inkspiration or tips on what to expect before getting a tattoo, check out this handy guide.

Join the Inked Community

woman with bird tattoo in shoulder laying on white surface

If you’re itching to see some of the best tattoos in the world or want to learn more about the award-winning artists making waves in the industry, head over to the World Famous Tattoo Ink Convention Award Winners. And if you’re near Malta, don’t miss the Malta Tattoo Expo for a live showcase of incredible talent and creativity.

Conclusion: Your Tattoo Journey Awaits

So, the next time you see someone with an impressive tattoo, remember there’s a story, a lot of skill, and maybe even a competition win behind that ink. Who knows, maybe one day you’ll find yourself at a tattoo competition, marvelling at the artistry and perhaps getting inked yourself.

woman in orange button up shirt with black floral tattoo on her back

Whether you’re adding to your collection or just getting started, the world of tattoos is ready to welcome you with open (and inked) arms. Ink it up and express yourself in the most colorful way possible!

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