The 17 coolest tattoo artists you need to follow on Instagram

Though tattooing has been in practice for thousands of years, only in the last century have new and exciting styles been swept into the spotlight.

From abstract to geometric, watercolor to surreal, Instagram is the perfect platform for stellar tattoo artists to spread their innovative styles across the globe. 

Whether you have a tattoo already, are thinking about getting inked for the first time, or just like the look of  the permanent art, Instagram is the place to go for inspiration. 

Scroll down to take a look at the 17 artists you should start following now.

1. Marcin Aleksander Surowiec is a Polish artist who excels in surrealist tattooing.

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Surowiec's bold colouring and strong angles make for gorgeous compositions.

This piece by him was titled 'Black Hole' on Instagram:

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Follow him here: @surowiec

2. Geary Morrill is another cool surrealist artist, but he's located in Virgina.

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His caption for this piece was: 'There's really nothing more fun to tattoo than a bunny in space. Seriously.' We can't help but agree.

Morrill loves using space and science as inspiration for his work. Here's a trippy portrait of astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson:

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Follow him here: @__roy.g.biv__

3. Ondrash is a master of the trendy 'watercolor' style. He's based in the Czech Republic.

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This particularly stunning piece was posted to the the /r/tattoos subreddit, where commentors were in awe of the three dimensional he was able to achieve.

This is another example of his stellar watercolor work:

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Follow him here: @ondrashtattoo

4. Sasha Unisex is another leading Eastern European artist who has mastered bold colouring and unique design

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Sasha often uses critters and flowers in her tightly composed watercolor style.

Sasha also often posts the original watercolor design on her Instagram for comparison.

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Follow her here: @sashaunisex

5. Thomas Bates is embracing another growing trend: dot work tattoos.

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This style uses small dots as shading, and is often incorporated with geometric designs.

Achieving a mix of textures is a big challenge of working exclusively with black ink, but Bates pulls it off seamlessly.

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Follow him here: @thomasbatestattoo

6. Rachel Hauer is another stand out artist who works primarily in black ink. She's based in New York City.

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Flora and fauna are her preferred subjects, along with anything reminiscent of old Victorian prints.

This pup portrait shows off her precise line work and knack for composition:

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Follow her here: @rachelhauer

7. Kamil Czapiga is yet another master of black ink and dot work. Based in Poland, his Instagram feed is filled with gorgeous and inspiring works like this astronaut:

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Dot work is also referred to as 'pointillism' -- drawing inspiration from the Impressionist painting tangent technique developed by Georges Seurat.

This dot work mountain scene tattoo uses geometric angles and negative space to create a eye-catching piece.

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Follow him here: @kamilczapiga

8. Chris Rigoni is an Australian tattoo artist with a knack for combining geometry and nature.

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Rigoni's Instagram account saw a huge boost in traffic when this piece was posted on Reddit.

This is an example of his mandala compositions in a full sleeve:

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Follow him here: @chrisrigonitattooer

9. Doctor Woo is another well known artist who combines animal subjects with geometric inspiration, though with a more delicate touch.

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Woo is based in Los Angeles, where his soft lines and careful arrangements have boosted him to notoriety.

Woo's technique is impressively refined and intricate -- not just any tattoo artist can pull off such thin and precise line work.

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Follow him here: @dr_woo_ssc

10. Speaking of Californians and line work, Ben Volt is bold artist. Literally.

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Volt's thick, black lines paired with a strong sense of symmetry make him a force in the tattoo world. He is based in San Francisco.

According to his Instagram post of this piece, Volt is often inspired by abstract architect Frank Llyod Wright.

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Follow him here: @benvolt

11. Dodie is another bold artist, based in France and specializing in lace-inspired art.

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Her work is a little more feminine, often including doily-esque patterns with flowers.

The hint of purple in this piece makes the lace-inspired style pop against a black design.

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Follow her here: @tattoobydodie

12. In neighbouring country Italy, Pietro Sedda executes fantastic surreal portraits with a unique twist.

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Sedda is a master creator when it comes to these unique facial silhouettes filled with landscape or animal designs.

Sedda will sometimes leave a single eye on the facial region, creating a spooky-cool vibe.

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Follow him here: @pietrosedda

13. If you prefer a more traditional tattoo design, New York City artist Adam J. Machin has you covered.

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Machin has a slightly avant-garde approach to traditional subject matter and colouring, always adding a small twist to the art.

Bright colours and clean arrangements make for stunning and classic tattoos.

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Follow him here: @adamjmachin

14. Adam Sky is a San Francisco artist who also doesn't shy away from gorgeous colour palettes.

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Richly saturated Japanese-inspired pieces are his specialty.

Sky often get commissioned to create San Franscico-themed tattoos, like the Golden Gate Bridge, California poppies, or the Bay Bridge (as seen here):

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Follow him here: @adamskytattoos

15. Teresa Sharp works with slightly less saturated colours, but the palette choices are always spot on.

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Sharp, based in Virginia, often posts Instagram photos of very large, intricate tattoos.

Her clients don't shy away from brazen pieces like this neck tattoo:

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Follow her here: @teresasharpeart

16. Nikko Hurtado is famous for his hyper-realistic tattoos and uncanny ability to render light and texture.

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Note how he was able to capture the shine of this Catwoman's costume material and the glisten of her mouth.

Comic book characters are a popular subject of his Instagram posts, perhaps because of their great costumes.

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Follow him here: @nikkohurtado

17. Bang Bang is another insanely talented and popular tattoo artist. Based in NYC, some might know him as Rihanna's go-to tattooist.

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Bang Bang explained in the caption of this piece: 'I've made thousands and thousands of tattoos during my 11 year career - none more difficult than this.'

His Instagram account is full of celebrity sightings, like the following shot of him helping model-turned-actress Cara Delevingne get ready for the Met Ball.

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Follow him here: @bangbangnyc

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