Recently, in my search through Pinterest I’ve been brushing up on all things popular and trending in the world of Tattoo – watercolor birds, arrows, feathers, a world map outline here and there, infinity symbols, that same “3d” Monarch butterfly that has come into the shop more times that I can count on two hands this week – and thats totally fine! A tattoo is only as unique as the wearer – and hey they pay the bills, right?
As someone seemingly out of step with the trend – I’d like to take this opportunity to talk about some real good shit happening a little under the radar and outside of the Pinterest world. The stuff that for one reason or another isn’t “in-vogue” and I’m more than okay with that.
I believe the mark of a tattoo maker that truly excels at their craft is one who is able to cultivate their own artistic style. When you see a piece in passing and are immediately certain where the wearer got that tattoo, and by whom. That brings me to Koji Ichimaru. With a nod toward traditional Japanese & American motifs, Koji’s work is far from conventional, hard to mistake, and most definitely all his own.
If you take a quick browse through Koji’s Instagram page, you’ll find Clean, Bright, Bold, Black outlined – Black shaded tattoos made to outlast the wearer – built to stand the test of time. Tattoos you know aren’t blending to shit after a couple years in the sun… Tattoos that look like tattoos forcryingoutloud!
I’ll let Koji’s work do the rest of the talking here…
Karashishi or “Foo Dog” a more common term in the West
Black & Grey Baku (one of my favorites)
Koi & Maple Leaf sleeves
You can find more work from Koji on Instagram at @kojiichimaru