New school watercolor with Geometric/Mosaic forms. Trash Polka ascents..png

Tattoo Feature of the Week 5/6/22

Time in Chair:
10 hours
Customer Request:
The client had a faded watercolor tattoo and wanted to do a new interpretation with a mosaic and trash polka vibe to it.
About the Design:
Dmitry designed the piece keeping the client's skin tone in mind for colors and body proportions for the right layout. He wanted the piece to be legible with a mixture of watercolor and fine line work.
Technique/Style Used:
New school watercolor with Geometric/Mosaic forms. Trash Polka ascents.
Artist's Notes:

It was super important to understand how the client felt not just about the process but how they wanted to see the tattoo and what would make them happiest. To Dmitry, a tattoo is a collaboration with the client. He appreciates the full trust that he, as the artist, has the client's best interest always!

What the Client Says:

“I grew up a little restrictive in my faith. Had some trouble reconciling with the death of my sister and best friend in college, and it caused a dissonance. One day I came across this image in a magazine I was reading....to me, it meant the ongoing wrestling and questioning was the better path. And so then began the journey back during seminary. After a divorce, my faith was a little in tatters until I met a woman who brought all of it back to life again in a new way. but we didn't work out…as you know. And so the dove represents the spirit (my faith) built on top of … kind of a mess….but still has a colorful wildness to it. As far as the process, Dmitry was amazing. It being on my ribs, it hurt like fucking hell, but he talked me through the pain and now I appreciate it even more.”

Dragon, Dojo, and Peony. Japanese style Black & Grey tattoo.png

Tattoo Feature of the Week 4/29/22

Time in Chair:
35 hours
Customer Request:
The client asked for a full back piece with a Dragon, Dojo, and Peony. Japanese style Black & Grey.
About the Design:
The client wanted a half piece with a dragon and half with the peony. Lina was able to incorporate the two where it didn't look like separate pieces but one. The client really wanted a dojo in the piece and the artist was able to find the perfect way to add it in without the back looking too hectic.
Technique/Style Used:
Whip shading/pepper shading, Neo-Japanese, and Black & Grey
Artist's Notes:

Details make the difference. Although the piece is big you shouldn’t overlook the small things. Finding the perfect flow of the piece and canvas is super important, especially with such a large tattoo.

What the Client Says:

"Lina went above and beyond with this piece. She made sure each session I knew exactly what would be done and did it in such a timely manner. She incorporated everything I asked for and made it all flow super nicely. The shading makes the piece! My favorite parts are my tiny dojo and the dragon's face."

black snake with a floral color print

Tattoo Feature of the Week 4/22/22

Time in Chair:
6 hours
Customer Request:
The client requested a black snake with a floral color print on his outer upper arm. He had seen an older tattoo Nina did and wanted the same vibes yet unique to him.
About the Design:
Nina wanted to find colors that would look nice together and pop with the blacked-out shading of the snake. She wanted the piece to look elegant yet bold.
Technique/Style Used:
A blend of Neo-traditional and traditional elements
Artist's Notes:

When creating the design I tried to use complementary colors and took his skin complexion into consideration. We had to find the perfect spot on his arm so it would flow nicely with his movements. After it heals the colors should neutralize just a bit but remain as bright and bold as possible.

What the Client Says:

“I liked the concept and the way Nina executed the piece.”

Tattoo Feature of the Week 4/15/22

Time in Chair:
4.5 hours
demon devil man tattoo.png
Customer Request:
The client requested a demon devil man with a twist. He had seen a tattoo the artist did prior with the same gradient shading with the red and black.
About the Design:
David loved the idea of a man walking a dog to give off a dominant vibe. He used a picture of Tommy Shelby from the show Peaky Blinders to get the right silhouette for the devil man.
Technique/Style Used:
Illustrative with comic book influence, gradient shading. Black and grey micro-realism incorporated with Illustrative color.
Artist's Notes:

I enjoyed creating this unique piece. Finding the perfect placements for shading and being allowed creative freedom.

What the Client Says:

David did amazing with this tattoo. I let him do whatever he thought would work best and he didn’t disappoint.

Tattoo Feature of the Week 4/1/22

Time in Chair:
5 hours
black and grey father son tattoo.png
Customer Request:
The tattoo itself is inspired by his relationship with his father, and his father’s current battle with Alzheimer's disease. The focus of the tattoo is based off of a photograph of Charles as a child with his father. Charles asked for the tattoo to be as close to the photograph as possible, as it is one of his favorite photos of the two of them. He also mentioned he wanted it to be completely rendered in black and grey, and that he was hoping to incorporate abstract elements with a time/clock theme.
About the Design:
When putting together this design, right off the bat I was immediately concerned about the longevity of the tattoo should I use the original reference photo that Charles sent. During our consultation, I shared my concerns about the image remaining comprehensible throughout the years, and was grateful for the client’s open mindedness towards using a different reference. I requested that Charles send me a few more of his favorite photographs with his father, and ended up advising we choose one of those options. I reviewed them while empathizing with the importance of the message of the tattoo - honoring and reflecting on the time they had together, and the connection that will always remain despite the passing of time, or the onslaught of becoming ill. We chose a different photograph with a dynamic, clearly readable silhouette, in which both faces are smiling and clearly visible. As for the abstract elements, I remained true to the client’s requests of what he liked about the tattoo reference image he sent (brush strokes, abstract shapes, minimalism, and the element of the sun representing life, light, warmth, energy, clarity, and the boundless yet cyclical nature of time). I conceptualized it all together with elements that were as minimal as possible. This conveyed the message of the tattoo while not taking away from the main focal point of Charles with his father. The elements were used to frame what was most important, instead of distracting from it. 
Technique/Style Used:
Black and grey microrealism, geometric, abstract 
What the Client Says:

Getting a tattoo can sometimes be a difficult process for a lot of people, however I was extremely fortunate to find this shop and have Sasha as my artist.  My tattoo was a tribute to my father, so it was really special to me and I wanted it to be perfect.  Sasha is a very talented artist, which is obvious by her portfolio, but what impressed me the most was how patient she was and how well she listened to my ideas, which made me feel comfortable and confident about everything.  The end result was more than I could have asked for and I honestly can't wait to go back and get more work from Sasha!

Purple Tulip Tattoo

Tattoo Feature of the Week 3/25/22

Time in Chair:
2.5 hours
Customer Request:
A small tulip in color realism.
About the Design:
Something simple yet elegant. The client said his favorite color was purple. He wanted it to fit nicely in a space between his other existing work. 
Technique/Style Used:
Dark to light shading in the flower and leaves. White ink to highlight certain details.
Micro-Color realism style. No black lines only color.
What the Client Says:

The client loved how Shira turned his idea into reality. He loves the white highlights in the leaves and steam and thinks it fits perfectly in the tiny space he had available. 

Rengoku tattoo in full color.png

Tattoo Feature of the Week 3/18/22

Time in Chair:
4 hours
Customer Request:
The client asked for Rengoku piece in full color. The client wanted the artist to have freedom when it came to the design, he just request for it to be in a square format with no borders. The placement requested was his forearm.
About the Design:
The artist had to think about what details would work for such a small piece. Since the design was smaller than palm size she had to think about what would look good not only once she finished the tattoo but also once it was fully healed. She had gotten her reference straight from the movie and redrew the design accordingly.
Technique/Style Used:
The artist started the session by doing all the linework and filling in all the black details as well as all the shadows that need to be added in black ink. Once all the black was done she went in with all the colors. When doing color pieces Abi goes from dark to light so that none of the darker tones will smudge onto the lighter tones. This ensures that the tattoo will look clean and seamless from start to finish. When all the colors are packed she goes in with white to add a highlight to the piece.
What the Client Says:

“This was my third tattoo with Abi and it was an 11/10 experience just like the others. Not only did the tattoo come out better than I could've imagined but between the energy of the shop and artist, I felt comfortable and excited the entire time. I could not love my tattoo anymore! “

mikhail - First Class Tattoo (1).JPG

Tattoo Feature of the Week 3/11/22

Time in Chair:
6 hours
Customer Request:
Dog Portrait with flowers.
About the Design:
To start, we had a picture of the dog taken on the phone. The client wanted to add some flowers to frame it. Overall, the tattoo was pretty easy to work with, it was straightforward design and the client was very easy going with good skin.
Technique/Style Used:
This tattoo was done in color realism with elements of neo-traditional. We used fine black lines for flowers to make them pop.
What the Client Says:

The client was amazed with how the tattoo turned out and said she will be back for more!

Stay Tuned for More NYC Tattoo Features from
First Class Tattoos!