What are Biomechanical Tattoos?
Biomechanical tattoos are a stylistic approach to tattooing which combines the human body with a contemporary design that makes it look as if the body is made up of mechanical parts. Think Terminator. Remember Arnold’s robot arm? Or when half his face was ripped off to reveal that glowing red eye? It’s kinda like that.
This style of tattooing requires a high degree of skill in order to capture the realistic rendering of pistons, gears, levers and the like and integrate the design with the mechanics of the body. As such, if you’re looking for this type of tattoo, you don’t want to go to just any tattoo artist… you’ll want to seek out a skilled biomechanics tattoo artist — someone with experience in this style specifically.
Tips for Amazing Biomechanical Tattoos
1. Keep it simple: Because of the nature of this style of tattoo, keeping it to black and white can really make it impactful. Colors can be used for highlights, or to emphasize special effects (e.g. blood, etc), but in general, the mechanical nature of the art tends to really shine using traditional B&W ink. Of course, it’s up to you and your artist.
2. Save examples of art you love: Start saving reference photos or examples of tattoos you love. You may even consider refining your vision a bit further by saving your favorite imagery and color palette selections on a “vision board” or in one place so it’s easy to pinpoint trends. This will help you and your artist get the closest feeling possible around your vision. If you don’t know where to start, many artists are happy to help brainstorm from scratch…but the more material to work with, the better!
3. Location is key: The arms, legs, back and chest area are typically the best locations for this type of tattoo and tend to work best with the body shape for a more realistic effect. But, of course, every design and body is different. Make sure to really discuss your expectations with your artist and be open to advice. Certain shapes/designs might not work well in certain locations, so be prepared to adjust a bit!
4. Go big or go home: Okay…well, maybe that’s a little over the top, but really, when it comes to mechanical designs they often look way better when they are sized up.
5. Do your research: Luckily, social media has made it easier than ever to not only find shops, but to browse an individual artist’s work as well. Take your time and look around. Focus on artists that have shared work which includes biomechanical details or tight linework. Also, don’t be afraid to visit the shop or schedule a meeting with the artist to make sure they are licensed and that you feel comfortable with their practices and protocols.
6. Prepare to spend money: You really don’t want to cheap out with this type of tattoo. The intricate nature of the design requires a very high level of skill and a lot of time, so be prepared to spend accordingly.
7. You’ll likely need several sessions: Depending on the design and the location you intend to have it done, you’ll likely need to sit for two or more long sessions, so keep this in mind when contemplating this type of style. For those who want a one-day kinda piece or those with low pain tolerance may struggle with the time and pain that often goes into this type of work.
About Remington Tattoo
Built in 1914 and restored in 2011, Remington Tattoo Parlor + Gallery is located in the North Park district, the heart of San Diego. Remington Tattoo Parlor is a combination of industrial/modern meets an apothecary/artist’s studio. Our unique shop’s aim is to create a memorable experience combining tradition and nostalgia with a modern, clean environment utilizing the best quality supplies and sterilization techniques.