Gakkin, who works at Harizanmai tattoo studio in Kyoto, takes a new approach to traditional Japanese themes, strongly influenced by manga, graffiti and graphic design. But although his tattoos are definitely 21st-century, Gakkins still follows many of the traditional rules of Japanese tattoo art, such as: 'Never put momiji [message dolls] and sakura [cherry blossom] in the same drawing', and 'Tigers should always go with bamboo'.
While the background of this design is reminiscent of traditional Japanese prints, the colourful maple and the steaks of bright red on the koi makes it stand out as strikingly modern.
23. David Hale
David Hale is an artist living in Athens, Georgia, where he runs design and tattoo studio Love Hawk. This is just one of his incredible pieces of tattoo art. His work typically uses only black and red ink, and he favours designs the combine geometric simplicity and a natural world subject matter.
24. Jason Donahue
Artist Jason Donahue works at Hidden Coast Tattoo in Sebastopol, California. His work often features Native American themes. His minimal use of colour is both subtle and striking, and his style looks great on both smaller hand pieces and larger coverings.
25. David Corden
When it comes to realistic portraits, there's no one better than UK artist David Corden. He's inked tattoo versions of everyone from Sean Connery and Harrison Ford to Eminem and er... Keith Lemon. Despite getting a 'U' in A-Level art (he was told that his work looked so much like a photo, he may as well have handed in a photo) and spending 15 years working as a ventilation engineer, he eventually followed his true calling in tattoo art.
Genko is known for putting modern spin on traditional Japanese tattoo art, although he insists that 'his style is having no style'. His portfolio of work takes in tribal, new school and greyscale tattoo designs. He's based in Japan and has won multiple awards for his work.
27. Adriaan Machete
Not only is this artist a sublime master of his craft, he also has a very cool name. Adriaan Machete is the kind of name you expect from a tattoo artist. Check out this awesome, if gruesome, leg design: vibrant turquoise against pink with clever line work make the characters pop.
28. Peter Aurisch
This design from Peter Aurisch is a great example of the artist's painterly, cubism-inspired style. His colourful, abstract works have put him in high demand as a tattoo artist. Aurisch is currently based in Berlin.
Shige is a self-taught tattooist based in Yokohama, Japan, and the founder of Yellow Blaze Tattoo. While the basis of his work is Japanese history and traditional culture, Shige has created his own original style, which he describes as a never-ending work in progress. His large-scale works are truly breathtaking.
30. Peter Lagergren
We love Peter Lagergren's work purely because it's so bizarre. The Swedish tattoo artist is currently working at Malmö Classic Tattooing, and specialises in acid-bright, trippy images of animals and monsters.
31. Ed Perdomo
Ed Perdomo is a tattoo artist from Columbia who now resides in Goteborg, Sweden – although he loves to travel, so he might not be sticking around for long. "I only do custom, love colours and big spaces... my work is optimistic and a bit crazy," he says.
32. Tim Senecal
Tim Senecal has been tattooing since 2001, and is known for his big, bright, bold, freehand designs. He's currently looking to evolve his style: "I am interested in hearing ideas which may have me explore outside what you have seen from me," he says on his site. "I will be accepting all projects that catch my interest, and none that do not."
33. Anthony Romero
Also known as The Man With the Neck Tattoo, Anthony Romero is a dab hand at recreating haunting black and white portraits on his clients' skin – he's inked tattoo versions of everyone from John Lennon to Yoga. He also has a bit of a thing for horror – as you can see in the design shown above.
34. Ondřej Konupčík
Who says ink has to be well-defined and crisp? Well not Czech tattoo artist Ondřej Konupčík, that's for sure. He studied fashion before moving into tattoo art, and building up an international reputation as a master of the now super-popular watercolour tattoo style. As well as beautiful expressive tattoos, he also creates artwork.
35. Myke Chambers
If you'll excuse the pants, check out this intricate (and suitably large) traditional American piece of tattoo art by Myke Chambers. Coverage is very high but the colour work is stunning – as is the detail in the various animal and human portraits that run through the design. Chambers completed his first amateur tattoo aged 12 (shudder), and never looked back.
36. Emily Rose Murray
Australian tattoo artist Emily Rose Murray blends a strong comic art-influenced style with some amazing colour and shading work. The Melbourne-based artist is known for her glamorous women with a gothic edge.
37. Amanda Wachob
Originally a painter, Amanda Wachob has developed a beautifully unique style of tattoo art. Influenced by the work of Hans Hofmann, she allows the organic forms of the body to influence these abstract shapes. Take a look at this interview to discover how she earned herself an almost cult-like following.