Quick-witted and eminently chill, able to render all manner of subjects with a level of detail that might have made M. C. Escher raise an eyebrow, Dr. Woo (on his birth name Brian Woo), is a LA based tattoo artist that has been getting month-long waiting lists in the past year.
All due to his subtle, artsy, illustration style of tattoos, that he inherited from Mark Mahoney, from Shamrock Social Club. Instead of the more traditional 8 needles technique, the single-needle style is one that produces such fine black lines that they appear gray.
He has now improved the technique in such a great deal, that his queue is of months and months of waiting and includes Hollywood celebrities. The tattoos look cool, like small, intricate accessories.
They are not massive, violent, out there in the open ready to become sore sights when the wearer ages, but rather discreet skin marks, to be unveiled in intimacy.
Since he started his Instagram account, he realized that his posts did influence the requests – when he did wings, there were more and more requests for wings, when he did knuckles tattoos, more and more for knuckles.
And the same goes for the geometric fine illustrations that he’s experimenting with now: “Before, people were just getting sleeves and bigger tattoos that would cover their torso, but now people are just getting lots of small ones.
They’re like little accessories—they can complement your skin, and you can get them in all different places”, says the artist.
Maybe another reason for the growing trend is that these little jewelries hurt less – the process is actually just scratching the skin surface, compared to in depth color / hard lettering tattoos, where ink needs to get deep inside the skin to stay.
And if you’re wondering who the Hollywood kids mentioned before are, then let’s drop a few names: Erin Wasson, Chiara Ferragani, Drake, Ellie Goulding and the actress Sarah Hyland.
Photos provided by Dr. Woo via his Instagram account.