I'm a big fan of highly graphic, woodblock print-stylized tattoos for their bold effect and staying power. One artist who employs this style beautifully -- blending it with his fascination with the occult, symbolism, and dark aesthetics -- is Daniel Meyer of Kassel, Germany.
Daniel, whose background is in media design, quit his job on impulse one day and decided to devote his time to following his life-long passion of creating tattoos. Self-taught, he began by learning on his own skin. Daniel credits his friend David Rinklin for offering "hints" when he began to learn to tattoo, but says that he's a natural autodidact, and just put all his energy into this one goal: to achieve perfection in tattooing.
In 2013, Daniel started to work under the pseudonym "LEITBILD", which can be roughly translated as "guiding principle", but it can also be spelled in German with a double meaning (leit = guiding, bild = picture).
When I asked Daniel where he finds reference and ideas for his work, he said:
I find reference everywhere. If I see something in a book, I keep the page. If I see something in the nature, I do a picture. If I see something in the Internet, I do a screenshot. Most of my ideas are just happening during a process. When I'm making the design, it's like every element tells me where it should be placed and how it should be combined, that's why I require much flexibility from my customers.
I like the quote from Salvador Dali, which says: "The fact that I, myself, at the moment of painting, do not understand their meaning doesn't imply that these paintings are meaningless."
Daniel is currently moving his workspace and is looking to do more guest spots in 2014.