Tattooing is an ancient art. As much as some people don’t like it, it’s inevitable that they were used a long time ago. And even though the years have passed, this art is still going strong. The reasons may not be the same, but it is undeniable that this type of body marking was, is and always will be popular.
A human, by the name of Ötzi, was found with over 50 body marks. The date of the period he lived exceeds 3,000 BC This is information to give you an idea of how old this practice is.
A very curious factor of this time is that, in the period in which Ötzi lived, only black ink was available. And, for a long time, it was the only way to get a tattoo. It was only with the Polynesians that some techniques were discovered to give color to what was once monochromatic.
Today, we already know that it is possible to get tattoos in different shades and different styles. But the art of painting the body with black paint is not over. And to represent this way of tattooing that still attracts many adepts among the available colors, a name was created: “Blackwork”.
The History of Blackwork
To get an idea of what this style is, just translate the name, which literally means “work in black”. Of the most distinct styles of tattoos we have, two very popular are related to Blackwork: Maori and tribal art. Despite having their own characteristics, they are very similar in tone and geometric style.
Tribals, along with Maori, have gained tremendous popularity in the last 10 years. Famous names like Rafinha Bastos (and his famous tribal tattoo, which covers his entire arm and The Rock, who has the most famous Maori tattoo in the world) were some of those responsible for having their tattoos copied and spread across the planet.
Because of this, Blackwork was a bit overlooked. For this, countless tattooists who were experts in this art had to adapt to continue in the market. Because of this, numerous techniques were incorporated, such as geometric and pointillism.
That was the strength that this style needed to get back on its feet: shortly after the updates, they returned with full force to the public’s taste.
Definition of this tattoo style
Also known as neotribal, Blackwork is, basically, drawings made only with the color black. In the past, it was a method to cover up tattoos that were poorly done or that people no longer wanted (like the name of an ex-boyfriend, for example). But as time went on, even that got old-fashioned. From there, the technique became specialized.
At the moment, it is the main technique for those who want the tattoo to fit their body anatomy. The designs are simple and not very sophisticated. Lines, stripes and shading of sophisticated designs are common. Generally, a person uses geometric shapes or pointillism to draw something, and adds the finishing touches (like shading) with blackwork.
Anyone who thinks it’s easy is wrong: it’s one of the most difficult tattoo styles to perform! This is a procedure that does not allow many errors, as they are evident and are difficult to circumvent. In addition, filling large areas with the same proportion of ink is a job for the expert.
What are the most common places for a Blackwork tattoo?
Most people prefer to use the back for this style. In addition to being more evident, it is a place that allows art to be made in a more excellent way. But, on the arms, legs and chest are also places where neotribal can be performed to perfection.
And, as they are the places with more volume and muscles, care is greater. This means that the use of the ointment is greater and for longer. Sun exposure is not recommended for at least 15 days and no going overboard for the next two weeks. This is all so that the ink penetration of the skin is excellent and does not become deformed.
There are no limits to creativity
Is it a difficult specialty to do? Absolutely. However, it is one of the most “jokes”. A great example is the details done in white ink, a method used by many tattoo artists. The effect is incredible, and it is only possible to achieve it if the drawing is entirely black.
Everything is customizable, and virtually every design can be done through Blackwork.
With the increasing appearance of Mandalas, tattoo parlors were getting more and more crowded. With this, the neotribal technique gained its space, as it is considered to be the most effective for drawing them.
This symbol started with American tribes, where the natives believed that this emblem had the power to protect and ward off all spiritual enemies of humans, such as demons. Here in Brazil, it became popular with the name of “Filtro dos Sonhos”.
It’s quite likely that you’ve seen it on windows — especially — and house doors. This serves as an amulet, which filters out all negative energies. Many also believe that he has the power to neutralize negative energies. The effect is very similar in many beliefs, only the names are changed.
Since then, many people (the overwhelming majority being women) have started tattooing this powerful symbol on their bodies. The idea is the same: with the printed design, the bad energies that are around don’t reach the person. And, when the lines start to be made, it’s the blackwork style that brings it to life.
What did you think of this procedure to perform a tattoo? Did you like it or do you think it doesn’t suit your personality? Despite having characteristic traits, it is very difficult to find someone who does not find him, at the very least, interesting. And, if you want to draw a mandala, you already know which technique is most recommended, right?
Do you like them? Will you try to make them? Please tell me everything in the comments. ❤